HoodJam kite extravaganza concludes Saturday

SLIDERS have drawn crows at the Sandbar and Spit all week for HoodJam competition, which wraps up July 28

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
SLIDERS have drawn crows at the Sandbar and Spit all week for HoodJam competition, which wraps up July 28

The third straight weekend of major wind events in Hood River happens July 27-28 with the fourth annual Patagonia HoodJam, part of the nation-wide Kite Park League series.

Competition happens at the Spit and Marina Beach. Kiters and camera crews have been seen all week documenting the competition, which concludes with the finals and “Best Trick” contest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 28.

HoodJam wraps up with the awards party and Slide Project “funraiser” at Kickstand Coffee, featuring music by April Donovan and the band Vitamin D. The event starts at 7 p.m. and Vitamin D will play from 8-10 p.m. The event is all ages, but no children will be admitted after 8 p.m.

The Kickstand event is open to the public and raises funds to support maintenance of the “sliders” — the ramps and structures also known as kickers that kiters use to launch and do tricks. The sliders are visible just offshore on the Spit and Sandbar.

There is no cover, but donations are accepted and a silent auction benefits the project. A full bar and kitchen menu will be available, and a separate beer bar will be set up outside, where the entire parking lot and patio will be fenced off for the event. Kickstand owner Nick Hardin said the café hopes to sponsor its own “Kickstand kicker.”

Kickstand will host two similar events at the café this summer to help with the Naish Standup Challenge in August and the Music of the Gorge in September.

Also on July 27-29, the Bridge of the Gods Kitefest helps fill the river, featuring the 17-mile “Blowout” race from Stevenson to Hood River.

Kiteboard4Cancer on July 14-15 and last weekend’s Gorge Downwind put the focus on all manner of windsports.

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