Kayak by William 'not Bill' Nealy - Review

This was about the third kayaking book I ever bought and definitely the one I've read the most.

Presented in a cartoon format this book contains serious tips and techniques covering most of the important parts of a whitewater kayaker's repertoire. Sections include reading the river (hydrotopography as Nealy puts it), paddling technique (Paddle-Fu), dealing with fear (?), flood stage rivers (The Joy of Flood).

front cover


William Nealy's sense of humour shines through the complete book making it quite an absorbing read despite the serious content. There are plenty of genuinely excellent illustrations of important paddling techniques and river knowledge shown throughout the book. The sample below shows William Nealy's High/Low Brace simulator, a comic way of putting an important point (hands up all those readers who have damaged their shoulder while paddling).

 High Brace versus Low Brace

I would put this book down as a real must have for any whitewater kayaker's book shelf. Any avid kayaker will struggle to put the book down the first time they read it and will come back for more too.