Hood River buzzes with kiteboarding energy each summer. Cool air from the Pacific Ocean is sucked through the Columbia River Gorge to the hot, Eastern desert. Strong thermal winds blow nearly every day from May through September. Hood River is a charming town with a myriad of opportunities to explore the outdoors, both on and off the river. Suitable for all levels of kitesurfers it is a Mecca in the sport and somewhere that you have to visit at least once in your lifetime!
Wind and Weather
The good news is that it's windy almost every day from May until September. The wind that blows through the Columbia River Gorge can be strong and gusty. Wind averaging 25 mph with higher gusts isn't uncommon. Expect air temperatures with highs between 75- 85 in the summer, and the water warms to around 70F in by late July most years. Sunny skies are the norm during the summer, but if you visit during winter, spring, or fall, you're more likely to experience rainy days and light wind!
The Hood River sandbar is the central stage for kiteboarding in the area and is near to downtown. However, if you visit Hood River, you'll want to have wheels, because there are many places to kite and explore up and down the Columbia River Gorge.
Food and Drink
Craft beer, local wine, strong coffee, and thoughtfully prepared meals are on tap throughout the Pacific Northwest. The Hood River Valley was an agriculture hotspot before windsurfers and kiteboarders moved to town. An abundance of locally grown and prepared food and beverage offerings keep Hood River residents and visitors fueled-up.
Hood River comes alive after dark with an eclectic mix of locals and tourists looking for a good time. There are plenty of bars to keep you entertained and if you are feeling brave head to Jacks after midnight and ask for a Scorpion; don’t ask what’s in it!
Although windless days aren't the norm in Hood River, there is no lack of alternative activities. Adventurous souls can stay busy mountain biking, kayaking, white water rafting, summer skiing and snowboarding, hiking, SUPing, and the list could go on.
The Columbia River Gorge area has a reliable internet infrastructure.
A variety of accommodation options exist including vacation rentals, hotels, and camping. Hotels tend to fill up on busy, summer weekends, so make your reservations early.
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By Lindsay McClureLindsay is a pro rider from Hood River in the USA, she works for IKSURFMAG as our Features Editor and is an integral part of the team. Lindsay is really into wakestyle riding and can be found in the Hood River Slider Park during the summer months, she also travels all over the world with the World Class Academy helping younger riders develop through kiteboarding!
Been to Hood River? What did you think?
Where are the Best Kitesurfing Beaches in Hood River?
The Event Site is the busiest launch in the area and can be crowded during the summer. The Event Site provides access to a large sandbar which extends into the middle of the Columbia River. The wind can be strong, and the water conditions are mostly choppy. From the main launch, kiters can ride upwind to get away from the crowds and into cleaner swell, or downwind to find flat water and park features.
- Wind: The wind blows out of the west most days from 18- 25 mph
- Waves: None
- Shorebreak: No
Stevenson is located 30 miles west of Hood River on the Washington side of the Columbia River. The wind at Stevenson can be steadier than other locations in the Gorge. Stevenson is a reliable site when the wind blows from east to west. The launch at Stevenson is challenging with slippery rocks and a steep bank to climb down. The conditions on the water are relatively choppy.
- Wind: Expect west wind in the 18- 25 mph range most days
- Waves: None
- Shorebreak: No
Rufus is located 45 miles east of Hood River, on the Oregon side. At Rufus, the river gets narrow, which causes the river swells to become bigger and cleaner than other areas on the Columbia River. The launch is a long beach covered with round rocks. Kiters looking for strong wind keep an eye on the forecast for big days at Rufus.
- Wind: Wind in the 18- 25 mph range, with some days of 35 mph +
- Waves: None
- Shorebreak: None
When is the Best Time to go Kitesurfing in Hood River?
The windy months to go kitesurfing in Hood River are May, June, July, August, September
Kitesurfing Hotels and Accommodation in Hood River
Do you know a good kitesurfing school here? Submit it below.
Kitesurfing Articles that Mention Hood River
A lot of hard work goes into creating the Hood Jam, one of the premier events on kiteboarding’s calendar. Annelous Lammerts looks at the history behind the Jam and what makes it so unique.
Brandon Scheid pushes off on an adventure to see if he can score a once-in-a-lifetime session at a never-been-ridden spot in his own backyard. Read Brandon’s story to find out of journeying beyond his local kite beach pays off.
Ewan Jaspan is on fire right now. Get to know the fun-loving Australian who was just awarded 2017AWSI Kiteboarder of the Year and pocked a second place finish in the 2017 Kite Park League overall standings. Ewan kites for the love of the sport, and he spends more time on the water than anyone. Lindsay McClure caught him in between sessions to find out a bit about the life of Ewan Jaspan.
The Kite Park League is having huge success as the best tour on the planet right now for pro riders. At the top, the gap has closed, and everything is to play for, this year's result is going to go right down to the wire!
Sensi Graves looks at the rise of the Kite Park League and tracks the success story of one of the best kitesurfing movements on the planet right now!
Brandon Scheid has been visiting The Columbia River Gorge for years now and feels like a local there. Who better to guide you through this amazing kitesurfing spot?
Kitesurfing Videos and News in Hood River
3 weeks ago | 36:53
Lace up those boots and get ready to throw down - The Hood Jam 2019 is ON! For its 5th instalment, the event will once…
7 months ago | 2:1
Yesss! Unreleased park clips of Sam Light from an afternoon filming with Alexander James Lewis-Hughes last summer! Enjoy!
7 months ago | 5:1
Yesss!!! Another jaw-dropping edit by Noé Font. Watch Craig Cunnigham, Noé Font and Xander Raith absolutely kill it on Hood River in their latest video…
8 months ago | 2:2
This Dutch shredder needs no ! Watch Annelous Lammerts combining freestyle and park riding, this summer in Hood River.
10 months ago
Laci Kobulsky is no stranger to park riding, so when the word got out of a Kite Park in Urla, Turkey, without a doubt, he…
11 months ago | 36:53
Kick back, relax and enjoy these MAD rides - The 2018 Patagonia Hood Jam finals action from the second round of the Kite Park League…
12 months ago | 01:00
Announcing the Patagonia Hood Jam! Back again for the fourth year, The Slider Project hosts the Hood Jam in beautiful Hood River, Oregon and welcomes title…
12 months ago
The Hood River Junior Jam Media Day is complete and the awards and athlete dinner is up next! Schedule Thursday, July 19th 5:00 pm -…
12 months ago
Hood River Junior Jam freestyle competition is complete! Schedule Wednesday, July 18th 5 pm - Rider's meeting @ Hood River Marina. Media Day. Thursday, July…
1 year ago
Hood River Junior Jam park competition is complete! Tomorrow's forecast looks great for the freestyle event Schedule Tuesday, July 17th 9:00 am - Rider's meeting…
1 year ago
The Hood River Junior Jam kicks off today! Monday, July 16th 9 am - Rider's meeting at Hood River Marina. Riders, please wear/bring your event…
1 year ago | 01:00
This event is always one of our favorites because it is hosted in the only full-size public slider park, the gorgeous lush backdrops, and the…
1 year ago | 02:49
The 2018 Triple S wildcard submission for Mark Cafero. The edit from Hood River is action packed! Make sure you take a look.
1 year ago | 01:29
The Triple S Wildcard entry videos are rolling in thick and fast. Best of luck to Katie Potter, her edit is pumping!
1 year ago | 4:37
Spare 5 minutes of your day for this epic compilation edit! Everything from waves to foiling to megaloops. A must see. The best videos of…
2 years ago | 3:45
Explosive pop and tough as nails construction, the new Echo is your new all terrain ripping machine. Built around the idea that speed equals pop…
2 years ago
A boxing day snowkite on the Hood River sandbar! This legendary spot just keeps on providing the goods, you can snowkite there too! December 26…
2 years ago | 01:57
It's all good in the Hood. Some stunning light and big tricks one afternoon in the Hood River Slider Park. Check it out.