The Trade Association of Paddlesports (TAPS) hosted several hundred participants at its 25th Annual West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium  in Port Townsend, Wash., Sept. 19-21, 2008.

Amid the brisk northwest coast weather, more than 60 exhibitors, nearly 600 attendees and several volunteers gathered at the Fort Worden State Park to participate in paddling classes of all levels.

“Between the location, the organization and the enthusiasm of the instructors and volunteers, our 25th anniversary was a smashing success,” said Michael Pardy, executive director of TAPS. “Whether I was in the middle of a rolling class, watching the Reel Paddle Film Festival or listening about Jon Bowermaster’s adventures, it was wonderful to reunite with long time enthusiasts and connect with first time attendees as well. I am already looking forward to next year’s event.”

In addition to advanced classes, the festival also provided several beginner classes for novice paddlers who were interested in trying their hands at paddling and evening events for attendees who wanted to be exposed to and participate in paddling culture.

“The West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium was our west coast debut for the Suspenz Kayak Storage Racks and the best venue we could have chosen,” said Lauri Crowe, president of Suspenz Kayak Storage. “The sea kayak community is a friendly, knowledgeable and sophisticated group.”

Next year’s West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium will be held September 25-27, 2009 at Fort Worden State Park, in Port Townsend, Wash.