If you have been searching for the perfect place to vacation this summer, look no further. We have put together a list of some of the best places to wakeboard in the United States. Whether you are a wakeboard pro or just starting out, these lakes have some of the best waters out there.
To find out where some of the best places to wakeboard in the United States are (and discover a few little-known gems), we spoke with Cobe and Tarah Mikacich, two professional wakeboarders who have boarded all over the world. They shared some of their favorite places to wakeboard across the country and why they like them.
Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
Lake Tahoe is a boater’s paradise. With a surface area of 193 square miles, you could spend the entire summer exploring Lake Tahoe’s crystal blue waters. It is a large freshwater lake located between California and Nevada, and Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the United States.
Mikacichs’ Opinion: “Tahoe is the clearest lake I’ve ever seen. It’s glassy and calm in the mornings, but the winds kick up in the afternoons. It’s almost beyond belief how large this lake is. It’s easy to get lost or even caught in a storm, but it couldn’t be more beautiful. You can see hundreds of feet down through the water.”
Photo Credit davisyoder.com
Lake Havasu, Arizona
Sparkling clear waters and plenty of hidden coves make Lake Havasu a perfect wakeboarding destination. With warm waters and near constant water elevation, Lake Havasu is considered one of the best boating lakes in America.
Photo Credit lakehavasu.org
Donner Lake, California/Nevada
Donner Lake is about 20 miles northwest of Lake Tahoe between California and Nevada. This is a freshwater lake used for fishing and many recreational water sports. Surrounding the lake are the Sierra Nevada mountains, so you can enjoy a beautiful view while you’re out on the water.
Mikacichs’ Opinion: “This is where I got my start. It’s a beautiful lake in the Sierras. It’s clear. It’s cold. It’s rough. But it’s where I fell in love with boating, wakeboarding, and watersports in general. This lake made me. My parents had a lake house here for years, so it’s where I spent my summers growing up. And I traveled back here year after year, even after I moved across the country. I always love coming back to my roots.”
Photo Credit wikipedia.org
Lake Lure, North Carolina
Tree clad hills and towering mountain tops make Lake Lure a famed spot for wakeboarders. The crystal clear waters flowing through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains are the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon.
Photo Credit romanticasheville.com
Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee
Many call Dale Hollow wakeboard heaven. With numerous coves to explore, this watery getaway provides some of the smoothest waters out there.
Photo Credit dalehollow.com
Hidden Lakes, Nevada
The Hidden Lakes are a pair of lakes near Soldier Basin. They cover about 9 acres and are a popular place to hike to. These lakes are what are known as tarns, or lakes created in mountains by glaciers melting. These lakes flow into Soldier Creek.
Mikacichs’ Opinion: “I had to add one man-made lake to this list. I’ve done many photo shoots and videos here. We even filmed my First Hand episode with Blue Torch TV here. Hidden Lake is just like it suggests, a piece of paradise hidden in Carson City, Nevada. It was actually built by my friend’s dad, Greg Henderson.”
Photo Credit zillow.com
Blue Lake, Florida
With waters so good you’ll think you’re in the Caribbean, Blue Lake was a shoo-in to be on the list. Blue Lake is the perfect place for wakeboarding professionals due to its exclusivity and was featured in Danny Harf’s movie “Defy”.
Photo Credit theskimonster.com
Williamette River, Oregon
The Willamette River is a large river that is part of the Columbia River. Willamette River is 187 miles long. It is a popular place, especially in the summer. People love to spend time on the river, whether it’s swimming, kayaking, or wakeboarding.
Mikacichs’ Opinion: “Every year that we would travel to Portland for the pro tour, my friends and I would take some time to go ride in Wilsonville on the Willamette. When I was touring around as a professional wakeboarder, this was always one of the best stops for crowds and wakeboarding enthusiasm and involvement. It’s a true riders' town, and always had some of the best vibes of the summer.”
Photo Credit paddleoregon.org
Shasta Lake, California
If you haven’t yet hit up Shasta Lake, you are definitely missing out. With 30,000 acres of surface area and more coves and inlets you could ever imagine, it’s no wonder Shasta Lake is often said to be one of the best wakeboarding spots around!
Photo Credit redding-real-estate.com
Lake Austin, Texas
Lake Austin used to be known as Lake McDonald. It is a lake reservoir on the Colorado River in Austin, Texas. This lake is a popular place for being out on the water and doing all kinds of fun activities.
Mikacichs’ Opinion: “When we were doing the Fantastic Voyage, we could stay right on the waters of Lake Austin in our bus. We had great conditions, and miles to ride. The town is really fun, and everyone loves to be on the water. There are always people to ride with, and people are generally stoked on watersports.”
Photo Credit austinriverboats.com
Radar Lake, Washington
One of the first man-made lakes specifically made for water sports, Radar Lake was envisioned to be the perfect exclusive area for watersports enthusiasts. Its pristine natural environment makes this lake a must on your wakeboarding bucket list.
Photo Credit alchetron.com
Lake Dunlap, Texas
Because of its narrow size and shoreline trees, Lake Dunlap’s calm waters are often called wakeboarding paradise. Its glassy waters are perfect for a summer water sports outing.
Photo Credit texasmonitor.org
Center Hill Lake, Tennessee
Center Hill Lake is located in Middle Tennessee. It was originally created by a dam in 1948 for electricity production and flood control. Today, is a popular destination for fishing and water recreation.
Mikacichs’ Opinion: “Center Hill is super unique. It’s a ways outside of Nashville, but it’s relatively undeveloped. There are homes up in the mountains, but hardly any docks. And there are miles and miles of glassy water riding. Center Hill has tons of fingers that curve around in all directions, so you can find protected spots to ride no matter what the wind is doing.”
Photo Credit centerhilllaketenn.com
Lake Powell, Utah
First on the list is the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States - Lake Powell. At 186 miles long and 96 major canyons there is no doubt you will have plenty of places to explore. While you’re there, be sure to check out Rainbow Bridge - the largest natural stone bridge in the world.
Photo Credit utah.com
Butler Chain, Florida
Butler Chain Lake is the largest out of a chain of lakes in Central Florida. It is very scenic, making it popular for water recreation. Butler Chain Lake is also home to a bird sanctuary.
Mikacichs’ Opinion: “The Butler Chain of lakes is in Central Florida. There are 11 lakes all connected by canals. There are amazing homes all around it, built by famous athletes and other celebrities that want a house on the water where it stays warm all year. There’s a big party island for floatilla tie-ups on the weekends, and they do boat parades on the holidays.”
Photo Credit Tom King
Lake Mead, Nevada/Arizona
Being the largest reservoir in the United States, Lake Mead is one of the best spots there is. Featuring awesome views from the jagged mountain ranges, Lake Mead is a wakeboarding must. Not to mention it’s just 30 minutes away from the Las Vegas Strip.
Photo Credit hotels.com
Freedom Wake Park - Lake Ellenor, Florida
Located in Orlando, Florida, Freedom Wake Park on Lake Ellenor is a popular place for wakeboarding. The lake is private, and it is large enough that boats can run either direction. Freedom Wake Park offers professional instruction to those of all ages and skill levels.
Mikacichs’ Opinion: “I’ve been all over the world, and there’s not a better spot for all around conditions, weather, and crew. It’s a natural, but private lake in the middle of Orlando, FL. And it’s where we do our coaching all year round.”
Photo Credit freedomwakepark.com
Now you know all about some of the best places to wakeboard in the United States. You might even want to check out some of the fastest-growing wakeboarding cities in the country. And if you’re ready to get out there and explore these cool lakes, prep your boat with a wakeboard tower and accessories.