As what seems to be a “Miracle March” ramping up in Lake Tahoe, the biggest news isn’t the snow but rather the acquisition of local snowboard shop, Shoreline of Tahoe, by two long-time employees: Ken Raspen and Lani Pollak. In its 32nd year, Shoreline has always been known as the “core” shop in South Lake Tahoe for snowboard and mountain bike gear. And the best part? Both Ken and Lani will make sure that the tradition keeps alive and well. The question is how did this change come to be?
Lake Tahoe bound
The story starts out on the East Coast where Ken grew up. Even then, the larger mountains out West called him like a siren. The only question was “Where?” After finishing college, a friend of his had already been out in Lake Tahoe for a few months and said that it was “pretty awesome.” That was all it took. Ken packed up his gear and moved out to the crystal-clear waters of Tahoe.
Since Day One at Shoreline
Moving was one thing, but you still need to work. His passion had always been in the outdoor industry and he knew he wanted to work at a core shop similar to the one he worked for out East. The real dream though… to own one! In fact, on the first interview with Bob Daly, the original owner of Shoreline, he asked Ken, “What do you want to do with your life?” And Ken’s response? “To ultimately own a store.” Little did he know seventeen years later that would become reality.
Shoreline Brings Together Ken & Lani
Starting at the bottom, Ken worked his way up through the ranks until he became General Manager of the Kingsbury store. It was around that time that Lani was named store lead for the Heavenly shop. They’d talk over the phone about their stock needs but both shops operated as separate units. It wasn’t until the Shoreline sponsored Lib-Tech clinic that they met in person.
Skate Banana asks the question why camber?
This wasn’t any normal clinic either. It was the first year of the Lib-Tech Skate Banana. It raised the question: “Why does it have to be camber?” Similar to how Lib Tech changed the way we saw the sport of snowboarding, the clinic also brought together Ken and Lani.
Put up or shut up!
Ken and Lani both loved working for Bob but their dream was always to own it. Over the years they talked about purchasing, but it wasn’t until someone came in asking serious questions about it that it came to fruition. After two hard years of discussions and getting the documents in order, Ken and Lani now officially own the store.
What makes Shoreline of Tahoe special?
From over the top customer service to carrying local brands such as TahoeLab, this is THE place to buy your gear. EVERY product they carry is hand-picked by them because they use it and believe in it too. In the summer, they also carry everything under the sun for your mountain bike needs from family bikes with trailers to high-end bikes for those looking to crush the trails. They’re also BIG supporters in the local bike association. Don’t be surprised if you see Shoreline hosting “trail days” to make sure South Lake Tahoe’s trails are in tip-top condition.