Conditions: North Central South Gorge
  Cams & Sat: Satellite Coast Gorge
  Charts: Coast Gorge
Credits: Si Crowther
Credits: Si Crowther
Credits: Si Crowther
Credits: Si Crowther
Credits: Si Crowther
Credits: Si Crowther

Cape Sebastian

South Oregon Coast

Season: April - September
Wind: North
Style: Wave Riding
Best For: Windsurfing
  
 Live Cams
 Conditions

Located 15 minutes south of Gold Beach off Highway 101. The sailing site is on the South side of the Cape and is the first turn off at the bottom of the hill. Sparse cell phone reception. South of the Cape you will find Pistol River (Face Rock).

To get there from the North, take I5 south, then 20 miles passed Eugene, take exit 162 for Highway 38 towards Reedsport. Then catch the 101 and drive south for 2 hours.

From the San Francisco area, take 101 North all the way up. Stop in the redwoods for a scenic break.

Overview

This is a SW and W swells sailing location. Cape Sebastian's beach features a large flat island, called Hunters' Island, on the outside that breaks up the swells and contributes to V-shaped sand bar formations. Wind blows side-offshore, it starts early and blows stronger than you think. The island blocks most of the northwest wind waves and can set up some side off conditions. 

If the swell comes from the NW, refracted waves get in here but it will usually be much smaller than Pistol River. Also at a very high tide a tiny bit of  NW swell can get in here. When the swell is SW, the Cape can provide some of the best wave sailing you will get on the Oregon coast.

Hazards: there are rocks south of the main peaks, so avoid drifting towards them.  People and gear have washed up on these rocks, and gotten rescued. This is the kind of place where you must stay upwind, or walk up the beach.

It is often extremely gusty here in the afternoon, so catch the early morning or late evening session. The outside can be 2 meters stronger wind than what you need in the line up. Avoid sailing behind the Island as gale force winds will be challenging you. If the winds are strong, you can conveniently gibe in the wind shadow of the Island, stall and look for sets on the outside, and come back riding waves.

Current Conditions: South Oregon Coast

Weather Forecast: South Oregon Coast Forecast

Forecast Charts (MM5): Oregon Coast MM5 Forecast Chart

Wind & Surf

This stretch of the coast is the windiest spot of the state. While the Columbia Gorge has the spotlight, make no mistake: stats wise Cape Sebastian & Pistol River blow consistently more ofen. You will find wind here.

If the NWS forecast calls for any N wind, then read the local MM5 forecast because that's the most reliable way to tell.

Wind is a solid bet from May to September, almost every day. Bring small gear. Most sessions in the afternoon will be on 4.7 ro 3.7. Morning sessions can be 5.2. Bring multi-fin boards and slice away. Wind can get very gusty in the middle afternoon, morning and evenings are usually best.

Long period swells will be found May, early June and September, either from the SW or from the W/NW (most likely). SW swells turn the place into walled goodness but expect longer lulls. Occasionally, the NPAC will serve juicy waves in the summer months. 

If the waves are too small, you can sail Pistol River, a mile south.

Bring spare gear so you don't find yourself stranded in the parking lot watching your buddies get all the action. Pace yourself, the wind will blow from 9 am to nightfall.

Pistol River Wave Bash

The place is so good and so consistent that the American Windsurfing Tour created the Pistol River Wave Bash, and has run the event here every June since 2009. 

The Pistol River Wave Bash is held here and at Pistol River Face Rock every year in June. Don't miss it, 

Here's the 2014 video from the Pistol River Wave Bash.

Pistol River Wave Bash from American Windsurfing Tour on Vimeo.

 

Where to Stay

Trips to Pistol River usually require overnight arrangments.

  • Free overnight camping can be found at the Gold Beach fairground, 
  • Multiple camp options in Gold Beach
  • Motels and Inns in Gold Beach - call early during the wave bash.

Map and Directions

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