While the lake never freezes, the warmer air temps are bringing steadily more and more people out onto Lake Tahoe for the newest water-based sporting craze, stand-up paddleboarding, or SUPing. For those with some decent fitness and balance, SUPing is a pretty awesome to get on the lake, get some exercise, and suffer from vertigo staring down into the crystal-clear waters, whose clarity allows you to see a mind-boggling 70 feet down.
Of late, Tahoe's growing clout as a SUP destination has spawned board manufacturers with designs specific for both Lake Tahoe and Donner Lake, along with inflatable ones that can used to charge down rivers, even able to take on small rapids and whitewater courses. Moonshine Ink also just reported on this summer's line-up of SUP races, which start May 25th with the Donner Cup at Donner Lake, a 5 mile race going all the way around the lake. The Cup is part of the larger O'Neill Tahoe SUP & Paddleboard Race Series, which claims to include international competitors and a $20,000 prize purse for the elite racers. The series includes two other races over the summer season, including a point to point race, The Jam from the Dam on July 13, that goes 6 miles from Commons Beach in Tahoe City all the way to Carmelian Bay. The grand finale is the Tahoe Fall Classic, a brutal 22-mile race from South Lake Tahoe to Kings Beach, going right across the middle of the lake.
For those who aren't ready for serious racing or even to throw down the $1,000 for a new board, Truckee's Start Haus ski shop will be hosting a free Friday paddleboard race series with free beach entry to Donner Lake and free board rentals. Those will take at West End Beach on Donner Lake from 5:30-7:30 every Friday night starting Memorial Day weekend.