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Windsurfing in the Gorge

The Windsurfing season in The Gorge starts in April or early May and lasts through August. West wind is most common with many windy days. Air temperature average is about 85-90 F in summer. Water temp is about 65 F.
Late season starts in September and goes through November with West and East wind days and more no wind days.

 


...Overview

.. Windsurfing Locations

...Windsurfing Links

...Tips & Info

...Gorge Surf Shops

...Lessons

...Gorge Maps and Weather

 

The most famous site, the Spring Creek Fish Hatchery, known to "boardheads" as "The Hatchery", is on Hwy 14 only 4 miles west of the Hood River Bridge. This is the best place for viewing and photos. The Gorge Games freestyle event is held here.

Swell City: Photo from NW Windtalk

The Hatchery lies several hundred yards to the east of another popular site know as Swell City. In addition to those two "high-wind" favorites, sailors can travel to the west along Hwy 14 and launch from Home Valley Park, and then to several spots along the Stevenson waterfront. On the OR side, the Event Site is the most popular area with grassy rigging and bleachers for viewing.

See our locations page for map and descriptions


Vantage: Photo by Andy Kleitsch

Some FAQ's

Do I need a car?
Yes, or a good friend who has one.
A car makes sailing the Gorge much easier. If you find the wind to strong or to weak in one place you can usually move East or West to a place that fits your needs. A good roof rack is a must. Renting a pager from a local shop is also very helpful.

Where can I rent or purchase equipment?
There are more than 20 windsurfing shops in the Gorge. Most are located in Hood River . Most shops rent equipment as well as sell new equipment. The going rate is about $40 per day.
The largest selection of used equipment is at Windance. They usually have 30 to 40 boards and several hundred sails on consignment. They also have lots of new equipment and good advice. 2ND Wind Sports also has great used equipment.

What equipment works best?
You can use almost any type of equipment if you are willing to drive to a spot that has the correct conditions. If you plan to sail the intermediate or advanced spots you will need good high wind equipment. The most popular board would be about 8'6" in length and the sails would be from the low 4 meters to 6 meters.

Where can I Camp?
There are a number of state parks where you can camp. Most of the year you can find a place to stay without a problem. On holiday weekends you should plan to get a camp spot by noon or you may have trouble. The favorite windsurfing camp spot is Memaloose State Park.

Some of the other parks are as follows:
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Home Valley Washington - 15 miles West of the Hatchery Trains/Sailing
Viento Oregon - 5 miles West of Hood River Trains/Sailing
Tucker Park Oregon - 5 miles South of Hood River Quiet
Memaloose Oregon - 12 miles East of Hood River My favorite
Avery Park Washington - 8.5 Miles from East of the Free/Sailing
Maryhill Park Washington - North end of Sam Hill Bridge Expert Sailing
Peach Beach Washington - Just East of Maryhill Park Expert Sailing


Event Site in October


No wind?
If the wind shuts down in the Gorge you can almost always drive to the coast or go to Kalama.
There is good hiking, mountain biking white water rafting, summer skiing, and falls to see as well as lots and lots of shopping.


What kinds of hazards are in the Gorge?

Barges create a large wind shadow so you never want to get to close downwind of them. They cannot stop very quickly so if you fall in front of them it is up to you to get out of the way.

Poison Oak.

There are rattle snakes (and Scorpion Bowls)

Other Sailors: A few simple rules will help: Always look before you jibe.
If you are on a reach and your right hand is next to the mast you have the right of way. (This means you Dangler!)

How can I get weather information for the Gorge?

www.iwindsurf.com if you are online
or stop by Windance and use their computer.

Bart's Best Bet wind report can be heard every morning on Q104 FM in the Dalles. He gives the days weather "GUESS" and some information about where the best wind might be found. His message is given at the following times. (7:20,7:50,8:20,8:50,9:20,9:50)
K-105.5-FM broadcasts a Wind Forcast at 6:52,7:56,8:56,and 9:56. They also have afternoon updates. They have a free 24-hour updated weather phone at 541-386-1336 or dial #1340 on your Cellular One Phone.

Most of the shops rent pagers. These devices will tell you the current wind speads at many of the major sailing areas. IWindsurf is the current provider of this information and they have several plans. You can purchase the full pager deal or just web access to the current wind readings. If you are not familar with the Gorge a pager will increase the number of days that you sail.

 

Gorge Online - For Advertisting Info please call 1-541-350-9850 or email: info@gorgeonline.com