Even though I mentioned it in a blurb there on the right side of the page, I think this bit of news deserves its own special entry: Azimuth Expeditions, the guide service and kayaking instruction outfit I started back in 2003, is going to be going through a major change. Azimuth grew out of Tahoma Outdoor Pursuits, a similar company I'd worked for since 1991. Along with one of the other guides, I took over TOPs and we turned it into Azimuth Expeditions, and it's had a pretty good run since then.
When Backpackers Supply closed in the summer of 2010, Tacoma no longer had any outdoor specialty shops, and certainly nothing that catered to kayakers and paddleboarders. I have been asked fairly regularly over the past 18 months if I was going to open a retail store and, for a variety of reasons, the answer has always been "No."
Until now. On March 1st, 2012, Playback Sports will be moving from its current location on North I street to larger digs in the Proctor District. When that happens, Azimuth will be moving in with it, occupying part of the same facility and setting up as a paddlesports retail partner. What this means is that, as of March 1st, Tacoma will once again have its own dedicated, local shop that deals in all things water sports.
I'll continue selling Kokatat (because it is the absolute best), along with Ortlieb, Captain Jack's, NRS and International Sailing's nautical charts. In addition to lines of new gear, I'm also looking to sell used items and I'm open for consignments of good used items that so many people have gathering dust in their garages and basements. There's a lot of great gear out there that isn't being used, and it should be. If you've got some that you want to get free of, let me know (percentages are good). 253.691.7941
Along with the retailing, classes and tours will continue and, undoubtedly, expand as the season commences. I'm looking forward to seeing you in the new shop.