The Columbia River Gorge is one of the world's top windsurfing destinations, home to around 70 recognised locations. Visitors can explore the sport's home base at Hood River, which overlooks the tremendous Columbia river from the Oregon side. Strong winds funnel through tall canyon walls, making for a scenic arena for adrenaline-fuelled water sports.
If that sounds a bit intimidating, beginners will be better situated in The Hook, a protected area next to Hood River where several schools teach the basics. Kite surfing has also become a popular wind/water sport on the river. Even for those who have no interest in fighting the elements, Hood River is an inviting place to watch the colourful sails swarm below.