Author Topic: Winging the gorge  (Read 1062 times)

Phils

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Winging the gorge
« on: July 02, 2020, 05:39:36 PM »
First time in fresh water, boy what a difference. My board sank a lot more than I am used to. Also the current  and gusts takes getting used to.  Bit rusty but fun session with naish 4.6.  Not as many wingers here as I had expected.

PonoBill

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Re: Winging the gorge
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2020, 08:39:24 PM »
More than there were a few months ago, when all I ever saw besides me was Admin and Chan. I'd guess that there are probably 50 regular wingers in the immediate area of Hood river now, but at any one time you'll only see a few. I did two sessions today at the event center--early morning and late afternoon. This morning kind of sucked and there were four or five out. This evening was better though not ideal, and there were five or six.

The thing about the Gorge is that it's big. About a hundred miles of wind and water--two hundred if you count both sides. There could be a thousand kites out on any one day and you only see 50.
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.

Thatspec

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Re: Winging the gorge
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2020, 08:44:02 PM »
Phils, where did you launch / sail today? I took today off but walked the waterfront between the event site and city park around two. Conditions seemed to looking almost... reasonable :) at least compared to the last week.

Phils

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Re: Winging the gorge
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2020, 03:40:24 AM »
Phils, where did you launch / sail today? I took today off but walked the waterfront between the event site and city park around two. Conditions seemed to looking almost... reasonable :) at least compared to the last week.

I launched just east of the swim zone, down a ramp with a ton of windsurfers.   Was on the water from 3-4:40.  Did OK with my 4.6 but was very overpowered towards the middle of the river.   A big day here must be incredible.  I need to buy a small wing.  I am 70 kg and mostly a competent beginner.   

I did take a moment while in the river to look around and let it settle in that I am actually riding at the Gorge....A legendary place in my mind.  My wife and I are here for 2 months.  She is just learning. 

Saw an Fone One in the morning near ES.  Probably Bill.


Phil
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 03:47:49 AM by Phils »

Admin

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Re: Winging the gorge
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2020, 04:06:34 AM »
I was down at the sand beach just to the East of the Luhr Jenson ramp (that would be where you launched Phils) at 5:00 to 6:30 last night and there were about 10 wingers out getting an after work session.  My grandson and I were digging a meter wide soaking tub which turned out great (much better for his soak than for my back).  There were a dozen wings at Swell/hatchery in the afternoon.  It looked like really good 4.2 there.  I snuck in a spotty 5.0 session at Event site in the AM with Chan and Bill.  Imperfect conditions but still super fun.  Should be a really good week for wind.  The forecast is for moderate steady winds every day. 

PonoBill

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Re: Winging the gorge
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2020, 09:28:32 AM »
Phils, that launch is generally known as Luhr Jensen after the fishing lure company that used to own the building and parking lot next to it. That was our goto launch last year. While people were staying away for COVID we gravitated to the Event Center since that was the first site that opened. The Hook opened even earlier for residents, but it suck as a launch site--too much wind shading from Wells Island, and lots of river grass later in the year. I'll probably switch back to Luhr Jensen now that the EC is getting packed.

This weekend the Port is doing weird things with parking. The event center will be open to annual pass holders only--which probably means they'll sell a ton of annual passes. An annual pass for a hundred bucks compares nicely to one week of parking in Portland, or perhaps a day in San Francisco. The street parking will be free over the weekend, and bizarrely, so will Luhr Jensen, which is usually paid parking and the EC annual pass covers LJ as well. That should confuse the hell out of everyone and will pack LJ to the rafters.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 09:32:51 AM by PonoBill »
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.

Thatspec

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Re: Winging the gorge
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2020, 07:45:43 PM »


I did take a moment while in the river to look around and let it settle in that I am actually riding at the Gorge....A legendary place in my mind.  My wife and I are here for 2 months.  She is just learning. 

Saw an Fone One in the morning near ES.  Probably Bill.


Phil

I do quite a bit of sitting on my board in the middle of the river ;D It's one of the nicest things about the sport, no pesky kite tugging at you and trying to relaunch itself, that just doesn't feel like a break. Plus here you're going upwind while you rest.

Was that you today on the Naish S25, couldn't tell if it was 4.6 or 3.6?

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Re: Winging the gorge
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2020, 03:46:53 AM »
Phils, that launch is generally known as Luhr Jensen after the fishing lure company that used to own the building and parking lot next to it. That was our goto launch last year. While people were staying away for COVID we gravitated to the Event Center since that was the first site that opened. The Hook opened even earlier for residents, but it suck as a launch site--too much wind shading from Wells Island, and lots of river grass later in the year. I'll probably switch back to Luhr Jensen now that the EC is getting packed.

This weekend the Port is doing weird things with parking. The event center will be open to annual pass holders only--which probably means they'll sell a ton of annual passes. An annual pass for a hundred bucks compares nicely to one week of parking in Portland, or perhaps a day in San Francisco. The street parking will be free over the weekend, and bizarrely, so will Luhr Jensen, which is usually paid parking and the EC annual pass covers LJ as well. That should confuse the hell out of everyone and will pack LJ to the rafters.

The waterfront was empty from 9:00 to 11:30 and amazing conditions.  I went back for a second session (bad idea - I was beyond spent) at 5:00 and it was mobbed.  Let's go mid morning today and do some laps to Swell and back.

Phils

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Re: Winging the gorge
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2020, 04:09:38 AM »


I did take a moment while in the river to look around and let it settle in that I am actually riding at the Gorge....A legendary place in my mind.  My wife and I are here for 2 months.  She is just learning. 

Saw an Fone One in the morning near ES.  Probably Bill.


Phil

I do quite a bit of sitting on my board in the middle of the river ;D It's one of the nicest things about the sport, no pesky kite tugging at you and trying to relaunch itself, that just doesn't feel like a break. Plus here you're going upwind while you rest.

Was that you today on the Naish S25, couldn't tell if it was 4.6 or 3.6?

Yes, I launched from Jensen midafternoon yesterday (July 3) using a Naish 3.6.  Pretty challenging at my experience level.  The wing was too small during the lulls and too big during the gusts which must have been up to 30.

The current and how the water moves here takes some getting used to.  I didn't realize I could float upwind.

Maybe we can get some input from the locals for my wife.  She is learning and has yet to be able to stand.  Also, zero experience in winds over 20.  I was thinking of doing a downwinder with her today (July 4) in the morning from the Hook as soon as there is enough wind.  Big winds and deep water everywhere is not beginner friendly for someone who cannot go upwind.  I may seek an instructor with a jet ski next.

Admin

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Re: Winging the gorge
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2020, 04:31:52 AM »
Hi Phils,

The Hook can be very frustrating depending on the wind direction because the flat water is all blocked by Wells island so the wind is very patchy and swirly.  As soon as you are outside of the island into cleaner wind you are in the current which will definitely be a big challenge for her.  The current is 310 CFS right now and that is quite fast.  There are no easy outs on the Oregon side downriver of the Hook.  It does get better as you go downwind but the first part will not likely be a feelgood experience.  The sandbar upriver of the Event Site completely blocks the current and you have clean wind because the island is 1 mile upriver.  That is the best spot in the Gorge to learn.  If she starts at the west side and drifts to the sandbar it is a grassy walk back upwind.  Everyone does that when they are learning and this is the area where people go to learn so no one will even bat an eye at a walk back upwind (or five :) ).  Outside of the 3/4 mile long sandbar you have the channel, current and swell so there is something for everyone.  You have access to the Hatchery, Cheap, and Swell City water from there as well and you can downwind back home.  Even if you park outside the park (free this weekend) and walk in it is very convenient.  When it is uncrowded you can usually drive through, drop gear, and then park outside.  PM if you  would like to meet up. 
« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 04:44:17 AM by Admin »

Phils

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Re: Winging the gorge
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2020, 05:15:36 AM »
Hi Phils,

The Hook can be very frustrating depending on the wind direction because the flat water is all blocked by Wells island so the wind is very patchy and swirly.  As soon as you are outside of the island into cleaner wind you are in the current which will definitely be a big challenge for her.  The current is 310 CFS right now and that is quite fast.  There are no easy outs on the Oregon side downriver of the Hook.  It does get better as you go downwind but the first part will not likely be a feelgood experience.  The sandbar upriver of the Event Site completely blocks the current and you have clean wind because the island is 1 mile upriver.  That is the best spot in the Gorge to learn.  If she starts at the west side and drifts to the sandbar it is a grassy walk back upwind.  Everyone does that when they are learning and this is the area where people go to learn so no one will even bat an eye at a walk back upwind (or five :) ).  Outside of the 3/4 mile long sandbar you have the channel, current and swell so there is something for everyone.  You have access to the Hatchery, Cheap, and Swell City water from there as well and you can downwind back home.  Even if you park outside the park (free this weekend) and walk in it is very convenient.  When it is uncrowded you can usually drive through, drop gear, and then park outside.  PM if you  would like to meet up.

PM sent, thanks

Thatspec

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Re: Winging the gorge
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2020, 07:46:16 AM »
  I may seek an instructor with a jet ski next.



If that's a possibility for you, they can take you to the windward side of Wells island. Acres of chest deep water and much cleaner wind up there being roughly straight across from the hatchery. Between Luhr Jensen and upwind to the island is probably the worst wind quality on the planet. It's also the least crowded spot so a good place to practice the weak side once you learn where the good gusts come through (150 yards from shore and almost out to the channel, practice your pumping in between ::) ) It's all we have without driving twice as far.

Admin has all the beta, I'm probably out for a day or two saving my back for a potential big day on Monday :)

Phils

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Re: Winging the gorge
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2020, 03:34:28 PM »
We had a great morning.  Mel did a DW from Jensen to the sandbar and did some surface riding which is a break through for her.  Met Admin and Chan.

We will try to find a jet ski assisted lesson for her next week to increase her water time



PonoBill

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Re: Winging the gorge
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2020, 04:55:58 PM »
It was a great morning, nice wind. I was out from 11 to 1pm, and the only reason I stopped was I wasn't able to pump onto the foil without a lot of wind--a sure sign that I'm done for.
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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Re: Winging the gorge
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2020, 12:49:00 AM »
Mel did a DW from Jensen to the sandbar and did some surface riding which is a break through for her.

That is a big deal.  Firsts are always a big deal, but that was no cushy condition to learn in.  20 to 30 is tough conditions for learning the kneestart (especially when there are holes).  I consider these last  few days "normal" Gorge wind but that is still very windy.  Last week was packed with "big" days but we also get a lot of really beautiful 5 and 6 meter days which are sweet because they usually have very little range (variances of a few MPH).  She is putting together these skills now but when she gets some of those cruiser days, watch out.  It will feel super easy in comparison and she will catch fire.  Really nice to meet you!


 


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