On summer days near Hood River, Oregon, the beautiful Columbia River coursing through its famous Gorge is dotted with multicolored sails—windsurfers and kiteboarders skimming the water, propelled by the gusting winds.
- Windsurfing and kiteboarding the Columbia River Gorge is fun for all ages and skill levels.
- Near Hood River, the Columbia Gorge Sailpark, Cascade Locks, Mayer State Park, and Rooster Rock are prime windsurfing locales.
- Lessons, rentals, and guided trips are easy to find.
Hood River has been called the “windsurfing capital of the world,” a distinction earned due to the ideal winds gusting through the Columbia River Gorge, on whose banks this community rests. Windsurfers and kiteboarders from all over the world visit Hood River to ride Columbia’s waves. These water sports can be enjoyed all year, but summertime windsurfing and kiteboarding are most popular.
Where to Windsurf and Kiteboard
The entire 80-mile Columbia River Gorge forms a playground for windsurfing aficionados, but a few spots are renowned for the great winds and whitecaps they offer. Here are a few of the favorites:
- Columbia Gorge Sailpark is just a few minutes from downtown Hood River with free parking.
- Cascade Locks Marine Park, 20 miles west of Hood River on Interstate 84 in Cascade Locks.
- Mayer State Park, about 15 miles east of Hood River off Interstate 84.
- Rooster Rock State Park, about 35 miles west of Hood River on I-84 near Troutdale, gets winds up to 40 miles an hour and is popular for winter windsurfing.
Lessons & Rentals
A bevy of businesses and instructors provide instruction, rental equipment, and guided excursions for windsurfing and kiteboarding enthusiasts—the companies on this page provide a good starting point for planning your outing.