Surfing the wind tunnel of the Gorge

If you like the water, and have a need for speed, then windsurfing in the Columbia Gorge is for you. Anywhere you go in the Gorge you are bound to find wind somewhere.

May through September are the best months for windsurfing because the winds are best then. Surfers can look for a good ride from Rooster Rock all the way up to Arlington, a wide area of choice.

“You can come to the Columbia River and find wind somewhere,” Diane Barkhimer, director of the Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association (CGWA), stated in an Associated Press report.

In the middle of all the action is Hood River. This is the windsurfing capital of the world. People from all areas of the world flock to the extreme winds of the Gorge, which sustain a speed of at least 20 mph.

Hood River is also the center for many windsurfing organizations, such as the CGWA. The CGWA sponsors a number of events from the Gorge Cup Races to the Pray for Wind Party.

The Pray for Wind Party is part of the annual Windfest. Along with the American Windsurfing Industries Association, CGWA will sponsor the three-day event from June 28-30 in Hood River. The event will feature windsurfing clinics, gear swap meets, live music and a lot of food.

The Gorge Cup Race is a series of seven races over several weeks. The races put all ages and skill levels into competition. This year’s Gorge Cup Races are from May until August.

During last year’s Gorge Cup Races the wind held to a steady 30 mph, which gave the riders great speed along the river. Previous races have consisted of about 18 racers, broken up into three skill levels: master, open and novice.

For more information on these or other events, contact CGWA at 541-386-9225.