Oregon Kiteboarding is the Home of -
Unlimited Kitesurfing Spots
In Oregon kiteboarding enthusiasts flock to countless destinations along the Columbia River Gorge and
Oregons Pacific coast
each summer. No matter where you are, you usually are only a couple hours away, at maximum, from wind in this kiteboarding paradise.
Probably the most famous spot in Oregon is
. This spot located in the Gorge is one of the most windy spots not too far from Portland. It's a great place to get started and watch local hot-shots practicing their tricks. With the best winds between May and October, many amazing kiters reside here. The water can be pretty crowded around the sand bar as its butter flat and shallow. But watch out for pro riders! The best place to go is up wind (west) where the wind is less gusty too.
Click here for Hood River kiteboarding.
If you find the crowds in Hood River a little crazy or that the weather isn't ideal for awesome kiting conditions venture to one of the nearby launch spots. Pick up a Gorge Guide publication for details on the launch spots for each site. This guide gives an amazing description of each site including level of difficulty and a map of each launch area.
The classic weather set-up in Oregon kiteboarding areas involves thermals where the cooler air on the coast creates more wind to the east. If it's cold and cloudy on the coast the Gorge spots are sure to be crankin'! Your best bet is to stay east of the cloud line. For example if it's cloudy in Stevenson or Hood River head east of The Dalles for sunnier & windier conditions.
Excellent kitesurfing spots in that drier, desert-like terrain include Lyle (near Doug's Beach) Rufus, Maryhill and Roosevelt. Expect to find big swell in these locations. Wave lovers will enjoy these rollers and the wide area to play in across the river. There is free camping at a few of these locations.
I spent a couple of weekends near Hood River when I was just learning to body drag. We stayed in the town of Stevenson (on the Washington side). It's a tricky launch for a beginner but nice once in the water because you have lots of room.
Photo by Jon Malmberg
Kiteboarders from anywhere will love the Gorge because you can enjoy regular downwinders. As you kiteboard east up the Columbia river you can get picked up easily on the highway. Just be careful to stay on the side of the river from which you will be picked up. There are some steep sections along the river with high banks making for a very difficult landing.
The Columbia River is a lot warmer than the nearby ocean. In hot summer months (July, Aug and part of September) you may not even need a wetsuit but bring at least a shorty and a warmer rashguard for cooler days.
Kitesurfing Oregon's coast
is another great experience. Here you'll find lighter winds, endless waves and white sand beaches, and a whole new place to enjoy incredible downwinders.
The varied wind conditions in Oregon kiteboarding are why people have quivers ... and lots of them. The range is quite high. People spend a lot of time watching the wind forecasts. It can be low one day and then pick to 35 knots later on. It gives you a chance to try out all those kites and really get to know the wind!
Oregon Coast Kitesurfing
Hood River Kiteboarding
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