Big Winds SUP Team in the Molokai to Oahu (M2O)

Rob Dies, Gregg Leion and Big Winds GM, Steve Gates, are on Molokai gearing up to compete in the Molokai to Oahu (M2O) race on Sunday as a three person SUP team. The link below will show their progress in realtime on Sunday as they cross the Ka’iwi Channel or the ‘Channel of Bones’ between the islands of Molokai and Oahu – a 32 mile crossing! They have a support boat and take turns paddling. Their race begins 8 AM Hawaiian time (11 AM Pacific Time) and will take about 6 to 7 hours, depending on wind and swell (the windier & bigger the better). They flew over the channel yesterday on their way from Oahu to Molokai and the scale of the crossing is impressive — it isn’t your typical Viento downwinder!

Ka'iwi Channel

Ka’iwi Channel

The team number is #309. This website will track their progress — it takes a few moments to update.

Here’s the event website.

 

Big Winds hosts “Kite with the Pros”

Big Winds is hosting Kite with the Pros this Saturday, July 19th at the Spit on the Hood River sandbar. The action begins at 11:30 AM and will continue until about 2:30 PM. (The forecast looks good, but just in case, Sunday, July 20th is an alternate day if there’s no wind on Saturday.) The event is free.

Jason Watts

Jason Watts. Photo: Gorge-Us Photography.

Expert kiteboarders will be on hand from Cabrinha, Naish, and North to answer questions and demonstrate specific riding styles and techniques. Matt Elsasser and Jason Watts will cover strapless surf and freestyle riding for Cabrinha. The Richman Brothers — Shawn and Jesse — from Naish, will focus on big air and freestyle. Craig Cunningham and Colleen Carroll from North will cover wake style tricks and sliders.

Jesse Richman

Shawn Richman. Photo: Gorge-Us Photography.

This will be a fun and informative event for kiters of any level and it promises to be a dynamic scene for spectators as well. With so many accomplished and progressing riders right here in the Gorge, we decided to bring the pros to them.

Matt Elsasser

Matt Elsasser

Kite with the Pros is a free event hosted by Big Winds and partners from North, Naish and Cabrinha. For more information feel free to call the shop at 541-386-6086.

Colleen Carroll

Colleen Carroll

Hope to see you there!

–TJ

www.bigwinds.com

Big Winds Surftech and Kialoa SUP Demo

surftech4Big Winds is hosting a free demo of Surftech SUP boards and Kialoa paddles, Sunday, July 6th at the Slackwater Beach from 10 to 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come on down and try out these models of SUP boards:Big Winds Surftech and Kialoa Demo

  • Dominator 14′
  • Challenger 12’6″
  • Appleby Race 12’6″
  • Hero 11′
  • Generator 10’6″
  • Generator 11’6″

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Winds Surftech and Kialoa DemoAnd these paddles:

  • Kialoa Insanity
  • Kialoa Hulu

No sign-ups necessary. Just meet us down there at 10 and take them out for a spin! Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Winds

207 Front Street

Hood River, OR 97031

888-509-4210

www.bigwinds.com

Big Winds Ladies Night

Tuesday, July 8, 5:30-7PM


Big Winds Ladies NightThis multi-sport event is designed to build camaraderie among women who are active in (or want to learn) stand up paddle boarding, windsurfing and kiteboarding. Bring your friends or make new friends!


  • Wine and refreshmentsBig Winds Ladies Night
  • Coupon goody bags
  • Door prizes
  • Special pricing on gear in each department!

Big Winds Ladies NightAttendees can hear from experts in their respective sports. There will be opportunities to join social media groups and sign up for email blasts about women-specific events and clinics. Yoga instructor Rayna Morton will share about Big Winds’ new SUP Yoga classes.

Hope to see you there!

Daryl


Big Winds

207 Front Street

Hood River, OR 97031

888-509-4210

 www.bigwinds.comladies-shop3

Big Winds SUP Yoga

sup-yoga2-300
Using the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge as a backdrop we will be practicing gentle vinyasa style yoga designed to support your mind, body and soul wherever your Gorge day may take you. Whether you are new to standup paddle boarding or to yoga, we will start off slow and work our way into an asana class that will fill your heart. For our more advanced paddlers and Yogis, options will be given to further your practice. This class is designed for all skill levels.

 

 

 

 


Class Schedule:Big Winds SUP Yoga

Join us for a 45 minute Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga session followed by a 30 minute group paddle. Classes are offered on the following dates and times:

  • Monday and Wednesday: 5:00PM
  • Friday and Sunday: 10:00AM

All classes will meet at the Big Winds Event Site Beach Center.

Classes begin Friday, July 4th, 2014


BIg Winds SUP YogaClass Fees:

  • Drop-in:
    • $15 (must bring your own board and paddle)
    • $30 includes “yoga friendly” SUP board and paddle rental
  • 5 Time Pass:
    • $65 (must bring your own board and paddle)
    • $125 includes “yoga friendly” SUP board and paddle rental

How to Sign Up:

  • At the Big Winds Event Site Beach Center
  • Call Big Winds Rentals and Lessons Department at 541-386-6086

Meet Our Big Winds SUP Yoga Instructor:

Big Winds SUP Yoga

Rayna Morton, RYT 200, moved to the Gorge five years ago from California in search of the perfect place to be an outdoor parent and she hit the jackpot when she found Hood River. Through the SUP ladies nights put on by Daryl at Big Winds, she fell in love with Stand Up Paddleboarding. On most decent days you will find her down at the basin doing yoga on her board and heading out into the Columbia. As a Jaya Yoga trained and registered Yoga instructor who specializes in outdoor yoga, she is passionate about sharing an authentic yoga practice that is safe, sustainable, therapeutic and that resonates from the heart. Her classes are designed to support your mind, body and soul, wherever your Gorge Life takes you.


Questions?

SUP Downwind Safety Guidelines

SUP Downwinding Safety Guidelines

Steve Gates

(with help from my friends)

Big Winds

2014

Here in the Gorge, and elsewhere, SUP downwinding is on fire. Everyone wants to go. On a warm, sunny day in a 15-20 mph breeze, it’s a walk in the park for most skilled paddlers. On a 25-35 mph cranker with a ton of current, huge swells and cold water, it’s a whole different ball game. We’ve had both types of experiences and everything in between in the Gorge, on Maui, and the Oregon coast and have had a pile of truly memorable runs. However, we have also had scary things happen, hence this list of guidelines for downwinding in the Gorge (that you can apply anywhere) to help us all get home safely.

Big Winds Downwinder

Big Winds Downwinder

Assess the conditions. If it’s not safe don’t go. It may be safe for some and not for others, or you. Remember that the conditions change fast, and vary as you travel along — particularly on the river. Your friends might look out for you, but it’s a big place. You have to know that you’ll be able to handle everything you encounter, by yourself.

Comply with the law. When in the Gorge (or elsewhere in Oregon), Oregon law states must have a PFD, a whistle and an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) permit. You may not agree with this, but the Marine Sheriff won’t care. The fines are stiff. Attach your whistle on the strap of your hydration pack so you can access it quickly and easily in case of an emergency. In other areas, be sure to know local laws.

downwinder8853p

Hydrate. The Viento Run can take an experienced, strong paddler almost two hours when the current is ripping. You most assuredly will become dehydrated without water. Wear a hydration pack. You won’t regret it. For any outing over an hour, I suggest hydration.tours-viento-2

Wear appropriate rubber. Assume you will break down, or someone else will and you’ll be in the water for some time. You can become hypothermic, even in relatively mild temperatures, so wear a wetsuit and accessories if needed.

Wear a BRIGHT rash guard or jersey! It’s hard to see you out there!

Mitchell Point

Heading to Mitchell Point on the way to Hood River.

Use leashes. When the current is strong and the wind is pushing your board upriver your board zooms away from you. You almost certainly can’t catch it by swimming after it. Make sure you have a STRONG leash! Make sure your leash tether is super strong and knotted so it will NOT come undone. Consider adding a second tether tied loosely, so if the first fails the second keeps you attached. If you fall in and your leash gets tangled, Do NOT take your leash off! Bad things will happen. This is the voice of experience talking.

east-dw-12

Finishing up the Blalock run.

Booties. Everyone hates booties till something weird happens and you are halfway between Viento and Hood River and you have to climb up the rip rap, through the blackberries, hauling your fourteen footer onto I-84. Booties look pretty good then.

PFDs. Know how to use your PFD, and if it’s inflatable, try it out. You don’t want to learn about problems in the middle Swell City.downwind-clinics-300

Helmets. Everyone hates helmets, too. However, when it’s blowing 25+ knots, a fourteen foot SUP becomes a lethal weapon in the air. I just barely missed being getting clobbered by one while in the middle of Malaaea Bay on a 30-40+ day. Getting knocked out by a flying board will most certainly ruin your day. On really windy days, a brain bucket is recommended.

Cell phone. Someone in the group should have a waterproof cell phone. An emergency is just that.

Look out for each other! This trumps all else. If you blast off and are a few hundred yards away, you may not see your paddling partner in distress, or be able to get there quickly to render aid. Establish a plan in advance on who’s looking out for whom; determine who’s paddling sweep.

steve-dw

The author riding the river swell.

Be aware of changing conditions. Is the wind increasing or dying? Is the current ripping or mellow? Ask someone in the know if you don’t. Allow plenty of time to complete the run before darkness sets in.

Have a bailout plan. Make sure the less skilled paddlers are aware of what to do (get to your knees) or where to go (next to the Oregon shore) if they are struggling in the swells and current.

Consider other players. Swell City and the Hatchery on windy days are high performance, crowded windsurfing and kiteboarding spots. Taking your SUP through there on a Sunday afternoon with 300 people ripping along at 30 mph ninety degrees to your path is asking for trouble. They probably won’t even see you before they take you completely out. If you want to ride big swells at the Hatch on your SUP, get out during dawn patrol.

jun3-12

The Hatchery.

Have fun, and be careful. The Columbia is an amazing resource for downwinding. Let’s keep it safe and sane. It’s challenging enough without adding unnecessary risks.

SUP: Premier Eastern Gorge Downwinder

blalock1exit129The Blalock Canyon to Arlington downwind run is the premier eastern Gorge downwinder. When the conditions set up for a run out east, this is the one to do. It’s a spectacular ten mile run through a very wide open stretch of the Columbia, with a long fetch and no canyon walls to disrupt the wind. When the wind is on out east, the swells are big and smooth and there’s less cross chop than in the central and western Gorge.

Here’s the setup. Take the Blalock Canyon exit (129) and go under I-84 towards the river. When you get to the railroad tracks, turn right and go down to the little old boat ramp. Put in there

Blalock paddling out

Paddling out. Click to enlarge.

and paddle east in the little lagoon till you come to the culvert that goes under the railroad tracks. Paddle through that and voila! you are in the Columbia and if it’s cranking, you are in for a heck of a ride.

Blalock downwinder

Click to enlarge.

The takeout is not very straight forward the first time you do it. Arlington (on the Oregon side) is about ten miles up river and is visible by the grain silos. There is a rock jetty sticking out into the river and if it’s really windy, there will be waves breaking into it, throwing huge spray and looking a little intimidating.

Blalock run: paddling in

Click to enlarge.

You need to paddle around the jetty and then hook a hard right into the entrance to the lagoon. Continue paddling east, go right under the railroad tracks and then up to a nice lawn area at the Arlington beach park.

Pat yourself on your back and high five your buddies. Hopefully you just had an epic eastern Gorge downwinder. Want more? Call us at 888-509-4210, visit us in Hood River at 207 Front St. or drop by online at www.bigwinds.com.

Big Winds SUP Lessons and Clinics

SUP School is in at Big Winds

Stand Up Paddleboarding is now one of the most popular watersports in the Gorge. What we love about SUP is that just about anyone can do it! And depending on your athletic ability, the sport has a variety of challenge levels. Big Winds has been active in paddling for over five years, and this fun sport has created a completely new way to get you out on the water. It has also opened up a whole new level of performance to the athletes in the area, so encourage your friends and family to get out there!

Big Winds SUP Lessons

Big Winds SUP Lessons

Big Winds’ instructors can teach basic and advanced Stand Up moves, including a variety of forward, backward and turning strokes to increase your maneuverability. You’ll also learn safety, proper paddle usage and board maneuvers including those speedy buoy turns the racers use.

You can find more information on our SUP Lessons page on our main website.

First-timers can benefit from our Intro to SUP class, and beginner/intermediates will take it further in our SUP Express. Private SUP Lessons are also available. Our Downwind Prep Class, Downwind SUP Clinics, or SUP Sailing classes will safely get paddlers into more high-performance Stand Up experiences.

Big Winds SUP Lessons

Online signups are available for Downwind SUP Clinics. Give us a call (888-509-4210) or shoot us an email to discuss further or to sign up SUP School.

SUP Rentals

Big Winds offers the area’s widest selection of SUP rental equipment at our Event Site Beach Center (open 10-6 daily). This equipment is available on a “first come / first served” policy. We also have two options for multipass rentals where you can save up to 20%.

Whether buying, renting or learning, Big Winds has all of your SUP needs covered. Call us, visit us online or stop by our shop at 207 Front St., Hood River. We hope to see you on the water soon!

Big Winds Downwinder

Big Winds Downwinder. Click to enlarge.

Big Winds Windsurfing Lessons, Clinics and Camps

Big Winds offers “Summer School”

We are proud and honored that Big Winds has ranked as a top windsurfing school (if not “the” top school) in the Gorge for over 25 years. We have teaching windsurfing down to a science, and in 2014 we have a menu of lessons, camps, and clinics for every level of student. We continue to get stoked when the wind picks up and we’re enthusiastic to share our expertise in getting people out and having fun on the water.

Big Winds windsurfing lessons

Big Winds windsurfing lessons.

Here’s a snapshot of our Windsurfing School line-up:

Full lesson descriptions and dates for Windsurf Lessons are available on our website.
To summarize, we offer Three-Day Introductory Lessons, a Learn to Windsurf Package, Intermediate and Advanced lessons. We have two Women’s Clinics scheduled for July 12-13 and August 2-3, and our ever-popular Kids Camps run Monday through Thursday throughout the season. We also have six weeks of Advanced Junior Camps.

Big Winds Women's Clinics

Big Winds Women’s Clinics. Click to enlarge.

Beginner lessons are held at our Adventure Center inside the Hook, which provides a sheltered, safe environment for learning. Intermediate lessons are usually at the Event Site Center and Advanced Lessons will take place where the wind and swell are optimal.

Online signups are available for Kids Camps and the Advanced Junior Camps. Give us a call (888-509-4210) or shoot us an email to discuss further or to sign up for any lesson option. In the meantime, enjoy this short clip about windsurfing lessons…

 

Rentals

If you are visiting without your gear, don’t have equipment or want to try something new, Big Winds offers a huge fleet of rental gear. Beginner equipment is available at the Hook and Intermediate/Advanced equipment can be rented at our Event Site Center (open 10-6 daily) or at our shop at 207 Front Street in Hood River. More information can be found on our main website.

Let us help guide you to the best lesson, camp or clinic for you and your family. We hope to see you out on the water soon!

Big Winds Kids Camps

Big Winds Kids Camps