The Sun is Finally Out, Get On that Water!

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!!!


About the author

A lifelong surfer and now a regular SUP'r, Brett has lived in Portland, Oregon for 16 years. With a lifetime of shoulder wear from paddling, SUP was a logical transition to keep him on the water. Now he SUP surfs, downwinds, races, and recreationally paddles with friends and family as much as life will allow.