The Hook

"Get hooked here" Although The Hook is named for its shape, you could assume it was named for its ability to get you hooked on the sport, because so many sailors get their first taste of windsurfing at The Hook. With three different launches into varying river conditions and wind strengths, The Hook is one of the few areas where people of different levels of ability can go together and sail. The flat, inside section offers the perfect place for first timers and beginners. This area of The Hook has no current, is surrounded on both sides by land and it is ideal for practicing waterstarts, uphauling, jibing and tacking and for discovering how to get back to where you launched from. The west side, still relatively shallow, provides perfect conditions for waterstart practice as the wind will blow you safely back toward the launch. For more advanced sailors, launching off the north side into the main channel will allow you access to the sweet swells and winds between Well's Island and the WA shore.

RIG & LAUNCH Rig on the gravel parking area, or below next to the inside area. The gradual, shallow launch to the inside area is protected from both wind and current and it is where you'll find most beginners. The second launch is back over the west end, down one of the narrow paths that lead to the water. You'll be bucking a sometimes ferocious head wind, but once you reach the water you'll discover it's perfect for practicing waterstarts. The wind blows you right back to shore, so there's no chance of drifting off. The third launch is off the north side, down the paths of the rock embankment. This rocky launch opens to the main channel, but it is somewhat shadowed by Well's Island so you'll have to slog or swim to the windline.

WIND Generally 35 to 50 West winds in the main channel, with gustier, but lighter winds at the other launches. To get to the main channel you'll have to traverse the wind shadow of Well's Island.

WATER The inside Hook is very flat and shallow. The west end is generally filled with chop and the wind will push you back to the launch. Ideal for beginners. It is also shallow and somewhat protected in the small channel between Well's Island and the OR shore. The main channel offers swells up to 3 - 4 feet for bump and jump fun.

GETTING THERE Located in Hood River. Take the city center exit #63 off I-84 and turn north. Turn left on Riverside Dr., right on N. 8th and left on Portaway Ave. This road will take you all the way out to the Hook. Lots of parking on the sides of this access road and near the launching areas.