Stand up pedalboards making waves around Lake Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Stand up pedalboards making waves around Lake Tahoe

By now most people around Lake Tahoe have probably either ridden a stand up paddleboard (SUP) or at least seen them cruising around the lake. Although some riders may still enjoy a nice paddle, one of the more recent innovations in the SUP industry is with the stand up "pedalboard."

Following the same basic design and size of the traditional SUP, the pedalboard incorporates handlebars, a rudder and pedals for acceleration. If you're looking to buy one or just have a look at one on display, Tahoe Sports LTD (TSL) is going to be your only source on the South Shore.

"We've only been selling them about three months, but they've really been taking off," said Kyle Shaffer, paddle sports sales manager at TSL. "A guy from Sacramento called me this morning and bought three. I'm about to deliver them to Folsom."

As far as manufacturers of the pedalboards, Hobie has almost cornered the market entirely and offers boards with patented technology. The actual pedaling of the boards resembles the same motion you'd use on a StairMaster, but not quite as intense.

"It's kind of like working out on the water," said Shaffer. "But instead of sitting in the gym, you can go out on the water and do it with some beautiful views and fresh air."

Shaffer explained that pedaling isn't too strenuous, and that since the handlebars are adjustable, even a child could pedal around the lake.

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Tahoe Sports carries the Hobie Mirage Eclipse, which comes in a 12-feet or 10-feet-6-inch version. The boards are pretty basic, too, so you don't have to be that mechanically inclined to own one.

"They're super versatile and easy to take apart and put back together. You can actually turn these into a regular paddleboard. The platform is 35-inches so it's one of the widest boards available now."

Once you're stable on the board and have found your pedaling groove, turning is a breeze. Each handlebar has what looks like brakes, but the triggers actually control the rutters.

"The thing turns on a dime," said Shaffer. "It's best to actually lean into it a little so you don't cut it so sharp."

The price range on the boards TSL sells is between $2,499 and $2,599, depending on which size you get. If you're not sure if you want to invest that much money for recreation, TSL offers an on-the-water demo at El Dorado Beach, every other Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. "We usually have a few in stock at all times," said Shaffer. "People can come in the store to talk a little about them or they can sign up for a demo."

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