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Glen Etive Hydro Schemes: Act Now!

In July Save Our Rivers asked you to respond to the threat of 7 different hydro schemes planned for Glen Etive all by the same developer.

Several of these schemes posed a threat not just to the amazing landscape and river habitats of the Glen but also to the world class kayaking to be found there.

In a new development 2 of these schemes have been withdrawn by the developer and submitted slightly altered. Having studied the new applications, Save Our Rivers feels that although the schemes have been reduced in scale our reasons for objection have remained the same.

We have therefore resubmitted our objection and urge you to do the same, the deadline has officially passed for new objections but they are still being received and should be considered up until the application is decided.

To take action click the link:


A Whole New Love for the Ripper!

I should start by saying that I was a fan of the Ripper from the initial “concept”, which was a 9R with a cut-down stern made by Kevin Schack in the Pyranha US warehouse.

I enjoyed seeing Robert Peerson work his magic on the design, and from the first time I took the finished kayak out on the water I have loved how this kayak works. It is incredibly fast, but also agile; it opens up a whole new world of freestyle on some rivers and bridges the gap on rivers where multiple genres of kayak design work well.

I recently went to the Zambezi, and I was thoroughly torn between what kayak to take. There are some good freestyle spots on that river, but also a massive amount of very good rapids. A freestyle kayak would leave me very happy on the one or two waves on this river but would I still be as happy running these rapids with no speed, very little volume, and then slogging it out on the flat water? Honestly, I think I would still be happy, as I simply love being out on the water, but I also know that I would be infinitely happier in something that had some zip to it and for that reason. I ended up taking the Ripper to the Zambezi.

I ran the minus rapids on my first day, and I was eternally grateful to have a kayak with more speed and stability while rallying down those monsters. On the rest of the river, the Ripper was brilliant; I could mix between charging hard lines and freestyling my way down easier ones – I honestly think it is the best kayak in the world for kickflips.

The best wave on the river is called 12B, and whilst I was disappointed to not have my Jed with me, the Ripper does not close the door on freestyle tricks, and I was still able to blunt it. It also made simple tricks like carving and spinning so much sicker!

I am so happy that the choice to take the Ripper; it left me grinning from ear to ear each day. I didn’t think I could love this kayak any more than I already did, but I do.

The kayaks I enjoy most are the ones that enable me to progress areas of my kayaking skills and learn, and for that reason, I have always thoroughly enjoyed the Pyranha range; from learning to go fast in the R series (the 9R and 12R), how to go steady in the Machno, and how to freestyle in the Jed. I feel like using the Ripper on the Zambezi every day for three weeks has enabled me to reach a whole new level of “Tailee” skill. It has also reinforced my belief that the Ripper is the best choice of kayak for people looking to really learn how to whitewater kayak, not just bimble down over the top, but learn how to ride every part of it and shred every rapid.

Wishing you all the best of days on the river in 2019 and thoroughly encouraging you to spend some time in a Ripper; you won’t regret it!



Keep the Noli Wild & Free

In modern times of urban sprawl and increasing development, natural places are becoming more valuable than ever. As outdoor enthusiasts, we must stand up and do what we can to protect these areas before they are changed forever.

The Nolichucky River gorge and its diverse ecosystem is the epitome of what should be preserved for generations to come. Pyranha stands behind the proposed Wild and Scenic designation of the Noli, not only because we enjoy paddling the clear, free-flowing water, but we think everyone and everything should be able to enjoy the river in its natural element.

We’re not the first or last humans to seek wild places as a way to replenish ourselves through nature, and we owe future generations the ability to do the same. It only takes one person to start a movement; we’d like to acknowledge and thank Curtis England for being that person, and initiating this call to action. Additionally, thanks to John Grace for capturing the beauty and significance of the Noli, and to the hard working people behind the scenes at American Whitewater for taking this to the federal level.

Designation requires an act of the US Congress, which requires enthusiastic local and regional support. Please, join the movement to protect the Noli today!


Rio Claro, A Dream Come True

The Rio Claro is one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. The Claro is in the Maule Region and is based in the Siete Tazas National Park in the heart of Chile. I have always dreamed of running this river and I got my chance to paddle this glorious canyon. During my stay in Chile, all I could think about was freefalling on the Claro. Then, once Word Class started heading north, I knew it was game time.

The first day we paddle the Claro, we paddled the Siete Tazas section. This section is sick, there are 7 waterfalls and you can only scout the first drop. Therefore, once you paddle the first drop, you are committed. The first drop is a sloping 15-footer and its super sick! Once you take your boof, you fly and have a massive skip out too. After this drop, there are 5 more small drops before you get to the next 15-footer and 18-footer.   

The 15footer, you must go off the river right side and plug the drop because there isn’t a soft landing at the bottom. Though it is a lot of fun to paddle up to the lip and then fall! Now the 18-footer is the opposite; you want to be left of center because there is a flake you will go off and you don’t want to boof this drop because there isn’t a soft landing. Though I boof them anyways because it is fun!

Next, I got the chance to run the Veintidos section of the Claro. This section has 22 epic waterfalls, from small boof to simple 25-footers, to twisty drops! This part of the river is unbelievably gorgeous; the put-in for this section is like Siete Tazas because once you run the first drop you are locked in. My personal favorite drops on this section were the 25-footer, the ski-jump, and the twisty 25-footer. The first drop in clean, you paddle up to the lip and fall. The ski-jump, you want to drive left towards the left wall and take a massive boof stroke off the curler and then you fly! The last of my favorites was the 25-footer with a twist in the entrance. You want to drive towards the right wall and as you do that, the river turns left and drops 25 feet. It’s one of the sickest drops I have ever run! 

The Rio Claro is one of the most gorgeous rivers I have ever paddled, with crystal clear water, and massive Basalt canyons, this is a river I will return to.



Pyranha US Welcomes Epic Kayaks

Epic Kayaks Inc. will be moving its USA Headquarters and East Coast Warehousing to join Pyranha Kayaks at its new Erwin, Tennessee location on the banks of the beautiful Nolichucky River. Epic’s move will benefit the majority of their dealers with a more central location that will better serve their East Coast and Mid-West Dealers, while outbound logistics will also improve by taking advantage of shared shipping to many regions. Epic’s move to Erwin, Tennessee is expected to be completed by the end of February 2019.

Mike Patterson, Operations Director for Pyranha US, Inc. comments, “Our new location has been a perfect fit for Pyranha, so we’re thrilled that Epic will soon be sharing in the spoils. The logistical advantages make this a win-win, with shared warehousing and shipping routes, we expect the ability to fulfill tighter ship windows and keep rates down. We are excited about the future and look forward to working with Epic to strengthen both of our companies.”

Says Bruce Poacher, Epic Kayaks Inc. CFO “We are excited about the move, and are looking forward to sharing Pyranha’s new space with them. In addition to the obvious logistical benefits of cohabitation, we anticipate that the sharing of ideas and the adoption of best practices will benefit both companies as well as their customers.”

About Pyranha US, Inc.

Over our 50 years of research and development, award-winning designs, world-class expeditions, supporting top-class boaters and expanding to become Europe’s leading specialist manufacturer of canoes and kayaks, Pyranha still designs in the UK and USA and builds all our boats in Britain. We do not know where our kayaks will be paddled next, so they are all built to the same high standards – to be pushed to the limit on the world’s toughest rivers and oceans. Comprised of the three brands of Pyranha, P&H, and Venture, all distribution, design, marketing, and sales support for North America is handled through Pyranha US, Inc. headquartered in Erwin, Tennessee.

About Epic Kayaks Inc.

EpicKayaks Inc. was founded by Greg Barton, USA Olympian and summa cum laude graduate from the University of Michigan’s Engineering School. From the beginning, Epic has been the innovating force in surfski and performance touring kayak design and manufacturing. Greg continues to design all Epic’s Kayaks and Paddles, using computer-aided design and multiple drag simulation software programs. Epic products are all crafted for efficiency and speed, and optimized for racing and fitness.

Media Contact:

Mathew Wilkinson

Related Links:

Pyranha Kayaks
P&H Sea Kayaks
Venture Canoes & Kayaks
Epic Kayaks


See Your Local Run Differently

Pyranha Kayaks are truly By Enthusiasts, For Enthusiasts, and we’ve been getting seriously enthusiastic about paddling the 12R recently…

Andy Butler, Ex-Paddlesport Coach/Kayak Bum turned UK Sales Manager

As the lead sceptic whenever the guys at Pyranha US raised the topic of producing a Pyranha longboat (and that was quite frequently!), I have to say, I was wrong!

As soon as I paddled the first 12R prototype I was sold. We already knew that #FastIsFun, but it’s not just the speed, it’s the challenge I love; re-thinking lines, getting it wrong a few times but rolling up with a grin on my face, and learning to develop my style to unlock the full potential of the 12R’s design.

Liam ‘Ted’ Jay, EU Sales and Semi-Pro Beater

I was shocked by how nimble a 12ft boat could feel and totally blown away by the speed. The way the 12R glides and carves around the river has me giggling the whole way from get-on to egress.

Bren Orton, Professional Big Deal and Co-Founder of SEND.

Long kayaks are not just for races. I look forward to using this kayak to learn to look ahead more, to cover more distance and to go faster than I have ever gone down my local river!

Think you’ve got what it takes to beat Bren’s time? Book a 12R Demo with your local dealer, head down to Cardiff International White Water Centre, and paddle fast!

If you log your time on Strava, and post a video of your run on our Facebook Page, you could even win a Limited Edition 12R T-Shirt and other Pyranha swag!



So Long, 2004 Riverside Drive…

The only thing constant is change, or so they say.

By now, most have heard that Pyranha’s US distribution center is moving from Asheville NC to Erwin TN; well, that time has come, and after 15 years in Asheville, we now call Erwin home. Over the years, a lot of great memories have been made in the old location; it’s seen its share of both local and elite level paddlers and been a pickup spot for dealers from all over the country. 2004 Riverside Dr will always hold a special place in our hearts; the scarred and uneven wooden floor, messages written on the walls, and its nooks and crannies filled with dust and old kayak hardware; it had years of kayaker culture ingrained into its character.

The Asheville, NC Warehouse packed full of boats; the move to Erwin, TN will mean we can stock even more!

We’ve been asked our reason for moving since the thing that attracted Pyranha and others to Asheville was its geographical location, centered in the NC mountains. Unfortunately, the very mountains, rivers, and natural beauty which attract outdoor enthusiasts have become its own worst enemy, with an ever-growing population, traffic congestion, and steadily increasing operating costs. However, just 40 miles north is the small town of Erwin, with a population of only around 5000, and a small close-knit kayak community. It is surrounded by mountains and situated at the take out of the class 3-4 Nolichucky river, which starts at the highest peak in the Eastern US, Mt Mitchell, and flows unimpeded through one of the East’s deepest gorges to Erwin and beyond. The Noli boasts year-round whitewater, amazing scenery, and several great playspots. Combine those attributes with a cost of living nearly half that of Asheville, and it was an obvious choice.

Since Pyranha is a kayak company, operated by kayakers, being near the water is a must, but being on the river is even better; Erwin provided us with this. One mile downstream of town is where our new location sits, on the banks of the Noli, and at the base of a rock wall that rises 800ft from the river below. We consider ourselves lucky to call this our new home, to be surrounded by the forest, the river, and bald eagles watching us from the cliffs above. We look forward to years of making new memories and re-investing in the local kayak community by using our river frontage to promote the sport we love.

Since our staff are all paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts, moving to a place with kayaking at the back door and plenty of green space seemed like a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, the part about moving that sucks is, well, moving! It turns out you accumulate a good bit of stuff in 15 years, and all those kayak racks won’t disassemble themselves…

Since the new Pyranha US house is easy to find and within a mile of a major interstate corridor, there are no logistical complications to deal with; it seems too clean and organized right now, but we’re sure given another 15 years there will be just as much dust and memories!

We are excited to have our very own location with room to grow and plenty of additional potential.

Come and see us at our new location, and let’s go kayaking!

Pyranha US, Inc.
2000 Jonesborough Rd
TN 37650

Tel: 828.254.1101


The Legend of Starrk Moon

31 years ago, Brad Nelson created Starrk Moon Kayaks, which would quickly become an east coast staple for Pyranha Kayaks. With his endless knowledge about the world of whitewater, Brad has created countless whitewater kayakers.

Starrk Moon is located in Delta, Pennsylvania and prides itself on introducing new paddlers to the world of whitewater. Brad believes the best decision someone can make is to check out the shop in person to find their perfect kayak. With an arsenal of different gear, a classic local river down the street, and an owner with never-ending knowledge on the sport, every trip to this historic shop is a unique experience.

“Its one thing to sell a boat, but to create a kayaker is totally different” – Brad Nelson, Starrk Moon Kayaks

Hungry for more info? Check out Starrk Moon online or follow them on Facebook, you won’t regret it!


6 of 12R, Half a Dozen of the Other

The Green Race has come and gone for another year, and this one was certainly rather special for us here at Pyranha…

Holt McWhirt experiencing the 12R’s face-melting speed…

Favorites Dane Jackson and Pat Keller placed 1st and 2nd, but we’re beyond stoked with Team Pyranha’s very own Holt McWhirt bagging the Bronze in the 12R; perhaps almost as pleasingly, the 12R placed strongly across the rest of the results table too, with paddlers who chose it as their ride laying down 6 of the top 12 times:

3rd – Holt McWhirt – 04:18.4

4th – Isaac Levinson – 04:19.0

6th – Michael Ferraro – 04:19.4

7th – Matt Anger – 04:21.1

9th – Jeremy Nash (1st place Junior) – 04:22.0

11th – Dylan McKinney – 04:23.1


Legend Isaac Levinson with his game face on…

The cherry on top was seeing something we’ve been dreaming about for some time; Team Pyranha representing in the longboat category at the Green Race! Bring on next year…

We won’t be putting the 12Rs away until it’s time to train for 2019’s event though; those who’ve been paddling the limited number which arrived on the first container have been telling us repeatedly how much fun it is for everyday missions, how surprisingly maneuvrable it is, and how much it’s changing the way they break rapids down and opening their eyes to new mission possibilities. If you’d like to get in on the fun, there’ll be a limited amount of stock available on the next container arriving shortly, so get your orders in with a dealer now!

Images by Priscilla Macy/Marc Hunt.


P.S. The 12R is also now available outside the US too 😉


Dialling In Moves In The 12R

It’s the Eve of the 23rd Annual Green Race; what better time than to hear from some of the members of Team Pyranha who’ll be piloting the Pyranha 12R down the course for the first time…

Dylan McKinney

When I first heard of the Green Race some ten years ago, I remember thinking how insane it was that people actually paddle the Green, nevertheless race the rapids. As I progressed and started paddling the Green myself, my mindset slowly changed. I knew the Green Race as an event that had all of the big and fast paddling names, but I never thought I’d be a part of it. It’s tight, technical, and difficult. The race seems as though it’s a right of passage in the Southeast paddling community, or at least it has been in my mind. In 2012, I found my self at the start line for the first time, full of nerves and stoke, lining it all up. Six years later I have my name on that same list, ready to lay it all down on the first Saturday in November and that isn’t going to change any time soon. There is nothing like race day; turning the corner and having over one thousand people cheer you on as you race your way down class V rapids. The community, comradeship, and the world-class river make it all worth it and one of the most beautiful events in whitewater kayaking.

It’s been a long time coming for Pyranha to produce a longboat. Pyranha really created something unique and forward thinking in terms of long boat design. Sure the 12R is fast, but it is nimble and fun too! Bow rocker that carries the boat up and over large features, a stern fit for engagement and initiating timely turns, and a hull that tracks extremely well. Preparing for the Green Race has been a blast, especially in the 12R. Aside from racing the 12R, it has been a dream to paddle on any river. I’m stoked to finally have a Pyranha long boat in my quiver, just in time for the 23rd Annual Green River Narrows Race!

Michael Ferraro

Pyranha Kayaks finally made a long boat! Not only did they make one, but they made the best one I’ve ever paddled. I have extensive experience in both the Stinger and the Green Boat. The 12R is on a different level of thoughtful design which makes paddling this kayak fast, fun, and in my opinion easy. My favourite features are the wave deflectors on the bow that break the water’s surface so your bow stays nice and dry and the paddle cutouts at the knees. The 12R is the most versatile longboat to paddle. Whether you’re trying to crush the Green Race, do attainments, go on an expedition, or just change things up this kayak will not disappoint. I’m looking forward to representing Pyranha in the upcoming Green Race!

As for dialing in the lines for Green Race I know where to go I just need to paddle hard on race day and grease the lines. My first lap in the 12R was 4:40 and the second lap was 4:27 so it hasn’t taken me too long to adjust to the boat.

Check out the start list to see who else is rocking a 12R!

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