Author Topic: Downwinding at the Gorge  (Read 11971 times)

puget sound

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Downwinding at the Gorge
« on: June 24, 2019, 06:54:12 PM »
Made our first trip to Hood River this weekend--holy smokes(!). It won't be our last. This is paradise. My wife was researching vacation homes and retirement locations before we'd left. It was my first proper downwinder.

I grew up surfing and racing outrigger canoes 25 years ago, but I've only been on a SUP for a year. For you lurkers like me, downwinding and flat-water SUP are two different beasts. Flat water is like road bike racing: economy of motion, timely application of power, maybe some drafting, etc. Technique, fitness, aerodynamics. Downwinding seems more like surfing or XC bike racing. Reading the water, creating the flow by moving on the board, responding to the many variables that nature presents. It had been decades since I've dropped in on anything resembling a wave and...I'm hooked!

Wind this weekend was around 25mph. I did a Viento run both Saturday and Sunday. Got dunked 25x the first day...mostly learning how to move around on the board. The key (on my SIC RS, at least) was learning to scoot way back as soon I caught a wave, and jump forward as soon as it petered out. Day two I was down to 8 dunks for the same run, and had several magical runs of connecting 2 or 3 bumps together. Continuous improvement.

Many thanks to PonoBill and the other locals who have written about the Gorge. I wouldn't have known about it without you.
QB Trifecta 86 (vector net) / Kenalu Mana 82
SIC RS 14 x 23 / SIC Bullet V1

Luc Benac

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Re: Downwinding at the Gorge
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2019, 07:25:50 PM »
You can simply say it - down winding is FUN!!!!!
Naish Maliko 14' x 26" 273L
Sunova Allround 14'x27" 319L
Naish Nalu 11'4" x 30" 180L
 *Salish 460 & 500, Andaman 500, Viento 520

Rider

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Re: Downwinding at the Gorge
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2019, 07:46:19 PM »
We did a few circuits this afternoon on our 126 Bullets at the hatch. Fun and good work out. Cheers....

Area 10

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Re: Downwinding at the Gorge
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2019, 09:59:20 PM »
The RS is a tricky board to downwind, in anything bigger than ripples. It can be quite frustrating in some conditions. Id suggest getting yourself a Bullet, and making downwinding even more enjoyable. DW is what SUP was made for, IMO. Its where all the skills from virtually all the SUP sub-genres come together - and then some.

puget sound

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Re: Downwinding at the Gorge
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2019, 05:49:52 AM »
How would the Bullet be for paddling upwind or crosswind? Is it a DW-only board?

As much as I'm dreaming of the Gorge, a few trips per year is more realistic. It would be nice to have a board that could do those DW runs plus some local days (without shuttle).
QB Trifecta 86 (vector net) / Kenalu Mana 82
SIC RS 14 x 23 / SIC Bullet V1

PonoBill

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Re: Downwinding at the Gorge
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2019, 05:58:21 AM »
Bullets are great for paddling in any wind conditions. They are NOT a flatwater race board.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

burchas

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Re: Downwinding at the Gorge
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2019, 07:09:52 AM »
How would the Bullet be for paddling upwind or crosswind? Is it a DW-only board?

I believe the Jimmy Lewis Rail will have better upwind/crosswind performance and will be just
as enjoyable as the Bullet Downwind.

With the board being dirt cheap due to their anniversary sale, it's not a huge financial commitment
https://jimmylewis.com/shop/rail/
in progress...

Luc Benac

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Re: Downwinding at the Gorge
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2019, 07:18:07 AM »
How would the Bullet be for paddling upwind or crosswind? Is it a DW-only board?

As much as I'm dreaming of the Gorge, a few trips per year is more realistic. It would be nice to have a board that could do those DW runs plus some local days (without shuttle).

Naish Maliko could be your ticket. From what I have gathered it is way more down-wind friendly than the RS, but I can attest that it can be paddled as an all-round board. Very flat long distance not been is forte.
Naish Maliko 14' x 26" 273L
Sunova Allround 14'x27" 319L
Naish Nalu 11'4" x 30" 180L
 *Salish 460 & 500, Andaman 500, Viento 520

Luc Benac

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Re: Downwinding at the Gorge
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2019, 07:23:23 AM »
it depends if you want to replace one of your RS with another all-round board easier to downwind or if you simply want to add a more dedicated down-wind board and keep your 26" for touring and your 23" for flat water which sounds like the nicer option :-)
Naish Maliko 14' x 26" 273L
Sunova Allround 14'x27" 319L
Naish Nalu 11'4" x 30" 180L
 *Salish 460 & 500, Andaman 500, Viento 520

Dusk Patrol

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Re: Downwinding at the Gorge
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2019, 08:26:09 AM »
How would the Bullet be for paddling upwind or crosswind? Is it a DW-only board?
[...] It would be nice to have a board that could do those DW runs plus some local days (without shuttle).

You're welcome to take my Bullet for a spin on Lake Union. 

I bought its predecessor used. I chose it because it was basically impervious to the busyness of the cross chop, wind chop, boat wakes, etc. on Lake Union. When it came time to replace it, I went down to Big Winds, and for the first time took one out on the river... and was amazed how it caught bumps.   
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 09:20:18 AM by Dusk Patrol »
Bullet V2; RS 14x26; JL Destroyer 9'8; BluePlanet 9'4

burchas

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Re: Downwinding at the Gorge
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2019, 10:11:44 AM »
it depends if you want to replace one of your RS with another all-round board easier to downwind or if you simply want to add a more dedicated down-wind board and keep your 26" for touring and your 23" for flat water which sounds like the nicer option :-)

I like that notion. If you'll go with the Naish Maliko, you'll end up with a board that really does it all.
It is by far my favorite board for the Gorge, but very capable in most conditions. Really good solution for
a one board quiver.
in progress...

PonoBill

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Re: Downwinding at the Gorge
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2019, 11:03:39 AM »
it depends if you want to replace one of your RS with another all-round board easier to downwind or if you simply want to add a more dedicated down-wind board and keep your 26" for touring and your 23" for flat water which sounds like the nicer option :-)

I like that notion. If you'll go with the Naish Maliko, you'll end up with a board that really does it all.
It is by far my favorite board for the Gorge, but very capable in most conditions. Really good solution for
a one board quiver.

I was as impressed with your performance on the Maliko as you were, so I tried it. Meh. For me it was just OK. I think it strongly benefits lighter riders--you were wicked fast on it. For Clydesdales it's just another board.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

pdxmike

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Re: Downwinding at the Gorge
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2019, 11:27:06 AM »
The Mehliko?

eastbound

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Re: Downwinding at the Gorge
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2019, 11:39:05 AM »
pdx haha!

cant beat the px on the JL!

in case $$ matter
Portal Barra 8'4"
Sunova Creek 8'7"
Starboard Pro Blue Carbon  8'10"
KeNalu Mana 82, xTuf, ergoT

PonoBill

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Re: Downwinding at the Gorge
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2019, 01:53:48 PM »
The Mehliko?

You made me check my spelling. Funny.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

 


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