The Pyranha takes a massive departure away from the cookie cutter playboat shape that we have all seen developing over the last few years with the new Loki. Designs such as the Jed, Project X, and Jitsu have all to some extent developed in one particular direction – to allow paddlers to pull off some of the more modern aerial moves.
The Loki on the other hand has been designed to allow paddlers to return to a time when cartwheels, stern squirts, stern stalls, flat spins and blunts were the moves of the day. In essence Pyranha have set out to capture the feel and performance of old school playboats.
It’s taken a couple of years for the Loki to finally arrive in stores and the sound of an old school boat but using the newest design tools and outfitting has created a great deal of interest in the paddling world, especially those like myself who were paddling playboats 10-15 years ago.
Pyranha have set out to try and capture the feel and performance of those older boats in the Loki:
The Loki is designed to revive the classic moves that we learned when we played the river the first time.
If you want smooth linked cartwheels, a smile on every eddyline and enjoy serious vertical time then this is the boat for you.
The Loki is loose and fast on river and ocean waves, vertical moves will be more controlled and more impressive than in a short boat and the Loki is great downriver, extra length means more speed making eddies and must make ferry glides easier and more controlled.
There is something really special going on when you sit in a boat for the first time and it seems instantly recognizable yet at the same time different. The Loki definitely fits that bill.
The Loki is supplied with the Pyranha’s excellent Connect 30 outfitting system, which is very effective and easy to set up. Seat, thigh braces and backrest are easy to move and adjust to suit your style of paddling. The backrest is super comfy and is adjusted via a ratchet strap system attached to the thigh braces. The footrest is a foam block that does take a little longer to set up, as some cutting/fettling is required. It is worth taking the time to get it right.
Of course I am familiar with the outfitting as I own a Jed, but there is something else, being in a longer playboat after so many years brought back a load of memories including my first paddle of the Inazone series. Visually it looks, in many ways (especially its side profile), like a combination of the Pyranha Inazone design and a squirt boat. That in no way is a bad thing, as the Inazone was one of the most popular boat designs of its time.
The bulk of the volume is centred around the cockpit which creates that stability. This also gives a comfortable area to sit in that doesn’t feel too cramped. The volume tapers out to the ends of the bow and stern to create a sleek and slicey profile. When I moved the Loki into the vertical plane during a cartwheel it didn’t have that bounce from end to end feel that you get with a shorter/high volume playboat. The transition from bow to stern felt smooth and controlled despite my rusty cartwheeling technique. Cartwheeling the Loki is also a great deal more impressive than in a shorter playboat and it’s fair to say that cartwheeling the Loki on both flat and moving water is a great deal of fun.
As well as being a great playboat the Loki is also quite a capable river-runner. I paddled the Loki at various locations on Grade III-IV water and out in some fairly meaty surf. I found the Loki to be a capable river running playboat that can handle various water conditions. Due to its relatively long hull length speed was good. Catching waves (even poorly selected ones) was easy and moving across the flow and sprinting to catch small eddies was simply fun. Playing on waves of various sizes I found the Loki easy to flat spin and blunt, it moved well across the face of the wave but I did have to remind myself that the boat was longer than I have been used to in recent years and use it to my advantage.
For many paddlers looking for a fun river running playboat with performance and a classic feel then the Loki is well worth considering. The Loki could show you a whole other side to playboating.