03 Apr 2015 Pyranha 9r kayak review
This past fall, Dave Fusilli of Demshitz fame, was nice enough to swing through his ol’ spawning grounds and let me take the new Pyranha 9R for a spin. “Scoville, this is the boat you have been waiting for,” he said. He wasn’t wrong.
Hitting the Yough with the 9R
As soon as I slid into the water below Ohiopyle falls, I knew I was sitting in something special. I have paddled long boats for years, namely a Pirouette, and more recently the Stinger, and was instantly reminded of the feel. Driving a line at speed, and carving up river! The boat is narrow, so that edge transfer is quick, and, thanks to the hull design, the way it sits in the water makes it even faster than its 9 foot length would suggest. I had to borrow a word from the business world to help me articulate how the boat feels… nimbleosity! It is fast, but is able to break out of a line like a smaller creek boat and then lock onto a different one with ease.
The bow rocker and wave deflectors (the little wings that stick out) keep the nose up and slap away the waves as you drive it down the line, and make punching holes a breeze. It does not hurt the boofability either. The rocker, plus the speed, plus the quick edge transfer… get outta town! You will have to look behind you to make sure the drops are still there, because you are going to be killing them! As far as catching eddies and making eddy turns, the 9r may not be as crisp as its cousin the Burn 3, but just barely. It more than makes up for it by keeping the speed up and the improved edge transfer. Speaking of the edges, it does have them. They kick in right where your knees are and continue back to the stern, making surfing a blast and keeping you on line. The widest part of the boat is just behind the paddler. This provides that extra bit of stability to give the paddler the confidence to go for the must make moves. A few years back I was looking to replace the Burn, but I couldn’t give her up. It is such a great all around boat and there was nothing else that could compare. You can go down the Big Sandy, hit up Bull Run, and then surf the Cheat in the afternoon. Now the 9R will be that boat, and more. It is the soul boat for all you soul boaters out there. It is the boat I have been waiting for. Wait no longer! Come on in and pick yours up!
To see the boat in its element, check out Dave Fusilli’s 2014 Green Race footage. Granted it is being paddled by a professional, but you can see how the boat just moves through the water. Flowing!
The Pyranha 9R is available to demo at our Ohiopyle kayak store, located across the parking lot from the Loop takeout, and also at our Friendsville kayak store located at the take out for the Upper Yough.
Wilderness Voyageurs 103 Garrett Street, Ohiopyle PA 15470 800-272-4141 Adjacent to the railroad tracks at the north entrance to Ohiopyle.