Five ways to try something new at Tahoe this summer
This hike into the Tahoe Basin gives you Tahoe views without Tahoe crowds. Benjamin Spillman, email@example.com
Each summer, you watch people grinning from ear to ear as they bike, kayak, standup paddleboard, sail or jet-ski by. This season, be among them and find something that lifts both your spirits and the sides of your mouth. Maybe it’s an adrenalin-pumping new passion, or something you can simply say you’ve tried.
Get out this summer and tackle the outdoors in new and exciting ways thanks to these Lake Tahoe outfitters and educators.
Have you often enviously, or perhaps with just a little intriguing trepidation, gazed upon those two-wheeled warriors barreling down the surrounding mountains? Grab your gumption and head to Northstar California’s Specialized Academy, where experts will get you geared up and teach you how to mountain bike.
Coaches at the Specialized Academy offer private and group lessons for first-timers or those interested in upping themselves to the next level of mountain biking. On July 21-22 and August 18-19, they are also hosting a bike retreat just for women, with groups assured to be small enough to provide any individual instruction needed. Ladies can also refine their skills with the free lessons provided on Fridays from 5-7 p.m. between June 29-Aug. 31 at Pumps on Pedals.
Standup paddleboard and kayaking
Instructors certified by the American Canoe Association (ACA), an organization that ensures anyone armed with a paddle knows what they’re doing, teach both kayaking and the ubiquitous standup paddleboarding (SUP) at Tahoe City Kayak and Paddleboard.
If you’re interested in kayaking, whether you’ve never approached one before, or you’re seeking to learn how to roll or rescue others, here you’ll learn anything needed in their two-to-three-hour sessions.
Experts will also teach you how to get properly mounted on those flat, forward-facing surf boards know as SUPs. For the truly adventurous and flexible, try a paddleboard yoga lesson which teaches how to take anyone’s mat-based practice and apply it to a SUP.
Waterskiing and wakeboarding
It’s tricky taking on the water while trailing behind a motorized vehicle holding on to a rope, strapped to the summertime equivalent of skis or a snowboard. That’s why the Coast Guard-licensed and American Water Ski Association-certified instructors at High Sierra Waterski School can help. Up to six people can head out on the school’s boat for up to eight hours of waterskiing and wakeboarding instruction, or use their own boat and pay for hourly for the equipment and education.
Another way to course over the clear blue waters of Lake Tahoe is by sailboat. If learning to sail is on your bucket list, instructors certified by the American Sailing Association (ASA) at Sailing Ventures can help you check it off. They’ll teach you just the basics, or get you certified to sail the open seas through a series of courses required by the ASA to navigate a sailboat. Like a driver’s license for the water, but serenely sans motor, as the ancients did it.
On your own adventure
If guided lessons aren’t your thing, there are places on both ends of the lake to try your skills simply by renting the equipment. During the skill-set vetting process, if your personal assurance doesn’t appease them, your credit card surely will.
When on Tahoe’s north shore, try the Tahoe Adventure Company’s array of mountain bikes to head for the hills, or kayaks and SUPS to take to the lake. While aimed towards Tahoe’s south shore, Zephyr Cove has its own protected and aptly named area to ease any equipment into the water, plus a well-stocked shop to rent you anything from jet skis, wakeboards and powerboats, to SUPS and kayaks. They also offer parasailing for an above-the-water adventure.
If in need of some instruction, both places will offer some basics before sending you off on your own grin-inspiring experience.