I was hooked up with a pre-production prototype of the new large Pyranha 9R. The boat is essentially the same as the production model with the exception of some of the Connect outfitting. The new Connect C4S outfitting system sounds pretty good, and we’ll have further details on this next week at Paddle Expo.
Now if you were to sit this 9R large (9R L) next to the already released model it would be very clear that the 9R L isn’t simply a scaled up version of its little brother.
Pyranha have spent a fair bit of time looking at the performance of the smaller model and have significantly changed the profile of the kayak in a number of key areas to produce this version.
Steve Fisher takes on the Toxaway River, which is like a one-day version of the Merced in Yosemite. A few trees and bumps in the rapids up the ante on this fast-paced run.
Chris has been kayaking, canoeing and coaching for the last 15 years and runs his own business Chris Brain Coaching, delivering paddlesport coaching, safety and rescue courses and REC First aid training. Chris is a keen and passionate boater with a real love for coaching in a range of paddlesport disciplines.
When and how did you first start paddling?
I first started paddling when I was 15 after my Dad and I inherited two 4 meter long fiberglass kayaks that had been retired by the fire brigade! We took them down to our local river, wearing life jackets that didn’t fit and our cycling helmets. When we arrived at the river we clearly didn’t look like we knew what we were doing as the local paddlers suggested that for our own safety we took some lessons instead! That was sound advice and the coaches at the activity centre started to show us the way, at least we were paddling plastic boats and wearing kayaking equipment that actually fitted us. I was being taught by some great paddlers that had the latest boats at the time, either the Acrobat 270 (if they were into freestyle) or Microbat 230 (if there were serious about their creeking) they were so cool!
I instantly became captivated with paddling and pretty quickly I was in the river giving it my best. I managed to get someone to lend me a “rodeo” boat and started trying to tail squirt and do bow enders and pirouettes before I could even roll, basically every time the boat went over I had to swim. I think my record of swimming was 15 times in one session, but I quickly cut that number down the next few times on the water as my roll improved.