Lake Tahoe Snowboarding
My kids and I are getting to experience lots of firsts this spring. Earlier this spring, we went on our first cruise and last week, we got to go to Lake Tahoe for the first time. My kids have also never done any snow sports so they were so excited to get to try to snowboard for the first time.
It’s been a while since my kids have experienced snow. We drove up to the mountains in LA earlier this winter to get to play a little bit, but it wasn’t a full immersive snow experience. I’m so glad we had the chance to go to North Lake Tahoe because it is so neat to get to watch the kids play in the snow as they used to when we lived in Boston. I do not miss Boston and I do not miss winters, but I do miss the joy and excitement on their faces when there was fresh snow.
For this trip, we flew into Reno and drove 45 minutes to North Lake Tahoe. The instant the kids started seeing snow on our drive up the mountain, they could not contain their excitement. Although I initially planned to just relax on our first day, I emailed our pr contact and asked for suggestions on places we could go snow tubing. She suggested Boreal Mountain. To my surprise, they had openings for the day we arrived, so we were able to go tubing the same day we arrived.
Snow Tubing in Lake Tahoe
My kids have been sledding before. They’ve even gone sledding right here in southern California on the sandy beach hills that they make each wintertime in Hermosa Beach. But sand sledding and snow tubing are quite different.
When we first arrived, we grabbed our tubing tickets from the automated machine and then drove a bit further down to where the tubing hill was. They had 8 well-manicured lanes to tube down and a large selection of both large and small tubes.
We had a great time tubing, but what surprised me was that my kids had just as much fun running up and sliding down the side of the tubing hill. They also loved just playing in the snow and building a snowman. They enjoyed our time tubing and snow playing so much that we actually headed back there the next afternoon.
Kids Snowboarding Lessons Near Lake Tahoe
Sugar Bowl sponsored us for a morning of snowboarding lessons along with skiing for me. I opted to ski since I already know how to ski well and the one time I tried snowboarding did not go well. Yes, it was over 20 years ago, but the memory still haunts me. I’ve heard (and experienced) that if you learn to ski first, it’s hard to transition. I never actually took any ski lessons, but I picked it up so quickly. Plus, I haven’t been skiing in well over 20 years, but I can say that I did pick it right back up and remembered exactly what to do. I was an avid rollerblader and ice skater as a kid. Although they are quite different than skiing, I think the motions are so similar, which is what makes it so natural for me.
When we arrived at Sugar Bowl, we were greeted by friendly staff who immediately helped us get the proper equipment. They were so kind and patient with the kids. Their instructor, Bess, was so fun too. You could tell how much she liked working with kids and she did such a great job teaching them.
The kids snowboarding lessons were 3 hours in the morning. I was shocked by 10am they were well on their way to learning. By the end of their session, they didn’t even look like beginners. Bess told me they picked it up pretty quickly and she could tell they were natural athletes. I was just so happy they enjoyed it. Rocco, especially, loved it so much he didn’t want to quit. Gigi was tired by the afternoon and ready to go back to chill at our hotel. Overall though, the mountain was beautiful and their first snowboarding experience was nothing but positive. I can’t wait to take them back to try boarding again next winter.
Snowboarding vs Skiing for Beginners
If you’re considering whether to do skiing or snowboarding for beginners, there isn’t a correct choice. I actually had a long conversation with both their instructor as well as my PR contact and we all agreed that it is easier for kids and adults to learn to ski. Its just a simpler sport because we are used to doing things on two legs. Learning to snowboard takes more time and effort. However, kids are also much quicker to pick up snowboarding than adults, so it is the perfect time to get kids to learn how to snowboard.
Plus, snowboarding is definitely ‘cooler’ and looks like a ton of fun. To be honest, I wish I had taken the time that morning to try to re-learn how to snowboard, but I opted for the easier option. Skiing is still a ton of fun, but I definitely think boarding has a cool factor that you can’t beat. Not to mention, the boots are so much easier to maneuver and walk to/from the chalet. I also like that you have less equipment (no poles and only one board vs. two skis) to lug around. The boots are also way lighter weight.
Where We Stayed
Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort hosted us for our stay in North Lake Tahoe. We absolutely loved our hotel because it was right on the shores of Lake Tahoe and they have a private beach just for their guests. Our room was very spacious and we also had a kitchenette and a large balcony overlooking the lake. It also had a king bed and a queen pullout couch for the kids. We loved having a kitchen so we could eat some of our meals overlooking the lake right in our little dining room. It was such a lovely place to stay and we would definitely love to stay there again. If you’re thinking about kids snowboarding lessons vs skiing lessons, I would say have them try boarding first and if they just don’t like it or it feels too hard after a day or two of lessons, then switch to skiing.
Other Areas to Explore Near North Lake Tahoe
Beyond the skiing and tubing, we also took some time to explore Tahoe City and also The Village at Palisades Tahoe. It was definitely kid-friendly and fun to explore some of the other areas in North Lake Tahoe.
Overall, we really enjoyed our time in North Lake Tahoe. We’d definitely love to visit again next year to continue to improve on our skiing and snowboarding. It would also be fun to go in the summer to enjoy more of the water sports and lake options available.
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