Going Vertical: The Life of an Extreme Kayaker

Going Vertical: The Life of an Extreme Kayaker

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Schroeder, Dave

Tao Berman is the most successful and dominant whitewater kayaker of all-time—just ask him. His new biography, Going Vertical: The Life of an Extreme Kayaker (Menasha Ridge Press; $11), showcases the life and times of this unique, if not eccentric, extreme athlete and his rocket ride from a lamp-lit one-room cabin in the mountains of western Washington to poster child for extreme kayaking. There's no Daddy Warbucks expedition funding or world-class private instruction in this tale. No, this is the story of a natural athlete, from the humblest of beginnings, finding inspiration in difficult whitewater and mastering the medium.

Tao often wanders off-topic in the book, but the reader may also view these sections as a window into the soul of a salesman who has learned to capitalize handsomely on his passion for cheating death while the rest of us Johnny Punchclocks are drowning in the backwaters of monotony.

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