I was hooked up with a pre-production prototype of the new large Pyranha 9R a few months ago. The boat is essentially the same as the production model with the exception of some of the Connect outfitting. The boat has been paddled extensively since that time so it is now time for a full Unsponsored review.
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. Almost every area of the hull has been changed in some way yet they still have stayed true to the purpose of the boat, i.e. a fast fun boat that sits under the magic 9ft length.
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.
Name: Dave Brown (aka Redneck Dave, Full Face Dave, Small Head)
Location: Barrow or North Wales
Boat: Currently an XL Burn Mk3 in the sickest colours you’ve ever seen – Rasta
I really like the way the rails allow you to carve hard without stalling and tripping you up unlike the old burn, making it easy to fine tune lines and snap into eddies. It has quite a flat hull which allows it to surf easily, staying high on features and keeping you in control as you move laterally across the flow which is really cool. It has the Connect 2014 outfitting it comes with which allows the seat to be varied in both height and pitch. I have this set in the highest position, with the largest block installed under the front of the seat to really lock me in which works well, even though I’m the bottom end of the weight range. Seeing as I have the attention span of a gnat, I’m considering swapping out for a 9R to get some speed in my life.
I have owned the Immersion Research (IR) short sleeve Comp top for years. It only sees the light of day when it warms up here in the UK. The cag is a short sleeved version of the Comp top and shares all of its features with the exception of the obvious (long sleeves and latex cuff seals). After years of loyal service I fancied a changed. Nothing wrong with the Comp, just wanted something new. Now as it turns out the search for a high specification short sleeved dry or semi-dry top is actually quite a hard one. The number of manufacturers offering such a top as part of their current line up is quite small. So after much searching and considering the few alternatives Immersion Research came to my rescue with the Arch Rival.
Sweet are no strangers to the paddling world and over the years I have tried and owned a fair few items from their range. However earlier this year saw the arrival of the newly updated Shambala shorts. Compared to previous models the new 2014 have a more fitted and articulated fit. In addition to the improvements made to the overall fit the fastenings and adjustments on the shorts have also been tweaked.
Nick Pearce gives us his views on the Kokatat Meridian Drysuit (Goretex).
So, for the last 6 months I have been using the very well tried-and-tested Kokatat GoreTeX Meridian drysuit. Before this suit I used an array of dry suits from the likes of Palm and Level 6.
The Mamba from Dagger has been around since 2005 and has become a firm favourite with paddlers at all levels. Over the last couple of years Dagger’s designers and test paddlers have been working on making the Mamba even better, the result has been some major design changes that have brought the Mamba bang up to date. In many senses the 2013 Mamba is a completely new boat.