Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Another great trip to Hood River...and another surgical strike mission (quick 4 days in the Gorge) with my partner in crime, Rob.   However, this was the first time we didn't hike or go mountain biking at least one day, and for good reason - we had wind every day!  The wind blew at least 25 mph every day.  We were mostly on 4.2 sails and windsurfed every day, plus two Viento to Hood River SUP downwinders.  And the weather was perfect - either 70s or low 80s and sunny every day (while it was in the 90s and humid back home).  Score!!  No video from this year's trip but here are some pics with captions.

the flight into Portland - passing right over the town of Hood River at sunset with Mt Adams and Mt Rainier in the background

Mt St Helens, Mt Rainier, and Mt Adams (Left to right)

Event Site, Hood River

Rob and I visited LP Foils in Bingen, WA for a little research

Peter is a windsurfer and used to work at Seatrend way back.  He showed us around, we talked shop, and he answered all our questions.  They make a foil that fits a regular Tuttle fin box and it turns out I have 2 boards with Tuttle fin boxes.  This allows me to leverage the boards I already have and not have to buy a new board just for foiling.  

Dougs Beach and rigging a 4.2 on our first day

the local Hood River vibe is always good

You see all kinds of great adventure vehicles outfitted in the craziest ways.  This one was an original I hadn't seen before.

Live music at Double Mountain - great blues/rock band Jive Coulis
These two food trucks next to the Pro Motion wetsuit shop didn't disappoint - Gustavos and Noodle Heaven...I could have eaten at either every day

the town of Hood River from the WA shoreline, with Mt Hood in the background

Mt Hood

In the evening, it seemed like every other car in town had a dog waiting for their owner

The Big Winds downwind shuttle

getting dropped off at Viento State Park to launch the 8 mile downwinder in 30mph+ wind

Columbia River Gorge downwinder between Viento and Hood River

Check out that breaking wave behind Rob.   It got big out there and was a ton of fun.  Long runways and long glides.

finishing at the Event Site

I took my GPS & heart rate monitor on the SUP downwinder.  Top speed was just under 10mph.  And the heart rate was thumping.  Between miles 1 and 5, you're really working it in the big swells.  The big swells disappear between miles 5 and 8 (unless you paddle on the WA side through Swell City and The Hatchery) but there are still some bumps to be had.  For those that don't know, you're paddling with the wind but against the river current.  So you need at least 20 mph wind speed to really make it a good downwinder and even then, your average speed isn't as fast as most other downwinders where you're going with the wind without a current.

We were on the downwinder from 11:30am-1pm (and windsurfed in the afternoon)

The next day's downwinder conditions again 11:30am-1pm, and windsurfing in the afternoon.

We had to remove our rental car seat headrests so we could cram the boards in there

Rowena, OR - our first time sailing there..we liked it there.

our stick - 85lt JP Australia Freestyle Wave - great board

this old Naish board was in our house rental backyard

The Hatchery

Dougs Beach windsurfing

ending the trip at the Sandbar again before heading back to Portland for the red eye home


2015 Video