Strong Winds Can Create the Ideal Surfing Conditions in Lake Tah - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Strong Winds Can Create the Ideal Surfing Conditions in Lake Tahoe

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When storms roll through the Sierra, sometimes it creates the perfect conditions to go surfing in Lake Tahoe, but the winds have to be just right.

Brennan Lagasse is no stranger to adventure, so when the winds are strong and blowing in the right direction over Lake Tahoe, he'll slide into his wet suit, hop into the lake and grab some gnarly waves.

"There are a lot of surfers and on any given day when it's firing out there you'll see people all around surfing different places around the lake,” said Lagasse.

Lagasse says surfing in Tahoe is a particular activity that can only happen in severe weather. In his decade of surfing the lake, even he's experienced a fair share of busts.

“There's times when we've been like, there's not going to be any waves and you show up and there's a bunch of waves. And there are other times where I’m like, I can't wait, today's going to be a great day and you show up and you're standing there at Lake Tahoe with your board ready to go surf and there are little ripples,” said Lagasse.

On Thursday, the waves in Tahoe Vista may have looked impressive to most people, but as the pros will say, there's a reason there were no surfers.

Craig Smith, a research professor at the Desert Research Institute says  there were likely no surfers because the winds just weren’t quite strong enough.

He says in order to have the best surf; Tahoe needs strong, “South southwesterly winds, 40 plus miles per hour, ideally for a couple hours or more."

Those kind of conditions would be ideal for Lagasse and many other long-time surfers. However, that doesn't mean that everyone should start jumping into Tahoe’s cold waters to catch the surf.

"They need to know what they're doing and be safe out there, this is not an activity that I recommend any surfer from southern California just go out and try,” said Smith.

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