Hybrid / Crossover recommendations?

Looking at:

LL Remix XP9

Pyranha Fusion M

WaveSport Ethos 9

Jackson Rogue 9

Dagger Katana 9

Any others I should consider?

Which one would you choose and why?

I’ll be using this about 3/4 on easy whitewater (Class II) and maybe 1/4 on flatwater, although I have other boats for flatwater. Might serve as an occasional loaner for someone else on flatwater though.


My thoughts
I demo’ed and eventually bought an XP10 in the last year and have been very happy with it for easy white water and narrow twisty streams but really not a flat water kayak beyond that it does tracks very well with the skeg down. This is probably going to be true with all the kayaks you are looking at.

Last month I took a friend of mine out who loves to go kayaking, on nice mellow lakes, but is a horrible paddler – after years of trying to help her improve her forward stroke I still catch her with the paddle upside down or backwards at times. I let her use my Dagger Axis 12 and I took the XP10. I just was not able to keep up with her unless I paddled very hard. We went out for about 4 hours and she was still pretty fresh while I really felt a bit burned. It wasn’t miserable experience and fine if you just want a mellow lake paddle. It pushes water in a stroke or two and not many more I feel like I am hitting the max speed of the kayak.

On moving water it is great. Stable, comfortable, and pretty agile.

I bought the XP10 mainly as I really need a slightly longer cockpit then the others and like to keep my cockpit about that size so I can use a single skirt. The other kayaks you are looking at all have smaller cockpits. The outfitting is really comfortable and maybe it is me but I find it lot more comfortable when on the water then I do sitting at home (actually didn’t like the seat at home when setting it up but felt great on the water).

I have looked at the Fusion but never demo’ed it. You have a smaller cockpit, and if you get the connect outfitting you get the bulkhead footbrace. The XP has footpegs. Overall, I liked the outfitting on the XP better (expect the pegs). The backband on the XP seems pretty low but when paddling it feels fine. I thought I might add the high seat back.

My poor paddling friend tried the XP briefly. She liked the seat, hated the backband, and when she pulled the skeg up couldn’t figure out how to paddle the kayak straight at all and was all over the place. It may not be the best kayak for some beginners but should offer a stable enough rec kayak feel for them if they keep the skeg down all the time.

I am familiar with three of the boats:
I own and paddle frequently my xp10, demoed the Jackson, and paddle with several folks who use the Fusion. All three are capable whitewater boats. I wrote a review about the xp10. While I am aware of many of xp’s shortcomings I’m sticking by my assertion that its good boat for beginners on whitewater and that it is a solid whitewater performer. The Jackson is quicker but not quite as forgiving. Be sure to check out the review section of the paddling.net website for all the boats you’re interested in.

LiquidLogic Stinger XP?
Just coming out now - the new version of the Stinger with skeg and rear hatch. Fastest of the bunch, and at 24" wide is expected to be the least like the bath tubs most other cross overs are. I did not personally like the previous version’s somewhat nose heavy/grabby behavior for attainments and it did not surf well (but ran well downriver). This version might be an improvement with flatter hull - looking forward to paddling it.

Prijon Combi 359
The Combi is an excellent choice as it is a true crossover. Although it is not being sold in the USA anymore you can still find one 'left over" or used. Google it to learn more


– Last Updated: Oct-26-13 10:05 AM EST –

I've paddled and evaluated most all those you are considering. I wouldn't feel right trashing the other boats, they all have some good points here and there but The Pyranha is superior in design, construction, comfort, durability, etc... Its my go to boat for year around river paddling. Everything from full on ww to extended wilderness expeditions to big, flat commercial channels. Its rock solid. email me for details if you want.


demo in dayton, Bernie and Jeryl
will set you up. Check out “Whitewater Warehouse” website for contact info. If you want to make a weekend out of it, do the drive to wv. Brad at Ace can hook you up as well. I’ll paddle with ya. Plenty of class II/III opportunities here. wvwa does a beginners clinic late spring on the upper new which will ease your transition into whitewater if that’s an issue. Where are you located in southern OH? That’s my old stompin’ grounds; 25 years ago I took the Hillbilly Highway (route 32) to wv. For me that road only went in one direction so I stayed.

Is my vision of Class 2 wrong
For Class 2 whitewater, which I am told I run sometimes, I would really prefer a faster boat like something 12 to 14 feet like a Cobra Revision of a Dagger Alchemy.

In this king of water I’d think the eddies are easy to catch and the flat water runs are longer.

These 9 and 10 foot crossover boats seem to me that they are really white water beginners boats or white water touring boats, more than actual crossover boats.

Even my 13 foot plus Cobra Revision is painfully slow in flat water when compared to what I think of a good all around, do every thing boat like a Dagger Alchemy.

Agree, that Dagger Alchemy is a nice boat.

No, Frank, you wouldn’t. Not after
seeing what I can do on class 2 ww, and you can’t. No need for speed on class 2 ww. The Nantahala is mostly class 2, and why would you need speed?

Exactly my thoughts, g2d, thanks
Thanks to ALL who took the time to respond… your insights are helpful.

And to Frank in NC… thanks for sharing your thoughts, but I am very, very familiar with offerings in the recreational and touring kayak categories, and I even own some of each. On class II whitewater, why would I need speed? I’m not in a hurry to “get it over with”. I enjoy being on the water, and bouncing around with my paddling partner on fun easy waves. We have no desire to go beyond Class II, or to do overnight trips far from home. (But thanks to those who offered to paddle with me.)

About moi: I’ve paddled up to Class III+ (a few years ago) in one of the three ww kayaks I have owned. I had a somewhat reliable on-side roll, but I found Class III was more stressful than fun for me. Recent medical issues have kept me off the water for a bit, but now I’m ready to start paddling again.

My paddling partner has only paddled recreationally but has taken the classes for basic whitewater and safety/rescue, and wants the playful feel and maneuverability of a ww kayak, but doesn’t want the risk of going beyond Class II… also doesn’t want to spend weekends away from home. So we will be paddling the water that’s readily available on a day trip.

Just wanted to make it clear that we won’t be “advancing” to more serious whitewater… we are very happy with paddling what’s nearby.

To answer one person’s question, I live about halfway between Cincinnati and Dayton. I’m familiar with WW Warehouse in Dayton… good suggestion. The Combi is an interesting suggestion too.

Based only on what I know from research, I am leaning toward the Jackson Rogue. My partner likes the XP9. Time to do some demos, I guess.

Thanks again to all.

How to choose
All of these crossover boats are compromises but choose a different point on the scale. Forget about the skeg. If you need it you can use it and the boat will go forward without any effort on your part in calm water. But you sacrifice ability to maneuver. Learn to paddle and to correct and you will not need the skeg. But the models you list differ in which side of the scale they favor. The Jackson and the Pyranha are more suited to WW and the others are more suited to quiet water. Be honest. What are you really likely to do? For how long? Can you afford to sell the boat you choose and get another one? While which boat you select is important it is much more important for you to develop the skills to make the selection much less important.

Interesting comments
Ok maybe I stick to class 1 as my maximum. Although I hear some of the places I paddle are class 2, I do not think I’ll try any new places that are that level.

Basically I don’t want to paddle anywhere a swim would be dangerous.

Good comments, Disco
We both have at least one other boat that we can use for flatwater, so for me, this new boat will be used for moving water exclusively. My friend may use the boat on both moving and flat water (only because we don’t always want to deal with transporting a 75 pound SOT).

So I’m leaning towards the Jackson Rogue and my friend is leaning towards the XP. A demo will help us decide.


I am waiting for
the new Pyranha Fusion SOT coming out next year

I had a CombTour 359 as my first boat. Loved it! Good in up to class ll, probably a better more experienced paddler would be comfortable in class lll or better. Awesome quality plastic, and the outfitting is way above what you might expect in a crossover. Would recommend to anyone that fits the paddler specs for weight and shoe size.

Dr. D I agree totally that the skillset
is much more important than the differences between the boats. But if somebody is looking for a dry hair day on class II I think the xp would also serve them well so I would add that to your list of capable ww boats. Its cavernous cockpit, weight, and lack of a bulkhead are real issues for more serious ww but I simply can’t imagine a more forgiving boat to paddle than the xp. That’s why I keep paddling mine and I also like that its a very roomy boat- easy to climb in and out of,so I can stretch out in it- an often forgotten advantage of pegs vs a bulkhead.

All of the crossovers might be overkill for paddling the Great and Little Miami, Four Mile Creek, Rocky Fork-Paint Creek, Licking, and Whitewater Rivers. But if one is looking to limit their out of boat experiences the crossovers can help with that.

Frank and Icrab, the advantage of “fast boats” isn’t just that they are quick on the water but the fact that they are less tiring to paddle, particularly on the flats or pools. “Fast” or “quick” translates into efficiency and less fatigue. Less energy is expended on correction strokes. That’s a consideration in my book. Particularly for streams in southern OH where current is not always a given.

So what you want is a boat that’s comfortable, maneuverable and stable in current and can handle class two rapids yet also handle the flats with some semblance of glide. While Cross Overs are much maligned by more “serious” ww and flatwater enthusiasts, I do think all the boats on the ops original list will do reasonably well in the ops environment. Which one is best for him? The one I paddle of course! (I’m kidding)

What you do give up is some efficiency, because the platform for these boats are based on ww designs and materials. So just keep your distances within your fitness limits. Something I’m sure you are used to thinking about if you are experienced with SOTs.

Its been 30 years since I paddled Ohio creeks (fourmile and rocky fork were my favorites) and I didn’t do’em in a “cross over” . Yet I still managed to have fun. So don’t sweat it too much. Go have some fun.

why wait until next year?
“just do it now!”

own three of mentioned boats
I own a Rogue 10, Fusion 10, and Prijon Combi. I personally would not enjoy using the Combi on class II. It is a tourer at heart. The fusion versus the rogue: the fusion may be faster, the fusion is more stable, the fusion skeg works better. The rogue is sensitive to seat position, has a very watertight stern compartment, and is much easier to roll. Both roll, but for me the fusion requires a bit more bracing at the end whereas the rogue just snaps up. The rogue is far easier to drain after a swim - the water just pours out the coaming holes. The rogue feels a bit more playful, but the fusion is superior on flat water - can match my sea kayak speed for two miles on the lake. Have taken both through class II + water to date. Personal feelings - pool drop rivers, take either; wave play and rocks, take the rogue, down river speed, take the fusion. Hope this helps.

Thanks, Ben
That’s some helpful “intel”. :slight_smile:

I was hoping to get a boat with a front bulkhead rather than the footpegs, so I did some more research… found this out (in case anybody else cares):

Katana - has bulkhead

Rogue - has footpegs

Remix - has footpegs

Ethos - has bulkhead

Fusion - the “Connect” outfitting has a bulkhead, the “river tour” outfitting has footpegs

My partner is set on the Remix (I think it’s actually a “looks” thing), and I’m changing my mind. Leaning toward Ethos or Katana. Must demo. Soon.

Thanks again for all the help.