Surfing Tahoe - A Rarity

Can you believe it!? A lake 6224’ feet in elevation with waves big enough to surf on. That was the case this last Thursday, December 11, 2014. With one of the largest and most windy storms to hit the Bay area since 2008, it delivered extremely strong winds in the upper regions of the Sierra Nevadas. Reported wind gusts of over 100mph and a mix of rain and snow.

My buddies Matt Mehan (@mmehan21) and Trevor Johnson (@treverjohnson) and I all got together and decided to check out the shoreline around Carnelian Bay. The wind was ripping so we knew the waves would be good sized but when we got there we were in for a big (no pun intended) surprise. ..The waves were peaking near 8 feet! I have never witnessed the lake receiving such strong winds and the resulting built up waves. Matt had all the wetsuit gear to hop in since the air temperatures were reaching below freezing and the rain whipping against your face felt like sand from a nasty offshore breeze at the ocean. It was quite the event! Lots of other people went surfing that day and there were reports of people surfing Sand Harbor, Kings Beach public park, Carnelian Bay, and Agate Bay, even down towards Tahoe City and West shore. Most definitely took some skill in some areas as the waves would peak and crash in different areas and with none of the consistence of the actual ocean.

Check out the images of the day below:

-Sawyer

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