August 12-14, Kings Beach
Celebrating its tenth year, Ta-Hoe Nalu brings the feel of a traditional Hawaiian paddle festival to the spectacular Kings Beach on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. Quickly becoming a must-do event for anyone associated with all forms of paddleboarding, Ta-Hoe Nalu was founded in 2007 by Ernie Brassard.
During the event, hundreds of competitors and thousands of spectators will help create a party atmosphere in the high Sierra. The three-day event begins on Friday afternoon with paddleboarding workshops, yoga and exhibits. Racing begins on Saturday morning and continues through to Sunday, with competitions in prone and stand-up paddling, as well as outrigger racing. Distances vary from the ten-mile long course event to two-mile beginner races.
Brassard had seen friends playing around on stand-up paddleboards so he purchased his own from Bob Pearson at Arrow Surfboards in Santa Cruz. After paddling the clear Tahoe waters a few times, he was soon hooked on this new way to enjoy the lake.
Brassard says, “Pearson was joking around one time. He says, ‘You know, maybe we should come up and do some kind of crossing and paddle on the lake.’” The idea stuck. Brassard mentioned it to a few people and Chris Thibaut, owner of Jake’s on the Lake restaurant in Tahoe City, offered to throw a party on the Friday night before the paddle. Brassard and Pearson put the word out, and the race was on. They were joined by friends from Santa Cruz and Southern California, to paddle the eight miles to Captain Jon’s restaurant in Tahoe Vista.
“We had so much fun that year, that we said, ‘We’ve got to do this again.’ And that’s how it all started.” says Brassard. “We never expected to be doing this ten years later.”
For more information on this year’s event, including how to register, visit tahoenalu.com.