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any wind in the gorge this summer?

 
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ftissot



Joined: 11 May 2001
Posts: 0

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:12 pm    Post subject: any wind in the gorge this summer? Reply with quote

Looks like it's been hot and a bit inconsistent so far this year but hard to tell when you don't live there. about to treck 40 hours or so for yet for another Gorge trip and wondering if i should take the big stuff with me this year (i.e. 5.3 and 78L board).

any info would be immensely appreciated

~ft
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14190

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, hot and inconsistent; that's the Gorge almost any year, That's why I would never go to the Gorge without the biggest gear I own. Big stuff, whether it's a 5.3 or a 7.5, will at the very least double your shred time in any lengthy trip; it could be all you use in any short trip.

I don't get this Just Say No to 5.0 mindset, even for locals, let alone anyone who has to drive a couple of hours to get here. What's so bad about big air and aerial off-the-lips and cutbacks WAY up on one edge with the fin out of the water (and fronts and backs and other tricks for those who enjoy those) in swell from thigh-to-chest-high just because one's engine is a 5.7? My 5.x sails alone probably see as much time on the Columbia as my 4.x sails, and I don't do flat water or straight lines.

My 5.x sails, especially the 5.7, often get me the river almost to myself. My last three days of sailing were on big gear (5.7 on 93 liters @190 pounds), and a) I had a blast slashing swell, b) the vast majority of the WSers there sat onshore or slogged most of the time because they refused to rig big enough, and c) I sometimes planed hard continuously for the better part of an hour without ever getting overpowered while others gave up and slogged ashore.

That said, I've asked several locals if they agreed with me that this has been a sub-average wind year. All but one agreed. But that doesn't mean it won't make up for lost time starting next week. So far we've had very few of the classic, all-day, one-or-two-sails steady blasts many summers offer, after a couple of them way back in May. We've also had, I think, more gusty crap than usual, but again one solution to that is bigger gear. When it's gusting between 4.x-6.x, the guy on the 5.x and the floaty board is going to have two modes, fun and funner, while the masses on their 4.xs are going to slog half the time and sit on shore a lot, as we see every day here.

\m/
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ftissot



Joined: 11 May 2001
Posts: 0

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the answer isobars.

just to clarify, i'm by no means a "say no to 5.0" kinda person (well, maybe just a little). but, a 5.3 for me is huge (i'm maybe 130 lbs all wet with a 4/3 wetsuit). well ok, maybe not huge, but pretty big. it's actually the biggest sail in my quiver and i can sail it pretty much any day at my local spot. So the attraction to sail a 5.3 in the gorge is somewhat diminished. also, my experience with the Gorge (and again I don't live there so i realize it's worth whatever it's worth) is that if i'm on a 5.0 or bigger the river is pretty flat. it's still scenic sailing and all and it can be enjoyable, but i might choose to go mountain biking or hiking or do some of the awesome other outdoors activities that the Gorge offers.

the reason I was asking the question is that my van does not have infinite space so i usually have to choose between "big" gear and other toys.

in any case, thanks again for your detailed answer and apologies if the way i phrased my question was in any way offensive or annoying.

~ft
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14190

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ftissot wrote:
if i'm on a 5.0 or bigger the river is pretty flat. . . .
apologies if the way i phrased my question was in any way offensive or annoying.


Let me guess that if you're on a 5.0, I may be on a 6 or even a 7. If the wind is steady and from the right direction at the right spot, the Gorge can produce good 2-3-ft swell in those conditions. But the key word in that sentence is the "if", so if you're prioritizing space, yes, the 5.3 is the place to start.

No offense; I'm a snob, too, but it's a terrain thing, not a wind speed or sail size thing . . . it's a swell thing. When I can find swell n a 5.7 or a 6.8, I'll take it. But I've also sat out 4.2 days when it was all chop and no swell. I hear you on the flat water! Around here there's no shame in being a 5.0 snob (as long as it's based on an educated choice rather than the incorrect presumption that one can't find swell past 5.0).

\m/
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