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Which river runner?

Honestly it’s not easy to choose a Pyranha down river, half slice kayak these days. I currently have four of them sat outside my window vying for my attention to get loaded up on the car and taken to the river. 

I’m a stocky 73kg (160lbs) and I like to swap between the medium and large sizes of the Pyranha kayaks depending on how powerful the river is. 

The Large Ripper, arguably my favourite kayak ever. I can take this kayak to any kayaking zone on the planet and be stoked on my kayak of choice 90%of the time. The other 10% of the time I find myself wishing I had 100% of the Scorch L… but still, the vast majority of time I want to be in the Ripper L. I find it incredible for tallies, in a deep hole I can cartwheel it and when I’m running rivers I feel confident and fast. 

The Medium Ripper. The dust gathers on the cockit rim as it sits in between the favourite Ripper L and the fancy new Fire Cracker. The Medium Ripper is an incredible kayak but I can still get the large vertical easy enough and the extra volume makes river running much easier… Why then do I keep this kayak? Because every time I get in it I am shocked at what a weapon it is and the different skills I can use only in this kayak. It’s just a touch small for me to use with a camera bag and first aid kit in it on big chunky rivers. 

The Medium Fire Cracker. I was confident I wasn’t going to like it that much, all the way up until the first lap. Then I understood it for what it was, a kayaking motivational booster. There are days where the level isn’t that great but in the Fire Cracker I know I will have a good time and be able to find a way to challenge myself. The soft edges and extra width inspires confidence in less confident kayakers and it is ridiculously easy to tailie. This kayak makes me kayak more!

The Large Fire Cracker. This is a truly big kayak. I think it will be incredible for actually large sized kayakers for myself at my size it’s just too much boat to throw around and not think that you might throw one of your ribs out along with it. I find it pretty cool that it’s a genuinely big kayak for big people and has been scaled up well. I keep it in the fleet because I’m pretty sure I will hit the biggest loop ever in it when I eventually find the right hole to loop it in and it could be great to have the large version if I go back to Turkey again… Last years trip was at high water with the medium Fire Cracker and it was a touch sporty at times!

For now, on a medium low day on my local river, I’m taking the large Ripper. It’s cold and I don’t want to play that much but I still want to do a few tallies, surf some waves and hit all the lines really cleanly. When it warms up it will be time for the return of the Fire Cracker. 

Goodluck with your kayak choices, 

See you on the water,