Editor’s Note: The future is upon us. The above video from www.lily.camera shows a waterproof, auto-follow drone that will track your kayak down the river, now available for pre-order. The following article from our May 2015 issue explores how paddlers of the future will look back on this moment.

By Brendan Leonard

"Son," I will say to a young man a decade from now, "I remember the days when we had to have other people take our picture." That was back before 2014, which Twitter declared "The Year of the Selfie," and the year we were introduced to drones that would follow you everywhere.

We wore our little video cameras on our heads, I'll say, or on the front or back of our boats, and you always had to turn to your friend and ask, "Am I blinking?" Sometimes you didn't know, and you'd go through a whole 10 minutes of immortal rad-ness with your camera off, the highlight of your career uncaptured. Then you wouldn't even have a video to show people on your computer after, saying, "This angle doesn't do it justice—it was HUGE!"

Nowadays, you kids, with your auto-follow drones and 3D POV, you're spoiled. You just pop on your sprayskirt, launch your drone, and by the time you take out, you've got the raw material for what we used to call a "sick edit." All you have to do is add in some of that tasteless music you kids listen to now, because you don't know any better.


The Future of Maps

A new generation of amateur filmmakers and citizen mapmakers is taking the future of wilderness tripping into their own hands.

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Your Paddling Future

How Technology, demographics and shifting climate will change the way you paddle