Pyranha Recoil?

A few of that are paying attention may be starting to recognize me by now. I’m still trying to find my first boat. I’m close to being sure I’m going to buy a used Pyranha Recoil for $300. I spoke with a guide I know that runs the same river I’ll be using it the most on and she said it would be a great choice. I forget which boat she has exactly but she said it is similar to what she has only a generation or two older. I am hopefully going to get to ask a couple others about it today as well including my roll clinic instructor.

I’d like to also ask here since I’m sure some of you know about this boat and can give me the pros and cons. Based on the description I think it’s pretty close to what I’m looking for. That would be a river runner primarily that can only do some playing. Most of the trips I’ve been on with the guides so far have seemed to work out that way. The people in hard boats get to hit a few spots and play for a couple minutes before catching back up with the rest of us on a variety of us on IK’s and rafts.

Thanks for any advice!

Best info you can get is local, e.g. from someone who knows that river. And the river with a little play in it is IMO a good 1st ww boat. It’ll let you learn the right basic skills but still get you down the river at a decent pace when you want. Full out play boats have very slow hulls, on purpose, because the slowdown makes a lot of the moves more accessible. But that gets deadly to paddle if you have to get thru an area of slower flatter water.

I am far from the most knowledgable ww person on this board, so best to wait for others to weigh in. But it seems like you have latched onto some good advice.

I have paddled the medium sized Recoil, I have size 10.5 feet and felt the bow cramped my feet a little, so you should try it out for a period of time if your footboard is pushed forward. I would not characterize this boat as a great beginners boat, it really needs to be edged to actively steer, or have good paddle skills, otherwise the river will take control of your line. It is a good boat to learn to roll in as you can get a good lay-back to hip snap the boat under yourself.
If you prioritize playboating first and WW second, the recoil is not a bad choice, if WW downriver running is your first priority I would keep looking around, this time of year a lot of boats start becoming available. $300 will buy a lot of different used boats, some of them will come with a skirt and paddle from somebody who tried out a boat after it looked “cool”. Depending on where you are located you can check Craigslist and there is a forum “Mountain Buzz” that has a lot of used WW boats for sale.
As a general statement, playboats are usually the cheapest used WW boats, the down river boats are a little higher priced, but are usually in better shape and have better outfitting (seats, hip pads and foot boards).

You seem to be of the opinion that in order to do some playing you need to have a play boat or a play boat/river runner. That is not the case. Back a few decades ago, paddlers did quite a bit of playing in big, long slalom kayaks that were up to 13’ 2" in length.

Play boats tend to be very short and have scalloped-out front and rear decks with low internal volume. That is because advanced play boaters want to deliberately submerge the ends of their boats to perform loops, cartwheels, and other acrobatic maneuvers. If you are a beginning whitewater kayaker, unless you are quite unusual you are probably not going to want a kayak with ends that easily go under the water. You are probably not going to be doing 360s or stern squirts for some time, and definitely will not be doing cartwheels, wave wheels, and loops.

The playing you will most likely be doing is some bow surfing on easy waves, and maybe some side surfing in gentle holes and hydraulics with an easy escape. If you are daring, you might go for an ender or two in a safe spot. And nearly any river running kayak is suitable for that type of play. Granted, you may not be able to get a longer boat onto a short, steep surf wave, but you aren’t likely to want to jump onto one of those for a while anyway.

Maybe you will become an advanced play boater at some point. But if you do, you will likely have gone through a half dozen or more boats by then.

I got to try a recoil out on Monday. I was asking a few people I’ve met recently about the recoil. One of them had one in the same size I’m looking at and was kind enough to allow me to borrow it for my roll clinic. But I only got to try it out in a lake. Compared to the Riot Booster I borrowed it felt much less stable. It was a lot easier to roll upside down, and roll back up, I would say based on my very limited knowledge. I was able to get a few rolls in it while I couldn’t even get 1 with the Booster.

I really just want anything for right now. But I’m trying to be patient and get the right boat. It’s difficult to balance the two. I think I’m just going to try to keep borrowing different boats and find one that works for me the most. I have access to a boat yard with somewhere around 50-75 boats in it. For the most part, as long as I ask nicely and say please and thank you, I can borrow any of them. It just seems sort of useless to do until I can roll and take them on the river.