Monday, 17 November 2014

The ever popular Small Pyranha Burn!

As a smaller female paddler I was asked to review the new small Pyranha Burn 3. I am 5'0”, weigh around 60kg and not particularly flexible. I currently paddle a Zet Veloc, with a brief time paddling the Dagger Mamba 7.5 before and during a trip to Nepal. I confess I have never tried the previous small Burns because they never appeared to be small enough.

My first thoughts were that the red, white and grey colour scheme was wonderful. The footplate was easy to adjust, and moved close enough even for my short legs, although slightly too narrow. I would probably have used the larger footplate that I believe is available, but it was fine with the one that was fitted. In my current kayak I have moved the footplate further forwards and covered it with chunks of foam for the same reason. I did not try adjusting the seat position, as I found it comfortable as it was. The ratchets for the backrest worked well, and my throwbag fitted well under the central strap, although I would have liked more than just one elastic loop for my water bottle.

Paddling the Dart Loop with the water level just below the slab was a fun test for the Burn. Doing an early practice roll really showed the advantage of the lower profile for a smaller paddler. Instead of sitting deep in the kayak, losing most of my trunk rotation, I was able to reach the surface with my paddle with ease. The usual answer to the problem of sitting deep in the kayak is to add layers on foam on the seat. This creates new problems for the short paddler though, as you are less stable when paddling, and have to reach even further to get the paddle to the surface when rolling. I feel that many people really don't understand how much a paddler with a short body loses flexibility to clothing, buoyancy aid and seat position.

The Burn's handling was fun and responsive. Turning for S bends at the shoot just below Spitchwick was completely reliable with the sharp edges giving turns a crisp accuracy and ferry glides were smooth thanks to the flatter hull. Deciding that I needed to test the kayak out even more I had a go at surfing at the bottom of the Webburn, something I have never had much success with in my more rounded Veloc. The Burn inspired such confidence that I continued down river looking for more challenges. I didn't quite manage eddy-hopping down Lovers Leap (something that is still fairly new to me anyway), but the kayak tracked really well, and responded perfectly to the adjustments I made on the route down. Instead of fighting the kayak to get it to change direction, I just had to make small corrections, giving me a much smoother paddling style.

At Triple 1 I dropped down and deliberately stopped paddling to see if I would get tail squirted or sucked backwards, no chance! Breaking in and out of the current was easy, and I didn't find myself catching the edges at all on eddy lines, even quite tricky eddies such as river right just below Triple 2. Having successfully negotiated Triple 2 and 3, I found my challenge, the wave after Triple 3 was somewhere I have never managed to surf properly. With confidence in the edges and hull riding high, I started to surf on my second attempt. When I inevitably capsized, there was never any doubt that I was going to roll up.

Finishing the run, I had to admit to myself that my thoughts had progressed from review topics, to “I really don't want to love this kayak”, ending up with “I really love this kayak”! I need to demo it again, as I am slightly concerned that there might not be enough room to store a drybag and my medium sized SLR in an Ortlieb Aquazoom bag either side behind the seat, as the height of the nearest part of the rear deck was a lot lower than I am used to. However, if I can squeeze the bag under this part, there is certainly more space further back! Perhaps I'll just have to buy a GoPro...

All in all, Pyranha have finally come up with a small person's kayak that really feels properly thought out, not just a scaled down large kayak. Congratulations to Pyranha, thanks to Liam and AS Watersports for letting me demo the boat.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

A warm welcome to the Small Pyranha Burn...

In 2013 Pyranha Kayaks introduced the Third evolution of the Burn.

The Burn got a real face lift and one of the biggest changes that people really liked was that the front deck got narrower.  The Burn has never felt smoother, sleeker  or faster.

Now as of November 2014 the most exciting change is that Pyranha offer the Burn in 4 sizes.

The following weight ranges are approx.

The XL for the 90 – 120kg paddler, 

The Large for the 75kg to 95kg paddler, 

The Medium for the 55kg to 75kg 

Now we are here to introduce the latest addition to the family.

The Small Burn for the 45kg to 60Kg paddler.

We have every size as a demo, so come try.

My working life is split 65% coaching and %35 retail and a lot of free time spent on the water. This is a boat as a instructor and as retailer I have been needing for some time!

Here are my top three reasons why the Small Burn is going to be my first choice, go to smaller persons river runner!

(Get out clause! I am generalising with these statements and I have a certain paddler in mind with these comments. This is because it's a conversation that has come up time and time again with customers/students)

1.) Scales down well – the older Burn wasn't that small, often I’d put a smaller person in that boat and their immediate responses was that it felt to wide. The Burn 3 is much narrower in the front and because of that when it scales down to the Small, it doesn't just suit there weight range but also the stature and the shape of a smaller paddler.

2.)Light – (again see back to my get out clause) but I have had real problem recently with smaller river runners/creek boats for a smaller person. Some of the smaller boats here are a good size but it’s a non-starter because the boat just weighs too much! If size and strength aren’t on your side then a light boat is even more of a priority. The small burn weighs 17.8kg! Love this.

3.) The design of the boat. The Burn has always known as precise river runner. Its flat bottom holds a line and tracks beautifully though messy water. It has edges that allow you to carve and snap into eddies when you need to. The Burn has never been a boat that “needs charging” “needs to be driven hard” or bullied across the river. This shape maybe appeals to the paddler who prefers to use brain over brawn. 

Ok that sums up why I think the Burn 3 Small isn't  just a popular boat made small but a boat that may actually suit smaller paddlers.  

All that said it’s worth reminding you that this isn't a boat that relies on those three points alone.
The Burn is a pedigree proven white water boat with all the performance and safety features needed of any top end white water boat.

I am massively excited about this boat and have lined up two past students and customers to take the boat out for me and give me their thoughts.

Over and Out! 

 Liam Kirkham

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Pyranha Burn 3 Small review.

They keep on coming! 

Pyranha deliver yet another great boat for this winter. The long awaited Burn 3 small is here! A touch smaller than the mk2 small we figured this would be well received by those who are a bit on the smaller side.   As soon as the boat came out of the wrapper at the shop we were on the phone to a local lady who fits the bill for this boat. 
Here is what she had to say: 

Tiny person’s review:
I’m 5 whole feet tall and this, I believe, was the criteria for being asked to test out the new small Burn. 65kg is the maximum recommended paddler weight for this new model compared to 95kg for the old small Burn; therefore, it really is designed for those of us who are compact. Being pint sized certainly has some advantages. For one, you get to look all hip-hop in your dry suit. And who doesn’t want to look like MC Hammer? However sometimes being one twelfth the size of a normal human, makes fully-grown boating tricky. So when Liam asked if I wanted to try out the new small Burn for teeny folk, I was interested.
At the risk of sounding like a pussy, I hate carrying my boat. It’s obese. Therefore, the weight of the Burn is pleasing. At 17.8 kg it is not a back breaker on longer walk ins and is easier to manoeuvre around. With less stature and no gun-like biceps behind me, this is a winning point for me and all those I paddle with (who don’t have to listen to me whine).
I’m at that stage when the timing of my strokes can be messy, and Liam suggested that this little Burn would track well. And it did. As you come up to a lip, concentration can go into nailing a stroke at the right time rather than correcting the meandering direction of your boat; this is a real plus. I was able to glide up to lips and be poised with an all important power stroke to get me over holes (rather than end up in them). In terms of boofing I’m still learning, but the Burn generally seemed easier than heavier boats to propel forward with my torso and flatten at the end. For my little hips, this was awesome news.

Replacing furious paddling with precision is what I was focussing on, and the Burn responded well to small movements. The front is narrow and low so I found it easier to get my torso over when learning flat spins. Nippy, fast, and precise, it carved into eddies extremely swiftly and the planning hull caught waves beautifully -as you would expect. I think it’s flatter than the previous Burn though, so this may compromise stability on bigger water. Certainly, it has far less volume than the older small model as they have added an extra size to their fleet and divided up the dimensions accordingly. Obviously, this makes it more playful and less tank-like, but it is less forgiving if you catch an edge. Depends what you are after. I had no trouble rolling the Burn despite the harder edges which was a plus. So it’s speedy, but less stable.
Compared to some of its armchair like competitors, the outfitting was somewhat basic and uncomfortable, particularly the backrest, but perhaps this is one of the compromises for the lighter weight. However, I prefer to be super comfy in a boat. All in all, a nifty little river runner for a wee-man or woman.

Devon, Nov 2015

The small Burn 3 gives great speed, driving across the white water.

Excellent agility from the sharper edges and finely tuned hull. 
                               Delivering a responsive and precise boat for the smaller paddler.