Over the last couple years UK based Pyranha have brought out a number of top class high performing boats including the Shiva creeker and Jed playboat. There has been a great deal of interest in the new Nano since the first images started to emerge late last year.
The Nano is a short creek boat with a playful nature, it has influences from Shiva, Jed and Burn make for a super maneuverable, compact creeker with the ability to run harder lines as well as open up play potential.
Aspiring creekers will find the Nano stable, easy to roll and playful enough to enjoy river features.
Experienced boaters will get big fun in a small package
A short creek style kayak is nothing new and Pyranha themselves developed the very successful Microbat series a number of years ago. I owned a Pyranha Microbat for years and always enjoyed the way it paddled, so I was keen to give the Nano a try. Northshore Watersports kindly loaned their new Pyranha Nano out for me to try out.
Many of the newer creek boat and playboats on the market incorporate a continuous rocker and hard edges as core design elements. These elements are designed to allow kayaks to be both quick in a straight line yet still retain the ability to turn easily. The Nano shares these same key features.
Anyone who has paddled a Pyranha designed kayaks over the last couple of years will be familiar with the Connect 30 system. The system consists of a fully adjustable padded seat with gear racking system, adjustable hip pads, adjustable thigh-braces, and ratchet backrest. With the ease of adjustment getting a custom and comfortable set up in the Nano was very easy.
The Connect 30 outfitting is very effective, may be less luxurious than the Liquid Logic BADASS system, but never the less is very good. In some ways I much prefer the Connect 30 outfitting for a number of reason. For example the hip pads are provided with numerous shims that can be swapped out very quickly, the backrest is supportive and firm and the thigh-braces can be adjusted and positioned very quickly. As a result it is very easy to set up the Nano for a positive/aggressive paddling posture.
The boats come supplied with a full plate footrest with the standard adjustment through the repositioning of the side bars. Four nuts (2 each side) hold the footrest in place. Despite being over 6ft tall and wearing my creek shoes I had plenty of foot room. However it would be nice if Pyranha were to include nuts that were a little bit more substantial. The ones that are supplied work well enough but a chunkier set would be easier use with cold wet hands.
Once on the water is was very noticeable that the Nano isn’t very wide. This was quite a surprise and something that took some time to get used to. Compared to the most other boats inc small play boats the Nano feels too narrow. After a short while I did get familiar with how the boat handled and adapted my paddling style to cope with the design feature.
When ever I paddle a new boat I like to try a roll on flat water just to make sure that it isn’t going to do something weird and that my outfitting setup is correctly. I as I began to paddle around to get accustomed to the Nano I found that it was very stable on edge and was easy to roll. There were no nasty surprises or strange behaviour to worry about. After a few rolls in some very cold water I took the boat down the long course at the Tees Barrage. This is a piece of water I know really well and I find it an ideal venue for comparing boat against boat.
Despite its relatively short length (218cm) the Nano paddles like a much longer boat, which is exactly the same experience I have had with my Pyranha Jed. As both kayaks share the same genetics this does make sense. I found the acceleration of the Nano was pretty good, a couple of powerful strokes each side moved the boat up to top speed. The Nano tracked well but also turns really well. Which isn’t always an easy feature to achieve. Although the Nano has quite hard edges, they don’t run the full length of the hull. Instead they stop around 50cm short, approximately mid way along the stern, which helps the back end of the boat to feel nice and stable even in confused water. I was able to utilise the hard edges to power the kayak into the eddies and then swiftly back out into the main flow.
From the very start it was clear, as it was with my Jed, that the Nano is clearly a boat that performs best when paddled aggressively. So much so that Pyranha describe the Nano as a freerunner kayak that not only has the creek boat character but can also play down the river as you go. This makes the design of the Nano seem a little confused – Is it a creeking playboat or a playboat creeker? I think that it is actually a little bit of both. The Nano is a blend of the best of both worlds, which shouldn’t work, but somehow does.
I suspect that any paddler on grade I to IV water will enjoy the comfort, stability and performance of the new Pyranha Nano.
Based upon M sizes
Nano Stats – Length = 218cm Width = 66cm Volume = 259lts
Burn Stats – Length = 245cm Width = 65cm Volume = 279lts
Shiva Stats – Length = 259cm Width = 67.3cm Volume = 305lts