Windsurfing in the Gorge is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. The Gorge is a natural wind tunnel that creates wind and waves for wind junkies. The sport started in the 1970s and was recognized as the catalyst for bringing hundreds of windsurfers (beginners to experts) from all over the world to the Gorge, which became known as the “windsurfing capital” of the world. For some real entertainment, drive to the Spring Creek Fish Hatchery and watch hardcore and dedicated athletes harness the extreme wind conditions. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or expert — windsurfing on the Columbia River in the Gorge is an awesome experience and a lot of fun!

People learning how to windsurf, on calm water in the Gorge, in the early days of the sport

Early days of windsurfing

A bit of history

In 1948, Newman Darby, a 20 year old American, created a floating platform which looked more like a catamaran than a windsurfing board on which he mounted a sail. He did not patent his idea and in the mid-sixties Jim Drake and Hoyle Schweitzer brainstormed the idea of the sail and the boom, along with the invention of the uphauling rope. First they called the board, “the skate,” then the “Baja board” and finally it was “the windsurfer.”

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
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!

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