Reviews

Pyranha Kayaks Loki Whitewater Kayak Review

The Loki is designed to revive the classic moves that we learned when we played the river the first time.

If you want smoothly 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 the river and ocean waves. Vertical moves are more controlled and impressive than in a short boat. The Loki is a great downriver play boat, its extra length means more speed, making eddies and must make ferry glides easier and more controlled.

RRP: £849
More info: www.pyranha.com

Specifications

Small
Length: 219cm
Width: 61cm,
Volume: 147L
Weight: 21kg
Paddler Weight Range: 40-70kg

Medium
Length: 220cm
Width: 62cm
Volume: 185L
Weight: 15kg
Paddler Weight Range: 55-90kg

Large
Length: 222cm
Width: 63cm
Volume: 223L
Weight: 15.5kg
Paddler Weight Range: 80-110kg

Features

  • Length & Deck Profiling: Retains speed and slices through features on down river missions.
  • Low Volume Slicey Ends: For pivots and squirts in eddies and initiating all your vertical moves.
  • Rocker: Smooth and forgiving for sweet surfing sessions.
  • Forgiving Edges: Once engaged, the edges provide grip and control for carving on the wave.
  • Low back deck and cockpit: Super easy to roll.
  • Anodised Bow & Stern Rescue: Pyranha Connect rescue points, made by the UK climbing specialist DMM who manufacture our security bars with the same process that has held them at the forefront of the climbing market for years.
  • Connect Grab Handles: All our grab handles are made using climbing grade webbing, as we only want webbing that you could trust in a climbing harness in our kayaks.
  • Stout Seat: Longer, more ergonomically shaped seat pan provides a 3-way adjustable system that gives a bomb proof seating position.

Until recently, you would have been forgiven for thinking that you had simply imagined hearing that Pyranha Kayaks were bringing out a new river play kayak called the Pyranha Loki: it was announced as being imminent quite some time ago, but no kayak ever appeared. Being the perfectionists that they are over there at Pyranha, they didn’t want to go into production until they’d got the  design of the Pyranha Loki Whitewater Kayak just right; and after several complete design overhauls, plenty of tinkering and tweaking and a whole lot of prototypes, they were finally happy; the Pyranha Loki, which we excitedly rushed straight to the nearest whitewater we could find while it was practically still warm from the oven, was eventually born.

We  thoroughly put the Pyranha Loki Whitewater Kayak through its paces at the whitewater course at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham, which is a fantastic testing ground for getting the feel for what this boat can do; but for good measure we also took it right across to the other side of the UK to Anglesey in North Wales, to give it a go in a slightly different environment, much more of the marine variety.

The Ride

Our initial gut reaction, which has only been reinforced the longer that we paddle this kayak, is that Pyranha have succeeded in what they set out to do, which was to create a pedigree play boat for making all of the classic moves really easy, but that can handle itself on a river; enabling you to play on your way down and saving you having to drive to a hole! Its length and continuous rocker profile aid this a great deal, giving you the speed to move from feature to feature. Moving across the flow to get back to the eddy to paddle up for another go is no problem at all, either. Whether it’s down river, or eddy hopping back up, the Pyranha Loki is fast and forgiving meaning you’ll hit those must-make eddies.

As a play boat, the Pyranha Loki is a perfect kayak for getting the feeling of throwing descent sized ends. If you’ve got the general idea of how to get these, but have always found that you struggle to get them in some other play boats despite other kayakers making it look frustratingly easy then the Loki might be the boat in which you find you can finally crack it. We found the ends to be both easy to initiate and very stable. The key ingredients here are those low volume slicey ends, which make vertical moves in the Pyranha Loki as straight forward as the horizontal movement in kayaks with less of a penchant pointing their bows skyward at the minutest suggestion.

In the hole, the rails won’t trip you up, but at the same time, they are sharp enough that they’ll really help you get up on edge when you need to and drive the boat to where you want it to be. This balance of forgivingness and control makes this the ideal boat for less experienced paddlers to really work on developing their moves, but intermediates and experts will still enjoy the responsive performance of this boat.

Get the Pyranha Loki on a wave and its super-friendly, loose hull makes it’s a joy to shred up any wave on the river or ocean! That non-flat hull with continuous rocker really comes into its own here; all that it wanted to do was to sit down the face of the wave and constantly keep on the move, ripping as it went. And this is not to mention the fact that if you get the hull moving on a wave it will blunt all day long, should you want it to. When we were testing off Anglesey, although the wave at Stanley Embankment wasn’t at it’s best the Pyranha Loki allowed us to carve up the wave getting it right up onto it’s side.

The Pyranha Loki is in every sense a ‘new school play boat.’ One of the challenges that needed to be cracked when creating it was providing the foot room needed without compromising the hull shape that makes it do what it does so well. This has been done successfully and really pays off.

Fixtures & Fittings

The Pyranha Loki comes with Pyranha’s Connect 30 Outfitting, which we’ve always found is easy to adjust to a good fit. We were happy to find that after getting off from a longish session on the water, the boat was still as dry as a bone straight out of the box, without any prior bolt tightening required. We couldn’t knock the overall build quality at all.

Conclusion

Getting the Pyranha Loki right must have been somewhat of a conundrum for the design team ay Pyranha Kayaks: trying to create a boat that excelled at vertical moves and shredding waves, without going too far and compromising all of the down-river capability. The Pyranha Loki achieves this balance really well, and all its design features are in perfect equilibrium. Fast and forgiving when you’re going down-river with the flow, easy-to-initiate and stable verticals and a natural surfer all in one. What does it all mean? The Pyranha Loki is a fun machine! It takes us back to the days when paddling was all about messing around on the river trying to link as many cartwheels as possible in really long slicey boats. The Pyranha Loki isn’t designed to do cutting edge freestyle moves – it’s all about getting out on the river and enjoying yourself, pulling the moves you’d watch on VHSs in the early ‘90s. And what’s more, the Loki is a boat for everyone: whether you’re still mastering your technique, or a seasoned expert the forgiving nature and easy initiation will guarantee you a good time on the water.

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