For Bill Swann the challenge of reeling in a monstrous king salmon or wily steelhead is too good to resist, which explains why he’s spent the past 30 years fishing the waterways of the Pacific Northwest. Certified by the US Coast Guard, he now leads Swanny’s Guided Fishing, where he shares his insight and techniques with others during fishing trips to destinations including the Cowlitz, Lewis, and Columbia Rivers. Whether he’s dealing with seasoned anglers or first-time fishermen, Bill provides all of the fishing gear for every expedition, and doesn’t hesitate to snap photos of clients’ notable catches.
Gig Harbor Rent-a-Boat maintains a diverse fleet to ferry locals and tourists both across the Puget Sound at whatever pace they prefer, whether that means leisurely floating in a kayak or zipping around the harbor in a powerboat. Instructors make sure riders are comfortable on the water with stand-up paddleboard and kayak lessons, and students can practice their newfound skills at their own pace with SUP and kayak rentals. Guided kayak tours can take paddlers past wildlife such as eagles, herons, seals, or even the domesticated Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
As avid golfers themselves, Pro Golf Discount’s staff members boast a wealth of experience and professional equipment advice. They are eager to direct shoppers through stores full of golfing merchandise from brands such as TaylorMade, Nike, and Callaway, pointing out the differences between the quality products. They lead lefties to their expansive selection of left-handed equipment, and discuss the advantages of their specialty women's gear with ladies. The master club fitters evaluate clients’ swings with advanced Launch Monitors and the Foresight Sports GC2 golf-simulation system, enabling them to recommend equipment that is suited to the customer's specific needs.
Most of the locations host golf lessons within their onsite golf theater hitting cages, where top golfers dish out expert tips and techniques. The Tacoma, Bellevue, Lynnwood and Bellingham locations feature repair centers, where technicians can spruce up clubs in preparation for upcoming tournaments or a golf vacation.
Each of Cascade Paddle Boards’ fiberglass standup paddleboards are made the same way: by taking a blank EPS foam board, adding a hardwood stringer in the middle of the board for stability, covering the board with fiberglass cloth, and wrapping everything in an epoxy resin. The result is a lightweight, yet durable board that has been tested in all types of water—on both smooth and choppy waves found in rivers, lakes, ponds, the ocean, and fish tanks. The boards are sanded down to sizes of 12 feet, weigh 30 pounds, and are recommended for paddlers up to 220 pounds.
Tom Peterson channels his passion for cycling and experience as a competitive racer into running his shop. Hoping to create a hub for cyclists of all experience levels, he’s gathered a team of cycling enthusiasts and seasoned mechanics to assist customers and perform a range of services that include repairs, tune-ups, and custom bike building. Their inventory of products from brands such as Shimano, Bianchi, Garmin, and 3T helps cyclists gear up for rides or find the perfect gift for their bike’s birthday.
Skateboarding shop Gravity Sports first flipped the open sign in 1976. If it catered to any other sport, this might not be terribly notable, but at the time skateboarding was just establishing itself as an organized, competitive activity and emerging industry. Since it was the first such shop in the state, Gravity Sports can honestly consider itself as something of a pioneer. The things that established it as a go-to resource for the area's early skateboarders?a skate-obsessed staff, deep inventory of brands?continue to help the shop thrive today. It's long since expanded into boards for surfaces aside from asphalt, including those for frothy ocean waves and powder-covered ski runs, and keeps its clientele safe with many options for helmets, other protective wear, and tune ups. The shop's decades of continued commitment has earned it a top-five ranking in KING 5?s Best of Western Washington?s skate-shop category.