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Pro Kiteboarder Brandon Scheid Moved to Hood River Five Years Ago, and Has Not Looked Back Since

As a pioneer of the sport and member of the kiteboarding elite, Brandon Scheid calls the waters around Hood River, OR home. This tiny municipality by the enormous Columbia River gives off a real mountain town vibe, with Mt. Hood only a short drive away. Scheid has lived in Hood River for the past five years, originally drawn by the exploding kite scene, but he has found more than one reason to stay.

Scheid worked as a kiteboarding instructor on the East Coast for nearly a decade before deciding to finally move out west. During his time in Hood River, he has fallen in love with everything the town has to offer past the wind and water. That includes epic mountain biking and snowboarding, along with a world-renowned brewing and culinary scene. Of course, kiteboarding is the most fun thing in the world to him, and he has harnessed this stoke to develop a style that incorporates just about every aspect of the sport. A self-proclaimed park rat, he spends much of his time jibbing manmade and natural features, but also loves how a kite lets him travel long distances in a way no other watersport can.

I got a chance to catch up with Scheid after he hung out with Local’s Cam McCaul for a few days. Here’s what he had to say. Check your Outside TV listings for the episode.

You’ve traveled a lot throughout your career, what’s your absolute favorite spot to kite?

Even though I have traveled around the world, I still think my favorite spot to kite is my hometown, Hood River. The wind is consistent, we have the only public slider park in the world, and the town is absolutely epic.

Kiteboarding is a pretty niche sport, what does it take to bring it to a wider audience?

I think the efforts of the kiteboarding community as a whole will help bring it to a wider audience. We have wave riders interacting with the top surfers in the world, daredevil kiters bringing our sport notoriety for large Evel Knievel like stunts, and as more people continue to get into the sport, our footprint grows.

Tell us about Hood River, a veritable mecca of adventure and action sports.

Hood River is an amazing town that offers a ton to its occupants. Whether it is mountain biking, hiking, paragliding, kiteboarding, kayaking, or ski/snowboarding there is something for all types of outdoor enthusiasts. It’s like an awesome mountain ski town, but with a big river for the water people. It really is the best of both worlds. While shooting with Cam and the Locals crew we stopped at my favorite coffee shop Stoked Roasters, a delicious local food truck called Four and Twenty Black Birds, and had a brew while getting our bikes fixed at Dirty Fingers, a neat little bike shop that offers up some tasty refreshments for its customers.

What sets it apart from other mountain towns?

I think the biggest thing that sets it apart is the Columbia River. This allows the "mountain" town to also double as a water town. There are a lot of kayakers, SUPers, and kiteboarders/windsurfers in the area. This makes it a lot more varied in the type of people you meet, and the activities you can get into during the year. Summer is perfect here for windsports, attracting a full new set of people when compared to the wintertime.

Let’s hear a day in the life of Brandon.

My usual day starts with a good coffee and a quick trip down to the Liquid Force Kites office for some morning work. Then depending on time of year and conditions I usually try to get some sort of session in. Biking in the spring/fall, kite in the summer, and powder days in the winter. After a delicious quick lunch its usually off for another session, most of the time its a different one than the first. They say in Hood if you only do one sport you're pretty boring. Once the afternoon/evening session is completed, I usually go home and cook a healthy locally sourced meal for my girlfriend and I. Then it;s off to bed so we have enough energy to repeat the active day for weeks on end. It really is a wonderful life, I feel really lucky that’s for sure!

About The Author

stash member Max Ritter

I manage digital content here at TGR, run our gear testing program, and am stoked to be living the dream in the Tetons.