Ross Island sunset paddle

SUPers relaxing in the warm sands of Ross Island

If you’ve paddled with me in the Summertime then you probably know I created and love attending a little event called “The Ross Island Happy Hour”. This is late afternoon or early evening casual paddle to the south tip of Ross Island where friends join together for a beverage, to socialize in late afternoon sun, smoke a little something if that’s what you’re into, play on each other’s SUPs, and generally have a really fun time. I’ve been chomping at the bit to announce the first RIHH of the season but the weather is NOT cooperating as it should! It’s coming though, I can feel it in my bones! 

There’s only one rule to Ross Island Happy Hour: Bring one for you and one for a friend, whether you’ve met them yet or not!

Last year’s happy hours were a lot of fun and I met a ton of new paddling friends; I’m really looking forward to another Summer on the river meeting new folks and paddling with friends again! All Ross Island Happy Hours will be announced right here at least a few days in advance (or more) so you know when to hustle home after work and hustle on down to a put in spot ASAP!

See you on the water!

Tonight we added a SUP PDX Group on Facebook so anyone can contribute their stories, photos, videos, and adventures! I’ll hopefully pluck some of those stories off Facebook and feature them here on as well! Please search for the SUP PDX Group and join us!

(there is also a SUP PDX Community page that will be deactivated to make way for a more socially accessible Group page, so please make sure you’re joining the Group!)

Now I’m not aware of any particular sales or specials going on at Gorge Performance at this time but I did recently hear some interesting details that may make one or two folks consider upgrading their quiver or buying a new board. Now this is all word-of-mouth stuff, but… Riviera may (or may not) have recently contacted Bob about some extra inventory they may (or may not) have located in the deep recesses of their warehouse they may (or may not) be willing to let go at discounted prices. Bob may (or may not) have agreed to pick up some available inventory so may (or may not) be willing to work with customers on some sweet deals. He’s also excellent at installing rail tape and who couldn’t use some new rail tape???

In case you’ve never looked at Riviera SUPs in the past, they manufacture some very durable boards. I owned a Riviera surf SUP for two years and it looked practically new when I sold it last month, no dings, no rail damage at all. Riviera has also ramped up their design group and are coming out with some great downwind styles that should make beginners and advanced riders alike take a look at their offerings.

So talk to Bob (or don’t), he may have something in stock you may want to consider for your next board!

The Gorge is long enough to create legitimate, pulsed swells similar to the ocean. Be prepared!

The Gorge is long enough to create legitimate, pulsed swells similar to the ocean. Be prepared! Photo: Russel Peart

Portland is heating up! Now if the rivers would do the same thing we’ll be in business! Conditions appear to be on the fun/casual side on Saturday and cooling quite a bit, but not unreasonably so, on Sunday with a high of 67 fahrenheit. The Willamette River is heating up a little and it looks like it will be upwards of 60-63 degrees by end of day Saturday. The Columbia River is far cooler in the lower-mid 50’s so if you’re headed that direction please consider a Farmer John/Jane 2mm to keep you safer. The Big Winds shuttle isn’t running until May 25 but Fanatic Team Rider Chris Anderson is organizing a downwinder this Sunday, contact him on Facebook, you’ll find him on Stand Up Hood River and Stand Up Portland group sites. I’d give you his phone number but then he’d probably change it and not give me the new number. Chris is a Washington resident and knows the Columbia River and local conditions inside and out. He is the master at determining entry and exit points and if you’ve never downwinded the Washington side of the Columbia, it’s well worth it. Depending on conditions, many downwind runs take you straight through Swell City, which has legit, surfable waves much of the time. It’s a ridiculously fun stretch of river especially because there also tends to be about 200 kite surfers and sailboarders also enjoying the waves. So be aware and have fun!

Where will I be this weekend? SUP surfing on the coast! A 5-8ft northwest swell could provide some fun waist high surf. Mild offshores start the early mornings but will give way to a straight north flow at about 10mph. Short Sands or Otter Rock might be fun destinations, or just deal with the wind direction and hope for a few barreling lefts!

Leashes and PFDs!!!


Yet another tragic death this past weekend because a paddler didn’t think they’d need safety gear on the Columbia River. The water temp of the Columbia is hovering around 50 degrees fahrenheit. That’s cold enough to make the body involuntarily panic when the bitter chill hits the skin. Muscles can cramp and judgment can waiver long enough to let your board escape with the current while you flail around and attempt to get your bearings. Please don’t die for a stupid reason like deciding not to use safety equipment.