Super fun fact that I learned last weekend: you don't need $1,000 a day to rent a boat in the Tahoe/Truckee area.
Truckee Wake & Ski is a wakeboard, water ski and wakesurf school/club that offers locally-priced lessons, sessions, summer camps, and more.
I stumbled upon their website by chance last Friday. My gut response? "Whoa -- wakesurfing is a real thing, and not just some goofy stunt people do on Youtube sometimes??!!"
Then I was like, "Whoa -- this is surprisingly affordable! Especially considering prices in the area."
And, after talking to Jamie, who runs the organization, I realized that that is exactly the point. They want to make learning watersports affordable for locals and visitors, alike.
Also, he told me, they recognize that not everyone who visits the Sierras wants to spend their whole day in a boat on the lake. "You can come out for a few hours in the morning, then go mountain biking, hiking, standup paddleboarding, or whatever activity you want to do in the afternoon." (Or vice versa.) Which is exactly what I did.
The Flume Trail, via Tahoe Meadows and the Tahoe Rim Trail.
They do most of their boating on Donner Lake, in Truckee, because it's much smoother and warmer than Tahoe -- though they definitely provide wetsuits if you find Donner Lake a bit chilly. I brought my own neoprene, though: 1mm Billabong Surf Pants (sorry, guys -- they're sold out of the ripped denim neoprene, but there are lots of other cute options) and a 2mm Salty Dayz Long Sleeve Springsuit -- though the second time I went, I only wore the springsuit. It was chilly for a few seconds, but then I got used to it.
If you're looking for a fun and affordable vacation this summer, I definitely recommend learning to wakesurf (or -board, or ski) in Truckee.
Can't make it to the Sierras? You should learn to wakesurf, anyway. Here's why:
1. It's way easier on the body than wakeboarding.
This may be the number one reason wakesurfing is getting so popular. It's just so much easier on the body. That said, my back (right) leg was SUPER exhausted when I was done with each ride.
2. It's way easy to learn.
I got up and wakesurfed for several minutes on my very first try -- I even got off the rope for a few seconds! (On my best run, I probably got a 20-second rope-free ride.)
3. It's actually really social!
With waterskiing, tubing, and wakeboarding, you can't have a conversation with the people on the boat. With wakesurfing, you're only a few feet behind the boat. It can be something to wrap your head around -- one of the main things that kept me from finding the "sweet spot" at first was my fear of hitting the boat...
But it also means you can chat and joke with the people in the boat -- and even convey important information, like, "Waves coming! Hold on!"
4. It's not exactly like wave surfing -- but it's liberating to be able to let go of the rope.
Though it doesn't feel exactly like regular surfing, it's pretty wild to ride an endless wave -- especially when you get slack in the rope, and even more especially when you let go of the rope!
5. In my PROFESSIONAL opinion, it's, like, SUPER healthy and important to keep learning new sports and activities as an adult.
This is a blog about playfulness and leisure skill development, right?
Well, one way to get (or stay) playful is to keep learning new things.
It will help you feel like you're always traveling or having an adventure, even though you're at home. It will give you things to talk and get excited about -- so you improve at mingling (and, therefore, get invited to more parties) and develop better charisma.
You'll make new friends and join new communities.
Me with Jamie and Justin, having the BEST TIME EVERRRRRR.
Plus... getting dates and lessons on your calendar will actually make you a more productive and efficient worker -- as long as you follow this one rule. :P
6. It can easily be fun for the whole family. Or for your whole friend group.
Probably anyone could learn how to wakesurf. That makes it a perfect group activity. As a woman, I especially like the idea of women doing this together, or moms doing this with their daughters. It's time to push back against the concept of shopping as the ultimate pathway to female bonding.
I'll bet you can think of a dozen other reasons to learn to wakesurf. If so -- share them. As for me? I'm going to close this browser and get outside!
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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