We are sorry to hear you did not enjoy your clear kayaking experience with Belinda and JP. We work hard to ensure our guests have a great experience with our rentals and tours. Luckily we still operate our own tours as owners of the business.
Thank you for taking to the time to provide feedback, and we will address every concern for future guests.
We do disagree with some parts of your review which we will quote you directly and refute below:
1. “I was told we would not be able to get into the park without a tour, but that wasn’t true.”
Between Memorial Day, June ~26 and Labor Day, September ~1; Sand Harbor State Park reaches 2/3 capacity at 400of 600 parking spaces and closes to vehicle entry every morning between 7:40am and 9am if its a slower day. Your Tour was at 11am and the park had been closed for a couple of hours already. Sometimes individuals do indeed spot one of the 200 unused parking spaces and misinterpret them as the park being open and available for parking when they are actually closed.
We inform guests that there is a free shuttle to Sand Harbor State Park that leaves every half hour between 9:30am until 2:30pm adjacent to our shop. Guests must catch the last one back by 6pm.
2. “The excursion is overpriced, and you have to take a bus ride from an odd location.”
The tour is equal or less than other companies two hour clear kayak tours that launch from the same park. The shuttle is required by the park for tour operators to transport guests, they do not allow guests of tours to meet at the park. We do not think our kayak rental shop is an odd location to meet for a kayak tour.
3. “There are much cheaper rentals at Sand Harbor Beach, even after you include the admission fee to the park.”
The incumbent rental company at sand harbor charges the highest prices around the lake for their rental equipment. Our equipment is rented at the all day duration and is still cheaper than their second hour of rentals. The entrance fee is free into sand harbor for anyone who rides the free shuttle from right next to our shop, and it is $15 for vehicles with our of state plates to park in San Harbor when parking is available.
4. “I also do not recommend the clear mini-canoe (not really a kayak). It’s super wobbly and doesn’t slice through the water well. It requires a lot more effort than a standard kayak.”
Our 11 foot by 34 inch wide kayaks are flat bottomed and made from clear polycarbonate with an aluminum frame. They have a rudder and can easily handle rough whitecaps in experienced hands. we only paddle with beginner and novice guests in camp flat conditions as it is many guests first time paddling and with a brief lesson our guests a re largely able to proficiently paddle ;)
5. “The Transparency is cool, but you can see through the water without having to look through the bottom of your boat.”
We cross our fingers for those perfectly calm days where the reflection of the sky can bee seen in the lake! Aside from those special days, ripples form on the surface distorting the view, and though still beautiful, the window that the flat bottom kayak provides into the visible depths of Lake Tahoe is EXCEPTIONAL.
6. “I am pretty sure the locals were snickering at us and thinking ‘look at those stupid tourists who got roped into overpaying for an overly arduous experience.’”
As a local that has grown up here, I can tell our guests that many of the locals wish they could be out on the lake each and every day participating in recreational activities and enjoying the totality of the areas beauty. Many locals work during the gorgeous summer days sharing it’s beauty with visitors in service industries. If they are not already out on the lake, they would be if they could :-)
7. “I wholeheartedly recommend a similar experience on a standard kayak rented though a locally owned company.”
We offer guided tours for both sit on top kayaks and sit in kayaks year round. As one of the owner operator team is a +35 year local, we would recommend taking a tour with our locally owned and operated company.
Here is what we agree with:
“Nonetheless, the lake and the area are beautiful”.