It's April but there's fresh snow on the mountains in Tahoe South with more on the way. Looking at the forecast, squeezing in one more ski trip this season isn't such a bad idea. In fact, it's a great idea.
One of the questions I'm most frequently asked by people who are coming to ski or ride South Shore is where to rent skis and boards. As a local I don't find myself in the rental shops all that often, but this season I did set out to get to know some of the rental shops in town. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, there's a rental shop for you in Tahoe South.
Sunrise Ski and Snowboard Rental
This is the very first rental shop you'll drive by when you are coming into South Lake Tahoe from Sacramento on Highway 50 and is located at 3200 Highway 50 in Meyers just before the bug station. Packages start at $22 a day or down to $18 for multi-day rentals. They also do season leases for adults ($139 a season) and kids ($129 a season). With the way kids grow, I think season leases are such a great idea. They're also next door to Meyers Cafe, a great stop if you're coming into town and need breakfast before hitting the slopes, and Divided Sky, a great place to grab dinner and a drink if you're arriving in the evening.
While Sunrise caters to beginners, WattaBike n'Snow, also located in Meyers at 2933 Highway 50 and next door to the Roadrunner Gas Station, caters to a more serious skier. WattaBike n'Snow rents performance skis and snowboards starting at $28 a day and going down each day (the 4th day is free!). They also carry backcountry gear. The guys in the shop know their stuff and they're some of my favorite people to turn to for advanced tuning. If you're coming to town with your own gear but want to make sure it's in top-notch condition before you hit the mountain, this is a great place to stop. They also stock lots of helmets, gloves, and other winter gear just in case you need to pick up something you forgot before you left home. And, as their name would suggest, when the snow melts, they're a full service bike shop.
One thing people are always saying to me about skiing is that it's expensive. That's when I ask them if they knew there was a place in South Lake Tahoe where you can rent a beginner ski package for $7.99 a day. Winter Wonderland is the very last ski rental shop you'll pass when you are on your way to Heavenly's California Lodge off of Ski Run Blvd. Located at 3672 Verdon Ln, the skis you get with their $7.99 package are nothing to get excited about, but they are a great ski for anyone from a beginner to lower level intermediate. They also offer performance skis. I demoed a pair of fantastic and ultra-lite K2's when I attended the Peak Performance Academy at Heavenly earlier this year.
South Tahoe Ski and Board Rentals
I love this place. Formerly known as George's Ski and Board Rentals, at the beginning of this season George sold the shop to Ray, who'd been running the shop for George for several years. Ray is awesome and knows the Tahoe ski scene as well as anyone. If you're coming to Tahoe and you've got nothing -- come here. Not only do they rent skis and board, but they rent clothing, gloves, helmets and everything else you need to get outfitted for the mountain. They have a great location at 1056 Ski Run Blvd and this shop really covers the spectrum. They serve beginners as well as high performance and backcountry skiers and riders. Ray and everyone who works here are pros. You'll be in good hands whether you're renting their gear or tuning your own.
Clark Vandeventer used to wear business suits and go to important meetings. He moved to South Lake Tahoe to reinvent his life and now wears Helly Hansen gear and skis 50+ days a year. When he’s not being a professional ski bum or playing with his kids, he’s blogging. You can read about his family’s quest to work less, live more, and travel the world at FamilyTrek.org. He and his wife Monica have also recently launched the new site TahoeSkiBum.com.