Fired up and flying | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Fired up and flying

When hovering above Lake Tahoe this summer, feet strapped to a platform propelled by a high-powered hose, there may be an instant where Flyboarders forget their flightless pasts and start feeling like some sort of superhero. At least, that's the way the basin's newest sport has been described by some of those who've experienced it. Flyboarding, a fairly new sport in its own right, involves riding on a board — or Flyboard — that's connected to a jet ski via an 80-foot fire hose. The board takes flight by harnessing the power of the jet ski, rendering the watercraft immobile, but allowing the flyboarder to boost several feet out of the water. It's a sport that has never been offered at Lake Tahoe before — not until now. "It's kind of like Aquaman meets Iron Man," said Stuart Maas, director of sales, marketing and information technology for http://www.tahoesports.com, adding. "The sky is the limit with these things." Flyboard Tahoe Sports, a new company created under Ski Run Boat Company, is the first to offer flyboarding at the lake. It opened for business on the Fourth of July with two Flyboards in its arsenal and an appetite to get people airborne. The experience starts by selecting a lesson option, which varies depending on how much customers want to spend and how long they wish to be in the air. Once settled, participants are whisked away to an offshore pontoon boat located near Ski Run Marina. They are given about 10 minutes of instruction, then fitted into a wet suit and strapped to a Flyboard. Travis Junkin, the manager for the activity, was giving tips to a beginning flyboarder on Wednesday. "You're going to want to keep your legs straight and move your ankles for balance," Junkin said, explaining how most people fall backward in the air for putting too much weight on their heels. "If you do fall, try to turn and land on your side." Sitting on the edge of the pontoon boat, feet stuck to a small contraption capable of unleashing the power of a jet ski, can feel a bit unsettling to a newcomer. However, it becomes a little easier to grasp after slipping into the water and getting a better feel for the board once the jets kick on. At Flyboard Tahoe Sports, power to the Flyboard is controlled by the jet ski operator. So hand signals are needed to go higher or lower. The power of Tahoe Sports' jet skis can allow a flyboarder to hover up to 15 or 20 feet in the air, Junkin said. Once a safe distance away from the boat, riders are free to attempt liftoff on their own, and it usually doesn't take very long. "One guy came out with a group on Monday," Junkin said. "He was up in under five minutes." Some people may be up faster than that. Snowboarders or skateboarders with practice using their ankles for balance could find themselves steadily hovering above the water in under a minute. Once airborne, flyboarders can do any number of maneuvers, including diving in and out of the water like a dolphin, pulling off back flips like a pro or just gliding through the air like Iron Man. Back flips may be out of most beginners' skill level, but novices might be surprised how fast they can pick up the sport. Since the sport is relatively new, Maas said the company is catering to first-timers, and he wants them to know it's easier to get going then they might think. "It's the first-time experience," he said. "That's what we're all about." Introductory lessons cost $149 per person for 10 minutes of instruction and 20 minutes of flight time, but advanced lessons can also be purchased for $229 per person for 10 minutes of instruction and 50 minutes of flight time. Additionally, a group package for up to four people is available for $499 with 10 minutes of instruction and 110 minutes of flight time shared by the entire group. Lessons can be reserved through Ski Run Boat Company, which can be contacted at 530-544-0200. For more information visit http://www.flyboardtahoesports.com.

Flyboarding arrives at Lake Tahoe for the first time

When hovering above Lake Tahoe this summer, feet strapped to a platform propelled by a high-powered hose, there may be an instant where Flyboarders forget their flightless pasts and start feeling like some sort of superhero. At least, that's the way the basin's newest sport has been described by some of those who've experienced it. Flyboarding, a fairly new sport in its own right, involves riding on a board — or Flyboard — that's connected to a jet ski via an 80-foot fire hose. The board takes flight by harnessing the power of the jet ski, rendering the watercraft immobile, but allowing the flyboarder to boost several feet out of the water. It's a sport that has never been offered at Lake Tahoe before — not until now. "It's kind of like Aquaman meets Iron Man," said Stuart Maas, director of sales, marketing and I.T. for TahoeSports.com, adding. "The sky is the limit with these things." Flyboard Tahoe Sports, a new company created under Ski Run Boat Company, is the first to offer flyboarding at the alpine lake. It opened for business on the Fourth of July with two Flyboards in its arsenal and an appetite to get people airborne. The experience starts by selecting a lesson option, which varies depending on what customers want to spend and how long they wish to be in the air. Once settled, participants are whisked away to an offshore pontoon boat located near Ski Run Marina. They are given about 10 minutes of instruction, then fitted into a wet suit and strapped to a Flyboard. Travis Junkin, the manager for the activity, was giving tips to a beginning flyboarder on Wednesday. "You're going to want to keep your legs straight and move your ankles for balance," Junkin said, explaining how most people fall backward in the air for putting too much weight on their heels. "If you do fall, try to turn and land on your side." Sitting on the edge of the pontoon boat, feet stuck to a small contraption capable of unleashing the power of a jet ski, can feel a bit unsettling to a newcomer. However, it becomes a little easier to grasp after slipping into the water and getting a better feel for the board once the jets kick on. At Flyboard Tahoe Sports, power to the Flyboard is controlled by the jet ski operator. So hand signals are needed to go higher or lower. The power of Tahoe Sports' jet skis can allow a flyboarder to hover up to 15 or 20 feet in the air, Junkin said. Once a safe distance away from the boat, riders are free to attempt liftoff on their own, and it usually doesn't take very long. "One guy came out with a group on Monday," Junkin said. "He was up in under five minutes." Some people may be up faster than that. Snowboarders or skateboarders with practice using their ankles for balance could find themselves steadily hovering above the water in under a minute. Once airborne, flyboarders can do any number of maneuvers, including diving in and out of the water like a dolphin, pulling off back flips like a pro or just gliding through the air like Iron Man. Back flips may be out of most beginners' skill level, but novices might be surprised how fast they can pick up the sport. Since the sport is relatively new, Maas said the company is catering to first-timers, and he wants them to know it's easier to get going then they might think. "It's the first-time experience," he said. "That's what we're all about." Introductory lessons cost $149 per person for 10 minutes of instruction and 20 minutes of flight time, but advanced lessons can also be purchased for $229 per person for 10 minutes of instruction and 50 minutes of flight time. Additionally, a group package for up to four people is available for $499 with 10 minutes of instruction and 110 minutes of flight time shared by the entire group. Lessons can be reserved through Ski Run Boat Company, which can be contacted at (530) 544-0200. For more information, visit http://www.flyboardtahoesports.com.

Ken Gerrard on pace to finish Boston Marathon

Ken Gerrard of South Lake Is on pace to finish his first Boston Marathon today. The 52-year-old Gerrard has completed 30 kilometers of the race in 2 hours, 40 minutes and 27 seconds. Given his pace, he’s projected to finish the 113th running of the event in 3:46:11.

On the Hill: Backcountry touring on Carson Pass (Video)

On the Hill is brought to you by the Tahoe Center for Orthopedics Breakdown: On the Hill host and Tahoe Daily Tribune reporter Sebastian Foltz gets in the backcountry on Carson Pass. BACKCOUNTRY AVALANCHE DANGER A CONCERN FOLLOWING STORM FULL STORY: http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/news/20694429-113/winter-storm-brings-avalanche-concerns-to-tahoe-basin Weekend Weather: Sunny skies and warmer temperatures are expected through the weekend. Area resorts have reported receiving up to two feet from storms this week. More information is available at http://www.sierraavalanchecenter.org.

Tahoe market home sale prices jump 12%

The Lake Tahoe real estate market experienced increases in both average and median home prices during the first quarter of 2014. For Tahoe as a whole, which combines the East Shore, South Shore, Tahoe City and Incline Village/Crystal Bay markets, the volume of sales was down nine percent. Yet the median home price in Tahoe increased 12 percent and the average price climbed 11 percent to $876,611. The entire region has had record lows in inventory contributing to the decrease in units sold and volume sold. The one sector at Tahoe where the volume of sales increased, was at the ski resort communities of Northstar, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, by 39 percent. These figures are part of a quarterly report released by Lake Tahoe-based real estate company Chase International. Tahoe City saw sales volume jumped 48 percent over last year at this time, with $53,884,250 in volume sales recorded in 2014's first quarter. Tahoe City's average price increased a whopping 113 percent to $1,314,250, and the median price climbed 51%, from $417,000 last year to $630,000 during this year's first quarter. Incline Village showed an increase in average price of 23 percent, to $1,703,476. The number of units sold in South Shore over $1 million jumped by 100 percent. And the average price in South Shore increased by 20 percent, to $436,884. The East Shore market was down, due to several large sales that transpired in 2013 and a continued lack of inventory. "There continues to be an uptick of interest and sales in the market's upper end offerings," said Sue Lowe, corporate vice president for Chase International. "And in the under $1 million market, prices are continuing to climb." Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors notes that NAR's forecast for home sales is to be lower by five percent in the first half of this year versus the same period a year ago. However, Yun predicts that sales are projected to be two to three percent higher in the second half of the year, and home prices, because of a nationwide inventory shortage, will keep marching higher. The Truckee market posted some impressive gains with a sharp jump in median price of homes sold—up 29 percent to $635,000 and an average home price increase of 24 percent, to $858,304. However, Truckee sales volume over this time last year was down six percent. Chase International has 10 offices in the region. For more information about Chase International, visit http://www.chaseinternational.com.

Ken Garrard completes Boston Marathon in under 4 hours

South Lake Tahoe resident Ken Gerrard finished the 113th running of the Boston Marathon on Monday. Gerrard, 52, completed the 26.2-mile race – the oldest of marathons – in 3 hours, 51 minutes and 30 seconds to finish 10,332nd out of a field of 25,000 runners. Ethiopia’s Deriba Merga won the race in 2:08::42. Ryan Hall, a U.S. Olympian who trained for the race near Bishop, Calif., came in third in 2:09:40. Pick up the midweek edition of the Tribune to read about Gerrard’s Bostn Marathon experience.

Reader Poll Results: What do you think about California’s newly approved right-to-die measure?

Please note: Poll results are not scientific and are for entertainment purposes only. What do you think about California's newly approved right-to-die measure? 66.01 percent (637 votes): I support it. 13.47 percent (130 votes): I support it, but only under specific circumstances. 11.71 percent (113 votes): I'm not sure. 8.81 percent (85 votes): I'm against it.

Tahoe regional planners approve logging project to remove dead and dying trees

Lake Tahoe regulators have approved the logging of 270 acres north of Bliss State Park on the lake’s west shore to remove dead and dying trees and thin thick stands of fir. It’s the first logging operation approved since last year, when 113 acres owned by the Tahoe City Public Utility District were logged. TRPA fined Menasha Corp., the logging contractor on that job, $160,000 after agency officials said at least 49 old growth trees were felled in violation of regulations designed to protect trees greater than 30 inches in diameter. Company officials maintain they did nothing wrong. The matter is being argued in U.S. District Court in Sacramento. In approving the latest project Wednesday, TRPA officials said they’ve taken steps to guard against similar problems, including the hiring of a full-time forester who will mark trees to be felled and monitor the over-the-snow logging operation this winter. Jesse Jones, the forester, said he has already surveyed the property owned by Tamarack Mutual Water Co. ”There’s a lot of mortality out there and that’s a lot of wood that’s basically firewood,” Jones said. ”I see the project as moving the forest toward a more natural condition.”

South Tahoe Snowboad Series results

USASA South Tahoe Snowboard Series Season Opener at Kirkwood on Jan. 4. Giant Slalom (top 3) Open Class Women: 1, Amy Sage, Mammoth, 87.57; 2, Vanessa Lowe, South Lake Tahoe,148.92 Open Class Men: 1, Ari Giovenco, South Lake Tahoe, 73.24; 2, Peter Butcher, San Diego, 94.23; 3, Agustin Murguia, Mammoth, 109.62 Ruggie Girls (7 and under): 1, Julia Mason , Zephyr Cove, 191.26 Ruggie Boys (7 and under): 1, Nicholas Larsen, San bruno, 366.83 Grommet Girls (8 & 9): 1, Natasha Sagucka, South Lake Tahoe, 134.7 Grommet Boys (8-9): 1, Sammy Mason, Zephyr Cove, 95.92; 2, Mika Hight, Zephyr Cove, 99.53 Novice: 1, Jordan Laub, Glenbrook, 100.45; 2, Geoffrey Smith, Placerville, 115.12 Menehune Boys (10-11): 1, Harrison Kramer, South Lake Tahoe, 102.79; 2, Tanner Hart, South Lake Tahoe, 109.15; 3, Cody Horan, Placerville, 161.38 Breaker Girls (12-13): 1, Jamie Anderson, South Lake Tahoe, 92.61 Breaker Boys (12-13): 1, Roger Carver, Placerville, 79.52; 2, Micholas Poohachaoff, South Lake Tahoe, 81.65; 3, David Kapinos, Rohnert Park, 101.55 Youth Women (14-15): 1, Stacie Anderson, South Lake Tahoe, 88.41; 2, Elan Whitney, South Lake Tahoe, 92.86; 3, Colleen Sheehan, South Lake Tahoe, 99.57 Youth Men (14-15): 1, Ryan Bosson, South Lake Tahoe, 81.75; 2, Kevin Cain, Gardnerville, 81.97; 3, Ben Goldenberg, 82.52; Junior Women (16-17): 1, Joanie Anderson, South Lake Tahoe, 86.1; 2, Nicole Ricioli, South Lake Tahoe, 96.39; 3, Jacqueline Smith, Pollock Pines, 98.8 Junior Men (16-17): 1, Jesse Hall, Mt. Shasta, 81.99; 2, Jeff Kaczmar, South Lake Tahoe, 83.06; 3, Nickolay Dodov, Bear Valley, 85.52; Women Jams (18-22): 1, Tess Weathers, Mt. Shasta, 103.15; 2, Lena Jordan, Rescue, 113.4; 3, Christina Vu, El Dorado Hills, 131.77; Men Jams (18-22): 1, Jeremiah Ray, Jackson, 98.76 Senior Women (23-29): 1, Andrea Fotrova, Czech Republic, 118.51; 2, Karin Tuxen, Albany, 121.07 Senior Men (23-29): 1, Lee A. Breshears, Reno, 86.96 Master Women (30-39): 1, Nancy Ng, South Lake Tahoe, 108.89 Master Men (30-39): 1, Adam Neil, Zephyr Cove, 80.15; 2, Risley Sams, San Francisco, 82.64; 3, Benjamin Boussina, Greenbrae, 94.17 Legend Women (40-49): 1, Donna Vano, South Lake Tahoe, 104.81; 2, Zippy Neil, Zephyr Cove, 171.81 Legend Men (40-19): 1, Gordon Moncibais, Benicia, 133.68; 2, Tom Collins, Truckee, 155.01 Kahuna Men (50-59): 1, Len Winkler, Placerville, 112.47; 2, Herbert “Dick” Schulze, Palo Alto, 129.33 SLALOM Jan. 5 At Kirkwood Ski Resort Women Open Class 1. Joanie Anderson, Sierra-at-Tahoe, 81.12 seconds; 2. Vanessa Lowe, South Lake, 113.9. Jam’s (18-22) 1. Tess Weathers, Mount Shasta, Calif., 101.0; 2. Lena Jordan, Sierra-at-Tahoe, 112.75. Senior (23-29) 1. Karin Tuxen, Albany, Calif., 124.31. Master (30-39) 1. Nancy Ng, Sierra-at-Tahoe, 105.11; 2. Carol Anne Giustina, South Lake Tahoe, 133.71. Legend (40-49) 1. Donna Vano, Sierra-at-Tahoe, 105.77; 2. Zippy Neil, Zephyr Cove, 183.65. Girls Ruggie (7 and under) 1. Julia Mason, Heavenly, 170.65. Grommet (8-9) 1. Natasha Sagucks, Sierra-at-Tahoe, 139.88. Breaker (12-13) 1. Jamie Anderson, Sierra-at-Tahoe, 96.06. Youth (14-15) 1. Elan Whitney, South Lake Tahoe, 88.44; 2. Stacie Anderson, Sierra-at-tahoe, 88.85; 3. Colleen Sheehan, Heavenly, 89.32. Junior (16-17) 1. Katie Sheehan, Heavenly, 98.32; 2. Jacqueline Smith, Pollock Pines, Calif., 98.64; 3. Melissa Anino, Heavenly, 126.24. Note: Nicole Ricioli, Sierra, total time not listed Men Open Class 1. Ario Giovenco, Heavenly Snowboard Foundation, 71.31; 2. Agustin Murgula, Mammoth Lakes, 89.11. Jam’s (18-22) 1. Justin Alcantara, Zephyr Cove, 93.47; 2. Tyler Summers, Yreka, Calif., 100.93; 3. Jeremiah Ray, Jackson, Calif., 122.16. Master (30-39) 1. Adam Neil, Zephyr Cove, 82.05; 2. Risley Sams, San Francisco, 85.52; 3. Mick Connolly, Twaine Harte, Calif., 100.94. Legend (40-49) 1. Tom Goldenberg, South Lake Tahoe, 132.29. Kahuna (50-59) 1. Herbert Schulze, Palo Alto, Calif., 168.74. Boys Grommet (8-9) 1. Sammy Mason, Heavenly, 93.13; 2. Mika Hight, Heavenly, 98.19; 3. Jordan Laub, Heavenly, 106.53; 4. Geoffrey Smith, Placerville, 160.37. Menehune (10-11) 1. Tanner Hart, Heavenly, 97.37; 2. Harrison Kramer, South Lake Tahoe, 98.22. Breaker (12-13) 1. Roger Carver, Heavenly, 73.77; 2. Nicholas Poohachoff, Heavenly, 79.89; 3. Aaron Orlick, Carson City, 89.91; 4. Chad Cooney, South Lake Tahoe, 99.67; 5. Jack Lyle, South Lake Tahoe, 106.75; 6. Chase Hart, Heavenly, 107.25. Youth (14-15) 1. Greg Dupree, Heavenly, 74.46; 2. Ryan Bosson, Heavenly, 75.01; 3. Ben Goldenberg, Heavenly, 75.99; 4. Abe Greenspan, Heavenly, 78.62; 5. Brian Galea, Heavenly, 80.04; 6. Kevin Cain, Heavenly, 84.05; 7. Casey Weathers, Mount Shasta, 89.65; 8. Aaron Laub, Heavenly, 101.37; 9. John Retta, Martinez, Calif., 103.97; 10. Russell Kaczmar, South Lake Tahoe, 113.33; 11. Cory Mitchelson, Sierra, 130.61. Junior (16-17) 1. Jesse Hall, Mount Shasta, Calif., 74.98; 2. Nickolay Dodov, Sierra-at-Tahoe, 93.06; 4. Jeff Kaczmar, Heavenly, 121.99.