Nealy Is Back!
New book by William Nealy still as eccentric as ever
For twenty years, William Nealy’s illustrated instruction manual Kayak has kept paddlers occupied on shuttles, at put-ins and in outhouse bathrooms. After his tragic suicide in 2001, many thought they might have seen the last of his cartoons and whitewater wit. But the world-famous “Poet Laureate” of whitewater, who became a cult figure in the outdoor world with his paddling and mountain biking caricatures, is now back in full force thanks to the release by Menasha Ridge Press of the new edition of Kayak: The New Frontier, The Animated Manual of Intermediate and Advanced Whitewater Technique. “It’s ready to become the prime instruction manual for the latest generation of paddlers,” says Menasha’s Trish Parks. “With the help of a talented illustrator and expert paddler, each of the 400-plus illustrations, as well as the appropriate text, has been updated in the Nealy style to reflect the latest in equipment and technique.”
It’s filled with everything you’d expect in a Nealy work, only the boats have been shortened to better represent the times, and moves and techniques have been updated (the endos from his era are now passé). Nealy’s drawing style and offbeat humor still combine to make difficult skills halfway understandable, and his nonchalant acceptance of trashings relates to anyone who has ever been worked. It has advice for everyone from hard-core hippie hairboaters who used to catch air in Dancers to youngsters hucking their carcasses off steep creeks. Nealy’s work is as entertaining than ever. Just ask hair-dog tao Berman, who recently won the creek race at the Teva Mountain Games. “It’s by far the most fun book I’ve ever seen on kayak instruction,” he says.
Kayak: The New Frontier, 2nd edition, is published by Menasha Ridge Press and is available for $15.95 at area bookstores, outdoor specialty shops, on the Web at www.menasharidge.com, and by calling 888-60HIKES (888-604-4537).