Pups on SUPs Sandy Beach Reserve Bassendean

Does your dog love water and do you like to keep fit? Well now there’s no need to leave your dog at home whilst you burn calories. How about you combine the two and try stand up paddling boarding (SUP) on the stunning Swan River with your best pal, with Pups on SUPs at Sandy Beach Reserve Bassendean.


Maree is the owner operator of SUP Tonic Australia and she is also a huge dog lover. Maree had a vision of bringing both her loves together and in 2017 Pups on SUPs was established. It is essentially SUPing for dogs (and owners) at Sandy Beach Reserve, Bassendean and usually runs through the warmer months from September each year. Check the facebook (link below) for times and hire costs.

We stumbled upon Pups on SUP’s whilst enjoying a walk by the river with our dog Ellie. It was a remarkable sight to see so many social dogs and their owners enjoying this awesome activity. We stood by and watched for a while and were inspired by the fun everyone else was having and felt we were missing out, so we hired a board and joined in. 

We did not go prepared to get wet and I recommend you wear bathers/beach attire and take a towel for you and your dog; you may both get wet! Some dogs were jumping off the board and getting back on, just because they could! Tasty dog treats are also beneficial to use to reward your dog whilst they get used to the board for the first time. We saw a few people doing this and it worked well.

Maree is very friendly and a very experienced SUP teacher. We started with some basic tuition and safety instructions and our briefing session ending with Maree stating ‘it’s all about having fun!’ We were more than ready to start the Fun Factory and so was Ellie.

We started with Ellie walking on and off the board at her leisure whilst on dry land. We then pushed the board out slightly and I sat on the board. She was keen to paddle a bit and then jump on the board again. It was so quick for her to do this and would have been even quicker if we had a food reward.

Within minutes we were out on the water SUP’ing! We stayed very close to the shoreline for half of the hire time so we could both get used to the new sensation and so I could feel more confident, and once I felt satisfied I could do it, we ventured a bit further.

There was an assortment of dogs, big and small, taking part and all were having the best time. Some dogs and owners had clearly done it before and were showing us SUP Virgins what can be achieved with a bit more practise.

It is a beautiful spot to SUP with some amazing wildlife to spot; we were lucky to see four dolphins cruise past us which was just the best feeling in the world plus some pelicans came to check us out.  

It was a fabulous way to spend a Saturday morning with our dog Ellie.  It was a visual delight to see all the dogs on boards and we all soaked up the happy atmosphere that SUP Tonic Australia created.

A donation from each board hire is given to SAFE Perth, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the rescue, care, rehabilitation and rehoming of homeless and abandoned pets in Western Australia. Another good reason to give it a go.

More information: www.facebook.com/pupsnsups  and  www.suptonic.com.au.  

How To Get There:

Review by Dogs Around Perth Reporter Tina, 7th February 2018. Updated 8th September 2019

Tina Nunnington is a 40 something mother, wife and pet carer with a particular love of 'man's best friend'. The enjoyment and love you receive from a dog is, in my opinion, just wonderful. I cannot ever remember not having a loyal dog by my side and my current best pal is Ellie, my gorgeous 17 year old JR x Yorkie. She travelled all the way from London with us to start a new life in Australia in 2011. She rocks and she knows it!

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