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Where can a beginner get to intermediate in the Gorge?
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tweeky



Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wsmike wrote:

The closure for kites is probably due to the numerous complaints such as that, which probably happens sooner or later every year. But that is pure speculation.


Speculation it sure is, and dead wrong. The Event Site kiting launch & land area is normally closed April 30th, but due to the high water levels continuing so late into the season, the Port of Hood River extended the launch and land period until such time as there was enough sandbar for kiters to utilize it instead of the Event Site grass. Such is the case now, and the Event Site has returned to "pump & dry only". There are definitely plenty of beginner kiters out there, and the Event Site/Sandbar area usually has the most due to the sandbar acting as a "safety net" for those still learning to go upwind. However, there are plenty of beginner windsurfers out there, often at the Event Site for the exact same reason, and they can be dangerous too. I watched last year as a girl learning to windsurf repeatedly when out along the sandbar, got powered up, and then at speed would simply let go of her rig and jump into the water, allowing her sail just to slam down. Eventually, she did drop on someone, who was lucky not to be seriously hurt. Point is, there are "sketchy" situations on both sides. Oh, but if you're going to say "yeah man, but a sketchy kite is way worse than a sketchy windsurfer!", don't worry, I totally agree.

Back to the OP... its a tough nut for sure... Three Mile is pretty good.. nice big lagoon, but if you pulled out to do a walk of shame, I'd wary of rattlesnakes in that area. Another option is Jones Beach. Long way to go, not really in the Gorge, but tons of room, and he can just go downwind and come back in on the beach.
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ldhr



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mosier is good for intermediates.
Starting Saturday, July 21, kiters cannot launch from the Event Site grass - they must use the sandbar.
Celilo is also good.
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wsmike



Joined: 07 Jun 2003
Posts: 410

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tweeky, I'm a kiter too but I don't like to say that too loudly on this forum because there's still a fair bit of us and them mentality going around. Anyway, I will say that being a new kiteboarder I've seen what looks to me like a lot of other new kiteboarders out there at the Event Site which looks a lot like accidents waiting to happen or "safety second." Maybe it's the young immortal crowd but with great power comes great responsibility, there are a lot of kiters out there these days doing a lot of risky s**t. I don't blame the port at all for keeping the kiters at bay and away from the children and families, safe distance is safe for everyone so we can all keep doing what we love to do.
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tweeky



Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wsmike wrote:
tweeky, I'm a kiter too but I don't like to say that too loudly on this forum because there's still a fair bit of us and them mentality going around. Anyway, I will say that being a new kiteboarder I've seen what looks to me like a lot of other new kiteboarders out there at the Event Site which looks a lot like accidents waiting to happen or "safety second." Maybe it's the young immortal crowd but with great power comes great responsibility, there are a lot of kiters out there these days doing a lot of risky s**t. I don't blame the port at all for keeping the kiters at bay and away from the children and families, safe distance is safe for everyone so we can all keep doing what we love to do.


Yeah, don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that being concerned about newbie kiters at the Event Site isn't legitimate. I simply wanted to curb yet another rumor, in this case, the speculation that the Event Site had been "shut down" to kiters because of "all the complaints". It seems like lately the windsurfing vs kiting war has heated up, and this was potentially another rumor... I could just imagine windsurfers at the Event Site reading this thread and then saying "yeah, the Port kicked the kiters off the grass, too dangerous..." when the reality is that things have just gone back to the normal summer/busy time rules, and in fact, overall, the Port has been quite pleased with how its gone with the kiters launching off the grass. I both windsurf and kite, and I think all this anti-kiter attitude lately is nonsense. Back in the day when the Event Site was very busy with windsurfers, we'd see an unattached sail go flying down the grass at least several times a year. Its why the eventually installed the cables, which often still don't get used. But anyways, my only intent was to get the facts straight on the change to the Event Site launch and land policy.
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LAWLER



Joined: 27 Apr 2001
Posts: 63
Location: somewhere... buuugs in space!

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:57 am    Post subject: learning places Reply with quote

The east end of Rowena, "The cove".
Depending on river level At Viento as long as you stay to the west of the navigation pole the sand Bar/shelf only grows farther out into the river making it a good place for beginners. on some days you can walk to the island to the west and never get over your head.
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ed1stguard



Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest the outside of the Hook, between the Hook and Wells Island. That's where I learned to Jibe. The wind blows ver strong through that gully, but the water is fairly shallow. A little tricky getting in though.
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The easiest walkback (calling it a walk of shame discourages trying) I've seen in the Gorge is from Doug's to Rowena's east cove, which Lawler mentioned. You launch at R, and if you end up downwind, even clear to Doug's, you walk back on sand in the water. Most other walkbacks, including the protected lagoon at 3-Mile, are rocky.

Jibing, straps, harness, swim suit, lunch, a sail ... nothing is as vital as a rock-solid waterstart in any conditions when venturing into the barge lanes.

Mike \OO/
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SWinder



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the water at Doug's has dropped. You can stand on both sides. It is not ankle-deep yet on OR side, so I guess it can drop even more.

Sounds like you did not quite make it all the way to Doug's. Go past the "rest area on a high cliff", through the town of Lyle, then through a tunnel. If it is a windy day (hopefully it is, otherwise don't waste gas), you will see a bunch of windsurfers on OR side. That's Rowena. Keep going another minute or so. Doug's will be on your right. There is a permanent outhouse there now (used to have stinky portable johns), which is a big plus, especially if you come with a non-sailing family member who thinks the best place to sail is the one with the best toilets.
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jota



Joined: 28 Feb 2001
Posts: 172

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did RocRobster win the Isobars Challenge? Two pages discussing gorge launch sites and zero posts by Isobars!
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RocRobster



Joined: 22 May 2002
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks All,

Update - From the posts here it appears I have an preferred order...

1. Best if we can take a 3 day "camping trip" to Floras lake as there is no river traffic that could be an issue (and scary swell or current as he is a bit intimidated).
2. Second best - when water level drops, Doug's beach on a light to moderate day. (We tried HR Marina area but only have a 1 long deep tuttle fin on his board and it is too shallow with that fin.
3. Third - Viento on a camping trip. If I don't spring for waterstart lessons, this will probably be where we go for that if we can get a camp spot. 20 years ago I could walk to the west end and other than a few boulders under the water it was a good place to learn to waterstart. Stopped by there again and it appears you'd have to float downriver awhile to get to that side of the peninsula now...
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