Stand Up Paddling is getting more popular each year, and Tahoe Mountain Sports finally jumped on-board. We now carry the Shubu, an inflatable stand up paddle board from Boardworks SUP. Shubu stands for “Show Up and Blow Up”, and that’s literally what you do with it. When deflated, it rolls down and fits into an included stuff sack with shoulder straps, so you can wear it as a backpack while you walk or bike to the water. When you get there, pull it out and blow it up with the included pump. Then simply set it on the water and step on. That’s all there is to it!
We decided to carry the Boardworks SUP Shubu because we love how easy it is to transport, yet it’s still an actual board. It doesn’t feel soft like you think it should for being a blow-up board. This inflatable stand up paddleboard is perfect for lake or river camping trips because you can pack it in your trunk, and it’s great for quick jaunts to your local water when you want a good morning workout but don’t have racks on your car to support a 10-foot hard board. For now, we carry them in three different sizes: 9’2″ and wide, 10’2″ and wide, and the regular width Shubu 10’7″. They pack down to less than three feet in diameter, and they provide great support for hours on end without refilling.
Since our selection of stand up paddle boards is so travel-friendly,
we figured it best to also carry collapsible SUP paddles and keep packing and stuffing to a minimum. The 3-Piece Carbon Fiber Paddle from Boardworks SUP weighs only 1-lb., 12-oz. and breaks into sections so you can stash it in your pack along with your SUP, or toss it on the front seat and reassemble it quickly. This Carbon Fiber SUP Paddle is so lightweight you barely notice it, making paddling distances less strenuous on the arms and upper-body. The whole point is to have fun while you’re out there, not suffer from over-exertion.
The military grade UV-resistant rubber Boardworks uses for their inflatable SUPs is very durable and more firm than most would expect. You can make your SUP pretty stiff with the included pump, especially since it features a pressure gauge to help you fill it to the appropriate level, but Boardworks recommends topping it off with their K-20 Finishing Pump (sold separately) to get the best possible performance. The K-Pump only weighs two pounds and is less than two feet long, so it’s also easy to transport.
Tahoe Mountain Sports also has Stand Up Paddleboard accessories, so if you were to misplace or break something like, say, your plastic center fin, you can get a replacement fin from us and get right back out on the water. Each inflatable SUP comes with a rubber patch kit for do-it-yourself SUP repairs, but we thought it would be a good idea to also stock up on other things; things that some people consider necessities, and others may call ‘excess’. For example, a Rubber Coiled Calf Leash that secures your board to your body. Depending how you choose to use your board, a leash could be a good idea, or it may not matter so much. River and ocean surfers may appreciate the added security of a leash, but it could get in the way if you were doing SUP yoga or riding more powerful surf where you’d want to be free of any constraints. River surfers would probably also see more use in the Boardworks SUP PFD, which deflates so small it fits in a comfortable waist pack. Call it a fanny pack PFD, if you will. Only this waist pack looks much cooler than the type your mom used to wear to the amusement park.
If you’re into stand up paddling and you haven’t had the chance to try out a Boardworks SUP inflatable stand up paddleboard, do yourself a favor and give one a shot. You may realize how much easier leisure travel is when you can pack up your SUP and wear it on your back or store it in the backseat. And if you’re just getting into Stand Up Paddling, this could be your golden ticket. Save yourself the trouble of dealing with car racks and trying to carefully transport your fragile board to and from the water. Get an inflatable SUP, show up, and blow up!
This post comes from Matt Lucas, an avid explorer who, when he’s not guiding trips for Brooklyn Outfitters, adventures around the country and beyond. His writing and photography on travel and skiing has appeared in many places online and in print. Based out of New York City, his addiction to clean alpine air keeps him both sane and on the move. There is no mission too small, far, or silly that he won’t consider.
Hulk Hogan in all his glory
For those of us not lucky enough to live in Tahoe, the lake and its personalities may have an even larger presence than in reality. There’s always been something that resonated with me about it. While the area is not as “extreme” as Chamonix, in which local hero Glen Plake chooses to make his home part-time, or as fancy as Jackson, the home of top notch athletic talent in many disciplines, it has always seemed to have a certain amount of more fun to it. Maybe even American-ness, which to me is way more important, anyway.
Snowlerblading in America
Maybe it’s the unpretentious way the log cabin architecture and the roadside stands ground the area, bearing witness to a lifestyle past that was brought to us by the promise of refrigerators and automobiles that make it so approachable. It certainly was not only the ski industry that delivered tourists to the shores here, even if the 1960 Winter Olympics brought athletes of the highest level to compete on the snowy slopes, some sticking around and many others migrating soon afterward.
If one man was to ever embody dual ethos of talent and levity, or at least populism, it surely would have been Shane McConkey, who was honored by Squaw Valley Ski Resort in the third annual Pain McShlonkey Classic weekend at the end of March. For me, this would be an opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Tahoe, and to take an account of his influence on skiing today. It was also an opportunity to say goodbye to the winter season, as unpredictable temperatures and lower elevations on my native east coast will close most resorts by April Fools. Read the rest of this entry »
Spring weather means losing the layers and getting out into the sun and fresh mountain air! Whether you’re a Tahoe local or visiting for the weekend, there’s a ton for everyone to do in Tahoe. I took the liberty of compiling some photos from our favorite activities in the area, everything from spring skiing and mountain biking to fly fishing and disc golf. With such a beautiful landscape to explore and endless recreational opportunities, you don’t want to miss out on all the fun associated with spring in Tahoe.
Of course, there’s the beach and the lake:
Miles and miles of sandy beaches
Kite Surfing on the lake
Running on the beach, stand up paddleboarding and kayaking are great ways to enjoy Tahoe’s endless miles of secluded lakefront. If you’d rather more social interaction, you can find more sunbathers and waders on the public beaches on the North and South sides of the lake. Many public beaches allow dogs, including the Coon Street Boat Launch just east of our store in Kings Beach. Kite surfing, paragliding and other airborne adventures are also becoming more popular each year, and the warm air combined with cool breezes makes good wind for flying. It’s not uncommon to count a handful of thrill-seekers charging through the waves on windier days.
The amount of options for overnight camping in Tahoe are ridiculous. From state parks with facilities like bathrooms and boat ramps to National Forest land where you can choose your own adventure and wilderness camp, it doesn’t take much effort to find a place to pitch a tent. Just pick up a map of the Lake Tahoe Basin and drop your finger somewhere in the woods – chances are you can camp there.
Many campsites are near freshwater tributaries that flow into Lake Tahoe. You know what else goes on at those creeks and rivers? Some of the best fishing in California, that’s what! The Brown Trout in the Truckee River (and Little Truckee River) are known for their elusive nature and stamina during a fight, and if you can pull one out you can consider yourself a truly skilled fisherman. Or just really, really lucky.
If you’re into backcountry skiing you know that spring is prime-time for bagging the steeper couloirs and peaks you’ve had your eyes fixed on all season. You won’t need a warm winter jacket because you can get away with shorts and a t-shirt, just be sure to lube up with Read the rest of this entry »
This guest post comes from Robyn Embry, a local pro downhill racer living in Kings Beach, California, for the past seven years. She can be found climbing rocks and skiing powder when not enjoying life on two wheels; her blog http://therobynator.blogspot.com contains the extended version of this and other adventures, including the fun and tribulations found within a season of mountain bike racing.
Whitney Portal – granite as far as the eye can see
Less than two weeks after returning from a mountain bike race in Las Vegas, Kit and I were back on the road again toward Fontana, CA, for yet another race. That went well and I walked away with the win, ready to enjoy some more Southern California sunshine during a week of visiting friends, climbing, surfing and riding bikes. One of our first stops was Pirate’s Cove by Newport Bay for some bouldering. Here, a crash pad is not totally necessary because of the soft sandy landing, but a pair of slip-on or Velcro climbing shoes and some Reef sandals are nice and easy to trade off between problems. There are some climbs in the shade, but the sun gets intense at the boulders directly on the beach, making a good sunscreen like Sierra Summits Adventure Sunscreen a great idea. Sun hats are good too; a ball cap just doesn’t cut it in strong sunshine. This I’ll remember next time. Something like the Prana Sally hat looks cute and protects your ears as well.
After the fun bouldering session our friend offered to shuttle us on the San Juan mountain bike trail, located up in the Santa Ana Mountains. One of Southern California’s premier single tracks, this trail is way the heck out there Read the rest of this entry »
This post comes from Pam Jahnke, owner of Tahoe Mountain Sports and healthy eating connoisseur. Pam is always on the prowl for tasty new treats, but she holds a few prerequisites: they must be all-natural, provide good energy, and pack a solid punch of flavor. Here’s one of her most recent creations, which takes little effort and whips up quickly so you can grab-n-go, and keep going all day.
Living an active life with kids, work and outdoor adventures, I’m always looking for healthy snacks that I can make or grab quickly. I’m one of those people always trying new food plans – one month I’m gluten-free, then I’m going Paleo or doing the Blood Type Diet. I think I drives my husband a bit nuts because one month there’s no meat, then the next it’s all about the meat! I look at it as a process that I’m constantly refining to learn which foods provide my body with the best fuel.
One great easy go-to snack, or even a meal for me, is a smoothie. Sometimes I use a protein powder and add fruit and almond milk, other times I just blend up some greens with ginger, lemon and banana for a nice veggie boost. While looking for a new protein powder I decided to try a Fruit & Vegetable Smoothie mix from Sherwood Valley Juice Co. because it’s sugar, gluten, soy and dairy-free. They come in lots of different flavors; I tried Citrus Sunrise and it came out an interesting bright green color! You can blend it with water or add your own frozen fruit and milk/soy products for extra flavor and nutrition. I recommend adding some ice cubes or liquid to thin out the texture just a little bit. Each smoothie is packed with lots of fiber, potassium, and vitamins A and C, but only 5 grams of protein.
Being the ski and boot buyer here at Tahoe Mountain Sports can be a daunting job as I have to sift through literally tons of product on a regular basis to pick out what are going to be the best options for our customers and what companies are truly making the top-of-the-line gear. I have to balance fit, durability, comfort, price and of course graphics when deciding what to bring in to the shop. One of the best parts of this decision-making process is when the companies and sales reps give us a chance to test their gear in the field. This past March, I was fortunate enough to be invited on a trip down to Bishop with Sierra Mountain Guides at their hut in North Lake to test out the latest from La Sportiva, Scarpa and Arc Teryx. Just one week later I headed out to Lost Trail Lodge, outside of Truckee, to ski and test with the Tecnica and Blizzard crew. Here is a short recap of both trips and the gear I got to use:
Trip 1: North Lake, Lamarck Col, Paiute Pass – Outside of Bishop, CA
I joined this group that consisted of buyers from four shops from all over California, three guides from Sierra Mountain Center and our La Sportiva and Scarpa sales reps. It was a lively group with folks of all ability levels, and since there were a few of us that were there for the uphill skinning and steeper downhill skiing, we quickly broke off from the less experience skiers. We gained some great vert and had some pretty awesome turns all day long, both powder and hard snow. This was an area of the Sierra Nevada I had never toured in before so it was exciting to check out new terrain, especially the Lamarck Col and Paiute Pass areas.
This post comes from Pam Jahnke, owner of Tahoe Mountain Sports and mother of a very energetic young daughter. Pam spends her (free?) time actively seeking fun times outdoors on her bike, skis and feet. Whether it’s her lifestyle or her daughter that requires the most healthy and sustained energy, we may never know. But we do know this: Pam knows healthy snacking – maybe even as well as we know mountain sports. This week she unveils her latest discovery: the perfect protein snack for time on the trail and a life on the move.
I’m so excited packing up for my first bike trip to Moab! I can’t wait to sleep in a tent under the stars and wake up to the birds chirping and sounds of nature all around. Whenever we go on a camping trip I’m responsible for packing all of the food and everything related to cooking and preparing it. I like things to be easy when camping, without a lot of mess or waste yet still healthy and all natural.
Since we’re going to be biking and hiking around all day long I want to make sure we get enough protein. The best snack for high protein (in my opinion) is beef jerky. Well, so is cheese but since I’m trying to eat Paleo cheese is not appropriate right now. When I saw The New Primal jerky with added nuts and dried fruit I thought, “Bingo! This will be the perfect healthy snack for my family. It’s tail mix with beef jerky!”
I checked out The New Primal company online and, wow! After reading about this grass-fed natural jerky endorsed by my favorite Paleo blogger at PaleoOMG.com, nicknamed the Paleo Pocket, I was completely sold! Finally, real healthy food with just the right amount of protein and sugars for a fuel fix that’s easy to grab and go in one small pouch. The beef is grass-fed, the flavors all-natural, the nuts are raw and the dried fruit isn’t sweetened – what’s not to love?
The New Primal Company makes different flavors for different tastes. My four-year-old daughter likes the Trail Pack with Mango the best while I prefer the Trail Pack with Cranberries. I think the cranberries are just the right size and tartness to match perfectly with the beef jerky. They also have one called Just Jerky for those who just want to enjoy the nice smokey flavor of the beef. I think you should go out and try The New Primal Trail Packs and decide for yourself though.
Time to get back to packing. I’ve already ordered my favorite ener-treats from Kaili’s Creative Kitchen and got a case of The New Primal Trail Packs ready to go. Now it’s time to chop the fresh veggies and marinate some meat for the grill and we’ll be all set for our Moab mountain biking trip. Enjoy Spring!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the beef jerky for free from The New Primal as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations.
Are you looking for people to do fun things with outdoors? Maybe you have a friend that is new to the area and they want someone to hike with, or your significant other desperately needs to find their own set of biking friends. Well, we have a meetup group! It’s a place to meet others in the area who share the same passion for outdoor activities, and it’s free to join. Once you’ve signed up you can post your plans (or ideas for future plans) to OUR MEETUP PAGE ON MEETUP.COM, and start discussing arrangements for cool activities like day hikes, trail runs, bike rides, yoga on the beach, and anything else you can (or can’t) think of. Collaborate with others to come up with a creative outing, or invite someone to tag along on a trip you’re already planning. That’s the beauty of being part of a group!
With a fun-filled winter behind us, we’re excited to see many more meet-ups as the warmer months roll in. You’ll start to hear about events like Trail Run Demo Days where companies like Montrail or Salomon bring boxes of new shoes for you to try out on a local trail, or Ultimate Frisbee on the beach or Disc Golf Tournaments at a local course. We also have a couple Ladies Nights each year, where local backcountry babes and mountain mamas snack, drink, socialize and score rare discounts on women’s products. Help us put more cool ideas on the board so we can get together with our local community more often! Visit meetup.com and search for Lake Tahoe Outdoor Adventure Group or CLICK THIS LINK to go directly to our group’s page. Read the rest of this entry »
The War of Rails is an annual event at Bear Mountain. A pro skier by the name of Craig Coker resides there and really wanted to start a competition that would draw the best professionals and amateurs alike. What resulted was the War of Rails and it is an awesome show. It’s been going on for four years, and this year was the best so far. Watch the highlights in the video below.
Tahoe Mountain Sports recently caught up with the fellas from StokeLab, a free digital magazine that wastes absolutely no time publishing material that isn’t sure to fire up, or elicit ‘stoke’ in, their readers. Original and creative trip reports, gear reviews, and awe-inspiring photography are what they do. It’s ‘experimental media’, and it could range from heli-skiing the Coast Range to philosophies in snacking, or anywhere in between. Here’s a bit about StokeLab.com, a literary work that just may boost your quality of life:
TMS: I think it’s safe to say most people are unfamiliar with what actually goes down in a laboratory that studies strictly stoke. Would you mind elaborating?
Drew Pogge: First of all, our lab is pretty state of the art. I mean, between the four of us we have, like, three Macbooks—the Pros, not the shotty normal ones. We also have a high-end Cuisinart blender for smoothies, which is pretty badass. And a karaoke machine. So we’re pretty dialed.
Mike Horn: Ideally we’re outside the Lab doing something fun and then we bring those stories home with us. Skiing, riding, skating, fishing, flying, climbing, floating, biking…the list is endless. Otherwise we spend lots of time filling blank screens with content that inspires and entertains us. If we don’t like it, we don’t run it. Throw in the occasional dog walk and longboard to the post office, and a lot of coffee, and you’ve got a pretty good picture of a day at the StokeLab.
Justin Cash: And lets not forget the hand-stuffed blue cheese olives in the fridge with a bottle of Tito’s.
The word ‘stoke’ is still relatively new to many, and still not fully accepted among our elders. Is there really a niche to fill here? Are that many people really stoked?
Pogge: If people aren’t stoked, they should be. Stoke is just another word for positive energy. It’s passion. It’s the feeling you get when you’re doing exactly what you should be. We get stoked playing outside, so that’s how it relates to the ‘Lab.
Horn: It’s pretty universal. People use it to describe the feeling they get from scoring Justin Bieber tickets as much as a life-altering powder day. Our focus is documenting the pursuit of stoke, whether skating an empty pool in Arizona or photographing winter light in Montana.