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Sauvie Island Kiteboarding
IMPORTANT: If you are a beginner Kiteboarder, you need to take lessons with a professional kiteboard instructor. If you show up to Sauvie Island without proper knowledge and experience of how to kiteboard safely, you will be asked to leave. For information on lessons contact one of the local Portland shops All Surf Industry or Gorge Performance.
Looking for decent free forecasting and sensor resources for Sauvie Island? Take a look at our Forecast Page.
Another day at Sauvie Island (Reeder) Beach
From Portland take US Highway 30 east towards Scappoose/St Helens. Look for the turn-off on the left to Sauvie Island. Take the turn and head over the bridge. If you don't have a parking pass you can buy one at the small shop on the corner. Take the road that goes back under the bridge. When you reach the fork in the road head to the right. Continue for another 7-8 miles. You will pass a harbor on the right, that means your almost there. In another mile you will see a parking area on the left with stairways heading over the burm on the right, this is Reeder Beach. Drive to the last stairway and park. Head over and look for the overturned boat on the beach. This is where all the kiteboarders setup and launch.
Reeder Beach is on the back of Sauvie Island, keep driving all the way around till you see a parking area on the left and stairways going over the burm on the right.
- Always launch and ride upwind (downriver) of the overturned boat. Most beach goers stay on the downwind side of the boat.
- Never launch within close proximity of beach goers (non-kiters). You can always walk upwind a ways and find a clear area.
- If you have never kited at Sauvie Island before be sure to talk to a local before you setup or attempt to launch.
- Keep gear localized, wind up your lines when you are not using them.
- Fishermen in the early spring - Please give them a 100yd radius. Understand that they are not impressed by your tricks, so a big jump right in front of them will not win them over.
- Don't be a kook! One incident could get the whole beach banned, if you're responsible you will have every Portland Kiteboarder to answer to.
Get to the beach early enough and you might only fight with barges for space on the water.
- Scappoose wind sensor is the one to watch. Anything 10mph or more from any notherly direction is what you want.
- Wind usually starts around 3pm-5pm, and will blow until sunset, making this the perfect spot for the working kiteboarder.
- Winds are generally moderate to light. 12m-16m kites.
- General wind rule of thumb: If weather is clear and warm in Portland, Sauvies will blow in the afternoon/evening.
- Currents change based on tides, sometimes the current can help you (when its going opposing the wind) and sometimes it can make staying upwind more difficult.
- If you are still learning and have difficulty staying upwind, walk way upwind before launching. This will ensure you have plenty of room to go downwind before getting into areas of the beach with non-kiters.
- Cars get broken into often, so make sure to hide your valuables.
Another day in the bag.
More tips and guidelines from local riders:
When the launch area is crowded, please help out by:
-Packing up or stacking kites when not in use
-Roll up lines when taking a break
-Rig kites up by the wall and run your lines out sideways. (see graphic - note the beached boat is gone but kiters try to stay North of the last stairway)
"With regards to the tide, the ocean affects the flow of the Columbia river all the way up to the first/last dam which in Bonneville. I believe the delay from the high tide time at the mouth of the Columbia is appox 5 plus hours at SI, even more for spots like Rooster Rock etc . . .
If the tide is flowing with the wind one's appearent wind speed is deceased and conversely, if the tide is running out or opposing the wind it increases one's appearent wind speed. If you want to really experience this affect try one of the coastal bays on a out going tide with N to NW wind or try Rufus. Its like walking in the airport and then hopping on one of those level escalators.
I would just say people who kite at SI, try to make the place better when you leave than when you got there. I'm mainly talking about the garbage on the beach. If you see some garbage, pick it up. Lets distinguish our user group from others. Bring a plastic bag and pick-up that bottle cap or piece of paper or broken glass, or beer bottle , but leave the dirty diaper balls for Wind Slither"