Critically Acclaimed Memoirist
Working Class Adventurer
Travels from: Seattle, WA

“The overcoming-obstacles memoir succeeds only if you grow to care about the person overcoming them. Hulk? Maybe not ― he’s touchy and volatile. Dr. Strange? Full of himself. But Devon Raney is good company: modest, down-to-earth, grateful to the people around him. See him today on his surfboard and you’d probably think, ‘Lucky guy.’” — San Francisco Chronicle

Working-class American adventurer Devon Raney was born in Goleta, California. He 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 in the outdoors looking for fun ways to enjoy his environment and always searching for good waves, smooth snow, and flowing skate parks.

He spent a decade as a project manager in the construction field 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 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 it takes a very different approach these days and often help from a friend. Still Sideways is his memoir and second book.

Devon’s Authors Outside Profile: 

Devon's Featured Titles

Still Sideways: Riding the Edge Again After Losing My Sight

Patagonia |

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 mid-life 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.


Books Are Cool: The staying power of books in a digital world


I Am Blind...So What? Living life with a disability and the creative process it takes


Show Up No Matter What: The intentional effort it takes to show up and be a part of the result


The Power of Hope: Showing up to be a part of the result is a challenging thing without hope


A Defiant Spirit: When defiance is a good thing

Devon’s Links

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Still Sideways is a 2020 Foreword Indies Gold Medal winner
Forbes magazine called Still Sideways the second most important Patagonia book to read right now

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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