What To Know About Hood River

Hood River Oregon has been known as the “Windsurfing Capital of the World” for years now, this beautiful town sits along the Columbia River Gorge and on both sides of the river you will see beautiful hills and mountains, not to mention the beautiful Mt Hood on the Oregon side and then Mt Adams on the other in Washington State.

Kiteboarder on the Columbia River Gorge
Kiteboarding along the Columbia River near Hood River

How did Hood River become the Windsurfing Capital of the World? What makes this town an ideal spot for windsurfing comes from the fact that it is located in area of The Gorge where the wind is always ideal for windsurfing due to the fact that it is in between the mountainous terrain which funnels the wind yearlong along this stretch of the Columbia River Gorge. Not only is the wind yearlong but many times the wind if incredibly strong. Even during the winter months it is possible to windsurf along the Columbia River Gorge if you are up to getting a wetsuit and braving the cold conditions to get out there. The winds are really a result of the geography and terrain of the surrounding area, which makes this an ideal spot to windsurf. The parking lot is very conveniently located next to the river making the unpacking and packing of your gear ideal.

Flying on the Columbia River
Windsurfing along the Columbia River Gorge near Hood River

Everything is perfect to windsurf in this place, so along with ideal year round conditions there are breweries and restaurants to satiate that appetite you are sure to work up with your windsurfing here.

A bit on the history of windsurfing here. The town was “discovered” by windsurfers in the 1980’s and after which many of the shops went from being local shops to being transformed into businesses and shops that cater to outdoor enthusiasts who come to Hood River for various reasons, however, the big industry here is of course windsurfing, but don’t forget to check out some other outdoor sports popping up here such as mountain biking or running!

Where To Start: Windsurfing Shops

Hood River has some really great windsurfing shops here locally. Be sure to check out a few such as Big Winds, Windance Boardshop, and The Gorge Surf Shop.

You can check in with these shops to find the latest and up to date venues to take some lessons. They do have venues during the summer months right on the waterfront for lessons. The lessons are usually in the hundreds of dollars range but check with the surf shops to get an up to date price check on those lessons.

Where To Windsurf In The Columbia River Gorge

Well, the answer to this is a bit obvious, but we do want you to windsurf here in Hood River, so that being said you can of course windsurf by the riverfront in Hood River. This is a great place to start there is a lot of parking, an entire parking lot dedicated to people coming in their vans and parking in the “event parking”.

Check out this website for information on parking at the Hood River Waterfront.

Hood River Waterfront Parking Information


Along The Riverfront

Along the riverfront especially during the summer months you will see some places that rent out equipment and offer lessons for paddleboarders and beginning watersports. Two places to look into are the Gorge Paddleing Center and the Hood River SUP and Kayak.

Along the riverfront Hood River has some absolutely amazing places to eat, such as Pfriem. Pfriem is a full brewery with some amazing food to fill you up after a dip in the water.

Need coffee? Stoked Coffee Roasters roasts their beans right inside their cafe and yes you can request a pour over from freshly roasted beans! They have a wide array of creative drinks such as chocolate and peanut butter espresso and matcha lattes which can be done in alternative milks such as almond, coconut or soy.

Have a look at some of the great restaurants along the river!

Solstice: http://solsticewoodfirecafe.com

PFriem: https://www.pfriembeer.com

Camp 1805: https://camp1805.com

Stoked Coffee Roasters: https://www.stokedroasters.com

More To Do In Hood River

Hood River is not just windsurfing, this wonderful town boasts amazing trails to hike, snowboarding and skiing during the winter at Mt Hood along with wineries, restaurants, hotels, tours, and of course our famous “Fruit Loop”. The scenery to get to all of these destinations is just breathtaking, just have a look at Mt Hood!

As I mentioned the Hood River Fruit Loop is a great tour to take around the Hood River Valley. You are sure to be wowed by the majestic views of the mountain, the clean air and rolling hills of douglas fir trees leading up to your view of the mountain. Along the way be sure to stop at one of the many outstanding venues selling products produced locally here in Hood River. Everything from fresh jams to syrups to fresh fruit is here. It all ends/starts not far from the waterfront where all the windsurfing is happening as well.


You will see views like these during your tour of the Hood River Fruit Loop.

See Also:

Active Lifestyle: https://www.discoverhoodriver.com/category/acitve-lifestyle/

Places to Eat: https://restaurantshoodriver.com

Big Winds Surf Shop: https://bigwinds.com/

Hood River SUP and Kayak: https://www.hoodriversupandkayak.com/