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2012 Lakeshore Paddle Company Betty 12’6″

By Tracy Chapman

While my usual ride, a 12’6″ Tahoe Bliss, was in the shop for repair, I borrowed the Lakeshore Betty in powder blue. So to be fair, this review of the Betty is a comparison to the board I know and love.

Like my Bliss, the Betty is also a board built for flat-water paddling…and hails from a Tahoe-based SUP company. The 11’6″ Betty is somewhat unique with its hollow construction, making it an ultra light board at just 19 lbs. Oddly enough, even with the light weight, I found it harder to carry from the car to the water than either my own 24 lb board or a 14′ Bark. I’ll admit I’m used to carrying boards that have a handle that sits on top of the deck, not just an indented slot for your fingers. But I think it was the thickness of the Betty board as well that made it somewhat awkward for me to carry in spite of its light weight.

Another thing I noticed when carrying the board was that I had hooked my PFD and dry bag to the rope tie downs, but of course they were sliding down to the other side and almost dragging on the ground since they weren’t secure on an actual hook like the Bliss has. I really appreciate the larger hook areas on my Bliss, though I wish the Bliss had some kind of straps going from hook to hook that could also be used to tuck things under like you can on the Betty.

 

Lakeshore Betty

The Betty (in pink) in action on Lake Tahoe. Photo courtesy Lakeshore SUP.

 

Once on the water, the first thing I noticed was the hollow sound – much like being on kayak or a boat. That was fine of course – just something that did catch my attention in the beginning. It definitely sounds different gliding along the water.

I quickly got comfortable on the board – it is very stable and easy to ride. Since I’m used to this board style, I had no trouble making it work, and I’m sure it would be a great board for beginners as well. Standing higher out of the water, both my feet and the top of the board stayed quite dry, which is a definite bonus as the Fall sets in and water temperatures drop here in Portland.

Overall, I’d say the Lakeshore Betty is a nice, stable, easy to ride board that could work for almost anyone wanting to paddle on mellower rivers or lakes like I do. Maybe with some practice I’d find it easier to carry and maneuver, and the lighter weight certainly makes it easier to lift on top of the car. It’s a fine board ~ but I’m looking forward to riding my Bliss again soon!! Thanks Gorge Performance for taking good care of it for me :)

(Lesson of the day: Don’t forget to strap your board to your car *before* you drive off, no matter what your pet is doing or who the hottie is that’s waiting for you at the river :)

7 Responses to '2012 Lakeshore Paddle Company Betty 12’6″'

  1. Amanda says:

    I’m currently in the market for a SUP, mostly for flat water in WA state. I’m considering the Tahoe Bliss or the Rogue Diva. Have you tried the Diva; if so, how does it compare to your Bliss? Also, I’m 5’2″, around 100 pounds, and was trying to decide if a 12’6″ board would be too big for me. (I’m a beginner). Thanks!

    • Gorge Crew says:

      Hi Amanda,
      The Tahoe Bliss is a gorgeous board, and it paddles beautifully. The 11’6 would be perfect for you. I have a friend who is 5’1/110 who bought that board and loves it. I’m familiar with the Rogue boards, but I have not paddled the Diva. They make a nice product for sure, but looking at the specs of the Diva, I can assure you a 31″ wide board is too big for you. The only reason someone your size would choose a 12’6 is if you plan to race it and you’re looking to maximize the 12’6 board class limit. But neither the 12’6 Bliss or the Diva would be an ideal race board for you. My vote would be the 11’6 bliss. It fits you to a t, and it’s only 24lbs!! And you could certainly still race it if you wanted to. The 12’6 class just means no boards BIGGER than 12’6. Hope that helps. –Kim

    • Gorge Crew says:

      Another board you should consider is the 2014 11’6 Amundson TR-X. It has carbon/bamboo construction like the Bliss and gorgeous graphics. We don’t have it up on our website yet but we have one in stock. Here’s a link to the manu website: http://www.amundsonsup.com/amundson-116-tr-x/

      • Amanda says:

        Thank you so much for your feedback! I did demo the Rogue Diva today, unfortunately there were 15 knot winds in Seattle today, so not the perfect conditions. I had some trouble maneuvering, but part of that could be my lack of skills. Carrying the board back across the beach and two lanes of traffic was quite a chore for me, especially with the sunken deck/raised rails. I immediately went to the surf shop to lift the Bliss and it felt so much more comfortable. I’ll check out the Amundson also, but I have a feeling I’ll be getting a Bliss. Thanks again for the feedback!

  2. Amanda says:

    Very tempting…I just browsed your online store – are all your in-stock boards listed here or do you have some in the brick and mortar store that aren’t listed online? (11’6″ Tahoe Bliss, 12’6″ Tahoe Zephyr, in particular)

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