myiW Current Conditions and Forecasts Community Forums Windsurfing Videos Buy and Sell Services
 
Hi guest · myAccount · Log in
 SearchSearch   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   RegisterRegister 
Where can a beginner get to intermediate in the Gorge?
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    iWindsurf Community Forum Index -> Northwest USA & Canada
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
RocRobster



Joined: 22 May 2002
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject: Where can a beginner get to intermediate in the Gorge? Reply with quote

Would really like to see a list somewhere of what order at what locations a beginner can sail through intermediate stage. (Kid friendly - son is working on waterstarting)

Of course everyone knows the Hook is where to start, but that quickly becomes a place impossible to gain more skill. As soon as they have the basics they need more room to go upwind so they can practice their jibes, getting into the straps, harness and water starting.

The event site is too crowded. Looking for an alternative that has similar ability to walk back to the starting point if you screw up.

Took him to Cascade Locks to the original spot that allows walking back upwind, but the CGRA mini sailboats have taken over that area and there isn't much room (dodging 50+ of them going to Stevenson and back).

We have driven all the way to Maryhill and it seems there is no place for him to advance with
1. good exits in case of trouble.
2. winds betweeen 17 and 22 that aren't gusting 10-30 in realilty.
3. not feeling like it is an slalom obstacle course instead of training ground.

The best place seemed like Celilo, but not too sure of any issues there.

So far it is seeming like we are going to have to go out of state to find a place until he is advanced enough to go to the intermediate sites... or am I missing someplace??

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


Last edited by RocRobster on Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:12 am; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mchaco1



Joined: 08 Sep 2010
Posts: 643

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Id still say the event site, I learned there last/this summer with no issues with kites, its not really that bad. They generally can see a beginner from a mile away and stay well clear. I think the safety from the sandbar being there is well worth it. They usually dont come into the area close to shore much.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
RocRobster



Joined: 22 May 2002
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was there yesterday and watched a kiter drop his kite right on the head of a downed sailboarder. Just want my kid to get to a higher level without losing fingers. The event site is a kite park this year. All the windsurfers are only using it for launch/return and going well upwind. He doesn't have the skills to do that yet. So that venue is out for him.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wsmike



Joined: 07 Jun 2003
Posts: 412

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I heard today that the event site is now closed to kite launch and landings. They can still rig up but have to go to the spit to launch and land.

I saw one sketchy landing there yesterday when a kiter dropped his kite right on the grassy area without anyone to catch ( intentionally or unintentionally) and one guy on the beach was brave enough to go jump on it so it didn't become a hazard .

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.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
akjindal



Joined: 27 Sep 2001
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The area outside the hook - between the hook and Wells Island. Similar wind to the hook but not as restricted.

Bob's Beach at Stevenson is a decent spot as long as you stay in the launch area. I also recall that Home Valley - east of Stevenson seemed like a safe area close to shore but I haven't been there in many years.

The area close to shore at Doug's Beach is good and usually shallow for a long way out if the river isn't too high. There is also less wind close in. I've taken beginner friends there to practice water starting.

In the Gorge, I'd focus on water starting first. The current will generally push you upwind while you're in the water trying to get your gear into water start position so sailing downwind - sometimes very agressively downwind - back to the beach where you launched from is a good skill to have.

If you can get your gear into water start position in deep water, water start pretty reliably and sail up and down wind (whether you use a harness or not) you'll be good to sail at the majority of sites on moderately windy days.

Harness and footstraps will allow you sail faster and conserve your strength on windier days and have more fun planing. You can have a great time for years without ever jibing (that's what I did!)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
andymc4610



Joined: 19 May 2000
Posts: 675

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug's on light days (5.0) rowena, bingen, viento, floras lake

http://www.floraslake.com/flw2.html

the only real negatives to Celilo are barges round the blind corner from the east and it can be the windiest place on the river late afternoon.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wsmike



Joined: 07 Jun 2003
Posts: 412

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also worth mentioning is the marina, it benefits from a fairly shallow area near the sandbar sometimes (when water levels are right), and has a decent grassy rigging area right next to parking and the beach. Kiters generally stay upwind where the ramps and rails are. The water east of the spit is really flat too since there's virtually no fetch. A few of my ws buddies got there start there.

If you're really really beginning, there's a bouyed area east of the bridge where people ghost along to learn the basics of sail handling on giant boards and tiny sails.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ChrisHolz



Joined: 14 Feb 2007
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I taught my nephew at Doug's on lighter wind days. Shallow enough to stand pretty far out on both sides. Can start by walking up wind.

Not the place to teach when blowing 30...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 1199
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:16 pm    Post subject: Re: When can a beginner get to intermediate in the Gorge? Reply with quote

The good choices have been mentioned except The Dalles River Front
park, which is usually shallow and has an island close to shore for warm
fuzzies, plus it is out of the current unless you go past the island. The
Marina, Stevenson, The inside at Doug's, and there's an enclosed cove
at 3 Mile (though you can't park there anymore, you can still launch
off the boat ramp), that's great for 1st time high winders. The new HR
Waterfront park has a nice stepped launch, and great grassy rigging, and
the water state there is almost always calmer than the Event
Site (which I contend is probably the most dangerous place in the Gorge
to sail, because the grassy rigging area is double black diamond).
Bingen has pretty light conditions and small swells also, for a less fearful
water state. Personally, I like the inside at Doug's when the river is down,
but your learner needs to be careful not to let the fire catch hold, and
sail out into the channel.

-Craig


RocRobster wrote:
Would really like to see a list somewhere of what order at what locations a beginner can sail through intermediate stage.

Of course everyone knows the Hook is where to start, but that quickly becomes a place impossible to gain more skill. As soon as they have the basics they need more room to go upwind so they can practice their jibes, getting into the straps, harness and water starting.

The event site is out. Just too crowded with the kiters using it (and dangerous).

Took him to Cascade Locks to the original spot that allows walking back upwind, but the CGRA mini sailboats have taken over that area and there isn't much room (dodging 50+ of them going to Stevenson and back).

We have driven all the way to Maryhill and it seems there is no place for him to advance with
1. good exits in case of trouble.
2. winds betweeen 17 and 22 that aren't 10-30 in realilty.
3. not feeling like it is an obstacle course.

The best place seemed like Celilo, but not too sure of any issues there.

So far it is seeming like we are going to have to go out of state to find a place until he is advanced enough to go to the intermediate sites... or am I missing someplace??
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
RocRobster



Joined: 22 May 2002
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all,
I completely forgot about Floras Lake, I think that would be great. We could head down on a Wednesday afternoon and stay until Saturday morning... Also, if the kiters are moving to the sandbar now, that is an excellent place to learn to waterstart without worry of heading of into the channel.
I haven't been to Doug's because the map I had from BW said it was like mile marker 77 or something and that turned out to be a rest area on a high cliff. We'll have to check that out. The water has dropped at HR, has it dropped above at Dougs now also? ( to reveal the "good" area there?).
I only have 4 more vacation days I am using as 3 day weekends left and I for sure need to make them count!
Thanks for all the suggestions.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    iWindsurf Community Forum Index -> Northwest USA & Canada All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 1 of 5

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum

myiW | Weather | Community | Membership | Support | Log in
like us on facebook
© Copyright 1999-2007 WeatherFlow, Inc Contact Us Ad Marketplace

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group