Stand Up Paddle, aka SUP, has become the fastest growing water sport in America and Lake Tahoe has its share of the sport in abundance. Of course, a large part of why we have so much stand up paddle boarding is the fact that we have this big lake. Over the past three years, Stand Up Paddle Boarding shops offering lessons and boards have opened up all around the Lake Tahoe Basin.
A little about SUP, as with a lot of things involving water, the sport originated in Hawaii in the 1960’s. It’s recent growth of popularity is due to its ease of learning and versatility, it allows a wide range of people to enjoy it. There’s no need to be a top athlete, if you can stand up, you can paddle.
Lake Tahoe was the site of the first SUP race. In 2007, a 7 mile race went from Jake’s at the Boathouse in Tahoe City to Captain Jon’s restaurant in Tahoe Vista. 34 people participated in that first event. In 2012, the participants had grown to 400 with over 4000 spectators.
It seems that Stand Up Paddle board central for South Lake Tahoe is El Dorado Beach, located on Lakeview Boulevard. Now that the slope down to the beach has been completely renovated by the city and the beach restored, it’s the perfect place. You can sit in the natural stone amphitheater and get a great view of what’s going on.
SUP races are held at El Dorado Beach every Wednesday night during the summer starting on July 3. It’s a great way to meet fellow enthusiasts and/or learn new skills. The event runs from 5:45 – 8 pm. However, informal gatherings and races have already started. This might be a great way to improve your skills to get you ready for those Wednesday night races.