You might be inserted in my book regarding some of my river paddling adventures
‘Just Around the Next Corner: Adventures with Kayaks’.
Trailer for book here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bToupgn7_yk
You can purchase a copy from https://www.austinmacauley.com/book/jus ... ext-corner
More about the author herehttps://paddlerezine.com/mike-hayward/
https://paddlinglife.com/whitewater-kay ... uthor-qa/
I hope you decide to buy a copy, enjoy the read and share your scrimbly stories below!
Here are two reviews form Slime and Andy Murphy
Mike’s book “Just Around the Next Corner” covers an amazing diversity and breadth of trips from all over the World. Most readers would call these expeditions rather than just “trips” - this says a lot for his modest writing style and quiet humour. This book is an enjoyable read that opens a window to the golden era of kayak exploration - a more exciting time before the internet, google earth, sat phones and eperbs!
Prepare to be transported to distant lands, mighty rivers and deep canyons where the rapids rip and roar! Many of these tales are of first descents and the reader shares the excitement and fear of what is “Just Around the Next Corner?”
Pete Knowles, 14.03.2023.
Guide book author and RGS Life Fellow.
One of the few Brits to be elected to the International W.W. Hall of Fame.
In the last 40 years the world has become a much smaller place with integrated travel, a plethora of guide-books, online sources of information, tour companies, email and improved equipment standards allowing today’s young paddlers to progress through the ranks with remarkable speed. The explosion of interest in adventure sports is well-known but it’s often forgotten that only recently were most of the world’s ‘next corners’ and ‘last great problems’ paddled for the first time. Mike’s book describes in detail what it felt like to be at the forefront of an ‘amateur’ movement of fortunate adventurers who happened to be young ‘at the right time’; a time when many of the world’s great ‘adventure honeypots’ were on the cusp of being ‘discovered’.
Thankfully Mike’s book doesn’t go into the technicalities of reading moving water - there are (now) any number of instructional schemes and ‘lesson plans’ available - but far more importantly the book takes us on a personal journey of development from ‘dare I?’ through to ‘that was great... what’s next ?’ Starting in the adventurous years of the mid-80s, when so few people aspired to paddle ‘the impossible’ and before sports psychology, personal trainers and ‘professional standards’ had cornered the market, the reader gets a gripping sense of what it was like to be the first around ‘that corner’.
The writing style and inspiration comes from original hand-written diary notes and so gives a unique glimpse into the honest aspirations and motivations of paddlers who, of necessity, had to ‘work it out’ for themselves. Paper maps were all the rage and, with pencil-profiles and contour interpretations telling of river gradients and blind-bends to come, a handful of activists went out in search of the upper grades at home and abroad.
These were the days of hearsay; a guidebook-free world in which Ace helmets, Wild Water buoyancy aids (made in Pateley Bridge), Schlegel paddles, homemade throw-lines and fibreglass boats raised the bar even before putting afloat ... with irate farmers and fishermen in lesser known valleys merely adding a degree of spice to the mix.
At first glance there may be temptation to think that the book has little relevance for the paddlers of today: not so; there is much here which may, actually, extend a modern class 6 paddler’s life- expectancy. Two chapters in particular “The PRAT Scale” and “Scrimblies” amount to essential reading for those intent on pushing their limits and Mike is uncompromising when it comes to sharing his thoughts regarding the dangers of allowing a ‘wayward ego’ to have too much influence on ‘objective decision making’. “If your assessment of your ability and the intricacies of a rapid or fall is inaccurate you may well pass the threshold of adventure thus entering the realms of misadventure unless luck intervenes. Misadventure can have serious consequences, even death”.
Delving into the mindset needed to paddle at the upper limits, not for the sake of developing ego or the Instagram feed but simply for sheer enjoyment and fun is as relevant today as it has always been: here is an honest record of Mike’s own psychological development - a record which doesn’t flinch when it comes to honestly describing ‘moments’ when things could so easily have gone awry and when luck did indeed play its part. Other moments when the paddling team worked so well together that descents became sublime and yet others when egos and personal views impeded enjoyment and so clouded long-lasting impressions. It’s as good an insight into paddling sports psychology as you could hope for - though of course without the pretence, jargon and arrogance of the faux-practitioner who’s rehearsed every move through the 3D maze by searching YouTube.
The cast of amateurs who are named in this book are, for the most part, still seeking out new places and continue to push their limits just for the love of it and though they may now be more reluctant to divulge the location of their new personal ‘honeypots’, they continue to inspire.
For those who are still formulating their own notions of adventure, honing their skills in managing risk and who are not deterred by standing out from the crowd then accumulate as much experience, wisdom and humility as you can muster ...
“The real truth is that it is simply fun; the combination of skill, challenge, the environment, the journey and exploration... . It is rare to experience them all, but occasionally on one trip it all comes together.”
Andy Murphy 27th Feb 2023
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
Wow, this book sounds like a thrilling adventure from cover to cover! I love hearing about paddling expeditions, and "Just Around the Next Corner" seems to bring readers to wild and beautiful corners of the world. The personal touch of the hand-written diary notes adds an extra layer of authenticity. It's also great to see that the book shares insights on how to navigate and enjoy these adventures responsibly. I'm definitely intrigued and adding this to my reading list!
Your book, Just Around the Next Corner, sounds like a captivating journey through the golden era of kayak exploration. The firsthand accounts and insights into the mindset needed for upper-level paddling provide a valuable perspective on adventure sports psychology. Thanks for sharing your adventures and the wisdom gained along the way!