Two Options

I have a simple question regarding 2 options I’m looking at buying for creek boats. Here’s the situation-

There’s a little creek that’s 10 minutes from my house. I would compare it to the upper sections of a little ozark stream, gravel bottom, narrow turns and a few small rapids. At a good water flow I may be able to float 4-6 miles.

I’m not looking to use this boat anywhere else but this creek, so I’m not wanting to spend much money or do a ton of work looking for the perfect boat or spend hours “testing” it out . I’m looking for something that floats, and that I can fit into and affords me the opportunity to get on the water locally.

I’m 6’4 and 225lbs- I found two that may fit the bill:

Pyranha Mountain 300- 10ft

Dagger Response- 12ft

Any thoughts on which one of these may be a better boat for my height and weight??

what class
is this river?


Neither would be considered creek boats
Both of these would be considered a long K-1 by today’s standards, too long and pointy to be “creek boats”, but then it doesn’t really sound like a creek boat is what you are after.

The Dagger Response is 11’3" by the way. It is very fast for a plastic kayak.

I have never paddled a Pyranha Mountain 300 but it should be quite fast as well. Before someone comes along and tells you that these older K-1s are not suitable on technical whitewater, consider that the very first winner of the Green Race back in 1996 (held on the Class V Narrows of the Green River in NC) was paddling a Pyranha Mountain 300. The fourth and fifth place paddlers were in Dagger Responses.

I would think either boat would fit your needs and would be similar in performance. I would choose the one you are most comfortable in so try to sit in them before you decide. Also, make sure you can find a spray skirt to fit. Whitewater kayak cockpits have gotten bigger over the years.

If the rapids are small …
If it is not real white water than I’d get a rec boat that will go faster.

I think the Pyranha Mountain 300 is a creek boat, so it will paddle like a real pig. It might be just the thing to drop off a waterfall or run hairy class 4 and 5 with, but it will be a real pain to just paddle like you want to go somewhere.

The Dagger response might be a little better, but white water boaters dred the flat spots in the river for a reason.

I rec boat outfitted with bags will be a much better choice. I lot of these rivers are just right for a Pamlico 140 or something like that.


– Last Updated: Mar-06-12 2:32 PM EST –

Yeah, I'm not looking to use it for big whitewater. Just something to get for cheap and Dink around in. I just want to be sure I'm not too heavy and its responsive enough to turn rather quickly.

This creek is class 1 at normal flow but it has a bunch of gnarly corners. The flatwater stretches aren't too long. I guess my biggest concern is my weight- obviously by sitting in them I can figure out if I'm too tall. I can't find what the weight specs are online though.....

Long K-1s vs. rec kayaks
Most people have never paddled older plastic whitewater boats of 11 foot length or greater and tend to assume that they are dreadfully slow which is not the case.

The length/width ratio of the Response, for example, is nearly as good as that of the Pamlico 140: 5.8 vs. 6.0.

This is very dramatically different than a modern “creek boat” such as the Jackson Super Hero which has a L/W ratio of 3.4.

True, the L/W ratio doesn’t tell the whole story, and the sharper entry of the Pamlico 140 would no doubt give it the edge in terms of speed, but the difference would not be that great and the Response would not be painful to paddle through pools, especially if there is a bit of helpful downstream current.

I have used a Perception Pirouette (11’2" LOA with an L/W ratio of 5.6) which is a little slower than a Response as a river day tripping kayak on Class I water (including Ozark streams) and I have been quite pleased with it.

A rec kayak would likely be much easier for a guy the size of the OP to get in and out of, and would be more suitable for use without a spray skirt, if that is his intent, but it sounds as if he has located the two boats specifically mentioned as being available at a good price.

If you haven’t scouted the creeks, you may want a boat you can get out of (or off of) in a hurry. Strainers, barbed wire, unexpected rapids, etc can come up in a hurry on a small creek. A SOT allows you to abandon ship in a big hurry – and it can’t totally sink either.

Dagger makes the Torrent now, but every now and then you’ll see a used Perception for $300-$400.


what about a
Liquid logic xp 10. I got one and love it so far.

It sounds to me like you should just grab a cheap rec boat on CL. Get a sit on top to hop in and out of. While not huge, you are a big dude and WW boats fit like pants so you may want something a bit more versatile.

pblanc is right. A response will crush
most “rec” boats when paddled by an experienced ww kayaker, and will be no trouble on the flats. I have ww longboats that are even faster.

It’s discouraging at times to see that people think whitewater kayaks are hard to manage on easy water, as if they need skegs or rudders. If your catch and power phase are kept forward, the boat will stay in the zone very nicely.

On the other hand, the Pyranha 300 isn’t a good option.

The one thing about a rec kayak is that it will draw less water. On the other hand, it won’t maneuver as well.

I’m 6’ 5" and about the same weight.
The Response kayak’s cockpit is a little shorter than most offered today, and prevents me from getting in. So, that’s the first thing you’ll have to check. I would be a little concerned about the age of the plastic. Is it crosslink? Maybe Dagger converted to superlinear by the time your candidate was made. Wish you could run into a Dagger Aeroquatic. Not as fast as the Response, but low draft and wonderful handling.

Dagger called it the AQII
Dagger made the boat previously known as the Noah Aeroquatic (designed by Vladimir Vanha) for a number of years beginning in 1995, but they called it the AQII,

I have one and it is indeed a lovely boat and pretty fast, though not as fast as either the Response or the Pirouette. The molded in “hip braces” (bulges in the plastic sidewalls of the cockpit insert) prevented some large people from using it, however.

Another older Dagger boat which is pretty swift which I have seen used by a number of pretty big men is the Dagger Animas.