Pyranha Logo
facebook twitter vimeo



After the Freestyle Kayak World Championships, Sort is getting ready to hold the Lulu Love Tour for the third year in a row. This little town nestled in the middle of the Catalan Pyrenees has been the capital of the Tour since 2017 and because of that, women’s participation in kayaking has increased considerably, so it makes sense that the Tour happens once again. #WEAREREADY

1. What can people expect at Lulu Love Tour 2019?

Once again, the tour will be a two-day festival filled with lots of whitewater, fun and prizes. It will kick off on Friday 30th and we have organized several whitewater clinics specially designed for the girls which have no other purpose than offering the opportunity to learn, work and sharpen their kayaking skills. 

The Tour will continue on Saturday 31st where the 2nd Noguera Pallaresa Women’s Race will take place in the morning as a Mass Start down the classic section of the Noguera Pallaresa River. 

After the race competitors among other paddlers will do a stoke float all the way down to Sort downtown. After the stoke float participants will have the chance to demo some of the latest kayak designs at the Pyranha Kayaks Test Centre at the slalom course in downtown Sort.  

After lunch break will get ready for the Open Multi-Sport Race.  This race will combine running, swimming in the river and kayaking and it will be open for everyone so both men and women are welcome to enter. 

2. What kind of clinics will be offered on this year’s Tour?

We offer 3 kinds of clinics:

The Introduction to Kayaking clinic is aimed for those girls who have only done a little bit of kayaking, or none at all. We’re planning to have different levels so every paddler can learn in a safe and comfortable environment. 

The Freestyle clinic will be run by Nuria Fontané (Jr. Freestyle European Champion and multiple Spanish Champion), Cristian Lamiel (Kayak Coach and instructor) and Oriol Colomé (Spanish Freestyle Kayak Team Coach). We’ll have different skill levels in different features so the girls can make the most of their session in the water. 

Marc Parra (professional kayaker and vertical works instructor) will be in charge of the Rescue and Rope Skills clinic in which the girls will have the chance to learn several Mechanical Advanced Systems to potentially use in different whitewater rescue scenarios. 

3. How are you making this happen? Who’s supporting the Lulu Love Tour?

Although we all love to be out there and support outdoor events just for the fun of it, the truth is that its really nice to get back home with a few extra goodies. 

We are honoured and very stoked to be supported by top-notch kayak gear brands so we can give away a bunch of cool prizes and we would like to give a big shout out to Pyranha Kayaks for supporting us on this year’s edition with a very special surprise! 

As for the prize money, we will have a few euros for the three fastest paddlers of the Noguera Pallaresa Women’s Race so start training, chicas!!! 

4. Why an Open Multisport Race? Where does the idea come from?

This Multisport race is inspired by one of the most popular races in Okere Falls, NZ, called “Champions Race”. This race was actually one of Lou’s favourite races of the season, so it’s just another way to honour her and keep spreading her energy and love for the sport in a pretty fun way. 

Sort’s ideal location with the Noguera Pallaresa river cutting right through downtown makes it the perfect venue for this kind of event.

We’ve decided to make it an OPEN race for everyone, not only because this is how the original Kiwi Champions Race was, but also to get the rest of the kayaking community involved and thank them for their unconditional support in every edition of the Tour. 

5. Anything else would you like to add about the event?

I’d like to encourage people to come and be part of it! It’s truly a very special festival in which you can feel the energy and the positive vibes in the air. 

I also really want to thank all the local community in Sort and everyone who helps make the Tour happen out there; and especially the Kayak Sort crew, Associació Esportiva Pallars, Alberg Escola de Piragüimse and the City Hall from Sort for their endless support to make the sport grow!


What is Team Long Hair Don’t Care?

Team Long Hair Don’t Care (TLHDC) is all about having a good time shredding around with your friends in some incredible pieces of plastic designed by the masterminds at Pyranha.

Team Long Hair Don’t Care getting ready to rally a South Yuba lap

The ring leader of TLHDC is the dark horse, Tracy Young – the California phantom you can find styling stacked class V high sierra granite on weekends, or crushing through 12-hour clinical rotations at nursing school.

Tracy Young about to launch on the South Feather

The G.O.A.T. of TLHDC is Jessie Bohn – the new-to-Cali-still-learning-the-ropes kid who lives in Tracy’s spare room.

Jessie Bohn layin treats on West Cherry

…and, of course, we have Uncle Dave – the crazy relative who drops in from White Salmon to lay some treats in Cali, enlighten us with the newest lingo, and share his wisdom and drainplugs.


Product Safety Announcement – 9R II Step-Out Pillar

Important Product Safety Announcement for All 9R II Owners: 15/08/2019

We recently received a report of a paddler becoming temporarily snagged during a wet exit from a 9R II; the paddler believes their footwear became wedged between the top of the plastic step-out pillar and the inside of the kayak.

Although we have been unable to re-create the issue internally, and have had no reports of similar issues elsewhere, we are taking the steps described below as a precaution.

In the 9R II, the top of the step-out pillar is trimmed to match the internal shape of the boat at this point and prevent any concentrated areas of stress on either the deck or the hull of the kayak. Due to the nature of rotomoulding, there are some variations in the resultant gap between the top of the step-out pillar and the kayak; if this gap is large enough to fit the sole of your shoe in, this may present a risk of becoming snagged.

If you believe that the gap in your 9R II is large enough to present such a risk, please contact the dealer from which you purchased the kayak as soon as possible; a foam insert will be provided free of charge which can be installed simply to the existing step-out pillar by the dealer or end-user, filling the space and therefore reducing the potential risk.


Building Confidence

The swim

I sit above Easan Dubha, a grade 5 rapid on the Orchy.  I have run this drop many times before and the familiarity leads me to a dangerous level of complacency.  I am too relaxed. By the time I arrive on the lip, I realise I am too far left and drop sideways into the hole.  After a good trashing, I get bagged out and watch my boat eventually re emerge downstream split in half. As I walk back to the car, tail between my legs I chuckle to myself, “silly Jonny”.  A few days later when I’m back on the water my paddling is jerky, I’m nervous and I’m not having fun.  I realise the swim has knocked my confidence.

Photo – Kirsten Rendle

What is confidence?

Lots of people that I coach are keen to increase their confidence, which after my incident, I can totally relate to.  Confidence is defined as ‘the feeling that you can have faith in something’.  Like trust, it takes a while to build but can be lost in an instant.

Paddling with confidence on the Tummel

How do you gain confidence?

Confidence is gained by using experiences to build trust in the ability to perform future tasks.  So to build confidence in a kayak, you should have fun styling lines well within your ability. This will give you the confidence to paddle the same, if not harder white water in the future.   Gaining consistency with moves also makes you more confident that you will be able to do a similar move in the future. I also use ‘positive self talk’ to reassure me that I have the required skills to carry out a particular task.

Building consistency and confidence of a single boofs, gives you the confidence to link them

Reasons for losing confidence

Paddlers lose confidence for lots of reasons.  My swim is a classic example when suddenly skills I thought I could rely on, failed me, meaning I could no longer trust them.  Time out of the boat means that you become uncertain if you can still rely upon past experiences as much as you previously could.  A new piece of kit such as a boat will feel strange and take a while to gain confidence in. Everyone has off days, which if you don’t recognise, can result in you pushing too much and again losing confidence.  Negative chat before the river such as “the last time we paddled this we had an epic” can cause you to doubt you have enough skill to paddle it, which creates a downward spiral.

Rebuilding confidence

Everyone will experience fluctuations in confidence.  The key thing is to recognise the dip and have strategies to build it up in the short term (on the river) and over time (future rivers). 

In the short term, coping mechanisms to manage your lack of confidence can be really useful.  The acronym GRIP (Goal set, Relax, Imagery, Positive self talk) can be really useful as a short term fix. Set a Goal i.e. “punch that diagonal”.  Sit in the eddy above and take some deep breaths to Relax. Shut your eyes and use Imagery to run through a successful performance. Say a Positive phrase to focus your mind and then nail the line!  This can be great to use on the way to the river or at a specific point in the day.

Scouting the line to enable goal setting and imagery

After my incident, it took a few weeks to build confidence back up again. I dropped the grade of river to; have fun, nail lines and play more. I paddled with supportive people that paddled at my pace, didn’t tell scary stories and included me in the decision making process.  I set realistic goals to help me progress but not push it too hard. Also, an important thing to think about is your motivation for paddling. Is it to paddle hard rivers, have fun, hang out with mates….? Continually paddling hard rivers is rubbish for confidence, if all you want to do is have a laugh on the water.

Dropping the grade to mess about and have fun on the water helped me re-build confidence

In conclusion, everyone will experience dips of confidence with their paddling.  The key thing is to recognise them and have strategies in place to cope in the short term and then build it back up in the longer term.  Just don’t get too cocky!

Jonny Hawkins runs the Highland Kayak School which provides high quality kayak coaching and guiding in the Scottish Highlands.


An Interview with the Unstoppable Beth Morgan

Team Pyranha’s Beth Morgan has taken Europe by storm in the 9R II this summer…

Not only did Beth win the AWP European Championship Race this year, but she also smashed the competition in the King of the Alps Mass Start Marathon, before competing (and placing second) in the first-ever women’s race on the finals course, at the highest water level KOTA has ever seen.

We managed to drag Beth away from kayaking long enough to ask her a few questions:

Q. How does it feel to be European Champion?

A. It’s a bit surreal, to be honest. We couldn’t see the times at the bottom of the course so I had no idea about the results. I made a small mistake in the final so wasn’t sure I was in with a chance. The first I knew of it was on the walk back up; Joe pointed a camera in my face and asked me how it felt to be European champion. I replied with “you’re kidding right?”.

Q. Tell us about King of the Alps – it was the first time women had raced on the finals section. How was it?

A. It was terrifying! I basically spent the entire week before looking at that rapid and making excuses not to run it. It was high, technical and scary. On the day of the race, I was feeling good after the marathon. The river had also been dropping and was the lowest I’d seen it since I arrived. I wanted it so badly, but I didn’t want to fall into the heuristic trap of racing just to prove a point! The worst part of it all was sitting around for 1.5 hours waiting for our turn to race.

I was tired and nervous putting on. The race starts with a 15ft weir boof. I came off it a bit too far left and instantly pinned for a few seconds. For some reason, this helped me relax and I felt focussed and controlled through the rest of the course. My line through the intimidator couldn’t have gone any better and I got to the bottom absolutely elated. I was the first to race so got to cheer on the rest of the ladies as they finished. It was unbelievably cool to race against 3 other awesome women. I feel as though we made a tiny bit of history that day.

Q. Do you think this will encourage more women to race in the future?

A. I really hope so… There were definitely fewer women racing at some of the events than I’d hoped. There’s still such a massive gap between numbers in the men’s and women’s categories. However, I do think that it is improving and things are changing for the better. Seeing the first women’s final at North Fork this year was incredibly inspiring and to have equal prize money for men and women in these events really is awesome. I do think there is still a bigger gap than the men though when you compare the number of women racing on class 3 compared to class 4/5.

View this post on Instagram

Pretty awesome that the first year there’s a women’s final at @kingofthealps is also the highest water year! . I hadn’t run the section before due to the high levels during the week. After a nervous start getting pinned, I was super happy to have a good line down the very appropriately named “Intimidator” rapid and come 2nd. I’m also stoked to have won the Marathon mass start earlier in the day! . Congratulations to @nourianewman for putting down an epic time and thanks for the motivation to race. Great to also have @mollyagarkayak and @mariekevogt stepping up for the final and styling the lines. Thanks as well to the organisers for a great event and party. And to @ciaranheurteau for the photo. . #kingofthealps #queenofthealps #firstwomensfinal #gnarlyaf #iwassoscared #readandrace #extremerace #whitewaterrace #riverpasser #passervalley #mooserbeachparty #pyranhakayaks #9rtoogood #teamriverlegacy #watersheddrybags #getwetstaydry #kokatat

A post shared by Beth Morgan (@boaterbeth) on

Q. Why do you think that is?

A. Ah, there are so many reasons!! There are fewer women in the sport in general and although that has drastically improved since I’ve been paddling, there are still proportionally fewer at that higher level. It’s a whole can of worms to get in to and one I enjoy discussing with my friends about on a semi-regular basis. However, they can be slightly frustrating conversations because I really don’t know what the solution is!

Without going into a full-on debate (and at the risk of causing some backlash), I do think that women are much less likely to race unless they are 100% sure that they are good enough to do it and are going to nail their lines, whereas men are much more likely to just give it a go. I think that mindset is generally present in river running as well. For me, if I think I might flip in a rapid it makes me significantly less likely to try it.

Q. Ok back to the summer… What was your favourite race?

A. That’s a hard question. They were all great, well organised and fun. I really prefer longer races. I’m not as good at short sprints because I don’t have the acceleration or the best head game. One small mistake and you are done, whereas on a longer race you can make up that time. I also really like to get myself into a good rhythm. I love the Alpine Sprint as a racecourse because it is long and continuous. There’s pretty much no flat water! I also really enjoyed the Timber Hole Enduro. It was my first time doing that race this year and also my first time running the Timber Hole rapid the day before. It’s definitely one to get your heart pumping.

View this post on Instagram

Well @ekstremsportveko did not disappoint! I am totally broken after a hectic week of climbing, rafting, river boarding, kayaking and partying. I earned myself 2 fancy new titles – Extreme Kayak European Champion and Honorable Citizen of Voss. I’m also super happy to have come 2nd in the Timber Hole Enduro and 3rd in the rafting giant slalom! Congratulations to @nourianewman for winning the Enduro and putting down a lightning fast time in the Myrkdal qualifier and to @lucie_sediva for completing the podium in both races (and expertly guiding our raft team!). . . Sadly, half my prizes were stolen which put a small downer on the week but I’m excited for the rest of my Norwegian summer adventures. . . #ekstremsportveko #extremekayakrace #europeanchampionship #totallyunofficial #myrkdalen #voss #honorablecitizen #igottomeetthemayor #doesthatmeanicangetresidency #ohnorway #gofasttakechances #9rtoogood #9rtoofast #getwetstaydry #watersheddrybags #kokatat

A post shared by Beth Morgan (@boaterbeth) on

Q. And most importantly, how are you liking the 9R II?

A. It’s great. I was pretty sceptical when you decided to remake my favourite creek boat, but so far so good. It’s more forgiving than the original, to give you that bit more confidence to step it up, whilst still being fun and responsive. I also think it’s faster because the extra volume in the back catches and shoots you out of things but you’re also still in control. 9R II plus Ripper will be my ultimate line up.

We are so proud of Beth’s race results this summer and absolutely cannot wait to see what she will go on to next. Here’s a full list of her results this season:

Valsesia River Festival Alpine Sprint – 1st Woman

Valsesia River Festival Final – 1st Woman, 10th Overall

King of the Alps Marathon – 1st

King of the Alps Final – 2nd

Ekstremsportveko Myrkdalen Downhill / AWP European Championship – 1st

Ekstremsportveko Timerhole Enduro – 2nd

Sjoa River Festival Washing Machine Slalom – 1st Woman


9R II: First Impressions…

We’re over the moon to see 9R IIs on the water in almost every corner of the globe and thought we’d check in with a few paddlers to catch their first impressions:

Tweet your #FiveWordReview and tag it with #9RTooGood to share your thoughts, and if you haven’t tried one yet, contact your local dealer now!


Fusion Duo | The Best Gift For Your Family

Getting the whole family on the water can be a real challenge! Multiple boats, wedging gear in awkward places, and uncomfortable paddling with screaming children crammed in the boat with you; these were all things I was dreading! That is until the Pyranha Fusion Duo came into our lives.

Read on, and find out why getting a Fusion Duo might be the best thing you can do for your family!


Being a family, naturally, you end up taking a lot of stuff, most of it completely unnecessary! This always worried me about getting the family out in kayaks. I was pleasantly surprised with how I could fit pretty much everything in the rear hatch of the Fusion Duo, and although it’s sensible to use dry bags for your kit, everything in there was kept pretty dry too!

The Fusion Duo’s cockpits are quite large, which for us was perfect. Our girls are still really young, so having space for our youngest to comfortably sit on one of our laps as we paddle was ideal.

Don’t Rock the Boat…

Stability is always a concern with excited kids, and the Fusion Duo has bags of it! This makes it a super smooth boat to paddle, even when loaded up with gear. My daughter likes to spend most of her time standing up in the cockpit, and this was no issue at all!

Engage Cruise Control!

Like most touring kayaks, the Fusion Duo sports a retractable skeg. Pyranha have put in a really easy to use slider control for this just in front of the rear cockpit, and we found this really useful if we needed to attend to the kids whilst maintaining some momentum, or if we just wanted to relax a bit and not worry about steering. The skeg also helps prevent the really annoying thing kids do where they trail their paddle in the water and steer you into the trees, although a splash of water also does the trick there…

Ride the Rapids!

The Fusion Duo is a crossover touring kayak, but what does that mean?! It means that as well as being a fantastic calm water cruiser, you can also enjoy the thrill of riding some rapids! The progressive rocker profile is great for driving through small features and waves with plenty of speed, and even considering its size, the boat carves into eddies nicely.

The Fusion Duo is built strong like Pyranha’s whitewater kayaks and has many of the same safety features such as secure, rated grab handles.

This is all ideal as most river trips I’ve taken the family out on have some light rapids, and it’s nice to know that not only can we navigate them safely, but we can have a blast on them and maybe even surf a wave!

In Conclusion…

We love our Fusion Duo, and it’s opened up the doors to some fantastic family adventures for us! Do your family a favour and get one too!

Not sure? Book a demo at your local Pyranha Stockist and find out for yourself!


Tom’s Top Tips for Tailees

Whether you call it a Tailee, a Stern Squirt, or a Tail Squirt (but never a Pirouette!), this is a classic playboating move and the very root of freestyle. Where it all began, you might say. Done well, a tailee can be sublime, but it is a deceptive move. It appears simple, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.

I was honoured enough to run a workshop on them last weekend at the Paddle in the Park festival in sunny Nottingham, UK. It was so well received that Mat at Pyranha asked me to jot a few short tips down to help you add some finesse to your moves.

So, make a cup of tea, dim the lights (or switch them off if you don’t have a dimmer), sit back, and enjoy!

Boat choice is very important; something with a low volume, slicey stern is what you’re looking for. This guy is just making life needlessly hard for himself.
Tailees definitely require you to be in the boat; just sticking a deck on your kayak and throwing it in while you stand on the side will attract scorn from the purists.
Try to keep both hands on your paddles; this chap has clearly been drinking too much Dandelion and Burdock and has got carried away with things. Not a good example to the youngsters.
Angle of approach is key; this is remarkably obtuse, leading to all sorts of adventures.
That’s more like it! Just do it like this guy here, he seems to have got the hang of it.

So there you go, some simple tips to help your tailees go with a bang. Finally, remember this: John Lennon once said, ‘Someone getting vertical in their boat is either really into kayaking, or knows someone who is really into kayaking…’

Photos by Tom Clare Photography


Breaking Out of the Routine

It is a very strange notion to think that despite whitewater being a predominately foreign environment to human beings, we are still able to get familiar, complacent, and stuck in a routine while interacting with it. We are all guilty of it, how often do you find yourself going to your local river and repeating the same moves over and over again? How often do you look at lines that other people are doing and think “I wish I could do that?”

I fully understand it, and I’m definitely guilty of it myself. It can be scary trying new things on the river, however, I think it’s a large part of why I find kayaking so addictive. Figuring out new lines in my kayak provides me with a unique mix of creative problem solving and acquisition of new skills in a fast-paced and beautiful environment.

Below are my secrets to staying creative and flexible on the water, no matter how many times you have been on a section of the river:

Surround yourself with friends. Different people have different outlooks from different walks of life and can offer a refreshing take on things. Recently, I was kayaking with my mate Benny and he was trying to “whip” his kayak over the backs of waves to imitate mountain bike racers.

Look for the opposite. If you normally run a rapid on the left, have a look if you can go right. If you normally stay in the flow, see if you can find a rock to boof off. If you normally go forwards, can you go switch?

Embrace the tingles. We all know that feeling of being nervous on the water, and while it can be a bit much at times, I think it’s a really fun emotion. It also helps to condition you for stepping up and out of your comfort zone on harder rivers.

Try new kayaks. If you normally rock a creek kayak, get in a freestyle kayak. If you want the best of both worlds, grab a Ripper. Different kayak designs open up new realms on the river, and the best kayakers are the ones who spend time in a quiver of different boats.

Enjoy the learning curve. The problem-solving aspect of figuring out new things on the river is addictive. A lot of the time, it’s going to take a few attempts to hit a line; don’t let that put you off. Enjoy the moments of buffoonery, because they all add up to make it feel that much better when you do hit the line.

Best of luck to everyone trying to keep things fresh on the river and learn new things this season!

Catch you on the water,


Tuck Fest 2019

Over 55,000 outdoor enthusiasts come together to celebrate the outdoor lifestyle at the Tuck Fest. This multi-day festival is held at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC and features a packed schedule of whitewater kayaking, climbing, trail running, mountain biking, and adventure racing. On top of all of that, there is also live music, exhibitions and demos.

The Pyranha booth was buzzing all weekend long. Almost an entire fleet of Pyranha kayaks was available to demo – the 9Rs, 12Rs, Machnos, Burns, Lokis, and Rippers were all lined up and ready to go.

While the demos were constantly out on the water, there was also a steady stream of paddlers asking about the 9R II – what changed, how they compare, but mostly about when they can get one. For more information, you can check out Pyranha’s blog post on the new 9R II for all the details and tech specs.

The Ripper was in high demand – with all 3 sizes available to demo, it was easy to find the perfect fit. Paddlers loved the downriver speed paired with the playfulness of the stern. You will soon find yourself stern squirting on the eddy line, then surfing each and every wave. If you have not paddled the Ripper yet, it is definitely one for the list.

One of the favorite whitewater events of the festival is the Boatercross on Friday night. During the day, paddlers practice on the competition channel, tightening their lines and catching the gates. By 7 pm, spectators are lined up along both sides of the channel to watch this exciting event.

This year was one to watch – the place to be was at the last gate; it was by far the carnage corner, as well as the game changer. In the final moments, it was extremely tight until Evy Leibfarth edged past the others at the last gate and took it home.

Pyranha also sponsored whitewater clinics over the weekend. On Saturday, Chris Hipgrave ran a Whitewater Racing clinic, which was perfectly timed to run right before the Baker’s Dozen Race (13 laps on the Wilderness Channel). Paddlers were able to find the fastest lines on the run, talk about strategy, and finesse their techniques.

“Paddle with a Pro” in the new Fusion Duo was also available all weekend. Paddlers signed up for a 30-minute session with a Pro from Team Pyranha. After a warm-up run on the Wilderness Channel, maybe two, they headed out on the Competition Channel. Paddlers were impressed by the stability and the responsiveness of the Fusion Duo. They were catching eddies, running tight lines and surfing the waves – the options are endless; all of those features paired with the storage capacity set this kayak up for success on overnighters and expeditions.

Sunday featured back to back clinics – one of the clinics was the “Slice and Dice” clinic with Ben Drew and Holt McWhirt. If you had a Loki or a Ripper, this was the place to be!

Overall, the Tuck Fest was an amazing success. It was great to see so many people come together to share their love for the outdoors. Many walked away with new experiences they have not had before – zip lining, kayaking, rafting, mountain biking, or climbing. Spectators were able to watch a new sport that they have not seen before – Boatercross, or the Deep Water Solo Competition. Paddlers were learning new techniques, taking on the Competition Channel for the first time, or simply finding that perfect comfort level in their kayak.

The best part for me was being able to watch those moments and to catch them with my camera. One of my favorite quotes from Richard Bach in his novel, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, sums up this weekend perfectly for me:

You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn’t flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn’t have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there.”

Richard Bach

Older posts «

» Newer posts