- The wind is extremely steady.
- The sandbar is huge with shallow and warm water.
- The beach and water is uncrowded.
- Lyle is close to Hood River (9 miles).
Lyle arguably has the smoothest wind to learn within the Columbia River gorge corridor. Most people who learn to kite in "The Gorge" do so at the event site in Hood River, OR. The event site is known worldwide to have wind that is gusty, unsteady, and often times so unstable as to be considered dangerous.
By offering kiteboarding lessons in Lyle, we hope to provide not only an alternative spot to learn in the area, but a location that has much more steady wind for students that want to learn to kiteboard in one of the best spots in the USA.
Why do beginning kiteboarders want more steady wind? With steadier wind the student is able to progress faster in a much safer environment. When learning in gusty and unsteady wind, the kite can fall out of the sky during a lull and create unsafe conditions that can result in situations that put the student and the kite at risk of damage. Wind speeds that fluctuate from high wind to low wind (or no wind) is difficult for the student to master basic kite control skills. Steadier wind creates a much more relaxed experience during lessons and gives the student more predictable results with the kite. Our experiences has show that with steady wind and the relaxed learning experience it helps to create, our students will progress in a much faster and safer way.
This sandbar is huge with shallow and warm water:
The large Lyle sandbar at the mouth of the Klickitat River gets created in early summer when the winds begin to pick up. It is the perfect location for learning to kiteboard. On the windward side of the sandbar, and at the end near the channel, the Lyle sandbar hosts shin to waist high water levels, which are perfect for learning basic kite flying skills. The more space available and the less crowded a beach is, the safer the conditions for flying a kite are. This is why initial kite flying lessons with “ComeKiteWithUs” are held in the shallows provided by this large sandbar. After mastering basic kite piloting skills, we move our students out to slightly deeper, waist to chest high water, for learning skills such as body dragging, board starts, and transitions, until our students become able to ride upwind on their own.
The warmer temperature of the water near the Lyle sandbar means our students can learn to kite while staying comfortable, physically lasting longer when training than they would in colder water.
The beach and water is uncrowded:
Minimal crowds on the beach and in the water makes the Lyle sandbar the best spot in "The Gorge" to learn kiteboarding. The event site in Hood River, with its worldwide fame, has become much more crowded with both beach goers and fellow kiters. This can make for a high tension, and often times, unsafe environment for both kiteboarding students and everyone around them. For this reason, learning at the Lyle sandbar is stress free, fun, and safer for our students when taking kiteboarding lessons.
Lyle is close to Hood River (9 miles):
Located in Lyle, ComeKiteWithUs is in close proximity to Hood River, OR. With only a 15 minute drive separating Lyle from Hood River, it is only logical for those looking for the best and safest conditions to learn to kiteboard to make the short drive.
You may grow out of this spot quickly!! Once you are riding up-wind comfortably and have more experience on the water, you may want more challenging conditions. Lyle is a great spot for beginners, but once you move on to intermediate style riding, this area may be a less attractive part in the Columbia River for you. Lyle typically does not have large waves, like the Hatchery, White Salmon bridge, Rufus or Arlington. Lyle also does not have a large flat water pond or sliders/kickers like the Hood River sandbar. We always recommend for kiters in the beginning stages to learn in Lyle, but once they progress to make way for students by heading to some of the other locations offering a wide range of water conditions .
Do not kite in river mouth! This is especially true during the months of Spetember and October when there are fishing boats in the Klickitat River or at the mouth. When the Salmon fishing season is in full swing, please keep a safe distance from the boats and out of the river. Respect that they are there to enjoy the Columbia River Gorge too. It has also been shown that kiters can spook salmon. In order to keep Lyle a great place to ride, we want to keep our relationships with the local fishermen on a positive note.
Support Lyle! Visit some of the local shops or the pub after a session for a beer and some food. It is good to support locals in Lyle and have them view kiters in a good light. Be kind, shop locally, and always be respectful to non-kiters.
Beach access is possible by crossing the railway tracks. Please be safe and look both ways prior to crossing! Understand you are crossing at your own volition when accessing the beach currently. This is not a designated area for crossing and could result in a warning, fines or possibly arrest. We hope this changes with an underground access tunnel soon. ComeKiteWithUs does have beach access via a jetski when it is needed to access the sandbar.