Kite Boarding in Hood River, OR

After the hottest week in Seattle history, the prospect of little wind for kite boarding lessons in Hood River made me decide to drop the plan of leaving work at noon on Friday to drive down to Oregon. I ended up working a full long day, then went out for beers with some other Coug coworkers, then to Shakespeare in the Park and out to dinner. Good Friday night!

During my first sleeping in day in a LONG time, I was sleeply enjoying a cool morning in bed when I got a text from my friend and kiteboard instructor in Hood River, “we have wind! still want a lesson?” It was 9:30, I was out of town by 10:25, singing to the stereo driving to Oregon in my hot pink bikini top with the windows rolled down. So much for no lessons this weekend!

I made it in exactly the mapquest predicted time of 4 hours, and got hooked up with gear right when I arrived. I knew Bryan back in high school when we were in band together and he suggested I take lessons from his shop. Always a perk to know people. First of all, you need to understand that Hood River is one of the world’s meccas for windsurfing and kite boarding. The wind and location are perfect and it is BEAUTIFUL. Located about 60 miles east of Portland, Hood River is along the Columbia River and is stunning. Add hundreds of graceful, colorful kites over the water = amazing.

We grabbed a kite, board, wetsuits, life jackets, lines, sunscreen, etc, and headed to the beach to set up the kite. I had been practicing with a trainer kite (2.5 m) but today I learned to set up and use a 6m power kite with 4 lines. So cool! And so much more fun! I love it. I had two lessons and Byran and I were in the water for over 5 hours. I got up on the board a few times towards the end, most of the lesson was learning to control this new kite and letting it drag me thought the water where I wanted to go! It was exhausting but SO much fun. I am hooked!

Tomorrow I am going to go out again, then meet up with my friend Bo in Portland on my way home. I am going to start looking for my own gear…another new sport I am hooked on! I love kiteboarding (and Hood River too!)


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