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Small Burn vs Shiva Review

When I heard that Pyranha was putting out a new creeker, I didn’t pay much attention because I’ve been so happy with my Burn, and I wasn’t looking to change boats.  Then when I saw the Shiva, I was intrigued.  My first thought was that it resembled an old Pyranha favorite of mine, the Creek 280.  So, I decided to give it a try.  I’ve really enjoyed the Shiva, and now I own both a Burn and Shiva.  I’ve been paddling both lately, so I decided to do a comparison between the two.


First off my stats:

125-130 lbs


29” inseam

Small Burn:

The Burn is famous for it’s nimbleness that comes from its short length and the edges.  These features of the boat still make it my number one choice.

  • Having edges makes the boat fun to paddle on a wider variety of rivers than a round-hulled creeker.  In this boat, I ran the Futalafu at 15, 000 cfs and raced the Green Narrows.  It performs well on big rivers, big water creeks, and small volume steep creeks.  So, if you need one creeker/river runner that will paddle a wider variety of rivers, the Burn is your choice.
  • The short length and edges makes the boat easier to boof and turn than the Shiva.
  • The Burn is a smaller and lighter boat than the Shiva, which means it’s lighter to carry and lighter to paddle; which means I have less fatigue.
  • I have to outfit the Burn a lot due to the large volume around the knees.

Small Shiva:

The Shiva is a long, full-on creek boat with rounder edges and more volume than the Burn.

  • The boat is narrow and sleek in the front, which allows you to lean way forward and plant strokes, plus it’s very stable on edge.  This makes the boat really maneuverable for such a big boat.
  • The Shiva is a longer and faster boat than the Burn, which has several advantages:  The Shiva will stay on a line or recover a line easier.  The speed of the Shiva makes it fly through holes, which is really nice for a small paddler.
  • The Shiva is bigger and heavier, so I find myself not able to really dominate the boat and end up riding it more often than driving it.
  • The Shiva feels softer than the Burn when hitting rocks, doing a funny brace, and upon landing a drop.  For this reason it’s my choice for running waterfalls and gnar.
  • The Shiva is heavier to carry than the Burn when walking to the put-in or portaging, which has caused me more fatigue than the Burn.
  • I need less outfitting in the Shiva due to the narrowness of the boat around the knees and hips.

All in all, I love both boats.  The thing about Pyranha is that they make fun boats to paddle.  So, I’ll have to keep trying out both boats all the time!