Personal watercrafts perfect for Tahoe |

Personal watercrafts perfect for Tahoe

Thanks to the personal watercraft, meeting the need for speed has never been easier.

“It’s real simple,” said Keely Pereira of H2O Sports in Zephyr Cove. “Just hop on, turn it on and hit the throttle.”

Although Jet Ski has become synonymous with all PWCs, the it is actually a type of PWC made by Kawasaki. Other names for PWCs include WaveRunners and Seadoos. These titles technically refer to PWCs produced by the manufactures Yamaha and Seadoo, respectively.

Regardless of what you call them, PWCs are a great way to experience Lake Tahoe. Remarkably simple to operate and capable of reaching speeds greater than 50 mph in a matter of seconds, PWCs provide an activity the whole family can enjoy.

“Even if you’ve never driven a boat before, it’s very easy,” said Luke Forvilly, the owner of H2O Sports. “It’s kind of like driving motorcycle except when you fall you don’t get road rash, just a gallon of water up your nose.”

Considerably less expensive then renting a boat, renting a PWC is an easy process. “We get a lot of reservations for boats, which includes a lot of paperwork,” said Alex Butler of Tahoe Water Adventures in Tahoe City. “But it appeals to people since they can just walk up and rent it for an hour then leave, gas is even included.”

Due to their small size and maneuverability, PWCs also allow riders to venture out in shallow or choppy water that would be off limits to larger vessels.

If you are using a PWC to zoom around the lake, you can be sure of one thing: You won’t be operating a two-stroke carborated engine.

“Carborated two-stroke engines purposely emit gas and oil that goes straight into the water,” said Jeff Cowan, communications liaison for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. The TRPA in 1999 banned the engines from Lake Tahoe, the first law of its kind to be passed in the country.

“We sort of became a model for many other lakes to look at,” Cowan said. “We were the first to do it, but we are definitely not the last.”

As a result of the law, harmful pollutants present in the lake have dramatically dropped. Only one year after the law went into effect, samples taken from Emerald Bay show the level of MTBE – methyl tert-butyl ether – one of the most harmful volatile organic compounds found in the lake, dropped from approximately 4 micrograms per liter to approximately 0.5 micrograms per liter.

With cleaner water flowing on all shores, Tahoe offers multiple locations to rent a PWC and experience the thrill for yourself.

South Shore

H2O Sports

Round Hill Pines Beach & Marina

Zephyr Cove, NV

(775) 588-4155

1/2 hour- $60, hour- $100

Ski Run Boat Company

Ski Run Marina

South Lake Tahoe, CA

(530) 544-0200

1/2 hour- $75

hour- $100

1/2 day- $300

Full day- $600

Action Watersports

3411 Lake Tahoe Boulevard

South Lake Tahoe, CA

(530) 544-3396

1/2 hour- $75-85

hour- $99-125

Zephyr Cove Resort

760 U.S. 50

Zephyr Cove, NV

(775) 589-4901

in harbor-$ 109 hour

out of harbor- $ 129 hour

before 11- $20 off

Tahoe Keys

900 Ski Run Blvd

South Lake Tahoe, CA

(530) 542-2111

1/2 hour- $75

hour- $100

1/2 day- $300

full day- $600

Camp Richardson Marina

1900 Jameson Beach Road

South Lake Tahoe, CA

(530) 542-6570

half hour- $75-85

hour- $100-125

West Shore

Tahoe Water Adventures(formerly West Shore Water Sports)

120 Grove Street

Tahoe City, CA

(530) 583-9253

half hour- $80

hour- $100

before 11- $20 off the hour

North Shore

North Shore Parasail

6674 North Lake Boulevard

Tahoe Vista, CA

(530) 546-7698

also 8290 North Lake Boulevard

Kings Beach, CA

1/2 hour- $65

hour- $100

Sand Harbor Water Sports

Sand Harbor Motorized Beach

Incline Village, NV

(775) 830-2812

1/2 hour- $80

hour- $110

Action Water Sports of Incline Village

967 Lakeshore Boulevard

Incline Village, NV

(775) 831-4386

1/2 hour: $100

hour: $140

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