7 Mistakes to Avoid when Paddle Boarding on Lake Tahoe

Published on July 6, 2023


Paddle boarding is a fun and exciting way to explore Lake Tahoe's crystal-clear waters while enjoying the breathtaking scenery. As a beginner, it's important to avoid common mistakes to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. This article highlights the most common beginner mistakes when paddle boarding Lake Tahoe and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not Wearing a Life Jacket

One of the biggest mistakes that beginner paddle boarders make is not wearing a life jacket. The US Coast Guard requires all paddle boarders to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) while on the water. Lake Tahoe's water temperature can be quite cold, and if you fall off your board, it can be challenging to swim back to shore. A PFD will keep you afloat while you catch your breath and get back on your board.

Mistake #2: Not Checking the Weather

Lake Tahoe's weather can be unpredictable, and it's essential to check the forecast before heading out on the water. High winds, waves, and thunderstorms can make paddle boarding dangerous. Before heading out, check the weather forecast and make sure you are prepared for any changes in weather. If there are high winds or rough waters, consider postponing your paddle boarding trip until conditions improve.

Mistake #3: Not Knowing Your Limits

As a beginner, it's essential to know your limits and not push yourself too hard. Paddle boarding can be physically demanding, and it's important to pace yourself. Don't attempt to paddle too far or for too long, especially if you feel tired or uncomfortable. Take breaks when needed and listen to your body. If you're feeling fatigued, return to shore and rest.

Mistake #4: Standing Up Too Quickly

One of the most common mistakes that beginner paddle boarders make is standing up too quickly. It's important to start on your knees and get a feel for the board's stability before attempting to stand up. Begin by paddling on your knees and gradually work your way up to a standing position. This will help you maintain your balance and prevent falls.

Mistake #5: Not Using Proper Paddle Technique

Using proper paddle technique is essential for efficient and effective paddling. Many beginners make the mistake of using their arms to paddle instead of their core muscles. This can lead to fatigue and prevent you from enjoying your paddle-boarding experience. To use proper paddle technique, keep your arms straight and use your core muscles to paddle. This will help you conserve energy and prevent fatigue.

Mistake #6: Not Paying Attention to Your Surroundings

Pay attention to your surroundings when paddle boarding. Stay aware of other watercraft, such as boats and jet skis, and give them plenty of room. Keep an eye out for hazards such as rocks, logs, and other obstacles. If you're paddle boarding at a ski resort in South Lake Tahoe, be aware of skiers and snowboarders on the slopes above.

Mistake #7: Not Bringing Enough Water and Snacks

Paddle boarding can be a great workout, and it's essential to stay hydrated and fuel your body with snacks. Bring plenty of water and snacks when you go out of your South Lake Tahoe ski resort to keep you energized throughout your adventure. Pack easy-to-eat snacks such as granola bars, trail mix, and fruit.


Paddle boarding on Lake Tahoe can be a fun and exhilarating experience, but it's important to avoid common beginner mistakes to ensure your safety and enjoyment. Always wear a life jacket, check the weather forecast, know your limits, start on your knees, use proper paddle technique, pay attention to your surroundings, and bring enough water and snacks. By avoiding these common mistakes, you'll be able to enjoy all that paddle boarding has to offer on Lake Tahoe.

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