From Tahoe’s slopes to Big Blue. Five sports in one day.

Kayla wakesurfing on Tahoe’s North Shore

On July 4, 2011, Lake Tahoe was coming off of an incredible snow season; ski resorts broke records for staying open the longest and the mountains surrounding the lake were still dotted with snow. To celebrate the 4th of July, I went snowboarding in a tank top with some friends at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and ended up on the lake that afternoon wakeboarding. We watched the fireworks from the Sunnyside boat dock.

“It’s pretty cool to be so close to an alpine lake and be able to paddleboard this evening. We love Lake Tahoe.”-Don Shaver

Flash forward six years and Lake Tahoe is coming off of another incredible season in which ski resorts are breaking 2010-11 records. Fondly looking back at that day of snowboarding and wakeboarding in 2011, I wondered if I could do it again. This time I wanted to squeeze in a couple more board sports.

So on June 18, 2017, I tested my limits and completed five board sports in one day. It took a lot of coordination, but luckily Tahoe is the kind of place where it is possible to get from the lake to the mountains quickly.

Here’s my day.

Enter to Win Check off No. 26, 94, 95 on our Ultimate Tahoe Summer Bucket List contest.

Wakeboarding & Wakesurfing

7:30 to 11:15 a.m. | I prepped my 1993 Ski Nautique the night before and had a crew ready to go. We arrived at the Lake Forest boat ramp bright and early and had the boat in the water by 8 a.m. I took a quick wakeboarding set. Jumping in for the first time, the water was startling cold, in the high 40s, but fortunately the air temperature was heating up and I got used it by my third run.

Kayla started the day wakeboarding and wakesurfing on Tahoe’s North Shore.

Then, I took out my surfboard and did a bit of wakesurfing. Cruising up and down in the small wave, I tried to turn and maintain balance, dropping the rope to stay within the wave.

The beautiful Tahoe weather was so enticing, no one wanted to leave the lake, but I had to get over to Squaw Valley before 2 p.m. Cruising back over to the boat ramp, we ran into Squaw’s snowmaking supervisor Evan Nielsen getting his boat ready to take out.

“I was grooming the mountain last night and now I’m on the lake!” he yelled out to us.


12:15 to 2 p.m. | I dropped my boat off at the house and drove to Squaw Valley to meet my brother, Jason, at the Funitel. Despite the Sunday traffic and Peaks & Paws event, I found a great parking place in The Village. On the way up the Funitel, we met Don and Caitlin Shaver, who were shooting for a three-sport day — skiing at Squaw, mountain biking at Mount Watson and paddleboarding on Lake Tahoe.

“It’s pretty cool to be so close to an alpine lake and be able to paddleboard this evening. We love Lake Tahoe,” Don said.

Kayla gets in a few runs on the slopes of Squaw Valley.

Spring skiers and snowboarders were cruising around the mountain donning short-shorts, costumes and patriotic gear. Wearing snow pants and a T-shirt over my wet bikini, I rode up Gold Coast, Shirley Lake and Siberia lifts and took a couple of runs. Snowboarding on barely waxed boards, Jason and I called it a “straight-line-and-snake-runs” day.

Once again, we were having so much fun, we didn’t want to leave. I was impressed with how much snow was still on the mountain and how much great coverage was still on the runs. However, with the mountain closing at 2 p.m., we were on to our next sport. (Squaw Valley is open Saturdays in July, and will possibly remain open through the start of the 2017-18 season depending on conditions.)


4 to 5:15 p.m. | I briskly walked through the Peaks & Paws festivities in The Village, dodging cute pooches, vendors, bands and other fun distractions that threatened my mission. Eventually, I arrived at Carnelian Bay around 3 p.m., ate lunch and headed to Waterman’s Landing for a paddleboarding session. Jason and I were back on boards for an hour-long session at 4:15 p.m. However, by that time in the day we were sitting more than paddling. We were both starting to tire out.

The fourth board sport of the day on Kayla’s bucket list – paddleboarding on Lake Tahoe.


5:15 to 6 p.m. | After coming off the water, my brother headed back to Olympic Valley and I rode my skateboard home. It was about a mile up to my house — and I have to admit, I walked up the hills. However, true to my goal, by 6 p.m., I had completed five board sports in one day.

The end of the day, Kayla enjoys a skateboard ride home.