Our Top 3 Creek Boats for 2017

It’s no secret that the Pacific Northwest has some of the best creek boating and stoutest waterfalls available. There’s a reason that a community of the best pro paddlers in the world call this home (at least during creekin’ season). It’s also no secret that the western US had one of the most epic winters on record, providing record setting snowpack and run-off to our rivers. What better time and what better place to test some of this year’s creek boats? So, what are the top three pics of the local crew?

Pyranha 9R

This the boat demo we can’t get away from our staff. Fast, friendly with forgiving edges – the 9R has been going out the door as fast as it’s been coming in this year.

Pyranha 9R Large (call for availability) >>
Pyranha 9R Medium >>

Pyranha Machno

Once in awhile there is a boat where people don’t wait to hear the reviews – we have people buying the Machno before the boats hit the floor. Tons of rocker and boof-ability, this boat hammers through the stoutest of the stout.

Pyranha Machno Large >>
Pyranha Machno Medium >>

Dagger Mamba

Fast, friendly and predictable (are you sensing a theme here?), the Mamba Creeker is a classic that people rarely turn over because no matter what the new, hot thang is, the Mamba never lets ya down.

Dagger Mamba 7.6 Creeker >>
Dagger Mamba 8.1 Creeker >>

Outdoor Retailer 2012 Day 2 : Wavesport, Dagger, Pyranha & Misc.

Hold onto your laptops, folks! We saw a lot today and we’re flexing our fingers to lay it all out for ya’! Here we go with Outdoor Retailer 2012 Day 2!

Starting off with new boats comin’ at you, we visited the Watermark booth and got a closer look at Dagger’s new playboat, the Jitsu, and Wavesport’s new creeker, the Recon. Both boats (along with current boats in the line up) are receiving the new Watermark outfitting. A ]plastic plate on the creek boats will stiffen the soft plastic of both Dagger’s and Wavesport’s creek boats. We like the new strap system designed to keep your throw bag handy and at the ready as well as the new ratchet strap between the legs that lifts your seat. Oh – and don’t forget the cool topo of the Green on the Dagger outfiiting. Get ’em, boys!



The Recon is Wavesport’s new creeker. Our gut says we might want to give ‘er a try on pushy water, but for the low volume, steep creek, it looks great!  WS will be rolling out 3 sizes, providing a good fit for everyone. The largest size is truly big and, we expect, will not only be good for you bigger fellas but will be a good multi-day vessel too. Check out that sweet bow loop too – nice and durable, we dig this upgrade.

On to the Jitsu. We had all kinds of things to say about this, but we decided to let the boat (and Rush) speak for it.

Our stop at Pryanha provided a view of a boat worth more than most of our rides at home. Presenting the carbon fiber Jed! The (non-carbon fiber) Jed came out a little earlier this year, so what do you do to top that? Make a $2000 version of  it, natch. We likely won’t get our hands on one of these, but we can drool, right?



A little more realistic for us is Pyranha’s new creeker, the Nano. This will be taking the place of the discontinued Ammo, turning the volume up on it by giving it a little more “creekiness”, making it the “I can only take one boat?!?!” boat. Also new, the seat adjustment – flip your hip pad aside and adjust away. Really clean and simple – exactly how we like it.





Walking around the show, you always find some great things you never would have expected. Some of them make your light ding – “HEY! BRILLIANT!” Others give a “Hmm… I can see about .00001% of the population that is going to be STOKED on this.” And others… well, others just leave us a little confused. Here’s a few notable items we ran across in the watersports category today.


Introducing the RoboCup! It’s a dual cup holder that clamps onto something vertical (for example, your Hobie H Bar), which is cool in itself. But there’s more! The bottom of the cup holders unscrew to reveal a rod holder. Magic!



Here’s something that a certain person will not believe they were ever able to live without: the Fly Hiker. A carbon fiber rod blank, made by G. Loomis (legit!), is ensconced in a walking stick. Your choice of fly or spinning rod options, hike into the lake and get your fish on!


We are proud to say that Windpaddle is a hometown hero, located just a short walk away from us in Hood River, Or. These people know wind. And kayaks. And in this case, sun. We are digging the sunshade they’ve perfected and think they’ll save many a kayak fisherperson from some ugly neck burn.


What are these, you say? Chuck Taylor knock offs? NO! These are our current fav for Best of Show! Super cool looking, these are (no kidding) neoprene booties! Boaters, sailors and SUPers, get ready for your on-water steeze to explode. We’re cartin’ a pair of these back in our luggage and can’t wait to give them a try and look all stylie doin’ it.


And finally, a few cool things we’ll throw in the general “outdoor” category that we ran across and liked. Fun, techy stuff from Eton; a light/USB/handwarmer from FireCel; very cool, waterproof, solar (and expensive) messenger bags from Italian company, O-range; and a really sweet waterproof housing for your iPhone from Mophie (we’ve seen a LOT here and this is the best so far).








We have no clue what’s up with the raccoon but think it’s funny & thought we’d leave you on that note.


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The Shiva Is Coming, The Shiva Is Coming!

Just in time for the holidays, Pyranha‘s newest steep creek boat is on the way! Pryanha consistently turns out boats that live up the hype surrounding them and we expect the Shiva to be no different.  An all out creeker with a soft edge, here’s the beta on how the Shiva stacks up to Pyranha’s ever-popular Burn:

Progressive rocker : easy to boof and flair over featuresAggressive rocker : for great boofability
Forgiving rounded hull : gives softer landings on big dropsDynamic flat hull : planning surface for surfing and ferrying
Smooth stern chines : no rails to trip you up but chines for driving forcesHard carving rails : precision carving capability around the river
High volume bow and stern : rides easily over features, re-surfaces quicklyMedium volume bow and stern : punches through features
Rounded profile with low deck : easy to rollLow profile deck : easy to roll
Stern release edge : allows really fast linesV’d deck : sheds water and re-surfaces with control

Ready for a little Shiva eye candy now? We thought so! Enjoy!

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Paddle and Demo with Demshitz

Want to demo a Pyranha Kayak and Boat with the Bros? Then paddle with Demshitz and Team Pyranha on July 25th. The group will be meeting at the Kayak Shed at 12pm to kayak the Middle White Salmon. Have questions? Call the Kayak Shed at 541-386-4286

What kayaks are going to be there for demo?
2 Smalls
3 Mediums
1 Large
2 Larges
1 Medium
1 Small

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Our Take on the 2010 Pyranha Burn

We asked the people in the shop to review the 2010 Pyranha Burn and here are the responses we got.

1) More Bow and Stern Rocker:

Robin: Great improvement over the old burn. I found being a heavier paddler and especially on self support trips the old burn would piton easily. Just got off of a 3 day self support trip with the new burn and not one piton!
Deborah: I noticed this helps keep my bow up when I am working on my boof stroke.
Nicole: I have always liked the maneuverability, but the added rocker makes it even more maneuverable.

2) Lifted and Softened Edges

Robin: A little less grabby than the old burn.
Todd: It is much more forgiving than the past burn model. The stern especially is a noticeable improvement.
Deborah: Definitely less edgy, which makes it more user friendly for beginners.
Nicole: I get caught as soon as I get distracted in my old Burn. I noticed that I was not getting caught off guard as easily in the 2010 Burn.

3) More Volume

Robin:There was not enough change in volume to notice.
Nicole: I don’t really paddle the gnar, but I felt like my stern wasn’t getting caught as much.

4) Peaked Deck

Robin: It might shed water a bit quicker, but it is hard to tell.
Nicole: I guess it would shed water more quickly, but whenever my boat disappears, I focus more on survival than how quickly it comes back up, haha.

5) Deck height

Robin: Being that I have short legs, the lower knee area makes for a bit more comfort.
Deborah: Much more comfortable in the thigh brace area. I don’t feel like I am sitting as awkwardly as in the old Burn.
Nicole: I’m flexible like a contortionist, so the deck height never affected my roll, but the lower knee area feels more comfortable.

6) Rollability

Robin: It felt about the same as the old one.
Deborah: Definitely felt a bit easier to roll than the old Burn.
Nicole: Like I said before, my flexibility makes rolling in most kayaks easy, but the lifted and softened edges meant that I didn’t have to roll as much.

7) Primary and Secondary stability

Robin: Primary stability is great as before, but the secondary stability seems a bit better than the old version.
Todd: Better secondary stability than the older version. I have put many students in this kayak and they have excelled due to its balance between primary and secondary stability. Boats that focus too much on primary stability give students confidence when going through basic rapids but are difficult to edge and roll. On the other end, round boats will full displacement hulls give confidence for rolling and edging but feel unstable in the rapids. I have had trouble finding a kayak that allows for both, but this new Burn is appearing to fit the students’ needs very well.
Nicole: The one thing that I didn’t like as much about the old Burn was the secondary stability. I’ve got a pretty good brace, but it didn’t do much for me in the old Burn. I feel like the 2010 Burn has way better secondary stability, so getting knocked off center doesn’t mean certain flip.

8) Outfitting

Todd: The new outfitting is great, with the velcro addition in the hip pads, it makes for easier outfitting that isn’t going to shift around on you.
Deborah: Just as comfortable as the old outfitting!

9) Ability as a Creeker

Robin: Great! Love it. Boofs Well!!!
Todd: I have always loved the Pyranha Burn, and I love the new Burn too.

10) Ability as a River Runner

Robin: It really surfs well for a big boat.
Deborah: The planing hull definitely helps it surf well.
Nicole: I only River Run and I have always liked the Burn. The 2010 Burn is no exception.

11) Speed

Robin: Definitely not the fastest boat out there, but it has enough to make the moves.
Deborah: It is definitely fast enough for me!

12) Crossing Eddy Lines

Robin: One big improvement over the old version is more volume in the stern, which in turn makes crossing boiling eddy lines easier.
Deborah: One of my favorite things to do in the Burn is carve into eddies, and the 2010 makes it just as fun!
Nicole: Boily eddy lines…you won’t get me anymore!

13) Who is this boat best for?

Robin: Intermediates to Experts
Todd: This boat is best for the extreme kayaker running difficult creeks, but also for the beginning kayaker who wants a quick, but doable learning curve.
Deborah: Adventurous Beginners/Intermediates as well as hardcore advanced kayakers.
Nicole: I guess I can only speak for myself, but I really like it. I often feel that the old Burn is too advanced for me, but the 2010 Burn seems more forgiving and therefore more beginner/intermediate friendly.

Robin‘s favorite river is the Little White Salmon (Class V), which he paddles regularly after a day in the shop. On the weekends, Robin takes off for overnight trips and he recently self-supported the Jarbridge/Bruneau in the 2010 Burn. He usually paddles the old Pyranha Burn, Everest, and Wavesport Project 62.

Todd is a professional kayaker as well as owner and instructor at Columbia Gorge Kayak School. His favorite river is the Little White Salmon (Class V), where he goes after working at the Klickitat with new kayakers (Class II). Todd paddled the old Pyranha Burn, but he has stepped up to the 2010 Medium Burn. He has recently upgraded his school fleet so that it includes all sizes of the 2010 Burn, which he puts students in regularly.

Deborah is the customer service extraordinaire at the Kayak Shed and this June marks her 2 year kayaking anniversary. Her favorite river is the Rogue River (Class III), though she loves the White Salmon too, because it is always there for her. She paddles the new Jackson Villain S, which she is really enjoying.

Nicole‘s favorite river is the Middle White Salmon (Class III), which she kayaks whenever it is too wet to mountain bike. She normally paddles the old Pyranha Burn (size small) or the Dagger Kingpin 6.2.

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End of the Summer Boat Sale!

Get your calendars out and save October 17, 2009 as a day you’re going to want to be in the parking lot of the Kayak Shed! Why, you ask? We’re going to be blowing out our 2009 rental and demo fleet and you’re not going to want to miss it. Have you been waiting for a great deal on a Hobie or Jackson Kayak? Here’s your chance, starting at 9am and going until 4pm.

We’ll also be busting out the grill and beverage cooler for those of you that come out at lunch… but don’t get there too late! Most blow-out deals are going to be one of a kind!

Here’s a list of some of the boats we’ll have available (more may be added!):

Hobie Kayaks: Revolution, Outback, Adventure Island
Jackson Kayak: Hero, Super Hero, Side Kick, Mega Rocker, Rocker, Punk Rocker, Dynamic Duo
Pyranha: Burn S, Burn M, Burn L, Karnali
Wilderness Systems: Tusanami 125, Tarpon 120, Tandem Rec Boat
Dagger: Zydeco
Native Watercraft: Ultimate 14.5 solo
Perception: Torrent, Tandem Sit On Top

Questions? Give us a call!

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Outdoor Retailer : Day 1 : Pyranha

Meeting with Jim from Pyranha was a great way to open our show this year – they always bring a great line up of whitewater boats ideal for Pacific Northwest rivers.

New for ’09 – some great new colors in the Karnali. We didn’t bring a lot of these in this year, so if you’re not familiar with the boat, it’s like a Burn with softer edges. An all around great looking river runner, we’re excited to bring more of these in this coming year.

See that boat at the end of the line? The orange one? That’s the Zone & Pyranha is proud to announce that they’ll be doing a new kids boat, the Rebel, based on the Zone platform. It’ll retails for $799, so kids – start saving those pennies!

We’re also excited about the Fusion, Pyranha’s new hybrid boat. Unlike a lot of the hybrids out there, the Fusion is built from whitewater to touring vs. touring to whitewater. This should make performance in whitewater situations a lot better. If you’re looking for a great all around boat that you can take camping at the lake or the river, this could be the one for you!

Good news for you Burn fans – there’s a redesign on the horizon! Starting in Sept and phasing through Dec, all sizes of the Burn will receive an upgrade with learnings coming from the Karnali, Burn & Everest boats. We’re excited to see the final version of this!

Sit-on-tops and fishing were the new buzz at OR ’08 and the buzz has just continued to grow. Pyranha’s offering in this category is the Moken. I’ll sound like a car ad here, but it’s $899 well outfitted (rubber hatches, 4 pole holders, etc) and $749 without the fishing accessories. This boat has some really nice features in it’s category, like molded handles and a very convenient built-in wheel that kicks out so you can roll this not-so-light boat around. Jim tells us they have yet to hear of the wheel breaking, but if it did, it would be a 5 minute fix. That’s the kind of maintenance (or lack thereof) we like to hear about!

That’s Pyranha for ’09 for you! We’ll part with a glamor shot of P&H’s beautiful sea kayak line up.

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The Latest from Team Pyranha

In case you don’t spend as much time checking out paddling blogs as we do (and we DO set the bar pretty high), you should make sure that Team Pyranha’s blog is on your short list. Great pictures and thoughts from some of the worlds best paddlers on all their recent adventures: the Teva Mountain Games and road trips in Canada, the US & Europe. Definitely worth making your 5 minute coffee break more like 15 or 20 minutes.

Incidentally, word on the street is that there’s a new Pyranha playboat coming out this fall. We’ll be keeping our eyes and ears open and will pass on any beta we get our hands on. In the meantime, the creekin’ is ON here in the PNW and you know we love us some Pyranha creek boats!

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Pyranha Karnali Review

Hello all here’s a little review from Team Pyranha on the new Karnali:

A couple of weekends ago a load of people from riverside headed to South Wales to do their Four Star Kayak Training and Assessment, plus a whole bunch of Dons on an Open Boating Weekend.
I was very kindly offered a place on the Four Star Training (Thanks for a great course Roger and Dennis). Now if you don’t know me at all then to say I don’t spend much time river paddling is an understatement- don’t think I have been in a river boat proper in about 10 years! This means that my extensive boat collection does not contain a big floaty thing that is required for such courses. Catherine came to the rescue and leant me the Karnali- apparently its new and everything!
OutfittingThe boat is fitted out with the latest Connect 30 outfitting. Anyone who has paddled a boat with this in will tell you how easy it is to adjust and sort out ready to paddle. It’s also very comfortable with it, allowing a fair amount of adjustment whilst seated in the boat, which is great if you need a bit of a stretch but don’t want to/can’t get out of the boat to do it.
The stern storage space is vast- I could have been smuggling knock off TV’s all weekend and been none the wiser. Due to the back rest system this is really easy to access and load with some good solid clip points.
The deck also is covered in a multitude of solid looking steel cip points for all your possible rescue needs- seem easy to access from the boat and are deep enough to easily clip a karrabiner into with one hand.
First ImpressionsIf you look at the hull there are no reall edges to speak of, which makes for a really forgiving boat. Mistakes which would be punished in other boats just seem not to affect this one. This is great for the novice and expert alike, as it really instills confidence in the boat. This confidence is backed up by the boats secondary stability- now I don’t know how they have manged this but it really doesnt capsize unless you really try quite hard, or you need it to. For a big boat it also rolls suprisingly easily.
For a longer boat it breaks in and out really nicely and ferries controllably front and back, holding its line really well. It also turns well on the spot if required. This entire package makes for a boat that is really manouverable with no nasty hidden suprises.
And the restOk so thats the basic systems check- what about the fun stuff! This thing hole rides like a dream- the boats has the merest hint of a planing hull but it spins easily and unlike many river boats is a fairly stable platform that doesnt bounce around all over the shop.It isn’t the nippiest on a wave (funny that) but it is easy enough to manouvere and to move around the river using them.
It boofs drops really nicely, providing plenty of entry speed combined with the ease of which you can pull the front up and keep the boat good and flat. The boat surfaces quickly and punches through anything unpleasant with ease.
SummaryWhy have one? Well it’s as good a river runner as I have seen, with the latest outfitting, its easy to paddle and it comes in lots of pretty colours- oh and it costs £650 (no. that isn’t a typo, it really does!), so, quite frankly, why spend the extra money on something that will do exactly what this can? No, I can’t think of any reasons either!
All the details and pictures and stuff are on the Pyranha website. They seem to have done 2 sizes so far (a M and a L) and there is talk of a S.

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Team Pyranha Paddlin in Uganda

Yep you’re sitting at work and wishing you were paddling… say maybe in Uganda? Uganda is considered by many to be the holy grail of kayak locations. Cheap livin, perfect weather, minimal health risks, warm – big – perfect surf waves, and easy shuttles. Heck Steve Fisher bought an island there! If you needed any … here’s some inspiration for your next 2 week kayak vacation. John

Revin it up in Uganda…
The cold winter days get to you here in the UK, so winter sun is where its at.

Armed with the new Pyranha Rev kayak and a pair of boardies we left the below freezing weather conditions of Europe and headed out to the equatial country of Uganda and the bath water temperature of the Nile…
Blunting on 50 / 50

It was only going to be a flying visit, two weeks of big volume river running and river play, oh and of course the legendary Ugandan hospitality 😉
Entertaining the kids on the way home from school – Kalagala
The Rev proved to be an awesome big river / big wave machine going big at every opportunity. Setting up easily, ollies very well and lands as if on auto pilot!

For a quick photo montage follow the link
Go have your own adventure!
Posted by Ben White
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