Touring with the Tahoe

My little family of four loves road tripping, but traveling light is never really an option for us. Two pups, two boards, two bikes, cameras, clothes, and dog gear make for one loaded down Subaru Outback!

This year for our summer road trip to explore western New York, I opted to travel with one inflatable board and one hard board to save a little space in the cabin of our car. Knowing that my hard board would be on the roof of the Outback and exposed to the elements for 10 days made me a bit nervous. Enter the Tahoe board bag.

Having that bag was super handy! Not only did it storm and rain buckets for the first half of our trip, my only parking option at my sister’s house was under trees. Trees that insisted on dropping lots of sap and leaves. My car and trailer basically got tarred and feathered! The only thing spared was my board — the bag not so much!

I’m also very careful about exposing my boards to direct sunlight for extended periods of time. Since paddle boards are sizable investments, it seems silly not to have a bag, especially if you plan to travel.

Unlike other bags, this one was easy to get the board in and out of. It also really stood up to the elements — it’s pretty heavy duty! The shoulder strap made it easy to carry the board from the car to the beach, which was a nice change. Sometimes when I’ve got two anxious Aussies pulling on their leashes, toting a board, paddle, and dry bag can be tricky. But with a shoulder strap I was able to carry everything a little more easily and set the board down when I needed to give my shoulders a break. I’m always picky about where I set my board for fear of scratches and scuffs. Having a bag means there’s always a safe spot.

The dogs and I had a blast paddling in western New York with our Zephyr. We paddled on windy Lake Erie and explored the Caribbean-like sea cliffs. As we paddled out into the lake, the wind picked up and we had to deal with a bit of chop. I was pleasantly pleased with how well the Zephyr stood up to those conditions. The nose cut through the rollers, and the water went over the nose, along the rails, and off the board. I’ve had boards that allow water to collect on the deck, adding weight, but that didn’t happen with this board! Another thing I noticed was how much easier it felt to maintain my course. Boards with thick square rails get pushed around more. With more surface area on the rails, the wind can catch them more making it harder to hold your course. The Zephyr’s lower volume and smaller rounded rails helped us paddle more easily in the wind.

The Zephyr, of course, really shines in calm, flat water, and we encountered plenty of that. We floated under train bridges and along quiet creeks and streams. Western New York has no shortage of fun places to explore via SUP. We even got to check off a bucket list destination when we paddled on the Erie Canal out of Rochester. In all these places and water conditions the Zephyr handled everything— even two dogs – with ease. I’m really glad we brought this board along on our trip, and I’m happy to report that, with the bag, it came home in as good of shape as it left!

Thanks for the awesome bag, Tahoe!

The Zephyr in it’s cozy little bag!

Exploring the Sea Cliffs along Lake Erie.

Exploring the Sea Cliffs along the Caribbean-like Lake Erie.

Lake Erie on the 4th of July.

I’m a sucker for old train bridges!