Remember when splats and squirts were paddling moves, not something that happens after a night of too many tacos and beer? If you miss those days of controlled verticality—or have no idea what we’re talking about—then try paddling the Pyranha Loki playboat.

Pyranha Loki Specs
Small / Medium / Large
Length: 7’1” / 7’1.5” / 7’2”
Width: 23” / 23.5” / 24”
Volume: 39 / 49 / 59 U.S. gal
Weight: 30 / 33 / 34 lbs
Weight Range: 88-154 / 125-198 / 175-243 lbs
MSRP: $1,199

Pyranha’s Loki is a smooth operator

The profile of this slicey, rounded-hull playboat is what you’ll notice first—it’s two and a half inches narrower and a foot longer than its cousin JED, with less volume.

“Our goal was to create a boat where its connection to the river was more important than its ability to take off from it,” says Pyranha designer Graham Mackereth. Paddlers had been requesting a slicey, old-school design similar to Pyranha’s I series, he adds. “With the Loki we’ve taken advantage of a more modern hull shape and added length to slow down some moves. The satisfaction comes from how smoothly you can make the move, not how many you can pack into a minute.”

Loki has plenty of tricks in store

Where flat-bottomed aerial boats tend to bounce around on waves, the hull shape of the Loki makes for a smooth glide of a ride. It isn’t as picky as a full-on playboat when it comes to wave selection, happily nestling into green waves that its spuddier cousins can’t. Long and easy-to-engage edges allow predictable carving across the face of a wave and, with good technique, you can throw the long stern through the air for huge water-spraying blunts.

Hole riding in the Loki is a smooth and controlled experience. The hull stays settled on the water during side surfs and spins. The boat’s length allows for slow rotation cartwheels, giving you time to keep your torso in the lead. Keep the depth of the hole in mind as the Loki’s extra few inches of length and low-volume ends slice deeper than short, high-volume aerial designs.

Man paddles in a Pyranha Loki kayak
Feature Photo: Jo-Anne Caldwell

Lock in tight and roll with ease

The Loki is also a capable downriver boat. Its rocker profile keeps its ends high out of the water allowing for effortless, mid-rapid direction changes. In bigger water, stay aggressively forward as large waves can lift the bow up, sink the low-volume stern and leave you in an unintentional stall or ender. Luckily, the narrow width and flat stern create a profile that makes rolling upright a breeze.

The Loki is equipped with Pyranha’s awesome Connect 30 outfitting system. Aggressive thigh braces and a wide, high-riding back band are linked with a silky-smooth, durable ratcheting system that keeps you locked in place. With size 10 feet tucked into the skinny bow there’s some wiggle room, but a low-profile booty is needed for comfort.

Get vertical with the Pyranha Loki

Paddling the Pyranha Loki is like adding play spots and mischief to your local river, opening up the possibility of controlled verticality with every eddyline, rock or small wave you find. Its design features make classic moves—like squirts, pirouettes, splats and cartwheels—easier as well as more stable and fun than in a creek boat or freestyle kayak. The Loki will spice up your local class II–IV run, just like adding hot sauce to your tacos, but without having to worry about fallout the morning after.

This article was first published in the Spring 2013 issue of Rapid Magazine. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions, or browse the archives.

Pyranha Loki Test Ride Video:



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