from nevada to arizona on a surfboard?

Probably the only benefit of being an occasional gambler is that you can get free hotel rooms. I had just completed an incredible three day jeep expedition through the Mojave Trail that finished in Laughlin Nevada. Since I was in the area, I booked a free hotel room in Vegas for a few nights because how could I go wrong there (said no one ever)? The desert scenery along the Mojave Trail and Red Rock Canyon was beautiful, but it was time for some water in my life. Kitesurfing Lake Mohave was on my bucket list. It would be my first time crossing state lines on a surfboard.

kitesurfing lake mohave lake mead

Lake Mohave from a distance

I had heard about people kitesurfing Lake Mohave, about an hour south of Vegas where wind speeds of 30-40 mph were common. I had also read that kitesurfing Lake Mohave could be dangerous and that several kiters had been seriously injured there. Extreme gusts of wind can unexpectedly launch kiters into the air with no telling where they will land. Since the border between Nevada and Arizona runs right through the middle of the lake, you could literally get launched into another state. It didn’t sound like ideal conditions, but I’m usually up for adventure and seeing new places. Plus, how often do you get to kite surf from one state to another?   

kitesurfing lake mohave 6 mile cove

6 Mile Cove at Lake Mohave – dead calm water with no wind (the mountains across the way are in Arizona)

it’s not an adventure if you don’t get lost

Siri doesn’t know this area very well though so I had to find it the old fashioned way. I drove around, made wrong turns, and asked locals when I got lost. Fortunately, driving around Nevada is so beautiful that you don’t mind getting lost. My first missed turn took me to Cottonwood Cove boat docks, at Lake Mead. I couldn’t believe how quiet and peaceful it was there. I laughed at the irony that no one was there on probably one of the best days of the year. 

That’s one of the things about being retired. You avoid traveling during the times when everyone else is because it’s too crowded and costs a fortune then. Sure, the water might be colder, but we have had some of our best experiences visiting places in their off season. The lack of long lines and crowds often make up for the off-season weather or water temps.  

kitesurfing lake mojave cottonwood cove

Cottonwood Cove – peaceful day in the winter off-season

Follow the power lines into the desert

Eventually I found a local who could direct me to 6 Mile Cove at Lake Mohave. He told me to follow the power lines leading into the desert from the entrance to the Lake Mead recreation area. It was a long and bumpy dirt road for my Prius to handle. I figured there was a good chance my car would get stuck in the middle of the desert. However, I had come along way and wanted to check kitesurfing lake mohave off my bucket list.  

kitesurfing lake mohave 6 mile cove

the long dirt road to 6 Mile Cove at Lake Mohave

the friendliest sport on earth

When I arrived, there were only two other kiters camping there and an RV. The lake was as calm as could be, not even a light breeze. The forecast called for wind though so I killed time with the other two kiters I met there while we waited for wind. Kitesurfing is one of those sports that brings strangers together. I love regular surfing, but it’s a crowded sport, and nobody wants to see another surfer arrive at their surf break. There’s not a lot of kite surfers in the world though, and so local kiters generally welcome new kitesurfers to their area. This could change in twenty years if the sport gets too crowded.   

kitesurfing lake mohave 6 mile cove

flying a wind meter kite at 6 Mile Cove – Lake Mohave (waiting for real wind)

kitesurfing lake mohave – let there be wind!

The wind didn’t arrive until noon on my second day at 6 Mile Cove. It was dead calm when all of a sudden someone somewhere turned a switch and the wind kicked up to 20mph. I had never seen the wind and water change so dramatically in a matter of seconds. Out on the water the three of us had 360 degree views of Incredible mountain scenery all to ourselves.     

kitesurfing lake mohave 6 mile cove

a new friend catching some big air at Lake Mohave

That night I was back at the tables in Vegas because that’s what gamblers do. Even though I lost $200 that trip, I was still grinning as I swapped stories of adventure with the others gathered around the roulette table. 

kitesurfing lake mohave 6 mile cove

hilltop view of 6 Mile Cove at Lake Mohave

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