Wahoo-downwinder yesterday

Tested a new 14″ board yesterday made specifically for ocean racing down-winders. The SUPatx team uses this board in those races. What an experience. I paddled that board in flat water two weeks ago and didn’t much like it. It went okay but was slower than my own board because the nose turns up quite a bit so it lacks the length on the water that produces speed. But in the waves its a different story altogether. What a ride!

I took my time just enjoying maneuvering from Viento to the Event Site in the wave patterns. The board is so forgiving. The nose scoop really keeps it from digging into and under a wave. The board barely slows down when it runs into a wave. None of the dreaded diving nose, stall and twist that dumps you overboard. At just 28# and 28 inches wide a good intermediate paddler can handle it in the waves, and even a beginner can paddle it in flat water or light wind (short of whitecaps) I have just one of these boards. The demo I paddled. It’s worth its original $1950 price. But I got it for a lot less and I’ll pass the savings on with a price for this demo board just $1495 – and if you act within the next 5 days, I will through in a brand new all carbon fixed length paddle – a $210 value, for just $75!!!. (if you prefer an adjustable paddle I can do that for just $99 but only with the purchase of this board!)

I plan on doing more down-winders in the coming weeks and am always happy to assist in putting together a group and arranging a shuttle back to retrieve your car.I no longer have the trailer so everyone has to find a way to get their own boards to the launch – or in the case of launching from Hood River heading East, to retrieve their board from the Eastern takeout like Mosier’s Rock Creek or Rowena (Meyer Park) West boat launch.

Want to discuss down-winders? Just send me a message or give me a call. The number is on my card.


New boards arrived! Return to summer coming starting Sunday!

Just received shipment of 10 new SUPatx Raider boards. The last shipment sold out in two weeks. The boards are great. Just 27 pounds and will support paddlers up to 185 comfortably. Same pop up easy grip handles club members experienced on all the boards. Only $699 per board. Or $1299 for TWO boards. These boards will fit in most apartment storage lockers, or upright in most garages! But best of all , they paddle Grrrrr8!

Also got a new supply of great cartridge inflated PFD belts. Super comfortable. And a shipment of 10 deluxe carbon “race” adjustable paddles. These are the paddles I used exclusively all last year for myself. Many members tried them and preferred them. They cost me (I got a special deal) just a little more. So you have your choice of a regular carbon adjustable. Regular retail: $195 I sell for $129 or the even lighter and quicker adjustable carbon race: Retail $225 you pay just 159 or 2 for $299

I also have in stock 6 of the larger 11’6″ boards we used last year. (new) all the used boards from last year are gone. Anyway, if you want to get on the water this summer I want to help make it possible with great boards at the lowest prices you will find. Tell a friend. All new boards as usual, come with a FREE on water lesson to get them started. (previous club members excluded – you’ve already learned what I have to teach – but if you want a review, I’ll provide that!)

Okay, tell your friends. Get them into the SUP sport we love. To contact me, you can use the contact form on my website at http://www.mthoodsales.com or use the number on the old club business card at the top of this post.

Sunset paddle

Great paddle at sunset tonight. Trying out a new board - great little 10'6" 
board that is remarkably stable and well built and just 27 pounds. And 
about half the price of the average low end board sold in the gorge. 
Got 6 of them a week ago, have already sold 4 and the last two are committed 
to a local business. Ordering a dozen more tomorrow morning. Not as fast as
a carbon race board - but just as fun. Took me only 38 minutes to paddle 
from the Event site around Wells Island and back without pushing hard - 
just my standard workout pace.

This board is going to change the market and open the sport up to even more 
people. A great all around recreational board for paddlers up to about 185 
Board is only $595 - or two for $1100 Now my carbon recreational board 
(the Annabel model I had in the club last year, is for the same weight paddler, 
weighs just 2 pounds less, and sells for $1300 MORE ($1995). It's a great board, 
I love it but the price puts it out of reach for many, and its too fragile to 
be a learning board for a family. The 10'6" Raider model can be handled by 
young kids. It has the same Lift SUP easy carry handle that all the club boards 
had and is made by the same company.

For larger paddlers, I do have a supply of larger boards in stock, including the 
Adventure XL which can easily transport a paddler and gear weighing 300 pounds.
I sold the two I had in the club last year and ordered another (now in stocok) so 
the full sized adults and the moms and dads that want to have a kid or two and 
the family dog aboard can hit the water together.The XL weighs just 34# and is 
easy to car-top.

Finally, for those looking for lightweight performance, I have a an all carbon
12'6" and all carbon 14 downwind race board in stock and they will be available 
to demo. (by appointment only) (priced at $1500 and $1600) for board and high 
performance fin these boards are the same one used by some of the worlds top 
paddlers (like the winners of both the men's and women's races at last Augusts 
Gorge races sponsored by BigWinds (to whom our entire community owes a big 
thank-you for bringing this sport to the Gorge and making it a world class SUP 

That's all for now. But stay tuned. Negotiations are underway to make 
arrangements for the club to continue operations. I hope it works out. I really 
want to see what I started and you all helped make possible become a permanent 
part of the Gorge SUP community.


Downwinder Days

Okay – this is a safety message. The next two days will be very windy. If it were July or August I’d be doing down-winders. But it is May and the water is in the mid fifties temp range.  Combine that with winds in the 25 to 35 range and you have a recipe for disaster. Anyone down-winding should be wearing at a minimum, something that does not absorb water and is windproof. Ideally also at least a good shorty wet suit.

Other rules to keep in mind.

  1. Go with a partner and stay together!
  2. Wear a leash
  3. Wear a PFD
  4.  Carry a rescue whistle (number 3 and 4 are required by law and the leash is your most important safety device of all
  5. Carry a phone in a waterproof case
  6. Let someone know your route and you departure time and expected time total on the water and check back in when you are safely ashore

There have been three SUP deaths on the Columbia river that I am aware of in the last 2 years. All would have been avoided had rules 1, 2 and 3 been observed. In fact had any ONE of those rules been observed their death would have been prevented! Have fun. Be safe – if not for you then for those who care about you.

Coming up: Next Tuesday and Wednesday are looking like summer temp days with little to no wind. I will be paddling and if anyone is interested in acquiring or renting one or more of last years club boards, for a rental of at least one month ( $100 ) or season ($300) I can make that happen. 1/3 of the boards have now been sold and 3 more buyers are looking at boards today (all former members or individuals who had hoped to be members this year.) But I still have a great selection of both new and used boards , paddles, leashes and PFDs.

members coming-going-paddling2

Time to SUP

Did my first paddle of the season yesterday: From the Marina by the Bridge,  around the perimeter of the Marina, and then into the River and all the way around Wells Island to the West and back to the Marina. The water was cold but not at all uncomfortable and yes – I fell in once, at the far side of Wells Island when my fin caught on a stump I did not see.

Back on the board in seconds I just continued to paddle and was dry long before getting back to the Marina. Total time on water about 90 minutes paddling at a strong exercise level at about 50 strokes per minute. A great workout and NO sore muscles today!

It always amazes me how great a workout you can get on a sup with so little of the pain that is involved in biking or running (I have done long distances on both many times). Even XC skiing, which is my first love in sports, does not offer the same benefit of being able to do a long hard workout in early season without having to endure some lactic acid muscle soreness for the next 48 hours.

So to those of you that want to get regular fun workouts this summer, and not suffer the inevitable pains produced by running, or biking – I highly recommend getting a good part of your exercise on a sup on the water. I will be.

And yes, I have lots of SUPS stored away that are for sale at great used prices. And former club members get the best deals. I’ll even rent them out to you for the day, week, month or full season and on full season rentals, you can apply all but $50 of that rental toward purchase of that board or any other board I have in stock.

If a new board is your desire, I still have 3 left in stock. And of course, I can order any board you want just for you from SUPatx and although you can do that yourself on their website, I can offer you a better price than their direct sale price online so you will save at least $200 by working through me.

Meanwhile, my plans for the summer include lots of time on the water. And I am always eager to join forces for a down winder. And looking for partners to share some longer paddles on sections of the river I have not explored. (and on lakes I have not paddled).

Got any ideas? Get in touch. You can message me on this blog. Or contact me directly at the phone and email address on my card. Steve 5418062612


Last day of the season. A great day to paddle from The Hook.

The Event site is now closed for the Harvest Fest. So the local choices were Nichols Basin, The Hook, Waterfront Park, or The Marina Beach. We have not been on the Hook this season so that’s the spot. With East Winds in the 5 to 10 range, you’ll have an easy time paddling around Wells Island, but do not go West beyond Wells Island as you may encounter stonger East Winds that will make it tougher to get back. If you don’t want to risk that, the paddling inside the Hook is great, and the Fall color there is terrific! The picture below was taken there 2 years ago, on our last day of paddling!

I plan to be out on the water for much of the afternoon, the trailer will be easy to find on the hook spit, near the new ramp down on the Wells Island side. There is also easy access right into the pond inside the Hook from there. I’ll have the boards out there by 2 PM and everyone is expected to be OFF the water by 6 PM.

That’s it. the end of season three of daily paddling. Hope you all had fun. I did.

Those that want to continue to paddle have THREE options.

A: Purchase a new or used board

  1. purchase a used club board (including paddle) and leash for $700 (members only) others $799
  2. . Purchase a new SUPusa board (I have 5 of them ) with paddle, leash, and cover $875
  3.  Purchase a used Lahui Kai carbon board (retail $1875) for $1200 a paddle for $99 leash $15
  4. or shop at any of the local shops

B. Rent a club board from now until next May 15th for $100 (option to apply all of the rent toward purchase of that board or any other board still available at any time)

C. stop by after calling first, and pick up a board or two to paddle for the day or two days (members only). Lost Lake is now free. The resort is closed for the season along with the hoards of tourists and its the best time of year to paddle there. Laurence Lake is also open and beautiful and just 15 minutes from my home. NO charge for club members on this option. (membership has its privileges)

Here’s your now familiar fall picture taken at The Hook 2 years ago.

fall paddle at The Hook2 fall paddle at The Hook

truck sign 4 SUPer Club

Wednesday and Thursday October 14 & 15 2 PM to 6 PM at the EVENT SITE come and get it.

Two wonderful fall days that should be near perfect. Light East wind and temps in the 70s. These will be the LAST TWO DAYS of club paddling this year.  While it is possible I may offer a bonus day or two, it is unlikely. Preparations for the ski season are underway, and I have a great deal to do, both with preparing my own inventory for sale and rent, as well as getting the trails and cabin at Teacup ready for the season. The trail work has to be done before the snow falls so that just leaves the next two weekends.

Paddling after Thursday will be limited to members only who want to pick up a board to use from my home base outside Parkdale. I will have 5 boards available for your use until November. No charge. They must be picked up and returned within 48 hours.

Tuesday Oct 13 On hold for decision on Event Site update 1

Update at 12:15 wind increasing as predicted and now gusting to 13. If trend continues the next hour there will be no paddling today. I’d say that is at least 75% likely

The weather demons are playing games \. Local forecaster Temira says ” As a weak cold front moves through the area today, the wind will pick up, not a lot, but enough to get some of you on the water. Expect a slow build to 15-18 this afternoon with 18-22 possible for periods of time. You’ll find that wind from Stevenson out to The Dalles,”

That’s enough wind to keep us OFF the water this time of year. So I’m in watching mode before a decision is made. If in the next two hours it looks like Temira is on target there will be NO paddling today.

On the plus side, her forecast for the rest of the week is consistent with what the long range forecasts were saying for the past week and Wednesday and Thursday will have only a light East wind at the event site. Perfect for us, and warm days too.Look for an update about 1 PM today.

Update: Harvest Festival at Event Site of Friday Sat and Sunday.

Even if we get good weather – we will NOT be at the Event Site on those days. The crowds are enormous and parking is difficult. So if we get good weather Friday (likely) we will either be at The Hook Friday afternoon, or at Mayer Park for a final good-by to MY favorite park for the season.  If the weekend weather does turn out okay, the same with apply to Satruday and Sunday – we will Not be at the Event Site. Stay tuned.

Rest of this post is a repeat of today’s earlier post:

Well, yesterday was the great day it was predicted to be. Great to see so many members getting in a final week of paddling. Over a dozen paticipated! (that’s a lot for October). The rest of this week looks like we will get good weather with light wind on Tuesday , Wednesday Thursday and Friday. But the weekend has now become questionable with forecasters predicting rain starting sometime between Friday night and Sunday morning. So don’t hold off on those final on water workouts. It may just be a weekday this week will be your last shot for SUP this year!

Looking to paddle through the winter and Spring? Many do. If you are not ready to own a board but would like access to one. You can rent a board from me until next May 15th. You get a board, paddle, leash and PFD for the next 6 months for just $100. And if you decide you want to buy that board, I’ll apply the entire rent to its purchase price of $700 which includes the board, paddle and leash (but not the PFD ). Those inflatable PFDs are expensive, but if you want it, it’s yours for an additional $80. I also have a small supply of rooftop pads and straps (but not racks or bars) for carrying a board safely on cartop. Just $25 for a set of straps and rack pads. Or just the straps for $15 (you really do not need the pads and in my experience they contribute extra drag and loss of fuel economy when on the rack. So unless you take them off and on with each use, they cost you gas . And if you leave them on, they also deteriorate rapidly in the combination of sun, wind and rain.

If you know you want a board of your own, now is the time. Club members get their choice of any of the boards except the two Lahui Kai carbon boards, for just $700 with carbon paddle and leash. They are all in great shape (thanks to your careful handling of them this season) and if purchased new would cost you between $1099 and $1299.

Okay, that’s it until I post tomorrow

truck sign 4 SUPer Club