Monthly Archives: June 2010

+ Support Stevenson Beach

What do you think of expanding waterfront access at Stevenson Beach?  See below for CGWA’s comments in support of improved river access at this site.

June 30, 2010

Dear Recreation and Conservation Funding Board,

The Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association would like to extend our full support to the Port of Skamania County in their effort to restore access to the Columbia River in downtown Stevenson, Washington.

The Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association is a member-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Hood River, Oregon, dedicated to enhancing the windsurfing experience throughout the Columbia River Gorge.  We represent 600 members from the Pacific Northwest, country, and world.

The Columbia River Gorge is home to some of the best windsurfing in the world.  The beauty of the surroundings coupled with unparallel water and wind conditions brings people from around the world to enjoy what no other place on earth can offer.  It is truly a top five windsurfing destination world wide.

However, due to poor river access conditions, the City of Stevenson has been unable to take full advantage of this unique opportunity.  Because the railroad tracks block river access throughout much of Skamania County, Stevenson presents one of the few potential launch areas that does not require dangerous (and illegal) crossing of the tracks.

The existing river access is small and treacherous.  A precarious and dangerously steep bank must be traversed in order to reach a small launch area; the situation is not only limited in user potential, but is also an accident waiting to happen.

Restoration of the riverbank with a safe and open launch area and an open, stable path would be a great attraction for everyone who uses the river.  We are happy to contribute to this goal by recruiting volunteers to help with work parties throughout the process when appropriate.

We fully commend and support the Port of Skamania for taking on this much needed task.

Thank you,

Katie Crafts

Executive Director

+ Free SUPing for the ladies

Big Winds Ladies SUPer Club ScoopBig Winds SUPer club

Who? All ladies over 18 are invited.  No prior experience needed, just a good attitude.  Paddling is fun and easy, and for those who don’t have their sea legs yet you can try it inside the flat and mellow pond.

When? Every Tuesday evening from 5:30 to 7:00pm, June 1st – July 13th, weather permitting.

Where? Meet at the Big Winds Rental Sheds at the East end of the Hood River Event Site.  For those needing gear you will be required to fill out a waiver form before you can get out on the water.  Big Winds has wetsuits available if you need one.  If there is no wind paddling will take place off the Event Site.  If there is a light wind paddling will take place inside the pond.  In case of lots of wind, well, go windsurfing or kiting and check back next week!

What goes on? Big Winds offers free instruction and demos during a half hour paddle session.  The emphasis is on fun and camaraderie.  They have everything you need for gear, and will be available for tips and guidance.  Don’t worry, there is lots of help on hand!  Big Winds will have about 25 boards available, and ask that participants limit their water time to half an hour so that everyone can get a chance to try it out.

How much? FREE.  That’s right.  FREE.  Does it get any easier than that?  No charge for gear or instruction.

What if I have my own board? Great!  Come meet other gals who love SUP and do a lap down to Wells Island or up to the Marina.  It is really awesome to go river touring with friends, and the SUPer club is a great way to meet those friends.

How do I know if it is weather permitting? Check the Big Winds website by 4:30pm on Tuesdays.  If you’d like to get onto the email list, email  Or you can call the shop after 4:30 and they’ll have a weather update.

What about after SUPing? Christina who owns the Sandbar Cafe will host a happy hour for the SUPers (she has beer and wine, too)!  $5 for a beer and taco- what a deal!  And if you haven’t had her tacos yet, you are in for a treat.  They’re super good.

+ Sick Footage from Pistol by Kevin Pritchard

The 2010 Pistol River Wave Bash is off to an epic start, with lots of wind and sun and plenty of water time for men, women and juniors.  Way to go, competitors!  Here is some of the action, as filmed by Kevin Pritchard.

Pistol River Wave Bash Day 1 from Kevin Pritchard on Vimeo.

Pistol River Day 2 from Kevin Pritchard on Vimeo.

+ Big Brothers Big Sisters goes Windsurfing

Big Brothers Big Sisters windsurfing clinic 2010

First time on a board and he makes it look easy

Big Brothers Big Sisters windsurfing clinic 2010

Time for a breather

Big Brothers Big Sisters windsurfing clinic 2010


On June 13th, CGWA hosted 6 participants from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in a learn to windsurf clinic.  The clinic ran for three hours, and in that short amount of time the kids were already up and cruising!  Special thanks to Big Winds and their great instructor Samantha Taylor.  And extra special thanks to Beth McCullough, CGWA  board member and Big Brothers Big Sisters coordinator, for making this clinic happen three years in a row!

+ Help keep a U.S. beach open to windsurfing

Please help our friends in San Diego keep their gem at Lake Hodges open to windsurfing.  City and County officials pledged it would reopen after construction; while construction is finished, they appear to be reneging this promise, leaving windsurfing without their well-loved launch.

Print sign and mail.  That’s all you have to do to help keep a U.S. beach open to windsurfing.  Find the petition and more info [here].