Surf-furs: World’s only surfing rats


Life’s a beach for pet rats Fin and Tofu who made waves as the world’s only rodents that can – SURF.

Dedicated Boomer Hodel, 14, has trained his two white rats to surf on custom-built 1ft long boards.

Fin and Tofu, both one-year-old rats, regularly take to the sea and surf waves up to 4ft and are even on a special diet to stay in shape.

Boomer started their training by gently pushing the rats into tiny ripples at the water’s edge before moving them on to more advanced waves.

Both the rats can swim and, after some early tumbles, can now perform tricks – often catching ‘tubes’ in front of stunned onlookers.

Boomer, of Haleiwa, Hawaii, takes his rats surfing twice a week and draws big crowds of spectators at his local Laniakea Beach.

He said: ”Running on a wheel isn’t enough for Fin and Tofu – they like a more extreme rush. They love surfing.

”When they first started they were pretty shaky and would fall off quite a lot, but now their balance is so good they fall off less than most human surfers.

”Fin’s favourite trick is a tube ride – where the wave breaks over him and he rides through a tunnel of water.

”Sometimes he falls off his board and I have to take him back to the beach to warm him up with a towel. But he is always raring to get back out there.

”The first time I took the rats down to the beach it was to give them a wash because they were all dirty. But they loved the water so much I had to take them back.

”It also keeps them in great shape. I’ve put them on a special surfing diet as well which has really boosted their performance.

”I give them high protein, low carbohydrate foods. Rats are natural swimmers and have a very adventurous spirit.”

Boomer takes his rats surfing for 20 minutes at a time and then takes them back to the beach to warm them up in the sun and dry them off with a towel.

He made the 1ft-long surfboards himself with the help of pals Jeremy Martin, 14, and Akila Barrnett, 14.

Boomer got the idea when he snapped his surfboard on a big wave and decided to turn each half into a smaller surfboard using sandpaper and fibreglass.

His incredible pets were caught on camera by Hawaiin photographer Clark Little, 39.

He said: ”I saw these kids walking down the beach with two rats and some tiny surfboards so I went over to see what they were doing.

”I couldn’t believe it when the rats started surfing. They was really good, surfing very fast and having a grand old time.

”I thought it was weird at first at first but they both seem to really enjoy it and the rats are good swimmers.

”Rats are survivors. Maybe that’s why these ones are so good at extreme sports.”

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  1. It’s great to find an activity that you and your rats love. But be careful of high protein diets: they can lead to kidney damage. Even the most athletic adult rats do best on a diet that’s high in carbs and has only a moderate amount of protein.


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