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More Kiteboarding Information

Gorge Kiteboard School

2014 Season, May 1st - November 1st

Gear for kiteboarding in The Gorge

You should bring a wetsuit and booties if you have them.
Heavyweight wetsuit for May, June and October.
Lightweight wetsuit for July, August and September.

I have wetsuits available for students.
Please let me know in advance if you will need one.
I have booties available for students.

(Hood River is a great place to purchase a wetsuit because there are more styles,
sizes and shapes for sale here than anywhere else in North America.
Heavyweight wetsuits are available for rent in town.)


I have a harness, flotation jacket and helmet you can use,
but you might be more comfortable if you can bring your own.



How old/young do you need to be?

Itís not the studentís age, but the student's weight and decision making capability.
Itís hard to control a kite if your body weight is less than 65 pounds, so that tends to be the minimum weight. Young people learn fast so that is not an issue. The main issue is the quality of judgments made by this individual young person. A kiteboarder makes decisions of similar importance to a mountain biker riding down a steep hill or a driver in a car. Kiteboarding can be dangerous and requires some foresight and good judgment to stay safe. Kids who ride mountain bikes on trails without close supervision tend to understand that some crashes hurt a lot and that you could actually kill yourself by loosing control and hitting a tree hard. That level of understanding is required in kiteboarding since the kiteboarder needs to make important safety related decisions often.

At the other end of the age range I have successfully taught several students in their 70's. Again it's not the age of the student but their decision making capability, which allows them to recognize their limits, and work safely within them.



Wind
Generally the gorge is a windy place. I only reschedule 10 % of my lessons because of a lack of wind. However it is wind and it can stop for up to 5 days at a time. The wind is extremely consistent in June and July. May, August and the first few weeks of September have consistent wind. April and October the wind is less consistent and lessons are possible only 70 % of the days.

4-day Wind Forecast.

Water

The last half of April the water will be about 52º. It is comfortable with a warm wetsuit if the sun is shining, but 2 1/2 hours is about as long as you want to be in the water.
May 1st the water hits 57º and it is comfortable in a warm wetsuit for the full three hours.

May 15th the water hits 62º and a warm wetsuit keeps you totally warm for the full three hours.
June 15th the water temp is around 68º and a wetsuit with short arms keeps you totally warm.
September 1st the water will be near 78º.
October 1st the water will be near 70º.


How many lessons should you reserve?
For most students one 3-hour lesson per day is enough kiteboarding and they prefer a less strenuous activity for the remainder of the day. Students often take from three to five lessons to reach a place where they are ready to kiteboard demanding locations on their own. Each student is unique and has different goals. Some students need a few hours of help on one aspect of kiteboarding. Some students want a coach who can kiteboard with them and provide instruction and emergency support when needed throughout their vacation. All students pay the same per hour rate regardless of how many lessons they reserve, so sign up for the number you want and we will go from there.

The number of lessons you will want depends on your starting place, what Skill Level you want to achieve, and your Learning Speed.



Skill Level
Confident and prepared to kiteboard in challenging locations.
This kiteboarder can go to challenging locations like The Gorge and safely kiteboard out and come back to the same spot without difficulty.
Confident and prepared to kiteboard in less challenging locations.
This kiteboarder can go to easier locations like Cape Hatteras or the Caribbean and safely kiteboard out and come back to the same spot without difficulty.
Prepared to continue learning on your own in challenging locations.
This kiteboarder has the knowledge and skills to continue learning in a challenging location like The Gorge with a reasonable expectation of avoiding injury and equipment damage.
Prepared to continue learning on your own in less challenging locations.
This kiteboarder has the knowledge and skills to continue learning in easier locations like Cape Hatteras or the Caribbean with a reasonable expectation of avoiding injury and equipment damage.
Beginner level 4-line kite flying skills.
This student has only a limited ability to control a 4-line kite. If they continue to learn on their own without additional instruction, they need to use extra caution to avoid injury and equipment damage.
Basic understanding of the safety concepts and rudimentary flying skills.
This student has limited ability to control a small 4-line kite. If this student continues to learn on their own without additional instruction, they will need to use extreme caution to avoid injury and should expect significant damage to their equipment.


Learning Speed
If you are an exceptional athlete with lots of kite flying or sailing experience and wake boarding or water-ski experience you will be in the extremely fast or fast range.
If you have reached expert levels in other sports easily and have some sailing or flying experience you will be in the fast or quick range.
People with serious gymnastics or dance training will be in the fast or quick range.
Young people under the age of 14 are generally in the quick range.
If are not a great athlete but have lots of flying or sailing experience you could be in the quick or the average range.
The rest of you are probably in the average range (Unless your are extra safety conscious.).
Often the students in the slower range are extra concerned with safety, and they want to master each skill fully before moving onto the next skill. This investment in a slower process allows them to develop stronger foundation skills, improved kite control, greater confidence, and a higher level of safety.


Lodging
The Vagabond Lodge -
http://www.vagabondlodge.com/
Hood River Hotel - http://www.hoodriverhotel.com
Best Western Hood River Inn - http://www.hoodriverinn.com/
Gorge View B & B - http://gorgeview.com/
For longer stays (5 days +):
Hood River Vacation Rentals - www.hrvacations.com
mark@windguide.com                                                                                                                  541 490 4401
541 490 4401 Home The School Availability and Reservations Contact me Map & directions Online School
mark@windguide.com Rates Lessons Plans Gift Certificate Forecast More Information Telluride Snowkite