Pyranha Logo
facebook twitter vimeo




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!