The Kingpin from Dagger racked up six medals at the last World Championships. For ’04 you’re getting the Dagger Kingpin Icon, both a great wave boat and a great hole boat. The removable fins serve up impressive carving and speed and the removable pods adjust volume for any sick trick.

Dagger Kingpin Icon Specs
(6.1 / 6.2 / 6.3)
Length: 6’1” / 6’1” / 6’5”
Width: 23.25” / 24.75” / 26”
Cockpit: 34” × 19” / 34” × 19” /
34” × 19”
Volume: 44 / 47 / 56 U.S. gal
Weight: 33 / 34 / 35 lbs
Weight Range: 80-140 / 100-180 / 150-230 lbs
MSRP: $1,149 USD or $1,599 CAD

Dagger’s Kingpin Icon is new and improved

The marketing guys at Dagger know that releasing the same ‘03 boat is whitewater hype suicide. So with the new Kingpin Icon, hole paddlers get some cool new pods for added volume and loop ejection. Unlike the original pod concept released on the FX, the new pods look cool, adding volume without changing the shape of the deck.

Catch waves with Kingpin’s fins

Wave surfers get to play with new fins. Here’s the trick to setting Dagger’s new hip pads: Take the seat out, adjust and reinstall. Dagger didn’t shrink the Icon 6.2 mould; the new rebound seat pad raises you up, flattening your knees a bit. Shave the seat if you must.

Previous Kingpin paddlers know sizing and trim is critical to top performance. Team Dagger paddler Brendan Mark says, “Be certain that your bow is approximately two inches out of the water and your stern one inch.”

Paddler catches some air in a Pyranha Kingpin Icon whitewater kayak
Feature Photo: Rapid Staff

Take the Dagger Kingpin Icon out for a spin

The Dagger planing surface is not flat but sort of rounded into two tears, allowing smooth edge-to-edge control and making it one of the easiest and most forgiving boats to blunt. Spins are beginner-friendly.

Add the fins (and do try them) and skidding carves bite like you have a longer, sharp-edged boat beneath you. In a hole or in flatwater the Kingpin Icon cartwheels like a much longer, slicey boat but is right at home wheelin’ in pokey ledge holes.

Pros and cons of the Dagger Kingpin Icon

Pro: Balanced ends. Good bounce. All-round performer.

Con: Heavy with new outfitting. Slow on the river.

This article was first published in the Summer 2004 issue of Rapid Magazine. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions, or browse the archives.


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