Hood River: KiteFacts
This general area of the Columbia River (which starts hundreds of miles north in Canada) is called The Gorge. The wind funnels up the Columbia River Gorge from the coast creating constant wind throughout the summer, especially May through September. In Oregon days are long in the summer months making for fun-filled days and evenings. The wind often stays until quite late.
Photo by Jon Malmberg
Hood River is popular because it has got the only sandbar in the Gorge area making it a great place to launch and learn in the shallow water.
As mentioned its good to learn in the shallows but does get crowded. Going towards the north of the river is a channel which is choppy but can have good waves. Be aware of the current which is moving you upwind. But this is where the wind is better - less gusty.
It is also surrounded by a funky little town long ago populated by windsurfers, making it a super fun and happening spot. Yes, that means it gets crowded.
Hood River kiteboarding should not be missed as a unique experience. It's one of the coolest summer destinations and near enough to Portland that Oregon kiteboarders can be weekend warriors and still get in a lot of riding time.
When it's not windy, this part of the world is a mecca for hiking and mountain biking. You will never get bored nor go without a beautiful outdoor experience.
And if you're still wanting some wind and wave action, head for