South Tahoe shop offers more kayaking options
Zephyr Cove Adventures
What: Kayak, stand-up paddle and bike shop
Where: 183 US Highway 50, Zephyr Cove, Nev.
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
ZEPHYR COVE — Zephyr Cove Adventures, owned by Andrew Laughlin, offers the South Shore community another option for paddleboarding, kayaking, bicycle rental and retail needs. Laughlin also owns Tahoe City Kayak across the lake, which he purchased in 2005.
“We’ve been thinking about opening this shop for years,” Laughlin said at his shop’s ribbon cutting on Monday, Aug. 17.
According to Laughlin, Zephyr Cove offers an affluent customer base, perfect for top-end watercrafts his shop carries, including the recently available Hobie kayaks.
The Hobie kayak takes the sport to a new level, he added. The craft uses pedals instead of oars to propel itself, and some versions have sails.
Zephyr Cove resident Tim Herrera, who frequented Laughlin’s Tahoe City shop, said the new business definitely adds a much-needed element to Zephyr Cove.
“This side of the lake has needed a shop that carries crafts like the Hobie for years,” Herrera said.
Herrera said he purchased his own Hobie 10 years ago, and it was a decision he hasn’t regretted.
“When I was in the water, people would be looking at me and ask what it was all about,” Herrera said. “Now it’s getting more popular, and it’s bringing people here.”
The advantage of the Hobie, Herrera said, is the craft’s hands-free nature.
“You can take pictures, drink your drink, and enjoy the lake,” Herrera said. “To me it’s the Cadillac of kayaks.”
According to Laughlin, he ruled out South Lake Tahoe as a place to set up shop since its market was already saturated.
“Since Zephyr Cove didn’t have any outdoor stores, we saw a need in the market here,” Laughlin said.
A paddleboarder and skier by nature, Laughlin said Lake Tahoe is unparalleled as a destination. He previously managed outdoor shops in the New York area before he took an office job in Boston.
“I came out here from Boston because I didn’t like my job in a cubicle,” Laughlin said. “I got tired of working in doors, the two-hour commutes, and 70-hour work weeks. … I like the fact that living in Lake Tahoe allows me to do of my favorite sports.”
While a seasonal shop, Laughlin said he plans to test the market during the winter by keeping Zephyr Cove Adventures open on the weekend.
“We’re still deciding on what to do in this space,” Laughlin said. “Given the last few winters, we’re definitely going to give it a try with fat bikes and snow-shoe rentals and still have some of the paddle sports available.”
For more information on the shop, visit it online at http://www.zephyrcoveadventures.com.