The sea was….I mean, er… the lake was angry that day my friends. Like an angry diner sending back his soup…Wind kicking up to 45mph. water temps-48, air 38, and you folks in the flat Heartland know the test “if that combo somehow is a final total of 100, well it won’t exactly be crowded”…such is life pre storm in lovely Lake Tahoe.
Before every winter storm in Tahoe it’s almost always preceded by a giant wind event. Very hard to ignore, suddenly paddlers find reasons to go shopping, in another town. This means surfs up at The Lake, then it starts dumping snow, lots of snow.
A South/SW wind bring the best waves on the North Shore, not far from my house, but enough time to think twice about a go out. Because it never gets warmer, only colder, and thats before you paddle out. You don’t walk the cold beach trying to add up to 100, that was long ago, well the shark factor is low, no reef, not so bad.
Go time comes down to a 2-3 hour window with the strongest winds. This day Tom Zikas, my photographer buddy convinced me to check Incline Village. If you’ve seen his photos, one doesn’t say no to Tom, then again he didn’t have a wetsuit on, hmmm.
It can definitely get bigger here at Tahoe, but we were able to snatch a few fun little waves in the session!”
It might have been pegged at 38, who knows with wind chill factor. Anyone who lives in snow respects the magic combo of wind/storm/oncoming dark, big front in your face. There is a sense of urgency, the door is closing, you can feel the front in your lonely, watersoaked bones.
The cold and wind makes you move a lot slower then SUP surfing any normal situation, so you kinda take what you can get, and days like this you can get plenty of fun waves, and no one drops in on you.. Its just a matter of how long your body and lungs can hold up. My holey old 3/4 suit means I’m going to suffer, I’m hoping Santa Claus has pity on me, I’m dreaming of a new Rip Curl Heat Seeker under the Christmas tree.