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Welcome to the Gorge Windsurfing Community Coffman Engineers!

coffman-engineersWe would like to send a warm and friendly welcome to our newest Business Member: Coffman Engineers, Inc.  We are so thankful for all the generous support from our membership.  To learn more or to sign up for your own Business Membership, please contact us at cgwa@gorge.net or sign up HERE.

Coffman Engineers recently opened a Hood River office.  Here is a bit about who they are:

“At Coffman Engineers, we serve as both prime consultant and sub consultant on projects large and small, including commercial, retail, institutional, government, industrial, and project/construction management. Incorporated in 1979, we have offices in Anchorage, Alaska; Bozeman, Montana; Hagatna, Guam; Honolulu, Hawaii; Los Angeles & Oakland, California; and Seattle & Spokane, Washington – serving clients all over the United States as well as overseas.

To meet client objectives and to integrate our many disciplines, we can create teams comprised of structural, mechanical, electrical, corrosion control, and civil engineers, as well as project/construction managers and professionals in a variety of specialty services. This ability has made us a leader in the engineering and construction communities, and has strengthened our reputation as being progressive, innovative, and a great place to work.”

Board Member Notes by Tom Kosmalski


Jump!@I’ve always thought that one of the great things about windsurfing is that the learning curve goes on nearly forever. Not the kind of sport where you plateau after three seasons. Here’s my take on that:

1981: Browbeaten into taking longboard lessons by some co-workers. Three evenings of falling off the board, climbing back on, and falling off again. Fourth and final lesson, and…..things click. Actual sailing! Follow instructor back to shop and purchase first board, a Dufour Wing!

1982: Fun ensues, but can’t really make it work in high winds. Pivoting daggerboard and harness recommended and purchased, and they work! Suddenly kinda sorta planing to exhaustion in high(er) winds!

1983: F2 Strato purchased with retractable daggerboard which allows full-on planing for the first time, as well as the elusive foot-steering via real foot straps. Jibes are a blast, but no real full-planing “power jibes” with a near-twelve foot board.

1984: Waterstart? Sounds like make believe. Swell!Two hours of struggling and being blown slowly across a lake, and it actually starts to work (some of the time)!

Early 1985: Sailboard 295 purchased. First “short” board — thanks to Open Ocean’s Brian Hinde for the awesome design! Now we’re talking. Planing jibes. One evening of breakthrough jibing in an offshore wind on Lake Superior. Twenty knots and glass smooth water. No better way to get the hang of jibing.

August 1985 – 88: Move to Gorge. Get knackered. Meet so many great people. Slowly get the hang of things. Break SO MUCH stuff (1985!). Swim in SO MANY times. Buy glass board — wow. Start riding swells. Learn to duck jibe. Learn to jibe ON a swell. Do two jibes on a swell! Start learning to jump AND TO LAND!

Never look back. Still here trying to tear and turn it up 31 years later!!!!

Bands of Beach Bash

We are stoked to have so much awesome live music coming to town for 10 Barrel Beach Bash 2016 – June 23rd – June 26th

Here is the lineup:

Thursday – Pray For Wind Party at Stonehedge Gardens – 6-10pm with local favorite Bart Popenoe

Friday’s Outdoor Concert at the Waterfront Park, 6-10pm.

We are stoked to have Dirty Revival coming out from PDX to rock the Park.  Check out their latest music video here:

Saturday, we have music all day lined up at the Hood River Event Site starting at 11AM

Kids show from the Underground Music Station

Brand new local band, Soul Prophet, featuring Amber Nelson on lead vocals.

Another local ringer, Antonyms.  Check them out @antonymsmusic.

Closing the evening is a Gorge Windsurfing favorite – The Ultronz!  New or old to the Gorge, you will not want to miss these guys rock the Beach!

CGWA Business Partner Highlight: A Kidz Dental Zone

dental zone 2Who can’t resist returning a bright, healthy smile? At A Kidz Dental Zone, the business at hand is growing and maintaining irresistible smiles with healthy teeth and gums. Patients and families receive oral care and education at cheerful clinics that are brightly decorated with murals created by artist Mark Nilsson. The art depicts outdoor lifestyle scenes from around the Columbia River Gorge that scream, “Go outside, get moving, enjoy the fresh air and beauty!”

A Kidz Dental Zone came to the Gorge in 1999 and currently operates out of two locations, one in Hood River and one in The Dalles. The clinics are specifically designed for children and create a positive, inviting and secure atmosphere. Pediatric dentistry is their specialty and the entire Oral Health Team reflects that purpose in specialty training and passion. Children and their health fuel Dr. Houses’ advocacy at local, state and national levels.

denatl zone 1

Although the offices are shiny, clean and beautiful, Dr. House and his staff don’t spend all their time in the office. They are involved with our local community in many different ways. These include partnerships with Head Start, WIC, and the Health Departments in both Washington and Oregon. Their tooth fairy visits local schools and preschools to teach the importance of oral hygiene in a non-threatening environment. The fun factor is bumped up with a free pool party and BBQ in July, giveaways at Families in the Park, and fun games with prizes at the Hood River County Fair. They sponsor the Gorge Kids’ Triathlon, the Apple Knockers’ Kids’ 3-D archery shoot, the Bed Pan Open, Mom Prom and FFA to name a few.dental zone 3

CGWA is proud to have A Kidz Dental Zone as a sponsor for our Gorge Groms Youth Program again this year and looks forward to seeing them at the Beach Bash in June. For all your oral pediatric and adolescent care, A Kidz Dental Zone has the most experienced Pediatric Oral Health Team in the Gorge by far. They care about kids, know how to make them smile and make smiles dazzle.

CGWA Business Partner Highlight: Director’s Mortgage

The CGWA is proud and honored to have so many business partners throughout the Gorge.  In a new web series, we are taking time to highlight and thank our local business members that support us.


The mighty Columbia River flows very near everyone 24/7-  but only a few dare to take on the challenge of harnessing  the power of the wind and swell with a sail and board-  somehow  our physical body, mind and soul occupies the area between the board and the sail – and we then become “one”  with the wind and the water. 

Director Mortgage's Steve Wolf is a Swell City regular

Director Mortgage’s Steve Wolf is a Swell City regular

Once this epic sensation is achieved – many realize that a life change is in order which oftentimes involves  a relocation to the Gorge and yes for some…. a home loan.

Directors Mortgage has been a  local Oregon based company since 1998 and for many years has been a supporter of CGWA. Directors Mortgage specializes in residential mortgage loans, purchases, refinances, constructions loans, reverse mortgages and debt consolidation. 

Directors Mortgage is an area lender well respected in the area because of its Team Members including Steve Wolf – a regular Swell City rider with 25 years of experience as a mortgage lender in the Gorge and as a Swell City user.  Steve is a CGWA member himself and has served on the Swell City Planning Committee in the more recent past and many may agree he is an approachable swell guy. 

On behalf of CGWA, I’d like to thank Directors Mortgage for its ongoing support of CGWA.

Steve Gibson

CGWA Board Member 

Board Member Notes: The Magnetic Gorge By John Heeren

Feb 18 2016The Gorge is a paradise to most windsurfers. It’s an exotic destination with breathtaking views, scenic launch sites, and ideal wind and conditions for every type of sailor. We travel from all over the world to create a chance to relax and push the stress out of our lives. El ScorchoWe escape the large cites, the traffic, and constant work responsibilities; busting our behinds to chase yet another euphoric summer trip to the Gorge. We love sailing the Gorge, but back home most find not so exotic sailing and a small tribe of sailors scouting wind and driving to their local mudhole (in my case) to get their sailing fix. Let’s face it, the sport is simply not growing in many areas, but these small clans across the nation are as dedicated as they ever were.

Jibe BouyI’m from Memphis and believe me when I tell you we have a micro scene in our area. We’re grateful to have anyone to sail with some days. At most, there are 6 sailors in Memphis who can get in the straps and harness. All are accomplished sailors and we’ve all spent time in the Gorge. During our IMG_3778sailing season, primarily from October to May, we’re tuned into local weather and water conditions like undercover operatives on a mission. It’s not unusual to see group texts start flying 3-4 days ahead of a projected wind event. Alarms are set and gear loaded for any potential 20 knot wind. When we get it, it’s pure gold and this El Nino winter has been the equivalent of the Comstock Lode. We sailed every month since September. Sometimes solo, at best, two to three other sailors on the water, with numerous 30-40 mph blows.
The fall typically brings warm, punchy southerlies across the south ahead of the rains. The north winds fill in behind the rains as the mercury plummets, but these canJH Big Sunday 2 be some of our strongest and most steady winds. We pull out the thick suits and go out with the wild ones, the pelicans and ducks. Its duck weather, after all. You know you want it bad when your fingers lose the strength to turn the key in the door lock when you get back to the car. You just want to warm your feet and hands so you can derig, only to find your hands won’t cooperate. We’d have kept sailing, but our feet felt like two dead fish on the deck. In times like these we’re so thankful for our fellow sailors. The best bros in our lives, huddling in the van hoping our feet thaw out, all the time wondering if we’ve sustained permanent damage this time. This is a scene playing out all winter across the nation. I’ve seen guys at Lake Champlain hiking their gear through snow to get to the water. Now that’s dedication!

Chocalate Ice Cream SundaeThere are dozens, if not hundreds of small windsurfing communities of die-hard sailors across the country. Summer in the Gorge is like a calling of the clans. JH Big Sunday 2It’s like someone throws the Electro-Magnetic switch to summon the vast, like-minded hearty souls spread across the world. If you’ve ever wondered where we all come from to fill the rental houses, restaurants, and parking lots of Gorge launch sites, it’s from hundreds of small localized tribes. We need it and live for it. We hone our skills during frosty weather and grey winter skies, and you can bet we’re hitting the gym in between, focused solely on ripping those magic Gorge waves. We want it and we are coming to get it again this summer.

Are you, too, from a microscopic sailing scene? We’d love to hear your local story!

Board Member Notes: Baja 2015/16 Report by Roxanne McClure

What a treat to spend the winter months in Baja!  What is there not to love about living on the beach, enjoying wind, occasional waves, good people, a fun music scene and fresh squeezed margaritas? Some might consider spotty cell service and SLOW internet a downside, but personally, I consider those things an advantage!  Complete focus and enjoyment of the here and now is a rare treat in this day and age.

Rox baja

Wind report….   When I arrived December 1st, the word in the campground was how incredible November was.  The ole “you just missed it” scenario. December wasn’t epic but it didn’t leave me high and dry on the mountain biking trails.  I managed to squeak out over 20 days on the water, most were on a 4.7 sail and an 85 liter board. Some days I had to suffer through on my 11 and 14 meter kites but, time on the water is always better than pacing the beach! January rang in the New Year and I was on the water almost everyday. Again, 4.7 was usually the sail du jour, however, many days were on a 72 liter or glass board.  Happily, my 4.2 got wet, as well as the 3.7, which some years never even gets rigged!  February began with a blast that kept blowing and blowing with a short mid-month lull.  I sailed the majority of days on my 4.2, with some 3.7 and 4.7 days sprinkled in and the 85 liter board rarely got any love. We drove out of the campground on March 5th after a few hot, calm days, that word has it, began a spell that was only good for foil kiting.

rox baja 2Living reality…  The campground was more crowded than ever which translates into mucho traffic on the water.  Thankfully, there were few accidents and confrontations. I am always surprised at how well everyone accommodates one another in tight living quarters. The people in the campground come from around the world and are willing to share their knowledge and expertise on a plethora of subjects.  On any given day you can hear English, French, German, Hungarian, Polish, Czech, Canadian ; ) and even Spanglish!  The La Ventana/El Sargento area is experiencing a new growth spurt with new houses, condos, restaurants and markets popping up weekly. With this growth comes all of the questions and challenges we face here in Gorge. (STR’s, vacant homes, seasonal jobs)  My hope is that the local Mexican people as well as the residents of the Gorge will bravely guard their culture and values and not succumb to the mega-pace of progress and lure of “gold.”

To wrap it up, the wind was excellent, the water was warm and eating outside almost every night indicates moderate air temperatures, as well.  El Niño provided all that was predicted and more!