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windsurfing lessons


The Big Winds Hook Windsurfing Center will be opening Friday, May 15th 2015 for beginner windsurf rentals (Friday-Sunday plus holidays until June 13th, then seven days a week through Labor Day weekend).


Big Winds has the largest lesson and rental center in the Gorge. We have everything you need to get started with windsurfing, and can help you improve your current skills as well. We have a huge selection of high-performance rental and demo equipment, an outstanding Kids Camp, specialized women's clinics, and the most knowledgeable staff around.

Windsurfing lessons are available starting May 1st, 2015. Windsurfing beginner rentals are available at our Hook Center starting Friday May 15th, 2015 (Friday through Sunday plus holidays until June 13th, then seven days a week through Labor Day).

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

Jump to: Women's Clinics | Kids Camp

Step One: Initial Lessons

Our two-lesson introductory program introduces all of the skills you will need to progress to an intermediate level. You can take each lesson individually, or combine them in our Discover Windsurfing Package at a reduced price.

First lesson?

Step Two: Intermediate Lessons

Our Intermediate Lessons are designed to progress you to shortboard sailing, with a focus on waterstarting, a skill that once mastered will unlock sailing locations across the entire Gorge.

Step Three: Progression Sessions

Our Progression Sessions New this summer, Big Winds Progression Sessions Clinics are offered on select Saturdays. Each clinic is geared towards taking intermediate and advanced sailors to the next level. From moving beyond water starting, to nailing your jibes, do it in our Progression Sessions.

Step Four: Private Lessons

In a Private Lesson, you and your expert instructor will plan an individualized curriculum based on your current windsurfing abilities and goals. Whether you're just getting started with the sport, or working on your loops, a private lesson could be just the boost your skills need.

Just for the Ladies

Our famous Women's Clinics are a terrific way to improve your windsurfing in a fun and supportive environment, while ripping it up with some great ladies who are also stoked on this sport.

Just for the Kids

For the young ones in the family, our Kids Camp is a great way to get started with windsurfing.

Introductory Windsurfing Lessons

Two lesson times daily:
11:00-1:00 and 2:00-4:00

Since 1987, Big Winds has been combining first-rate instruction, top of the line gear, and fun on the water for an exceptional windsurfing experience. Our instructors are among the best in the business, and we strive to make your lesson informative, successful and memorable.

We have developed a two-lesson introductory program which introduces all of the basic skills in windsurfing. These 2-hour lessons are all-inclusive, and come with an hour of practice time immediately following the lesson. $79 each

First lesson?

Level I: Intro to Windsurfing

All-inclusive 2 hour lesson, plus 1 hour practice, $79

This class is a recipe for instant success. If you have never taken a lesson before or want to review your basic skills, this is the class for you. You will be on the water in no time, learning sailing stance, steering, and basic turning.

Level II: Building Skills

All-inclusive 2 hour lesson, plus 1 hour practice, $79

This class refines the stance, steering, and turning skills learned in Level One. You will learn fast tacks, pivot jibes, and how to sail upwind. This is a fun class to build your new skills.

Discover Windsurfing Package

Two all-inclusive 2 hour lessons
2 total hours of practice, $149

The combination of Levels 1 and 2 is a great introduction to the sport windsurfing. You will receive two 2-hour lessons, with an hour of practice time after each lesson.

Don't worry, if you sign up for this package you aren't expected to take both lessons on the same day. In fact, we encourage you to space them out over a couple of days, or a long weekend. Many people find a bit of practice time in between lessons to be helpful in mastering all the skills introduced in each lesson.

Windsurfing Lessons

Windsurfing Lessons

Windsurfing Lessons

Windsurfing Lessons

Windsurfing Lessons

Windsurfing Lessons

"Thank you, Mike, Karin and Kat for a great experience. Never thought you could have everyone surfing in 2 hours! Kat, did a wonderful job with the instruction."

- Steve Johnson

Intermediate Lessons - Learn to Shortboard

Two lesson times daily:
11:00-1:00 and 2:00-4:00

Our intermediate lessons are 2 hours long and include the use of our performance rental equipment during the lesson, and an additional hour of practice immediately following the lesson. Intermediate lessons are all semi-privates (max 2 people), ensuring a ton of personal attention from your instructor. Each lesson is $99.

Level III: Shortboard Basics

All-inclusive 2 hour lesson, plus 1 hour practice, $99

Move closer to shortboard sailing. Polish your skills and stance from the previous lessons while transitioning to a smaller board and larger sail. Beach starting and harness use will also be introduced.

Level IV: Beyond the Hook

All-inclusive 2 hour lesson plus one hour of practice, $99

After you're proficient in your basic skills, it's time to move outside the Hook. This lesson is designed to follow our three lesson introductory progression. The lesson starts by learning rigging and equipment handling skills. You will then move just outside the Hook to perfect your beachstarts, sail in choppier water and learn the fundamentals of waterstarting.

Level V: Sailing the River

All-inclusive 2 hour lesson plus one hour of practice, $99

Continuing your progression outside the Hook, this lesson provides in-depth coaching on rigging and deep water waterstarting. Rescue techniques, Gorge wind meteorology and different equipment options (shortboards, SUP sailing and sails) are also introduced.

Learn to Shortboard Package

Three all-inclusive 2 hour lessons, $259

Sign up for all three intermediate lessons and save huge ($38 off). Our Learn to Shortboard Package includes our Shortboard Basics, Beyond the Hook, and Sailing the River lessons.

Call us at 888-509-4210 or email our Lessons and Rentals Department at .

Waterstart 1

Waterstart 2

Progression Sessions

It’s time to take your windsurfing to the next level. New this summer, Big Winds will be offering our Progression Sessions Windsurfing Clinics for intermediate to advanced windsurfers (solid waterstarters on up) on select Saturdays through the season. Whether you are trying to nail your jibes, or taking your first plunge into the river after your waterstart lessons, our Progression Sessions will give you the maximum opportunity to have top of the line coaching in the best conditions the Gorge has to offer.

Each clinic is a full day event, meeting at our shop at 9 am. After a brief meet and greet, participants will discuss their windsurfing goals. The group will then head to the best spot for the conditions of the day. The remainder of the clinic will be a mix of sailing with feedback both on and off the water, dry land simulation, and gear rigging/tuning advice. The clinic will go to around 4 PM with a wrap up chat and beverages provided to cap things off. Lunch is BYO.

Cost: $125 per session

Full Package Gear Rental for Clinic $50 ($69 normally)


  • Saturday, May 23rd
  • Saturday, June 20th
  • Saturday, July 18th
  • Saturday, August 8th
  • Saturday, August 22nd

Online signups are available here or give us a call at 888-509-4210.

progression 1

progression 2

Private Lessons

2 hours, reservations required, $179
one or two people

Whether you are just starting with windsurfing or are working on your loops, our expert instructors can tailor a lesson to your needs. What you learn is up to you; the possibilities are endless. Individualized instruction with one of our experienced instructors will accelerate your sailing to the next level.

Private Lesson

Women's Clinics

Dates: July 11, 12 and August 1, 2
2 days, $250 (does not include equipment)

Come join us for a day of playing around on the water with just the girls. These clinics, lead by long time instructor Heidi Chappel, will change your sailing forever and give you the opportunity to meet some new friends to sail with. Whether you are looking to learn how to jibe, jump or just get into the footstraps and harness these clinics will be a great starting point to take your sailing to the next level. With a small instructor to student ratio you will be guaranteed to receive individualized attention and instruction as you move at the pace that best suits you. With all day instruction you will receive rigging and sail tuning tips along with the opportunity to try some great new demo gear from Big Winds if you so desire.

Each clinic is comprised of two full days on the water. In the morning you will meet the instructors for coffee and bagels at the Big Winds shop (8:45 AM) to see where the best place for wind is that day. The sailing locations used most for the women's clinics are the Event Site, Rowena or Viento because they offer easy beach access and a good variety of sailing conditions for the intermediate to advanced sailor. Once the sailing site has been established the group will carpool/caravan to the sailing location. Bring your lunch pail as you will be spending the whole day at the beach. Then at the end of your first day, take the time to share all your fun stories and what you learned as you receive complimentary wine and cheese supplied by Big Winds.

These clinics are a great way to improve your skills while having fun with the girls. Whether you are looking to cross the river for the first time or wanting to learn how to rip up the swell you can advance your skill level in this two day clinic. The only requirement to join in on the fun is to have a bombproof water start. If you do let us show you the rest.

Online signups are available here or give us a call at 888-509-4210.

Women's Clinic

Kids Camp

Let us introduce your kids to windsurfing in our exciting 4-day program. Learn more at our Kids Camp page.

Kids Camp