With advancements in equipment and lessons, along with perfect conditions, more and more people are choosing to learn kiteboarding in the Columbia River Gorge. This exciting sport combines several of the water sports including wakeboarding, windsurfing, paragliding and surfing — plus learning to control a kite while skimming along the water. While all the wind and water sports are born from similar backgrounds, rigging and taking off require different skills and space.

A bit of history

In 1989, kiteboarding was discovered when Cory Roeseler strapped his feet to stock water skis. With three rectangular colorful kites, he took off across the Columbia River into a crowd of surprised windsurfers. Today, kiteboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the world.

An adventurous kiteboarder gets the thrill of riding large waves and swells created by a nearby barge in the Gorge

Why is it so windy in the Columbia River Gorge?

The Columbia River winds through the Cascade Mountains, bordering the states of Washington and Oregon from the Eastern deserts to the Pacific Ocean 200 miles to the west. The river’s low-elevation channel moves through miles of mountains. The pressure difference across the Cascade Mountains makes air flow from one side to the other. In the summer, the cold, dense marine air from the west meets the hot and dry air out in the east. The higher the pressure difference— the stronger the wind.

For more details about launch sites, amenities and skill levels, please click on the map below.

Wind sports map of launch sites in the Columbia River Gorge for both Washington and Oregon
Doug’s premier outdoor shop is Hood River’s only complete full-service skate, ski and snowboard store



Doug’s is located in the Columbia River Gorge in Hood River, Oregon. As one of the premier outdoor recreation areas in the country, the Gorge is world famous for adventure activities. In 1984, Doug’s was the first windsurfing retail store and is Hood River’s only complete full-service skate, ski and snowboard shop, for all your ski and boot fitting needs, including repair and rental. Doug’s also offers an abundance of clothing to satisfy your active lifestyle.

101 Oak Street, Hood River, OR     541-386-5787     visit website

As a 4-season premium outdoor retailer, Pure Stoke (previously called 2nd Wind Sports) has everything you need

Pure Stoke


You know us by our former name, 2nd Wind Sports! Over 34 years we OUTGREW that name and became our motto: Pure Stoke! Pure Stoke is a 4-season premium outdoor retailer. We have everything you need: camping, hiking, kiteboarding, SUP, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoes and apparel for everything. We have the SAME owners, SAME new & used options, local knowledge and the hands-on gear knowledge you love!

202 State Street, Downtown Hood River, OR     541-386-4464     visit website