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Thanks to my dad, a big part of my childhood was lake time with my family during camping trips to enjoy boating and water sports. I was always amazed at how efficient he was with managing the boat and truck and ALL the other equipment involved so we could have fun on the water for a few days. It was quite a production! Because of all his knowledge and enthusiasm, he helped create wonderful lasting memories for us.
After becoming a parent myself, I discovered a way to still enjoy the lake and all the little reminders of dad. I took the boat out of the equation though.
Stand up paddle boarding has become pretty popular over the years, so during vacations I would rent one for the day. It didn’t take long to realize that investing in my own SUP would make more sense. My husband bought me one for my 40th birthday. Thanks, hubby!
Having my own has saved me time and money (and space) when we vacation in the mountains in the Truckee/Tahoe area. We just pack it up and bring it to the beach and with a little teamwork it doesn’t take much time to inflate.
Both my kids and I have enjoyed taking it on rides to see the sights and enjoy nature. I prefer standing to paddle and my kids sit while I “drive”. I have seen various styles of navigation, whether it’s kneeling or sitting. Nevertheless, it’s an instant boat to be enjoyed by all.
One of our favorite spots is the Tahoe Donner Beach Club Marina, which has access via the water to Donner Memorial State Park. It’s always fun to wave to others who are also on their SUPs or various water craft, and the kids also obviously like to jump in to cool off.
Recently, my son and I enjoyed a fun and peaceful ride at the West End Beach Park in Truckee on Donner Lake. It was the 3rd of July, so we got a bonus behind-the-scenes look at the fireworks show preparation. We also paddled through a quiet residential lagoon that backed up to some really cool mountain beachfront properties.
Being on the water in this way is slightly different than my childhood memories but I am hoping that these experiences and traditions will continue as kids grow up.
The following (paid) links will bring you to some options on Amazon. Happy Paddling!