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Hood River Even Site Kite Culture
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OTGCamper

Since 21 Jun 2017
6 Posts
Bingen, WA
Kook



PostWed Jun 21, 17 1:46 pm    Hood River Even Site Kite Culture Reply with quote

It's now my fourth year kiting and second year in the Gorge. I've ridden all up and down the Columbia, the Oregon coast, most every hot spot in the Bay Area, down to La Ventana, Las Barriles, and even the tip of Mexico in Salinas Cruz.

I've given it a solid year of riding out of the Even Site, each time thinking that as I get to know more people the vibe will change, but I think I'm officially declaring the Even Site the absolute worst kite-culture I've ever come across.

There always seems to be some 'bros' yelling at each other on the edge of a fight, everybody is 'clicky', and yesterday hearing a guy calling my girlfriend a "bitch" and "piece of shit" because she let go of his kite when his thumb was clearly in the fully 'up' position, is just the icing on the cake.

I'm not angry, I'm not quitting the Event Site, and I'm not declaring every person there a douche. But seriously, the culture that made me love kiting seems to be completely lost there. There's got to be something we can do to turn it around before people start slashing tires like the territorial surfers in Santa Cruz.

That's my rant. Tell me your thoughts.

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treitz

Since 07 Jun 2016
22 Posts
Hood River
 



PostWed Jun 21, 17 2:07 pm     Reply with quote

I was talking to someone else about the culture at the event site, and here on this forum and he mentioned that he felt the tire slashing culture, unfortunately, might not be too far off.

As someone who lives in Hood River, I was super excited to get into kiteboarding. I have met some really cool easy going people, but I've also come in contact with people who make me question that decision. I would say it's probably one of the least friendly sports I have attempted to join over the years.

Not sure the reasoning, just my perception.

I would like to see it turn around as well, especially before I get my son into it...which is about 6 - 10 years from now Very Happy

Note - I was down there on Monday night with my family and it was quite busy. I spent about half of my time catching kites, keeping people out of harms way, and keeping kites out of the trees and rocks. It appeared there were some people launching and landing from the grass who probably shouldn't have been. But at the same time, it seamed like people were much more chill than other times I have been down there.

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Scriffler

Since 03 Jul 2005
507 Posts
LYLE
Addicted



PostWed Jun 21, 17 2:10 pm     Reply with quote

I think a lot of the "vibes" you are feeling are in your own head. You have no control over other people's actions. On the other hand, calling strangers bitches is uncalled for and I would be pissed at that guy. Kiting culture is go to the beach and kite, hang out afterwards if people are cool. If they aren't, just head home and drink beer.

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ldhr

Since 21 Jul 2009
815 Posts
Hood River
Opinionated

CGKA Member


PostWed Jun 21, 17 2:21 pm     Reply with quote

I’m one of the locals who spend a lot of time launching, landing, and dishing out advice at the ES.
I also spend a lot of time schmoozing. I’ve made a lot of great connections at the ES.
For some people launching at the Event Site is a high anxiety event.
They’re nervous about the swirly wind and anxious because they think everyone is watching and judging them.
Added on top of that are stress inducers such as family vacation dynamics, my boyfriend is forcing me to launch here, and locals trying to get a quick sesh before or after work…. It’s a recipe for high anxiety.
Most of the confrontations are centered around the launch and finding a place to pump and layout lines.
Nervous and anxious people tend to lash out with emotion.
I find it’s easy to spot these people. They won’t be smiling – they’ll look serious and nervous.
I watch people standing in the water when launching - totally forgetting to give the thumbs up. They just stand there and shake with anxiety.
I take extra time to communicate with them regarding the launch protocol.
I ask permission to offer advice before I give it.
I try to make them feel welcome and safe – “get your kite over the water and body drag out to the buoys” – “I won’t let go of your kite until I feel it’s powered up” - “walk out to the chest deep water before we launch”.
I’ve had good experiences when I approach people in this manner.
I can honestly say that 100% of the people I encounter with a negative attitude are nervous and anxious about their ability to launch and feel that everyone is watching and judging them.

Regarding the local cliques – bring a 12 pack down the next time you kite – I’m guessing you’ll make a lot of friends who won’t forget your name.

Last edited by ldhr on Wed Jun 21, 17 2:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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OTGCamper

Since 21 Jun 2017
6 Posts
Bingen, WA
Kook



PostWed Jun 21, 17 2:23 pm     Reply with quote

Scriffler wrote:
I think a lot of the "vibes" you are feeling are in your own head. You have no control over other people's actions. On the other hand, calling strangers bitches is uncalled for and I would be pissed at that guy. Kiting culture is go to the beach and kite, hang out afterwards if people are cool. If they aren't, just head home and drink beer.


The vibes are definitely in my head. It's little more than an educated opinion based on just how much friendlier and conversational people are at every, single, other launch. Even just here in the gorge. And aside from the incident with my girlfriend, the handful of bro yelling matches I've seen others get into in unnerving.

But ya, beach and beer is what I'd like to see it drift back towards, and I'm glad you know how to do it right! Wink

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OTGCamper

Since 21 Jun 2017
6 Posts
Bingen, WA
Kook



PostWed Jun 21, 17 2:29 pm     Reply with quote

ldhr wrote:
I’m one of the locals who spend a lot of time launching, landing, and dishing out advice at the ES.
I also spend a lot of time schmoozing. I’ve made a lot of great connections at the ES.
For some people launching at the Event Site is a high anxiety event.
They’re nervous about the swirly wind and anxious because they think everyone is watching and judging them.
Added on top of that are stress inducers such as family vacation dynamics, my boyfriend is forcing me to launch here, and locals trying to get a quick sesh before or after work…. It’s a recipe for high anxiety.
Most of the confrontations are centered around the launch and finding a place to pump and layout lines.
Nervous and anxious people tend to lash out with emotion.
I find it’s easy to spot these people. They won’t be smiling – they’ll look serious and nervous.
I watch people standing in the water when launching - totally forgetting to give the thumbs up. They just stand there and shake with anxiety.
I take extra time to communicate with them regarding the launch protocol.
I ask permission to offer advice before I give it.
I try to make them feel welcome and safe – “get your kite over the water and body drag out to the buoys” – “I won’t let go of your kite until I feel it’s powered up” - “walk out to the chest deep water before we launch”.
I’ve had good experiences when I approach people in this manner.
I can honestly say that 100% of the people I encounter with a negative attitude are nervous and anxious about their ability to launch and feel that everyone is watching and judging them.

Regarding the local cliques – bring a 12 pack down the next time you kite – I’m guessing you’ll make a lot of friends who won’t forget your name.


I'm glad you're down there doing it right. I'll definitely give you a beer when I meet you. Thanks for a different perspective.

Last edited by OTGCamper on Wed Jun 21, 17 2:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Dog Patrol

Since 20 Jul 2009
1274 Posts
Stevenson
XTreme Poster



PostWed Jun 21, 17 2:30 pm     Reply with quote

The hood river locals are great along with the dalles locals , mosier locals, Odell locals,bingen and white salmon locals etc. it's the dam transients living in hood river for a year or a few months and calling yourself local trying to act a certain way. Hardly anyone on here is actually from HR. It's like Hawaii. I am a local! Really how long you been here. A few years and now they are a hardened local. nOT

Let's see your birth certificates if you claim you are a hood river local. Kiting reminds me of our early days on the rodeo kayak cercuit. People try to look a part because they are trying to fit in. People act a certain way to make themselves feel better. Your sentiments are felt by some local kite companies. No names but I was visiting a fiend at his place of work and he asks what is up with kiting and kiters. He says you look normal and if you know me there is no truth to this. He and a few Other workers said the kiting community appears to be either an extreme of a Portland libtard or a a person tryin to look like a person that prides themselves in looking like they are livin the hard life when they are on a trust fund!!



It's all perspective but that is the vibe given off. Bottom line!! Don't be a dick and put a smile on your face as we are all trying to have fun. I know a few peoples that kite at the event site ie Sella and they are the nicest , most fun peepes to be around. Do the dicks or grumpy fockers a favor and launch them so they can take there negative Nancy attitude somewhere else!!

Do yourself a favor and visit some other launches. You will not have the same attitude going on!!

Only takes a few sour apples to reflect on a large group. Don't let the small group of loud and mouthy reflect on our area as a whole !

_________________
Dont be hidin it; Be dividing it:-)!!!

Last edited by Dog Patrol on Wed Jun 21, 17 2:38 pm; edited 2 times in total

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OTGCamper

Since 21 Jun 2017
6 Posts
Bingen, WA
Kook



PostWed Jun 21, 17 2:34 pm     Reply with quote

treitz wrote:
I was talking to someone else about the culture at the event site, and here on this forum and he mentioned that he felt the tire slashing culture, unfortunately, might not be too far off.

As someone who lives in Hood River, I was super excited to get into kiteboarding. I have met some really cool easy going people, but I've also come in contact with people who make me question that decision. I would say it's probably one of the least friendly sports I have attempted to join over the years.

Not sure the reasoning, just my perception.

I would like to see it turn around as well, especially before I get my son into it...which is about 6 - 10 years from now Very Happy

Note - I was down there on Monday night with my family and it was quite busy. I spent about half of my time catching kites, keeping people out of harms way, and keeping kites out of the trees and rocks. It appeared there were some people launching and landing from the grass who probably shouldn't have been. But at the same time, it seamed like people were much more chill than other times I have been down there.


I'm hoping when the river levels recede a bit, so will some of that tension. But I'm glad I'm not the only one who notices it. Wink

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dhhr

Since 09 Jul 2015
12 Posts
Hood River
 



PostWed Jun 21, 17 2:35 pm     Reply with quote

I've only kited a few years, but have lived here for over 25, and I can honestly say that personally I've had the impression that the event site is a friendly place where people truly look out for each other, and any negative interaction like the one you had is not the norm.

I think the lack of a sandbar this year contributes to people being on edge more than usual this season (like ldhr said), especially if they don't have a lot of experience launching/landing on the grass.

If the sandbar opens up for more landing/launching I'm thinking that things will settle down.

Just the other day I left some equipment there and someone stowed it for until I could come back down and ask around and retrieve it. I've had numerous people kite by me on the river near the event site when I'm self rescuing or have an inverted kite yelling encouragement and even towing me in. I've also had a ton of people run to catch my kite in awkward places when my landings aren't ideal.

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treitz

Since 07 Jun 2016
22 Posts
Hood River
 



PostWed Jun 21, 17 2:38 pm     Reply with quote

It's such a fun sport, it's too bad there is so much fear mongering about it. I get it, it's dangerous. But the only reason I am doing it is because I have some friends who said "don't worry about everyone else, just get out there and have fun." Just seams like there is a lot of negativity that causes people to freak out. Whatever. I'm enjoying it and look forward to meeting some of the chiller of the kite people Smile

I am also looking forward to the sandbar opening because there is a big red sign at the event site telling me that I can't launch there. ha!

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Sella

Since 21 Apr 2007
1623 Posts
Doin' The Dalles
FLY'IN HIGH PIE GUY



PostWed Jun 21, 17 2:59 pm    Re: Hood River Even Site Kite Culture Reply with quote

hahaha.....Dog Patrol don't make me slice your lines so keep me out of this shit show. Smile

OTG, the issue is the guy your GF launched, not the Event Site, and unfortunately there are bad apples everywhere and I would bet he's visiting.

I do need to call a little BS on this statement however....
OTGCamper wrote:
I've given it a solid year of riding out of the Even Site, each time thinking that as I get to know more people the vibe will change, but I think I'm officially declaring the Even Site the absolute worst kite-culture I've ever come across.

I kite from this launch almost daily for years and years and I've honestly witnessed only a few issues while an overwhelming 99.9% of the time the supportive kite culture is strong ON and OFF the water at the Event Site.

In your defense the clicks are a reality and socially the ES can be a tough nut to crack so you have to make an effort. Think of it as Fakebook, you have 500 "friends" but only 10% are the real deal if you're lucky. Welcome to the ES, but isn't that kind of the world we live in now anyway???

Open invite: I always wear a black shirt that says "Coasting" on the front with "every chance I get" on the back. I'm the kookiest ass-clown in town so come introduce yourself when you see me and we'll be laughing and telling stories as we rig.........and then we'll have that bitchy GF of yours launch us. Laughing Thumb's Up Cheers.

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Sasquatch

Since 09 Mar 2005
1490 Posts
P-town
STACKED



PostWed Jun 21, 17 3:30 pm     Reply with quote

ldhr wrote:

Nervous and anxious people tend to lash out with emotion.
I find it’s easy to spot these people. They won’t be smiling – they’ll look serious and nervous.

I ask permission to offer advice before I give it.


Spot on way to be nice and to enforce a safer/nicer Event Site environment IMHO.

The Event Site when its warm, sunny, and windy akin to rush hour on the subway of some major metropolis. Lots of different water and shoreline users, all trying to squeeze in their respective recreation time. Everyone trying to get somewhere and each action aside from their own personal actions takes away from them and their own personal goal. You know the ones. They rig quickly, avoiding eye contact so they can get onto the water that much quicker. Just like the subway riders avoiding eye contact as that might invite some type of unwanted result, interaction, conversation, and consumption of their time in a way they didn't want it used.

The worst time at the Event Site are summer weekends and a one-up from that placing a holiday on top of it.

My motto is "when in Rome, act like a Roman", or in this particular context, when in Hood River, act like a friendly, savvy, longtime, HR/White Salmon/Columbia River local.

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tkaraszewski

Since 21 Oct 2016
12 Posts
Hood River
 



PostWed Jun 21, 17 3:45 pm     Reply with quote

I grew up in Santa Cruz and just moved to Hood River last year. This is my first real season at the Event Site, and I haven't found that at all, and that's even coming as a recent transplant.

I'm not close friends with everyone there, of course, but I run into everyone from my neighbors to my dentist at the ES, and everyone is cordial and friendly. I have hardly seen any disagreements there, and lots of people are happy to talk and I'm starting to recognize people's faces and names.

Maybe it helps that I'm down there on weekdays, too, or that I learned to launch from the lawn in the spring, when there weren't any crowds. But still, I've found it a mostly friendly group.

Sure, it get's crowded, and that causes some tensions, but it's really not that bad, and it's absolutely *nothing* like Santa Cruz was in the 90s, or parts of it even still are, for that matter.

Other people have been here a lot longer than I have, and probably know better, but I certainly haven't had the same experience as OP at all.

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ErraticAKn

Since 08 Jul 2011
487 Posts

Obsessed

CGKA Member


PostWed Jun 21, 17 4:07 pm    Re: Hood River Even Site Kite Culture Reply with quote

OTGCamper wrote:
It's now my fourth year kiting and second year in the Gorge. I've ridden all up and down the Columbia, the Oregon coast, most every hot spot in the Bay Area, down to La Ventana, Las Barriles, and even the tip of Mexico in Salinas Cruz.


I've kited the world over several times... The Event Site is just another launch, a melting pot of locals, visitors and passerby's. It's popular but not overtly special.

Some people like it, some people don't - and most people tolerate it because it's convenient, well documented and regardless of the the conditions - someone else is always there.

Go forth and venture!

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"I have often regretted my speech, never my silence." ~Xenocrates
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OTGCamper

Since 21 Jun 2017
6 Posts
Bingen, WA
Kook



PostWed Jun 21, 17 4:40 pm    Re: Hood River Even Site Kite Culture Reply with quote

Sella wrote:
hahaha.....Dog Patrol don't make me slice your lines so keep me out of this shit show. Smile

OTG, the issue is the guy your GF launched, not the Event Site, and unfortunately there are bad apples everywhere and I would bet he's visiting.

I do need to call a little BS on this statement however....
OTGCamper wrote:
I've given it a solid year of riding out of the Even Site, each time thinking that as I get to know more people the vibe will change, but I think I'm officially declaring the Even Site the absolute worst kite-culture I've ever come across.

I kite from this launch almost daily for years and years and I've honestly witnessed only a few issues while an overwhelming 99.9% of the time the supportive kite culture is strong ON and OFF the water at the Event Site.

In your defense the clicks are a reality and socially the ES can be a tough nut to crack so you have to make an effort. Think of it as Fakebook, you have 500 "friends" but only 10% are the real deal if you're lucky. Welcome to the ES, but isn't that kind of the world we live in now anyway???

Open invite: I always wear a black shirt that says "Coasting" on the front with "every chance I get" on the back. I'm the kookiest ass-clown in town so come introduce yourself when you see me and we'll be laughing and telling stories as we rig.........and then we'll have that bitchy GF of yours launch us. Laughing Thumb's Up Cheers.


Hahahaha! Awesome, I'll keep an eye out for you!

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Jonpnw

Since 22 Jul 2010
946 Posts
Pacific Northwest
Opinionated



PostWed Jun 21, 17 6:47 pm    Event Site Vibes Reply with quote

The event site can be extremely intimidating because of the launch and the fluky wind . My advice is watch and find someone who appears to know the launch , approach them and say " I haven't launched here or I am nervous " you will find some friendly , willing to help kite friends. Some of the attitude comes from visiting , agro , get out of my way tourists.
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pollywog

Since 07 Aug 2009
167 Posts
Columbia City
Stoked



PostWed Jun 21, 17 8:11 pm     Reply with quote

I agree with the first guy. The vibe just isn't pleasant. It kind of reminds me of Kanaha.

However, Rowena is sweet and people are friendly. Rufus, Stevenson, jones, sauvies, all along the coast, the vibe is good.

I think the event site is hyped by mags and such as being the place to kite in Hood River. There's a lot of drama regarding many issues.

The event site is awesome in Spring and late Fall. It's probably the number of people there in the summer and it reaches some unknown tipping point.

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