by - 16:51

He looks like a drowned rat. But clinging to his very own surfboard, this is simply a pet exploring his wild side.

Tofu, as he is known, and his 14-year-old owner hit the waves twice a week at their local beach in Hawaii.

Along with his fellow rat Fin, Tofu catches waves of up to 4ft and even rides tunnels of water known as 'tubes'.
The incredible surfing rats who were taught to ride 4ft waves
Surfin' USA: Boomer Hodel with Tofu his incredible surfing rat. The teenager built a surfboard for his rats Tofu and Fin and spent weeks teaching them to hold on until they can now handle full tube waves in Haleiwa, Hawaii
'Running on a wheel isn't enough for Fin and Tofu - they like a more extreme rush,' said owner Boomer Hodel.

'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.'

The rats - both one-year-olds - surf for 20 minutes at a time before drying off in the sun.

Each time, they are raring to get back to the water. 'Rats are natural swimmers,' Boomer said. 'And they have a very adventurous spirit.'

Hodel 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.

Hodel draws big crowds of spectators at his local Laniakea Beach.

The incredible surfing rats who were taught to ride 4ft waves
Both the rats can swim and after some early tumbles can now perform tricks
 He said: 'They love surfing. 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.'

The incredible surfing rats who were taught to ride 4ft waves
Hang 10: Hodel started by gently pushing the rats into tiny ripples at the water's edge, then moved on to more advanced waves and taught him to perform tricks like 'tube-riding'
 The water-loving rats are even on a special diet to stay in shape.

'It has really boosted their performance,' said Hodel.

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

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

The incredible surfing rats who were taught to ride 4ft waves
Ratical: Children watch Fin the incredible surfing rat in action
 Hodel 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 Hawaiian photographer Clark Little.

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.'

The incredible surfing rats who were taught to ride 4ft waves
Wipe-out: Hodel takes his pets surfing for 20 minutes at a time before heading back to the beach to warm up in the sun and dry off with a towel


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