Pyranha Everest

Anyone paddled the Pyranha Everest? What are the pros and cons of this boat for WW beginners?


– Last Updated: Sep-01-10 1:00 PM EST –

Hi Sam,
I replied to a previous post where you were inquiring about the Nomad as a first boat. Similar to the Nomad, you could use the Everest as a first boat, but it would be an unusual choice. It would depend more on your size and what you want to do as you get into whitewater kayaking.

The Everest is an overgrown Burn (my boat), so the design is great. If you are a very large person, it might be good. It is designed for carrying a lot of gear, so if you want to load the boat up and pack for a week trip, it could be good.

If you are a more typical beginner who wants to learn whitewater in general, then either the Burn or Karnali might be better, and certainly more popular choices for a first boat. These come in different sizes to fit you. Some people like a hard edge on their boat (I do) and others don't - that is a factor.

Based on how I started out and what I have learned, I don't think it is a good idea to get a boat first if you live nearby a teaching center. Many stores have demo programs and lessons. Typically, you pay a small demo fee, and you can take out any boat you like for the day. The demo fees apply to purchase, so it is a good deal.

Every boat feels a bit different and fits a bit different. You just have to try them, and usually trust a bit to your teacher about what might be suitable.

But every company makes different classes of boats. Most people start with some version of a River Runner, which is a jack of all trades. Some river runners lean towards the creek boat end of things (like the Burn), and some towards the playboat end (like the Ammo).

Some of the popular river runners where I live are Dagger Mamba, Pyranha Burn (my favorite) or Karnali, Wavesport Diesel, and Liquid Logic Remix. Jackson boats are also popular and well liked by their owners, but I am not as familiar with them. But if your goal is to learn whitewater in the typical Class 2->3 waters, these would be some to try.

The more specialized boats, like the Nomad or Everest, would be suitable only if you knew that you wanted to focus on the specialized design features of such a kayak (like you want to take week long trips or you are very athletic and want to rush towards taking on some serious creeks, or really want to do the playboat tricks). If you wanted a slightly more aggressive boat that you could also use for ocean surfing, a Dagger Axiom might work. For learning in general, though, practically every manufacturer makes a good river runner.

Some good reviews can be found at the blog of the Nantahala Outdoor Center.

I have really agreed with their reviews of the boats that I have paddled. If you wanted a boat just based upon popularity with uses and consensus among instructors I know, I would say Dagger Mamba. If you are more aggressive and like a harder edge - the Burn. If you want to paddle flatter water and speed is important, the Remix. And although all of these boats are good for beginners, advanced paddlers also use them. They won't hold you back unless you decide to specialize.

Oh yeah, if you are just learning, please get lessons, and I think these dvds are really good -
The Kayakers Toolbox
The River Runner's Edge
The Kayak Roll

Thanks for the opinions. We’re seriously considering a Mamba or a Remix. We paddled Remixes a couple of weeks ago and really liked them. (It took some adjusting b/c we’ve been paddling rec boats.)

I’m small - about 120lbs so the Everest probably wouldn’t work for me but my husband is about 170lb so we thought the Everest might be an option for him (we’ve found a used one for sale). From what we can tell its similar to the Remix69 in dimensions but it has more volume for expeditions/camping.

For me,the problem is that the major outfitter in our area doesn’t have a lot of small demo boats and we don’t know a lot of other paddlers so it’s hard to borrow. We joined a canoe/kayak group a couple of weeks ago in hopes of meeting more paddlers (we are planning to take WW lessons with this group soon).

Another thing to consider …
Is what KIND of paddling you want to do.

  • If you are mostly interested in going down the river you would be well served by the so called “river running” boats.

  • For very high and rough water rivers you would go a step-up in size to creek boats.

  • If you want to play some paddle down river some, there are designs that are shorter and stubbier than a typical river runner boat and are more playful. Such as Jackson Fun series (there will be aFun sized for you and your husband) or the WaveSport Fuse (also in several sizes). I’m sure Pyranha and others make similar boats too.

  • If you want to spend most of your time in one spot playing in waves and holes, then you probably want a “playboat”. Also lots of choices there. These can be used for river running but have limitations compared to river running boats for that purpose and need more skill to handle them there.

    Once you figure out what you want, look at the appropriate class of boats and just get something relatively recent model that fits well (have someone experienced help with the fit as that is not obvious to beginners).

    The “transitional” boats such as the WaveSport Fuse, which I happen to have in the 64 gallon size, are actually pretty good for running rivers but dedicated river running designs may be a touch more user friendly to early beginners but that should not be a consideration as one should quickly move out of that phase (they are longer, track a little better, may be a little easier to roll for the people just learning to roll as they are usually not as flat-bottomed/square sided).

    Of course, there is the other hybrid designs such as Liquid Logic XP9 and 10 and similar from other makers that are very good for running rivers but also have a skeg for straight tracking and some modest flat water paddling.

Nantahala Outdoor Center
I see that you are in northern Ga. If you don’t have any local retailers with inventory, you are not too far from the Nantahala Outdoor Center, which has to be one of the best places in the country. Their shop is on the river, and instructors are available. In fact, The Kayaker’s Toolbox DVD was shot there with their instructors.

But since you are new, I would not recommend shopping for your first kayaks on Craigslist unless you couldn’t afford to start any other way. At your sizes, I don’t know anybody who would suggest a Nomad or an Everest. When you know what you want to do and have some experience, you might be able to score on Craigslist.

You are going to want to develop a relationship with a local shop, and it will be cheaper IMO in the long run than trying Craigslist on your own. Maybe if you have a mentor available - but then you would probably not be asking these questions.

A shop can save you a lot of money by seeing that you get the right equipment, right fit, and right instruction. At this time of year, you might even find a used or demo boat that works.

OH MY GOODNESS!! Went to the NOC today!! We knew it was there and heard it was cool but we had no idea that it was the kayaking mecca that it is! They did have EVERYTHING including demo boats in every shape and size. Ended up buying a Mamba! Hopefully it will prove to be a good choice.