Epic warm, westerly winds make Hood River one of the world’s best kiteboard and windsurfing locations.
Summer weather in the Columbia River Gorge is perfect for this fun and exciting sport. Strong west winds blow steadily from May until early October. The opposing river current builds rolling swells – ideal for jumping and tricks to keep even the experts amused.
The summertime winds are caused by the pressure difference between the colder air from the Pacific Ocean in the western end of the Gorge and the warmer arid air at the eastern end of the Gorge where the skies are clear and the temperatures are rising. The warm air rises, pulling the cooler air through the Gorge which acts as a natural funnel. Where the clouds meet sun is usually the windiest place. A mile or two downwind from the clouds is usually the spot for the strongest consistent wind.
There are several launch spots along the Columbia. Suitability will depend on personal experience and local weather conditions on the day. Local stores will be happy to make recommendations for the best sites for the current conditions. You can also look at the weather sites and webcams.
Once you have decided to learn we recommend that practice with a trainer kite and get comfortable with your flying skills – schools will also get you going this way but this will save you time. It’s vital to get lessons before you venture out onto the water. There are three schools in town we recommend.
Cascade Kiteboarding runs private kiteboarding lessons out of Stevenson, Washington and Hood River, Oregon.
CKB caters to individuals looking for a private and more personalized learning experience. The personalization of each lesson is what makes Cascade unique. Each lesson is customized to the student’s level, progressing at a comfortable pace, but yet presenting challenges and benchmarks for the student to attain.
Great resource for windsurfing, kiteboarding and snowboarding. Sells new and used great and is a great resource for repairs. Have a coffee and chill or visit Mother’s Natural Food store to stock up while you are at the ‘dance. Windance has some great swap meets during the season – it’s quite the spectator sport as well.
Hood River Vacation Rentals is a collection point for Kitecycle. Kitecycle turns old kites into fun new products. Check out their website for details. Do your part for the environment and get a tax write off! Give us a call to donate.