Hood River, OR is one of the meccas for water sports in the USA. Flowing from Canada to the Portland coast, the Columbia River is known for its strong currents and thermal winds. Watersport lovers meet at countless spots every day to enjoy nature. The region appeals to every outdoor sports enthusiast, from mountain biking, climbing, snowboarding, and skiing to paragliding, everyone gets their money’s worth.
The Columbia River Gorge offers culinary delights, fresh salmon, several regional breweries, good red wines, and local art. Originally settled by loggers and fishermen, the region has a large Scandinavian community and is enjoying an increase in Bay Area ex-pats. The climate is similar to that in Europe, has seasons, and is a popular destination for wind sports enthusiasts, in the midsummer.
Day 1 of the September event in Hood River started with strong winds kicking in, to our surprise, at 10 am! While some brands were still inflating their stuff and sipping coffee, we all rushed to the water so we could test the newest gear with the other riders. We were lucky to have good wind until the evening that day – this allowed the North American retailers and kite schools to get their hands on the new FLYSURFER STOKE and some other projects FLYSURFER has been working on.
Day 2 and Day 3 were a bit more challenging in terms of wind. On Thursday, the wind started strong but died off in the afternoon. We saw some riders asking for the FLYSURFER SOUL and the PEAK, both ideal for the wind conditions.
While day 3 offered an East wind, some retailers took the opportunity to take off and head to Stevenson for some bigger swell and winging opportunities. The day was quieter which also allowed me to go kiting with the other pro riders who stayed at the event site.
credits: Ivan van Vuuren text: Marie-Eve Mayrand, Christoph Hesina