Photos: Surfing with goats at the San Clemente Pier


It all started when longtime Pismo Beach surfer Dana McGregor would leave his pet goat, Goatee, at home when he would go surfing and she would cry all the time he was gone, much to the annoyance of his neighbors. So, he took her to the beach with him and taught her to surf and quickly became a tourist favorite.

McGregor jokes that he is “The Goatfather” now and has turned his surfing goat hobby into a mission. He said he loves surfing, working with kids and his goats. His surfing goats are incorporated in his surfing camps, soccer camps, outdoor adventure trips and his Beautifully Abled Surf Camp, which helps special-needs kids.

McGregor has been traveling across California and recently took Cohen Schuller, 9, of Costa Mesa, who is recovering from a brain malformation and has slight cerebral palsy and epilepsy, on his first surfing experience as part of his Beautifully Abled Surf Camp, run by McGregor and the Surfing Goats of Pismo Beach, at the San Clemente Pier. After riding a wave with McGregor and a group of volunteers, it was the goat Pismo the Kid’s turn, and a crowd gathered on the beach and the pier to watch, hooting and taking video and photos. His goat Grover hasn’t taken to surfing as much as Pismo, so he mostly watches from the beach, where he gets lots of attention.

“We are just trying to bring hope and healing to people’s hearts through surfing,” McGregor said.

McGregor also has written children’s books, “Surfing Goat Goatee” and “Pismo’s Party Wave.” He says donations he receives go toward the production of the books, special-needs and homeless surf camps, and missions in Mexico. Surfing lessons and activities can be booked online at surfinggoats.com.

Surfing goat

Anders Hamborg, left front, and Dana McGregor, right front, owner of the Surfing Goats of Pismo Beach, ride a wave the goat Pismo the Kid.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Surfers toss up Cohen Schuller

Before surfing with Pismo the Kid, a group of surfers toss Cohen Schuller, 9, of Costa Mesa into the air to celebrate his first surfing experience. Cohen has a brain malformation, cerebral palsy and epilepsy,

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

 People with goats on the beach.

Amanda Robbins (L) and Ryan Valliere lead Grover and Pismo the Kid surfing goat toward the water.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Surfing goat Pismo the Kid

Dana McGregor, left, is joined by a friend as they surf with Pismo the Kid.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

 Surfing goats Grover, front, and Pismo the Kid

Grover, front, and Pismo the Kid after a day of surfing.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

 A wetsuit dries on a car hood.

A wetsuit dries next to a goat hood ornament on “The Goatfather” Dana McGregor’s car.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)





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