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Two Legends and a Big Green Truck

The image below of our founder and MD, Graham Mackereth getting his first taste of driving a big rig from John Regan encapsulates the Pyranha family spirit perfectly, but there are few understated things about its three subjects that you might not know; allow us to explain…


John Regan

Words alone aren’t enough to describe the man of legendary status named John Regan; chances are if you’re a kayaker in the US, you’ve met Regan, or at least heard him at some point! His voice is unmistakable and mirrors his personality exactly.

It’s also very likely that the 58-year-old logs more class 4-5 river days per year than most paddlers half his age; John makes his living as the Big-Rig truck driver for Pyranha, delivering kayaks all over the country, and because of this he’s kayaked in nearly every state, surfed waves up and down both coasts, and skied powder in every major mountain range. When not on the road he calls Friendsville, MD home, and the nearby Youghiogheny River wouldn’t be the same without him. He, along with other locals, helped pioneer many of the rivers in MD and WV and set the bar of what is considered a classic run. John’s energy and enthusiasm are hard to miss, he brings a level of stoke that is infectious and hilarious to be around. If given the chance to paddle with him, be prepared to feel humbled and tired from trying to keep up with his pace!! We at Pyranha are thankful to call him family.


Pete (the Big Green Truck)

Pete, as it’s commonly called, is the 2004 single axle Peterbilt that JR drives. The truck was ordered specifically by JR in his favorite color green, and with a single axle for hauling relatively “light” product like kayaks. The truck itself boasts JR’s name on the side, and the trailer has an 8ft tall Angry Fish on either side, making it hard to miss whether he’s driving down the highway or pulling into the dock at one of our dealers.


Graham Mackereth

Graham’s love of canoeing began at the age of 14 when a friend took him with his dad to launch a wood canvas PBK they had built together; he was instantly hooked and shortly after purchased a second-hand kayak with £11 he’d borrowed from his dad. This marked the beginning of an endless pursuit for a kayak faster than those of his friends, eventually leading to the purchase of what was the latest racing K1 at the time, a moulded veneer Struer Hunter, which cemented Graham’s admiration for the best in craftsmanship and technology and is a prized part of his collection to this day.

Finally giving in to requests from his friends to build them some River Racers, Graham set up shop in his Dad’s garage at the age of 21, and that’s where Pyranha began. Graham’s keen interest in the history of the sport as much as its future meant that whenever he came across another beautiful old canoe or kayak in need of a new home and some (or more often, rather a lot of) restoration, he couldn’t resist; as what we now affectionately refer to as Graham’s Museum grew, so did his knowledge of the crafts’ design and features.

This enthusiasm and affinity with boat design is the driving force behind the stream of innovations throughout Pyranha’s history; 1988’s  Mountain Bat was the first kayak with a chine to reduce stern drag, inspired by a 1908 Sailing Canoe “Tritonelle”, a runaway winner so successful that she was banned; the Acrobat became the first planing kayak with hard rails in 1994, which was the next extension of the chine; and Pyranha was the first to make 3 sizes of WW kayak available with the InaZone, all done by Struer 20 years before so that paddlers in the Olympics had an even chance no matter how big or small. Many other lessons came from an almost forgotten past, unearthed by Graham’s passionate research.

Graham brought this family of enthusiasts together and is still actively involved in every aspect of the business today.


Pyranha: By Enthusiasts, For Enthusiasts