Rocky river kayak/not poly or plastic

I paddle the upper Delaware river which is rocky. I’ve had many poly boats and plastic boats but it’s time to upgrade considerably. I like Old Town’s “polylkink-3” but it’s heavy. Does anyone know a “rocky river kayak” that’s made from a better material? Thanks

Rock beaters
By far the most popular material for kayaks that are bound to hit rocks is plastic. Go to any stretch of popular whitewater and that’s about all you’ll see.

I think it handles the abuse really well. It flexes, it scratches like crazy, but you rarely see a whitewater boat destroyed by hitting, scraping, or bouncing off rocks.

You can certainly use a composite boat, but in my experience people with fiberglass, carbon fiber, and Kevlar go out of their way to avoid rocks that might break their hulls. Guys in plastic boats go at the rocks at ramming speed…

Maybe you mean something else by “better”.


nothing better for rock bashing and log
jumping than a poly boat. in some cases a well made royalex canoe can be good but in must cases polyethylene is best. The boats are available in all levels of quality so maybe you are looking for a lighter hull or one that is better performing?

How about learning to read USGS
gauges and to miss rocks? I don’t have any problem running rocky rivers in composite boats, and they’re easier to carry to and from the car.

Another suggestion: ditch junk designs. Buy a boat designed for serious maneuvering on rocky rivers.

The “unpoly”

Stay with the plastic

– Last Updated: Jul-01-10 9:37 PM EST –

We ran a 12 mile section of one of our favorite rivers yesterday, and for almost the entire way it was a boulder garden.
We had our 15 year old tupperware rec kayaks and all agreed afterwards that the day they die we will replace them with the exact same.
Some of the hits we took would have punctured or cracked any other material but on examining the boats afterwards, there were no more scratches than there were before we started.

Jack L

LiquidLogicXP10 hybrid.
Stick with plastic, but give this hybrid a try. With the drop down skeg, I found it to be a lot of fun and versatile for river running with stretches of flatwater or leading into some open water. Shallow draft, lightweight, useful rear hatch and handles the rapids very well.

Wow, all the posts agree. Thanks all

Very Comfortable
I was poking around at the local kayak shop and found the Liquid logic XP to be the most comfortable boat of the lot. The seat and thigh pads work well together. It’s on my list of used kayaks to look for in the next few years.

The Dagger Green Boat looks like a
honey. Anybody got one for sale? Any first hand experience with this bad boy?

river boat
dagger green boat for a smaller person, liquid logic xp-10 for a larger paddler, i know a place that has both and will let u paddle both, i will give u a ride there, and they take trade ins, see u on the river suntan

Pyranha Fusion
same idea as the Liquid Logic XP series… a hybrid that can do up to Class II+ ww, and cover flat water pretty handily, w. a drop down skeg. The Pyranha’s back hatch & bulkhead is truly watertight & has an optional front pod attachment to act as a deck/bag day hatch.

I tried a Fusion S w. the ww style “Connect 30” outfitting and liked that outfitting the best. The Pyranhas are a bit less wide than the XPs, better speed w. only a fractional loss of stability.

They are both very good designs that come in standard and small sizes. Very fun to paddle.

Plastic is your friend for the type of paddling you want to do Suntan :smiley:

there’s one right now on

– Last Updated: Jul-01-10 7:33 PM EST –

Washington DC Craigslist.

Canoe/Kayak magazine did a nice
Hybrid comparison a couple of issues back. The LLXP10, Dagger, Jackson and a couple of others. Might be worth reading. As a “large paddler” I can tell you that the XP10 is very comfy for an all day paddle. With a neoprene skirt and some nice ww, I stayed dry below deck.

NOC review
comparing XP, Pyranha and Dagger Approach - 5 ww boaters:

For example, the XP did indeed get high marks for comfort and ease of deploying the skeg. The Pyranha got the nod for handling and speed w. skeg down, and was praised for the “high end” outfitting quality in the Connect 30 version.

They both have their strengths and the NOC testers did a fair job of identifying and comparing them.

In order to maintain consistency the NOC reviewers did not use either the smaller XP9 or the Pyranha S and stuck only w. the models 10 feet or longer. That s/be taken into account as the smaller testers would have been better fitted to the smaller models.

Thanks SG, SYOTR in the AM Friday or
we could go up and paddle some boats around. I think I’m going with an old school round bottom this time.

Pyranha Fusion
I recently purchased a Pyranha Fusion and can tell you that it is incredibly easy to paddle. I have paddled it on the susquehanna River in lake like setting with waverunners and powerboats all around and down the Lehigh River from Allentown to Easton. While the lehigh is not a raging river by any means there were some areas that will catch your attention and the Fusion did very well. I paddled 60% or so with the skeg up and the boat was extremely responsive without really getting me in trouble. The Fusion will spin on a dime if you give it is good power stroke. The leg and foot braces make the Fusion easy to control and push into that whole you see right in the middle of some chop. My Fusion has the connect 30 rigging and while I am still playing with what works best for my back I was laid back and relaxed for most of the 2.5 hours I spent paddling yesterday with no adverse affects or pain. The Fusion is a really good choice if you paddle different waters on different days and want only one boat to do it all.