What kind of skiing can I do-can it be the slalom course, mini-course or free-skiing?

You can do what you are comfortable with depending on your ability and preference. We have a competition-level slalom course that’s ideal for folks who want to practice or improve that skill. However, many of our guests have never skied a course before, so free skiing is totally acceptable. (If you think you’d like to try it, our coaches are very good at evaluating whether you are ready for this demanding but thrilling kind of run.) All your sets will be coached either way you decide to ski.

What skill level do you teach?

We teach all skill levels, from beginners who have never skied before to advanced short-line skiers. We’ll evaluate your skill level and plan your ski-sets according to your specific needs.

How many times do I get to ski per day?

Each ski and stay package includes two ski sessions per day. Each session is comprised of 6 passes. We recommend getting as much rest between rides as possible. Ski and stay skiers may purchase additional daily rides if desired for $100 per session. This type of skiing can be exhausting work, especially for multiple days in a row. We strongly recommend pacing yourself.

What constitutes a "lesson"? How do they work?

We tailor your lessons to your fitness level, ability, and goals. In general, each lesson is 12 to 18 minutes long, which gives you several runs with one-on-one coaching. Your time on the water typically includes 6 passes up and down our ski lake. However, your time may be dictated by how long your coach deems that you are productive and not too pooped to follow instructions (believe us, it happens quite often).We do not split lessons into multiple parts (that is, no “half-lesson” sessions).

Will other skiers be there too?

In most cases, yes. We deliberately limit the number of skiing guests to 10 during any stay. This max ensures everyone gets plenty of skiing time every day. Chances are good there will be a mix of you, other guests and our members which gives you lots of opportunities to meet new people, swap ski stories, and ogle each other’s ski gear.

Do you take drop-in skiers for the day or a lesson?

Once each stay is filled to capacity (10) we do not offer drop-in skiers. We want to be sure each guest gets our undivided attention and water time.

Can my friends ride in the boat to watch me ski?

We want the best possible skiing conditions and coaching focus for each skier. We believe each skier deserves the full attention of the driver and the coach during ski rides. So, no we don’t allow guests to ride along. However, we strongly encourage cheering and general merriment from our dock at all times.

Ski Equipment

I'm new at this and don't have equipment.

All equipment rentals are included in the cost of your ski ride. The only thing we don't rent are gloves, but we have a lot of options for purchase in our ski barn.

I've got my own equipment - what should I bring?

Bring your ski, bindings, life vest, gloves, (wetsuits or wetsuit top depending on time of season) and your handle.

I'd rather not trust my gear to the airline package monkeys. Can I rent from you?

We do offer high-end demo bindings and skis for rental. Intermediate level equipment is no charge. For the best results we strongly recommend bringing at a minimum your own bindings. These can be safely packed in with your luggage. This removes a big variable. You can also buy items at our onsite Ski BarnPro Shop.

What are my rental gear options?

We include intermediate life vests, skis and bindings to use while you are here. We do not rent gloves, but we do sell them and can advise you on which model may be best for you. High end demo skis available for additional charge.

I hear you have the coolest new skis around. Can I try before I buy?

If you are interested in trying out a new ski you can Demo for a few rides at no charge. If you choose to purchase and ride the new ski the rest of your stay special guest discounts are available.

Why don't you rent gloves?

Gloves are so vital to a good skiing experience and are so personal to fit, style, and preference that rentals and loaners are not suitable. Our Ski Barn Pro Shop carries a wide variety of sizes, styles and prices. (If you’re a beginner with no equipment, we recommend that you wait to buy gloves until you arrive here—we can advise on ones that work well at guest discount.)

Redwood Shores

What's so great about a private lake in the middle of Northern California?

How about near-perfect skiing conditions from morning to night, nearly all season long, Our lake is built solely for waterskiing and designed to achieve calm, smooth water on every pass. It is about 2,800 feet long, 650 feet wide, and 5-1/2 feet deep.

Northern California skiing features:

*No boat rollers

*Little to no wind

*Comfortable average water temperatures

*Comfortable air temperatures, low humidity

*No pesky water reptiles

How do you avoid boat rollers?

Our boat is the only one that’s ever on the lake, and we created islands on both ends to enable us to turn around without crossing our wake, eliminating boat rollers altogether

Are wind and other lake conditions constant throughout the day?

Most days, ski conditions are pretty much perfect from morning to evening. Lake winds and wind chop are extremely rare because rows of 50-foot-tall Redwood trees block the prevailing winds. On those rare occasions when an odd weather pattern changes the wind direction and creates less-than-perfect conditions, we will warn you and plan your skiing schedule to get the best possible water.

What is the water temperature of the lake?

Our season of April to October typically sees water temps ranging from 70 to 90 degrees F. The actual lake temperature is close to the median air temperature for the current day/week. Because our lake is fairly shallow compared to most natural lakes and reservoirs, our water temperature can change very rapidly during a hot spell or rapid cool-down. That said, it’s rare for our water to drop below 65 degrees during the ski season.

What's best time of the season to come, weather-wise?

It really depends on your preference. What seems too chilly for us sun-drenched Californians can be downright balmy to a snow-loving Canadian. If you’re happy skiing in an insulated top or short wetsuit, our shoulder months of April or October are a great choice. If you prefer skiing in only a swimsuit and life vest, book a mid- to late-summer stay.

Do you allow tubing or wakeboarding on your lake?

Our lake is designed for slalom skiing and our Mastercraft Pro Star provides the smallest wakes possible. We do not offer wake boarding or wake surfing on our lake.

Can I swim in the lake?

We have a designated swim area that you may use any time the ski boat is out of the water on the lift. For safety reasons, no swimming is allowed any time the boat is in the water.


The two-story dock is your day-time home base.

Leave all your ski gear in the racks towards the backside of the dock. It is safe there throughout your stay.

Are non-skiers welcome at the lake?

Absolutely, as long as they are accompanied by a paid skiing guest.

What a fun looking place! Can I bring my dog?

We wish that could work out but, sorry, no guest-pets are allowed, even if they can ski.

Do you have a restroom facilities at the dock?

Yes. There is a restroom near the dock specifically for lake guests.

Reservations and Logistics

How do I check availability and sign up?

Send us an email at paul@californiaskiranch.com

or give us a call (408) 483-0559. Let us know the dates you are looking for and we can help book your stay.

How much does it cost if I want to add additional rides to my stay?

Each additional ride is $100.

How do I pay?

You pay in two parts: a deposit is due at time of booking, and the balance is due before you check out. We accept all major credit cards, cashier’s checks, U.S. checks, and cash.

Do I have to sign an insurance waiver?

Yes. No signed waiver=no skiing, no exceptions. You may not begin ski lessons until we have a signed waiver on file. And yes, non-skiers staying with us will also need to sign our waiver. Our Smart-waiver link will be sent to you via e-mail with your check-in instructions a week before your stay.

Click Here to Sign our Waiver

Are there refunds for bad weather or injury during a visit?

Sorry, no. Our micro-climate provides great skiing for the majority of the season, and we try very hard to flex our schedule so you can enjoy the most awesome conditions possible. There may be times we get crazy weather that makes us park our boat for the safety of our guests. While this is rare, it is something that could happen. Similarly, experiencing a skiing injury that sidelines your lessons can really be a bummer. However, injury is a risk that all skiers take and is a byproduct of sport in general. You can reduce your risk of being sidelined by knowing and respecting your own limits and stopping before you’re too tired for “just one more run,” a situation when most injuries occur.

What if I need to cancel my reservation?

Life happens, and sometimes you may wish to cancel a vacation trip, even one to such a great place as this. We provide a full refund for cancellations made up to 30 days before your arrival date. However, if you cancel less than 30 days before your arrival date, you forfeit all money paid.

Got more questions?

Call us at (408) 483-0559 or send us an email at paul@californiaskiranch.com