Kitesurfing Oregon's coast is for all kiters, but experienced kiters will really love it. The shore break and ocean current in some places will make for some challenging conditions for newbies but you can still get kiteboarding lessons here. It's not to say that you can't learn here but on some beaches, it isn't the easiest place. The waves are fun and more harmless than they look on some beaches because they have come from such a long distance that they generally just turn to mush rather than pitching violently over un-suspecting kiteboarders. But given a solid swell you will soon know when you are in over your head!
Oregon Coast: KiteFacts
Best winds: May - September
Wind Conditions:15- 30 knots - NW wind is best
Water Temp: Full wetsuit
Water Type: Mostly Waves
Weather:warm and fog
Nightlife: Mellow campsites and funky town vibe
Besides the continuous waves, many people find kitesurfing Oregon Coast super fun because it is an amazing place to do 1-3 hour downwinders. With the great thermals which build through the summer when the cool ocean air meets the warmer inland air, there is so much endless shoreline that it's easy to find places to launch and land. Highway 101 follows the coast closely so there are ample spots to arrange a pick-up.
A few of the best spots for kitesurfing Oregon's North Coast (North to South) are Fort Stevens, Manzanita, and Seaside. I recently kiteboarded in Manzanita - a very funky little town. Nehalem Bay campsite is a really nice Oregon State Park about a mile down the beach from the town itself. On good windy days you are lucky enough to walk right out from the campsite to the beach and kite there. This is a nice state park and books up so plan in advance if possible. If not, line up in the morning to get on the wait list for the days cancellations.
Here's a list of the main Kitespots from North to South:
- Ft Stevens - shipwrecks, best wind NW
- Cannon Beach - good for learning as shallow far out, fun land kiting here too
- Manzanita - windiest place on the coast (bring your smallest kite), funky town
- Nehalem Bay - very windy, bring small kite
- Lincoln City - open beach with some good waves
- Newport - good small to medium waves
- Cape Blanco
- Whiskey Run Beach - just north of Bandon off of Seven Devils Road is not on your list. Beach can be driven on by street legal vehicles. With six miles of shoreline to kite from beach entrance to Bullards Beach lighthouse. The first two miles are the best with a long flat shoreline. North winds in the summer. South winds in the winter. The locals are friendly, non-territorial, and always willing to give a ride back upwind. Wind ranges from 10-35 depending on the day.
- Florence - cross onshore wind and waves. Follow your way round to the South side of the river mouth, fun kiting on north winds and surfing off the river mouth break water
- Floras Lake - this is a great spot to learn as the lake is shallow a long way out.
- Sebastien Pt
- Pistol River - great uncrowded spot - watch out for rocks upwind toward Sebastian point.
A view down Manzanita
Fort Stevens - the most northern kiting spot in Oregon, hosts another Oregon State Park which isn't quite as nice as Nehalem Bay but it is a great launch spot for a couple of different downwinders. Launch right in the campground (parking lots B or C) and kite down to the parking lot at the shipwreck (Irondale) a 1-2 hour ride. Or keep going further all the way to Sunset Lane. This downwinder is about 2-3 hours.
Seaside often brings, later day, lighter winds. Here the waves are a bit nicer than at Manzanita and it's also possible to park right at the beach. The wind here tends to be a bit better directionally, they are more side-onshore. Manzanita wind is slightly more onshore.
Kitesurfing Oregon is usually on in the North or the South. If the North part of the state isn't on head a little further south to Florence or Lincoln City. Florence has side-onshore wind and waves. Lincoln City has a huge beach and you can also park right beside it and launch easily.
Because it's right on the ocean expect lighter winds than in areas where the hotter air has had a chance to funnel inland. You'll want to bring your larger kites when on the Coast. When the Coast is cloudy you are probably only a couple hours from crankin' wind in the
so bring all of your kites and you'll be sure to find wind somewhere.
The Pacific ocean in this part of the world is cold. A minimum of a 4/3 wetsuit is recommended in the warmest months. Many people wear booties.
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