When we think of paddle sports, is it kayaking or canoeing that comes to mind? For me, one of the first that generally comes to mind is surfing. Paddling yourself out onto an ocean, or large body of water with an ebb and flow. Lake Tahoe definitely has its own form of surfing, and it has skyrocketed in popularity the past few years. There are a few brave souls who paddle out on Lake Tahoe in the dead of winter, but they may only catch a one or two foot wave.
That seems like a lot of work in the frigid cold to truly enjoy a paddling sport on Lake Tahoe. Which is why Stand Up Paddleboarding seems to have taken off at Lake Tahoe. It's a full body workout: you, a paddleboard and one oar. You don't need a full wet suit, booties or rolling waves. You can glide over Lake Tahoe, take in the sights, strengthen your core and have fun doing so. You don't have to wait for a winter storm to roll in and conjure up lake waves. A little bit of sunshine and calm waters is just right.
A recent article in the Tahoe Daily Tribune indicates that boating has declined this year while paddleboard sports have increased. Larger turn outs this summer at the first two of three event races in the O'Neill Tahoe Cup Race Series demonstrates a growing interest with paddleboarding. In the 6-mile point-to-point race, "Jam from the Dam", our very own Tahoe City local and Squaw Valley Avalanche Forcaster, Lel Tone, was the top woman racer, placing 24th overall with a time of 1:12:35. Yet again, Lake Tahoe is excellent training ground for our local athletes.
Get out there and paddle away!