Pyranha Speeder

There is one review written here. Anyone else have one of these? Please share your input on this kayak. I am thinking strongly of getting one mostly for racing but need something multipurpose also. This seems like a nice compromise. It looks like it would be fast, not as fast as the Downriver racing class boats I understand. Thanks for your help.

I like that it is plastic because I can’t stand the thoughts of crunching carbon/kevlar. I can tolerate a bit more weight. It looks like it would hold me and my racing gear fine.

Does anyone know where there is a GREAT DEAL on one? I have done much web searching already.

Too bad you don’t live closer. I have a lightly used Speeder that I am going to sell.

My impressions of the boat are mostly favorable. The problem I have with the boat is that I am just a little too large for it. It is a fast and fun boat and the outfitting is second to none. It is not a great tracking boat but this really is not a problem for experienced paddlers who know how to paddle loose boats. However novices I have had in the boat just can’t keep it going straight. The boat is very well built and I really like the lines of the boat. Fun and versatile is how I would sum up this boat. There are some video clips on CKS showing the boat in action.

How is it in the sea/open water?
How does it paddle in sea/open water if you can share?

Fast-ish it seems to be. I’ve paddled alongside one on flat water and was impressed by its speed - will compare well to most 14-16 sea kayaks out there I think. or may be it was the other paddler who was much faster than I -:wink:

I have not had it any significant harsh open water conditions. I suspect it would be just fine.

I saw one on the Ocoee last summer. It seemed to handle the class III w/w very well. I think it would be great for downriver racing in not too intense rapids and a good flatwater workout boat.

Relative lack of rocker may hurt.

See: “Edging” and “Leaned turns” L

Here’s my opinion
Haven’t paddled it, haven’t seen it, but let me tell you how it paddles…

Here’s my opinion
Haven’t paddled it, haven’t seen it, but let me tell you how it paddles…

Did a lot of research.
I think this is going to be it for me. I need a racing kayak. I don’t want a 20 ft+ boat. The surfski is not going to cut it up here in the great white north. I need a multi function kayak. I have a bunch of kayaks and canoes. So, I need something more race worthy, but not really a carbon/kevlar/unobtainium fragile boat to smash on rocks at speed. My mind won’t let me paddle fast in a fragile boat, I will be paddling to miss obstacles in some stealth material boat. Plastic will be heavier, but so am I!! This boat won’t kick the crap out of the current racing breed at USCA Nationals, but it won’t be a slouch. For many of the local races, it should be a great improvement. It will still serve as an extra when I need extra boats for my leisure floatilla. I am prepared for the extra effort required for lower initial stability. I just need to find a smoking deal.

Pulled the trigger
Ordered today. Arrives 12/18, before Santa.

As owner of both a Neck and a slalom

– Last Updated: Nov-17-09 4:22 PM EST –

boat, I don't need to read any of that. The Speeder hull does not have enough rocker, or edging capability, to be a good surfing sea kayak. It was designed for straight line speed, like a WW downriver boat.

"Neck" = Necky.

Well, given all your experience…
… I suppose you probably can paddle a straight line in WW. Well, at least as effectively as you keep other posters in line about what forum their posts belong on anyway. :wink:

Yeah, OK - you say you owned a “neck” but if you owned a Speeder why not say so from the get go? Or were you talking about some other irrelevant Necky model?

Speeder owner above describes it as loose, not tracky (relative to other as long longer boats I assume, as that’s not worth mentioning compared to WW or slalom! Well, except may by you).

Also, when did OP ever mention SURFING? He mentioned wanting something durable with some straight line speed and some mixed use/general stuff. As for the ocean outside the surf zone, there should be enough ROM to turn it. L

If you’re trying to tell him this isn’t the best choice for what he says he wants to do, and that it’s not what the Speeder is designed for, I can certainly agree with that (but still might be fun to play with one in the waves sometime).

I just think the rocker is not the biggest of the issues given what he’s looking to do with it (if it matters at all). I’d be more concerned that without a raging river to go down, the Speeder won’t be all that speedy. Can’t see how it could be as fast as even a dog of a sea kayak being used as he intends.

Plenty of other options, that are designed for general/mixed use including the sea. But then he’d have to revisit all that research he’s done to talk himself into it so he could get in on that eBay deal…


– Last Updated: Nov-18-09 9:35 AM EST –

Tell us how you find it. When I paddled one, it was on a calm lake on a demo day. There, I found it tippier than most sea kayaks, almost as tippy as the Prijon Barracuda that I paddled on the same day, actually. But at that time I was a lot tippier myself -;) Later on I paddled the 'Cuda again and did not find it tippy at all on flat water, so impressions change over time. I thought the Speeder was also a little too planted in the bow when I paddled it on flat water and would require a little more effort to correct than I liked - basically it would start turning and keep turning, where with some other kayaks I tried that day I could more easily zig-zag. May be a question of seat trim - I have long legs and unless I pull the seat back from the average position I make boats front-heavy. But probably that behavior would changes with more edging, which I did not feel very comfortable doing in it at that time as it felt tippy (tippier than Quest LV for instance and even more tippier than a WS Tempest 170).

A few months back I paddled with a guy who had the Speeder, while I was in my Perception Sonoma 13.5. These boats are of similar length but the Speeder has probably at least a foot longer waterline and is probably a little narrower as well. The Sonoma is on the slow end of sea kayaks and probably on par with some of the slower bunch of 14-16 feet kayaks that are either too wide or meant for rough conditions (like the Chatham 16). The guy in the Speeder could steadily outrun me even though I was paddling quite hard myself (that meaning probably moving at or slightly above 5 mph, which is not bad considering I had a very skinny home-made greenland paddle that is not good for sprinting). Based on that limited experience, I think the Speeder will be in the mid-pack in terms of average speed compared to the average 14-16 footer out there that has a foot or two wasted in bow/stern overhang and will probably have higher top speed than some of them.

I think my statement, "relative lack of

– Last Updated: Nov-18-09 11:34 AM EST –

rocker may hurt," still looks pretty good for relevancy and truth. Not that your discussion isn't interesting, but I never intended my comment to be a devastating nullification of his interest in the boat. It was just a comment.

Now, I may be wrong about the usefulness of edging and leaning for controlling the direction of a Speeder. But I think it will be muc less responsive to those methods than touring kayaks of comparable lengths, or longer. Following is Pyranha's own statement about leaning and turning, just to balance views.

"Low Wings:
(One of the Speeders' secrets!) The modified shallow wings just behind the cockpit give very impressive secondary stability and importantly allow the Speeder to be leaned over during a turn, allowing the hulls different shape to induce the turn giving the Speeder its unique manoeuvrability and turning ability for a kayak this long."

My Looksha Sport is similar in length, and I think it will have much stronger turning reponse to an outside lean, and it is likely to be much more maneuverable. But I certainly would not prefer it as a straight line workout boat.

Good point about the effect of leg
length. Height, weight, and leg length mean that I also have to move seats back, or boats may be too biased toward the bow.

I believe many folks
don’t understand this boat. It is basically a K1 Downriver racer. The hull is only slightly modified for stability = slightly slower. The dimensions will put it soundly in the USCA and ICF Downriver class. However, I can still run Unlimited, Touring and even Recreation class under USCA. I checked most of the local races here in WPA and NY and they don’t all have the exact classifications the USCA does. I can put this in a lot of local classes where it will be a kick butt contender. Of course, understand, I am not necessarily a kick butt contender. But I like to race. It is my new gig. I cannot seem to drift anymore. I cannot bird watch. OH NO. Got to go go go.

So, I understand it is not the hottest thing on the block, but does what it was designed for, gets new racers in a faster craft and ready for the next level while still not loosing all utility for weekend romps with the buddies. And also is 20 pounds heavier than a Kevlar/carbon hull used by those elite athletes. But hey, I am at least 40 pounds heavier than those folks already.:)) I won’t win any National Championships in any boat I ever own, ever, never. But I won 4 trophies this year, my first year racing, in big fat fishing canoes and kayaks. So, this has to be better than slugging those monsters upstream and down.

I will have the full review come spring time maybe? It is going to freeze over here in a few weeks if all goes according to God’s plan.

Enjoy your new boat. Hope to see you on the water.


The boat arrived, first impressions.
So, understand I have 7 other paddle craft and am 55 years old, pretty darn good shape for a guy my age. Understand that for 2 decades I have paddled seriously in my own and friends boats of varying styles. And total four decades experience paddling. I am very comfortable in skinny seakayaks and in all those years, I have NEVER FLIPPED any of those boats in many conditions up to class 3.

IT’S OVER. Zen was Baptised this weekend in the mighty, high flowing Allegheny river at 40 deg water and 24 air temp in a snow storm.

Regardless of the rave reviews by Pyranha team experts as to its stability and regardless that their write up says “makes taking the camera nearly mandatory,” I will recommend against that on your maiden voyage.

My racing partner and expert coach was there to assist me entering the craft and stood by while I tested my intial balance facing upstream and basically holding position. When I felt comfy, I accelerated into the current. The boat firmed up noticably. Then it started peeling out into the stronger current. What I should have done was accelerate hard to gain more stability and of course lean downstream. But I did not want to be out in the middle or across the river from help if things went fuzzy. I low braced and announced I would let the boat come about and then regain control and turn back upstream, it really was not worth fighting it. As she hit 90 to the current, despite my bracing, and then sweeping forward to gain more pressure, it was just not enough. I thought I had it, even when my ear was in the water. I slammed dunked my first 180 degree roll. Wet exited. Swam the paddle and boat to shore. Emptied out and put her back on the truck. I had a wet suit on but not really a day to paddle around in a wet suit. Within five minutes, my feet were rock hard and numb. Calves cramped so badly I am still knotted and sore. I could have survived probably half hour in the water with the wet suit on, but I doubt I would have been concious for 10 more minutes on shore.

I have not paddled since September and with a lot of extra clothing and resticted movement capability, there were a few notches against me going in. So, I am not going to say anything bad about this thing yet. But it was humbling and embarrassing. I believe if I could have gotten 10 minutes seat time to loosen the hips and gain confidence, this might have never happened. I am built pretty top heavy and that also contributes to the perceived shakiness. I found initial stability non-existent and secondary unnoticable.

I am certain, when the temps come up, I will have this thing riding from rail to rail and will get used to the extra effort required. It is finally time to learn to roll, not just one way though. Looking into pool sessions already.

Unless your butt and legs make up 70 percent of your total weight, I don’t think I would throw a novice into this boat or recommend it for ANY first purchase. It will reward experienced paddlers, I am sure, but probably scare the bejeepers out of someone you were thinking of introducing to kayaking.

Take it all with a grain of salt. This is first impression from a frozen head. I can’t wait to get this thing out in the spring. I am not taking it on any winter paddles this year.

It looks better in person, kind of like me. ha ha…

I liked the seat and pads but have never had a boat with these types of adjustments. You basically take it apart and reassemble all of the outfitting for your body. Seat moves for and aft. Maybe up and down too. Big old floor plate (no foot pegs) can be moved. Thigh pads adjust 3D, knee pads adjust. But nothing is flip a lever except the back band pressure against your back. I suppose that is typical of WW outfitting to make it bomb proof, but you won’t just switch drivers unless they are similarly sized folks.

It’s pretty.

I know all too well about going out onto moving water when you’re not loose. Your brain sees what’s happening but your body is just waaay too slow to do the right thing. I’ve fallen over on ridiculously small features because I was tense and rusty – things I’d happily play on when warmed up.

Congratulations on the new boat!