On a daily basis I see my friends’ Instagram stories and photos featuring an incredible variety of outdoor activities at Hood River — specifically the Gorge. Adventure seekers love that you can mountain bike or hike on trails in the morning and kiteboard in the afternoon. If you happen to visit during the winter, you can even ski or snowboard on nearby Mt. Hood.
Hood River is a world renowned kiteboarding destination
The Hood River is an international kiteboarding hotspot and home to many American pro-riders in summer (Colleen Carrol, Brandon Scheid, Craig Cunningham). Even kite brands have their American headquarters here. The whole vibe is filled with stoke; locals and visitors love the outdoorsy lifestyle and get the most that nature has to offer day in and day out.
The main kiting spot is the Hood River Event Site. It’s here where you will launch your kite from the sandbank during summer. Independent kiteboarders and those who want to work on skill progression can kite upwind of the sandbar, where it’s choppier. Downwind of the sandbar is where you’ll find kite lessons — the water is more shallow and flat. Be aware of the rotation of the riders below the sandbar.
A distinctive Hood River feature
Something unique to the area is that the river current flows opposite to the wind direction; this means on lighter wind days it’ll be easier to stay upwind.
While the Hood River is suitable for all types of kiteboarding — from foiling to freeride, freestyle and big air — wakestyle kiters will love the permanent slider park.