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

Oregon Windsurfing, Kiting and Surfing FAQ

 

Where do I rent equipment, how much does it cost?

Depends what you need to rent:

  • Wetsuits, surfboards, booties various surfing related equipment at any surfshop at the coast. Only the following coastal cities have surfshops: Seaside, Cannon Beach, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Newport, Coosbay, Brookings;
    Typical surfboard rental is about $30/day, wetsuits $30/day. There are wetsuit+board deals around $50/day

  • Kiting and windsurfing gear rentals are only found in Hood River (bigwinds or windance).
    Typical cost for a working windsurfing quiver (board + 3 sails + mast + boom + extension + mast base) is about $390 / week.

 

Should I rent a car?

Yes. Sailing sites in the Gorge can be very far from one another. Going from the Hatch to Dougs could be a daily commute.

The Oregon coast requires travel. Car pooling is possible, contact us for getting hooked up. 

 

What are typical travel times from Portland to sailing sites in Oregon?

From Portland to the Gorge:

Portland to Rooster Rock:   0 h 20
Portland to the Hatchery   1 h 00
Portland to Hood River   1 h 00
Portland to Dougs   1 h 20
Portland to Rowena   1 h 10
Portland to the Wall   1 h 30
Portland to Rufus   1 h 30
Portland to Arlington   2 h 00
Portland to 3 Miles (Boardman)   2 h 30

From Portland to the Coast:

Portland to Manzanita   1 h 45
Portland to Oceanside   2 h 00
Portland to Roads End   1 h 45
Portland to Newport   2 h 00
Portland to Florence   3 h 15
Portland to Floras Lake   5 h 00
Portland to Pistol River   6 h 00

 

How cold is the Oregon coast, should I bring a wetsuit ?

Ocean water temps in oregon average 50 degree fahrenheit / 10 degree celcius year round, and can be colder down south due to upwelling. Even in the summer, the water is 50F, it does not warm up.

Do not bring a spring suit, you need a full wetsuit with booties.

The minimum recommended in summer is a 4/3 full wetsuit, 5/4 being preferred. Do not forget booties (3 mil), the water is cold and it can ruin your day.

 

How cold is the Columbia River, should I bring a wetsuit? 

The river's temp changes constantly. You don't need a wetsuit in the summer but you need one in the spring, fall and winter (avoid the winter)

  • low of 35 F / 2 C in January 
  • about 50 F / 10 C in Spring and Fall.
  • high of 72 F / 22 C in August..

Most reasonable people sail the gorge between April and November. A wetsuit is required before June and after September. In April temps reach the high 40s and in November the temps dip in the high 40s. It really depends on the season but you can comfortably sail from June to September with a spring suit.

Wetsuits are not needed in July and August, the water will be nice and warm.

You can check the current columbia gorge water temperature here

 

When is the windy season on the Oregon coast?

The Oregon coast windy season is typically April to October, and there are better swells in April, May, June, September and October. 

Most windy months are June, July, August.

The primary wind direction is North. 

 

When is the windy season on the Columbia River Gorge?

April to October. Most windy months are June, July and August 

 

Do people sail the Oregon coast in the winter?

Very rarely. Only a few experts in South Oregon can be found sailing South winds. There are rare north wind days at Cape Sebastian in January, February and March when a rare high pressure builds over the Oregon coast.

However, kiters in Lincoln City and Garibaldi often sail clearing south winds or west winds after a storm.

Wind in the winter is not as stable as the thermal winds of the summer, so be prepared for big lulls and gusts and big swells if you do go.

 

What windsurf gear do I need for the Oregon coast?

Floaty board 80 liter ish. 85 being a good all around board.  Quad or thruster strongly recommended. Quad for light wind days, thruster for super windy.

Sails from 3.7 to 5.3:

 

What windsurf gear do I need for the gorge?

75/85 liter board. Thruster or single fin recommended.

3.7 to 5.3. Note that sailing the gorge on a 5.3 is pointless unless you like flat water sailing.

 

What kiting gear do I need for the Oregon coast?

Surfboard strongly recommended against a twin tip. If using a twin tip, then add a size to the kite recommendations below:

8/9m and 12m kites for the north to central coast. If you are lightweight (< 150 lbs) then bring a 7m kite too.

5m to 9m for the south coast: please note few people kite the south coast except around floras lake.

 

What types of swells reach the Oregon Coast?

The Oregon coast gets North, West, and South West swells. South swells are hardly felt on the central and north coast

 

Really? No south swells?

That's right, except in Southern Oregon. S swells  bypass most of the central and north coast of Oregon which face northward. 

However, south swells are felt in full force south of Port Orford.  

 

I am intimidated by waves, what spots are suited to beginners?

Well it's hard to tell.There is almost an element of nervousness associated with wave sailing.

Depends on your level and the winds you choose to sail. Following are some general guidelines:

1) no waterstart skills. Stick to the bays: netarts, or floras lake.

2) no harness skills. Stick to the bays: netarts, or floras lake.

3)  waterstart and harness skills, but no footstrap skills. Ok to go in 15 to 20 knot days on SMALL surf days. Without straps, you can't jump. If you can't jump, passing waves will be extremely challenging. Florence, netarts, or floras lake

4) intermediate: waterstart, harness, straps, no gybe. All spots are fine. Make Florence your first spot, then Oceanside, then Manzanita or Roadsend. Avoid places with rocks (like the cape) 

 

What are the wave sailing safety tips for the Oregon Coast?

  • Avoid sailing alone
  • Avoid sailing in the fog
  • Never sail in Offshore winds
  • Never sail at sundown (wind dies quickly)
  • Avoid sailing near river inlets (sharks)
  • Never sail farther than you can swim
  • Never sail until exhaustion
  • Avoid dangerous marine life if you see it (sharks, killer whales, whales)
  • 5/4 wetsuit, 3 mil booties, hood (detachable ok), life jacket (recommended on big days), whistle (recommended) 

Remember:

  • There are no lifeguards on duty on the Oregon Coast.
  • You, windsurfers and kiters will be the only sailing vessels in the ocean
  • Tell someone you know where you will be sailing and when they should hear back from you
  • You're there to have fun

 

 

 

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