Our locally owned and operated store offers all the clothing, gear, and expertise you are looking for to enjoy outdoor action sports in and around Fairbanks and Alaska’s Interior. We specialize in hiking, biking, paddling, climbing, backpacking, camping, running, alpine and cross-country skiing, ski touring, and snowboarding. But we also have a great selection of clothing and other products for hunting, fishing, snow machining, yoga, swimming, crossfit, and more. If you’re active in the outdoors, you’ll feel right at home at Beaver Sports.
And Beaver Sports is not just for residents! Whether you are a tourist here to see the Northern Lights, a sportsman on the hunt of a lifetime, or an athlete looking to take things to the next extreme, we have the clothing and equipment to make your visit comfortable and enjoyable. Beaver Sports is a Fairbanks tradition. Even if you remembered to bring every single little thing from home (and got it successfully on the plane through TSA), a stop here at the store is worth it.
Beaver Sports has unique brands and colors you won’t find anywhere else, in true Fairbanksan style. We found the burliest cold-weather technical gear you usually can’t even get in the lower 48 and gathered it all in one place for easy outfitting. We live here. We know the climate. We play outside. We’re active in our vibrant community. We know where to send you for the best hiking, skiing, borealis viewing, racing, scenic photography, you name it. And we have rental equipment if you’d like to sample a little bit of the fun. We’ll get you outfitted properly to enjoy whatever you’re here to experience.
Beaver Sports is a sporting goods business, established and growing since 1972. The store is housed in an interesting loft-style building on College Road, near the University (and north of Santa), which was designed and built by the business’ founder, Jim Whisenhant, a former coach of the Lathrop High School Cross Country Team. Jim’s son, Greg, carries on the tradition, managing the business and coaching cross country and track for another local team, West Valley High School.
The staff is composed of active folks who truly appreciate a good frigid winter and the long, sunlight-filled days of summer. They bike year round. You’ll find Beaver staffers in the National Parks, Recreation Areas, and local trails right behind the store in all seasons, hiking, climbing, skiing, hunting, fishing, paddling. And we’re passionate about sharing our love for this place so that our customers can have their own best outdoor experiences.
More History: The Early Years
Beaver Sports was originally established by the Jim Whisenhant family in 1972. That first year the store was limited to selling canoes in the garage of their home on Wolf Run (now, Wolf Run Restaurant). The following year, land with two small buildings were purchased and the business was relocated to 2400 College Road. Winter hours in those early days were weekday evenings and Saturday. Summer store hours were extended to 8 hours a day, 6 days a week.
Jim was the cross-country ski coach at Lathrop High School at the time and was finding it difficult to find appropriate equipment for his team, so in search of quality gear, Beaver Sports sold skis in the winter and canoes in the summer. Business grew rapidly and within two years there was enough store activity to warrant full store hours. Small building additions were added each summer and by 1984, a total of 5,000 square feet were in use with the inventory packed into every corner.
December 1987 brought another big step in Beaver Sports history. The busy store moved into a new 18,000 square foot building at its present location. The warehouse behind the store was purchased in 1990. From the beginning, Beaver Sports has focused its efforts on providing quality merchandise and service. A distinct effort is made to avoid competing with mass-merchandisers in the lower-quality market. The success of Beaver Sports is attributed to its knowledgeable, service oriented staff, who have always been active in both sports and the community.
Beaver Sports is committed to our community and believes strongly in staying involved. Our mission is to provide our customers with quality outdoor equipment, supported by employees’ knowledge of the equipment and of the outdoor environment in which it will be used.