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SUP Lessons

The Event Site Center ramping up for another great summer. Come visit us in 2015!


Big Winds has the largest lesson and rental center in the Gorge. We have everything you need to get started with standup paddling and can help you improve your current skills as well. The staff at Big Winds has been paddling for 5 years now and knows the ins and outs of this new, developing sport.

Two lesson times each day: 11:30 - 1:00 and 2:30 - 4:00

Step One: Intro to SUP

1 hour lesson, 30 minutes of practice, $49

Learn the basics and be up and paddling in no time. Suitable for the whole family.

Prerequisites: swimming ability; Minimum age: 12 years.

  • Site and weather orientation
  • Introduction to equipment
  • Safety
  • Proper paddle usage
  • Getting started: launching
  • Knee paddling
  • Stand up paddling
  • Board maneuvers
  • Deep water restart

Step Two: SUP Express

1 hour lesson, 30 minutes of practice, $49

Once you have mastered the basics it is time to ramp up your skill level to enjoy a broader range of conditions. Learn why SUP is a great way to work on full body strength training and cardio fitness. You'll be able to enjoy any water environment.

Prerequisite: swimming ability.

  • Skills for fitness paddling
  • Various paddle stroke techniques
  • Advanced board turning and control
  • Intro to swell riding
  • Distance paddling

Step Three: Private SUP Lessons

1 hour lesson, 30 minutes of practice, $99

Whether you are just starting out or are an experienced paddler working on your race technique, downwinders or swell riding, our expert instructors can tailor a lesson to fit your needs. What you learn is up to you; the possiblities are endless! Individualized instruction will elevate your standup paddle boarding to the next level.

Downwind Prep Class

2 hour lesson, gear included, $69

For those who want to do a downwinder but aren't quite ready for one, this is the class for you. This is not an advanced class, it is an introduction to paddling in windy conditions. You should already have a good strong paddle stroke on flat water. This is NOT FOR BEGINNER paddlers. Our Downwind Prep Class will take your through everything you need to know before you venture out on the river in rough water and high wind. The class will provide detailed instruction on:

  • Rough water techniques
  • Recognizing and catching swell
  • Cross wind paddling
  • Up-wind paddling

We will paddle west around Wells Island, and finish with a downwinder to the Event Site.

Please call for lesson times and reservations. Again, this class is not for first time paddlers.

Downwind SUP Clinics

The Columbia River Gorge offers some of the absolute best downwind SUP conditions on the planet, with consistently strong winds generating beautiful rolling river swells. Consequently, over the past several years, downwind SUP in the Gorge has exploded and Big Winds has been at the forefront of introducing paddlers from all over to this amazing experience, with a full SUP lesson program, a Downwind Shuttle Service and our popular Gorge Downwind SUP Clinics.

For 2014, our Gorge Downwind SUP Clinics are designed to prepare and guide you through this exhilarating and challenging experience. Each clinic meets at 11 AM at our Event Site Beach Center. After warming up and learning downwind-specific paddling techniques and safety, we will load up our shuttle van and head to Viento State park for an eight mile downwind run back to the Event Site. The five hour clinic costs $125 and includes the shuttle run and five hours of coaching. Performance gear rentals (downwind board, paddle and lifejacket) are $65 for the clinic.

Our clinics have concluded for 2014. We hope to see you in 2015!

SUP Sailing

2 hour lesson, $95

Prerequisites: Basic windsurfing (Big Winds Level I, II, III); Swimming ability.

Done with your workout? Let the wind do the work. Expand into the versatility of windsurfing your SUP! This private lesson is suitable for one or two people and will show you how to maximize your vacation time.

If you have questions or are ready to take the plunge, please call us at 888-509-4210 or email our Lessons and Rental Department at .

lessons lessons private lesson downwind prep downwind clinic SUP sailing