Charlie MTB on the Tahoe Rim Trail (Video)

One of the coolest trails we have in the Truckee-Tahoe area is the 165 mile long Tahoe Rim Trail, looping around Lake Tahoe, with the majority open to mountain bikes.

Charlie took on a 20 mile section going from Mount Rose to Chimney Beach on Tahoe’s east shore.

Here’s a snapshot of his Strava page from the ride:


This length of this stretch of the Tahoe Rim Trail is 20.3 miles with 2,327 feet of elevation, with amazing views both of Lake Tahoe and the Carson Valley. The first 9 miles are only open to bikes on even days of the month (the 2nd, 4th, 10th, etc), so plan accordingly. This is a shuttle ride as Charlie and friends pedaled it, with one car on the Mt. Rose Highway and one at Chimney Beach.

Learn more at the Tahoe Rim Trail Association Website.

Stay tuned as the Start Haus staff continues to tackle area trails with videos, photos and more.


Make Skiing Better with the Start Haus

None of us – ski bums who live in the mountains, weekend warriors who only get a few trips a year, even professional skiers – get enough time on the hill.

We all want more – more runs, more turns, more powder, more fun.

So why waste your time on the wrong skis with a bad tune or waste a powder day in painful boots?

At the Start Haus – we have one goal: to make your time skiing better. Your times on the race course faster. Your bell-to-bell days, from first chair to last run, more comfortable.


We do that with an unflinching dedication to the best equipment and the best service. Walk into the shop or browse around our site, and you’ll see an extensive selection of skis, boots, bindings, accessories and clothing hand picked by industry veterans to give you the best selection so you get the right piece of equipment. Equipment we’d ski ourselves, because we do.

Our ski tuners are sought out by World Cup ski racers, and they can insure your day isn’t ruined by bad edges or sticky bases, so you have more fun, more speed and more control.

Our award-winning bootfitters can perform miracles on ski boots so you don’t suffer through the day in pain, maintaining perfect control over your skis without a pressure point or hot spot.

And on our website we aim to educate, helping you make the right decision through our detailed ski reviews from experts who have actually spent time on each ski. Our Bootfitter’s Notes give you an inside look on different boots, their design, and how they fit different people. And our Youtube Channel gives you an inside look and a face-to-face feel interacting with the Start Haus staff.

We’re stubborn in our desire to see you have the best days on the slope – we’ll talk you out of a sale if we think it’s the wrong thing for you.

We can do better – but we need your help. Some of our expertise comes from you, whether its your feedback on the boot we’re fitting you in, or your experience with a pair of skis after days on the hill. So we’re asking you to help your fellow skiers and leave a review on a product you have experience using, tell a story about working with the Start Haus to get a perfect fit – whatever you want.

We will continue to strive to be the best ski shop, with the best equipment and the best service, and we look forward to working with you.



Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride Mountain Bike (Video)

James and Charlie took on one of Lake Tahoe’s legendary mountain bike rides: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Known for its technical downhill above South Lake Tahoe, this is a trail you want to tackle with a capable rig:

The route they chose took 16.3 miles with 2,052 feet of elevation, check out the route here.


Our riders started on the Tahoe Rim Trail from Fountain Place Road, climbing to beautiful views and rolling trail, before plunging into a sustained, rocky and technical downhill ride back down to a lower spot on Fountain Place Road, shuttling back up to the first car.

Because Mr. Toads connects to the Tahoe Rim Trail and is in the same area as Connector and Corral Trails, you have virtually unlimited options for ride variations, with hard core riders starting 60 plus miles north on the Tahoe Rim Trail at Mount Rose for what TAMBA (Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association) calls the “Uber Punisher.”

We recommend long travel dual suspension bikes for this trail. Stay tuned here for more trail profiles, mountain bike videos and more, or follow our riders on Strava.


Stand Up Paddleboard Sale

It’s that time of year, time for serious savings on stand up paddleboards! We have all our boards discounted 10 to 20 percent, which adds up to hundreds of dollars in savings.

You can get a board, paddle, leash and fin all for just $559 with the Boardworks Jetty, or save on race paddleboards, inflatable paddleboards or surf paddleboards, whatever you’re looking for to get out on the water.

Our demo paddleboard fleet is also on sale for even deeper discounts, swing by the Start Haus to see what’s available.

And while you’re in most of our summer clothing is up to 40% off, so stock up on board shorts, bikinis, rash guards and more for Tahoe’s Indian Summer and beyond.



Bootfitter’s Notes: 2015 Nordica Dobermann Pro EDT 130 Ski Boot

The race to build the perfect narrow lasted boot is a tight one these days.  Most manufacturers have a superb option and selecting the one that’s right for you can be a tall order. Nordica’s Dobermann Pro EDT 130 has been a contender in the category for years and is unchanged for the 2015 season.


Affectionately referred to as the “Dobie,” Nordica has produced a boot that is stiff and mean, with plenty of snarl and bite, but is well trained. Two years ago Nordica opened up the last and instep making the boot accessible to many more skiers than previous iterations of the boot without involving countless hours of fit work.

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Corral Trail – South Lake Tahoe (Video)

Start Haus staff has headed south to South Lake Tahoe to check out mountain bike trails at that end of the lake, and one of our favorites is Corral Trail.

Tied into a great network of trails, including Armstrong Connector (also in the video), Sidewinder, Cedar, Powerline, Railroad Grade and even Mr. Toads, the Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association (TAMBA) recently put some serious work into the singletrack, and it shows.

Really fun trail with great banked turns and a fun jump line stand out, and the ability to shuttle using a paved road lets you take the easy way up when you want.


The variety of trails really lets you pick your own adventure for the day, with different trails to climb, descent, connect and lap for anything from a quick afternoon ride to an all-day session. The views higher up on Armstrong Connector can’t be beat either.

If you don’t have a lot of suspension travel on your mountain bike, we recommend Sidewinder Trail for the first half, reconnecting to lower Corral Trail for swooping berms and flowing jumps. Connector is more advanced with some technical sections, but Cedar is fun for anyone.

Get the full details from TAMBA here:


Final Free Fun Paddleboard Race this Friday!

Don’t miss out on the last Free Fun Paddleboard Race this Friday! Come on down to the Donner Lake West End Beach starting at 5 p.m. to check out our demo boards for free, then join in on a fun race starting at 6 p.m.

We’ll be raffling off a lot of great stuff too – with clothing, paddling gear and two grand prizes – a Nordica Vagabond Blem ski and a 3G Cruiser Bike!

Here’s a video of the first Free Fun Paddleboard Race of the season:

It’s a great way to try out new boards, check out paddleboarding and get your feet wet in SUP racing in a fun, friendly environment that’s not overly competitive.

On Saturday after the final race our demo paddleboards will go on sale. These are in high demand and will be at low prices, so they’re going to go fast – don’t miss out!


Nordica Vagabond Review – Long Term (Video)

The Nordica Vagabond is a new ski for the 2013-14 season and is one of many new skis from several makers in the 105-108mm width range.


The Vagabond shares the construction that has become the standard classic from Nordica on such highly successful skis as the Steadfast and Hell and Back. This is a wood/glass/carbon layup ski with a lightweight composite stringer down the center of the core to reduce weight.

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2015 Volkl Mantra Review (Video)

The 2015 Volkl Mantra came as a surprise, reinventing one of the most popular all mountain skis in the industry – but its a rebuild in-line with Volkl’s design philosophy – and after extensive testing – we think a really great ski for the right skier.

The old Volkl Mantra, 98 underfoot, cambered, with tip rocker and a stiff flex, was a Tahoe go-to for hard charging skiers who wanted a do-it-all ski for the various conditions we get out west. The stiff flex, especially in the tail, made it less accessible to some skiers though.

Enter the 2015 Mantra – Volkl upped the waist width to 100 mm and flipped it to full rocker, what they call ELP (extended low profile) tip to tail, much like the Gotama or the RTM series. It keeps metal laminate construction and a fairly stiff flex (though less so than previous generations).

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2015 Ski Testing at Sugar Bowl (Video)

The Start Haus crew got out on a wide variety of 2015 skis for 2015, getting a feel for the latest and greatest.


After an early season test had to be cancelled due to low snow, Sugar Bowl stepped up to host the event to give ski industry employees the ability to get the hands-on experience we need for next year’s skis.

With a crew of five Start Haus testers on the slopes, we were able to put a wide range of skis through the ringer on groomers, in crud and in soft, heavy snow left over from a recent storm.

Highlights from the tester’s notes included the Dynastar Cham 117, Blizzard Spur, the new Volkl Mantra, the Stockli Stormrider Pro 115, and the Nordica Nrgy 100 on the men’s side, and  on the women’s side, the redesigned Nordica Nemesis and Wild Belle, new Volkl Aura and Kenja, and women’s Dynastar Cham 87 and 97.

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