Hundreds of dog lovers and dozens of dogs have gathered for the World Dog Surfing Championships in California.

The event, held at Pacifica State Beach near San Francisco, saw wave-riding pooches judged on everything from technique to confidence and size of their wave.

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The hounds are placed in groups according to size, from small to medium and large-very large.

There were also tandem dog classes, as well as tandem human-dogs, with owners joining their pups on the board.

Saturday’s event, billed as the “premier dog surfing event in the world”, has been held in the San Francisco area since 2006.

Jeffrey Niebor’s seven-year-old labrador Charlie, who started surfing at the age of two, walked away with second place in the large-very large group.

“I can’t even explain his passion for it and how much he enjoys it,” Mr Niebor said.

“He has such a good time. Even when we’re not surfing competitively, if we just go to the beach and we’re hanging out and he takes his surfboard to the water and he’ll bark on the waves, people just love it and we just like to keep it positive.”

James Wall went one better with his dog Faith, a 10-year-old rescue dog, winning first place in the same category.

“She was scared of a lot of stuff as a puppy. And we just started going to the beach. She jumped on one of the surfboards and I was like, yeah let’s give it a try … and she hasn’t looked back since,” he said.

Prerana Rani, a dog owner and spectator from Santa Clara, was curious if her pup would take to the waves like those competing.

“It was amazing to see so many dogs come together and just surf. This is the first time I’ve seen dogs surf so it was really good, and I hope my dog will be inspired,” she said.

Story By: Reuters/ABC