Hood River Kiteboarding -
The Best Spot on the Mainland

Hood River kiteboarding is a popular wind-seeker destination for any kiteboarding enthusiast. Many Canadians head south to spend time here. The town of Hood River is located where its namesake river pours into the Columbia River.

Hood River: KiteFacts
Best winds: May - September (westerly winds)
Wind Conditions: 15- 35 knots
Water Temp: Shorty - Full wetsuit
Water Type: Flat water - chop
Weather: Sunny - warm to cool in the fall
Nightlife: Yes - great kiter vibe - good places to eat and enjoy a beer

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

The Kiteboarding setup.

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.

The sand bar can vary in size hugely - from underwater and nothing to the size of a football field. A $2 fee is collected for you to park at the event site (a small fee), it's about a 20 min to walk from the parking lot to the launch at the sandbar. When there's no sandbar you can rig and launch on the rocky beach but the wind can be shifty. Or setup and walk out to where the sand bar would be.

Oregon the Gorge Hood RiverAs 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.

The good news is that there are numerous other launch spots up and down the Columbia River Gorge for regular Hood River kiteboarding visitors. The Gorge area.

And what a place to practice your tricks!! Without waves and reef you can jump til your hearts content without having many obstacles to distract you. Just watch out for the barges going up and down the river. They can come up on you pretty fast.

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 the coast.

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