Since 1989, Play It Again Sports has been keeping sports green, recycling gently used athletic equipment into new-to-you gear. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Wilson make up each store's enormous selection of new and recycled gear, which is replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that range from baseball and football to snowboarding, skiing, and ice skating. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armor, and pintsize and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. Knowledgeable staffers man each location, ready to answer questions, arrange gear deliveries or pickups, and even sharpen skates or wax snowboards. To ensure their stock remains robust, they also encourage athletes to collect their lightly used gear—including bicycles—and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
For more than 15 years, the company’s Seattle outpost has fused the best aspects of a family-owned business and a national franchise. The friendly staffers can pinpoint the best gear for hitting nearby ski slopes, but they're also able to tap into a nationwide stock of new and gently used sporting goods.
Started in 2001 as a small operation in founder Bryce Phillips?s Seattle apartment, evo has since grown into a full-fledged retail store voted Best Ski and Snowboard Shop three years in a row in CityVoter?s King5 Best of Western Washington poll. Inside, Bryce and his crew of more than 100 winter- and summer-sports enthusiasts help visitors gear up for adventure with equipment by makers such as Armada, K2 Burton, and Lib Tech and outerwear from The North Face and Patagonia. A team of technicians also keeps equipment in top condition with tune-ups and other services, sharpening skis and waxing snowboards to keep them from growing fur. At evo?s flagship Fremont/Wallingford store, the staff relays the company-wide values of style, a balanced lifestyle, and authenticity by hosting events such as movie screenings and art showcases and devoting extra time to serving nonprofits throughout the community.
Todd Welter learned to surf before he learned to drive, and to this day the board seems to be his preferred mode of transportation. A native of the Oregon coast, he hasn't been able to shake his longtime lust for the sport; in turn, he opened up Wave Hounds, which helps surfers of all stripes acquire a board, find their footing, and set out into the blue.
Wave Hounds carries new and used boards from brands such as Bing, Webber, and Aloha, as well as wetsuits, surf wax, and other accessories that let everybody know you’re not a skateboarder that didn’t see the end of the pier. The store also rents out surfboards and paddle boards. Todd himself holds lessons at Short Sands Beach in Oswald West State Park, where students can practice their skills on land before venturing into the water to surf the way the Pilgrims intended.
Staffed by experienced professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the Three Laws of Golfing Robotics, GolfTec’s syndicate of golf training centers grooms games with a five-pronged approach enhanced by technological refinements. Score-shaving wisdom resonates within the walls of the indoor facilities, where certified personal coaches point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips to permanently improve their game from tee to green. By utilizing video swing analysis and motion-measurement software, instructors can assess pupils’ abilities with objective data and a fact-based tact superior to traditional hearsay-oriented coaching strategies. To further enhance performance, GolfTec offers club-fitting services to match each swing profile with its ideal set of sticks.
Alki Kayak Tours and her sister store, Mountain to Sound Outfitters, equip guests with all the tools necessary to delve into Puget Sound’s surrounding wilderness regardless of season. Authorized dealers of goods from outdoor brands including Rossignol, Nordica, Snap Dragon, and Boardworks SUP, Mountain to Sound Outfitters’ knowledgeable equipment masters can outfit expeditions bound for skiing trips to Mount Rainier or full-contact LARPing in Olympic National Park. Alki Kayak Tours keeps adventures moving with vehicle rentals ranging from kayaks and paddleboards to fishing boats and bikes. Guided sea-kayak and paddleboard tours meander through Puget Sound during warmer months, introducing adventurers to the Emerald City’s fragile natural beauty and the mindful guides’ various methods of preserving it.
For more than 40 years, Seattle Sailing Club has made sailing into both a sport and a social event. Club members have access to a fleet of 26 boats, from small keelboats to 40-footers, which they can take out on Puget Sound at their leisure. Membership levels allow for unlimited day sailing or a pay-as-you-go arrangement, as well as overnight sailing for captains who have memorized where all the stop signs are. New sailors and weathered seadogs alike can sign up for lessons taught by licensed instructors, as well as pick up the latest gear. And the club emphasizes the community aspect of boating as well?members frequently come together for races, parties, and group flotillas.