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Facing the devastating loss of all but 15% of his sight, instead of retreating into a life made smaller by the things he could no longer do, Devon Raney reaffirmed his commitment to the passions that define and sustain him. This is the story of Devon’s resolve to go against the grain—sideways.
About the Author Working-class American adventurer Devon Raney was born in Goleta, California, and currently lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, with his wife Rebecca and daughter Madrona. Devon fell in love with surfing and skateboarding at an early age and went on to spend most of his life riding a board of some kind. Devon has spent countless hours searching for good waves, smooth snow, and flowing skate parks. He spent a decade as a construction project manager before starting his own homebuilding company in 2007. A year later, in September 2008, Devon hit his head on the hard sand bottom while surfing in Northern Oregon. He lost 85 percent of his eyesight as a result of a genetic disorder triggered by the head trauma. Devon and Rebecca are the owners of YES Please! Coffee and have been successful business owners for nearly twenty years.
Devon navigates his visually impaired world in a way that makes it hard to recognize his disability. He remains active in the passions he has known since childhood although he takes a very different approach these days and often has help from a friend. Still Sideways is his memoir and second book.
Endorsement Devon’s story is a testament to the power of board sports as common ground as much as it is a story of perseverance. He embodies the joy of sliding sideways. - Colin Wiseman, Senior Editor/Content Director of The Snowboarder’s Journal
Endorsement Devon demonstrates, via a life of courageous adventure and humble determination, that it's not what you've lost that defines you but what you do with what remains. - Timmy O'Neill, cofounder of Paradox Sports
Endorsement Devon is a great voice for the visually impaired community, showcasing that not all blind individuals use canes or see just darkness. Visual impairment is a spectrum and Devon displays all colors of that spectrum. - Justin Bishop, visually impaired skateboarder and inspiration for Project Bishop
Specifications 272 pages, full color throughout; over 60 photos; dimensions: 5 ¾ X 8 ½ inches; printed on 100% postconsumer-waste recycled paper; hardcover book; made in Canada
Publisher Published by Patagonia
About the Book Before a surfing accident caused thirty-three-year-old Devon Raney to lose all but 15 percent of his vision, he had already lived an extraordinary life. Time and again he’d gone against the grain to maximize time for his passions—surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding—bringing him into the direct path of colorful characters, unexpected adventures, and even the occasional brush with death. Through it all, Devon’s commitment to outdoor adventure never wavered. If anything, he learned to approach the other commitments he would make in life—as a husband and as a father—with the same passion and dedication he’d applied to board sports.
So when facing a devastating mid-life challenge, Devon once again went against the grain -- sideways. Instead of retreating into a life made smaller by the things he could no longer do—drive, build houses, read to his young daughter—Devon resolved to keep his commitments to the same passions that had defined and sustained him. Using his remaining peripheral vision, he developed a style of tandem snowboarding, figured out how to read the waves, and carried himself through his daily life in such a way that few people other than his close friends and family were aware of his vision loss.
Still Sideways makes the case for the sustaining power of nature for a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts: the late Gen X / early millennial generation that has one foot firmly in adulthood and the other foot buckled into a binding. Readers will relate to Devon’s stubborn refusal to organize his life around convention and will be inspired by how his dogged devotion to shredding brings him salvation, not comeuppance, when it all hits the fan. A must-read for any adventurer, Still Sideways intersperses a gripping narrative of Devon’s incredible decade and flashbacks of formative experiences from his youth and young adulthood with humor, candor, and authenticity.