The Pyranha ReactR Vs Dagger Indra (Video)

Two of the most popular new river runners side-by-side

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We are seeing one of the most exciting periods of whitewater kayak design yet. As river running technique continues to evolve and meld with the “play the river” mentality, boat manufacturers are innovating in hot pursuit. Two of the most successful whitewater brands have recently dropped their latest progressive whitewater designs, The Pyranha Reactr and the Dagger Indra. Here with an initial side-by-side comparison is Simon Coward, owner of AQ Outdoors (AQ Outdoors is a paddling shop and school with locations in Calgary and Edmonton). The following is a transcript of Coward’s review.

Pyranha ReactR vs Dagger Indra

I’m really excited to be checking in with a quick, first thoughts review on the new Pyranha ReactR and Dagger Indra kayaks. In full transparency, I’ve only really paddled these on Class II to easy class II whitewater but I am starting to form some thoughts around both of the boats.

Right off the bat I would say they’re very unique and perform quite differently. I’ve tried both sizes of the Indra, and at the moment we only have the medium ReactR available, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be paddling anything larger than that because it is a fairly big feeling medium boat.

Pyranha ReactR
The Pyranha ReactR. | Image: AQ Outdoors

A look at the Pyranha ReactR

I’ll start with the ReactR. My first thoughts on the new outfitting is that Pyranha really hit the mark. I’ve been a huge Dagger outfitting fan for a long time and still am but I feel Pyranha have gone a long way to bridging the gap as far as the quality and comfort of their outfitting.

My first thoughts on the ReactR in flatwater is it’s super loose. It pivots under the seat really quickly and I could see it giving newer paddlers a bit of a hard time because it would be quite hard to control. But for a more advanced paddler that nimbleness when translated into moving water was really dynamic and super fun to paddle.

There’s the obvious bow rocker in the ReactR that skipped up and over everything that we threw at it—which was admittedly very small. Because I haven’t paddled anything harder in it yet it’s hard to speak too much to the stern rocker, but the stern profile did make it very easy to sweep the bow up and over small waves and features, so I imagine that will translate very well into harder whitewater.

The one thing I really did like about the ReactR was doing bowdraws. If you keep the boat flat during a bow draw the boat turns very very quickly and very dynamically and it’s very easy to accelerate out of those turns.

The last thing of note for me is the ReactR felt like a boat that was very comfortable to paddle flat which I really enjoy. The stern was not super grabby. It has a distinctly non-Pyranha feeling stern to me—sort of softer edges and such. Because I haven’t paddled it in anything harder yet it’s really hard to say much around what I don’t like. These are more just cursory observations about how the boat performed in easy class II.

Pyranha ReactR M

ReactR M

Ride higher and drier in rapids, scream into eddies faster than ever, and find your line without any limitations. The ReactR is Pyranha's most innovative design yet, and opens new doors within the world of creek and river running for kayakers of all abilities.
The Dagger Indra kayak
The Dagger Indra. | Image: AQ Outdoors

The Dagger Indra

Next, the Dagger Indra. So I’ve paddled this on some bigger class III on the Elk River in Fernie and here at Harvey Passage in some mellow class II. I’ve also paddled both the sizes, and I would say my initial thoughts are: I love the boat.

The new thigh hooks in the dagger outfitting are a huge win for sure They give you more control and more engagement with the boat overall. In the small/medium the stern is definitely a bit more grabby than the ReactR. In the larger version the stern stays high and dry, and I would be very comfortable paddling it in harder class IV and even easy class V.

From an observation standpoint watching some other young strong paddlers use the Indra, I think for advanced boaters it would be a boat that would very easily translate into a class V environment. The ability to pull the bow up and over some rather large foamy features was really quite remarkable and there was never any inclination that it was going to back loop. The boat was getting close to vertical and just riding up and over some quite big holes and waves which is really neat to see. It’s a very modern style of paddling that is super fun.



The Dagger Indra is here to transform your paddling experience. A familiar and confident bow is built to rise over drops, waves, and hydraulics. A wide planing hull keeps the kayak on top of the water and a tapered deck allows the boat to slice through currents, load the stern, and skip through rapids. Camber in the wide tail turns the momentum of a climbing bow into controlled and playful downstream acceleration.
  • Safe
  • Comfortable
  • High-Performance
  • Durable

A new realm with boats for two styles of paddler

One thing with the Indra that was very different feeling to the ReactR is coming out of an eddyturn, or a carve, it tends to want to be on edge a little bit more, and it’ll sort of slingshot that speed more effectively than the ReactR. The ReactR tends to spin out a little bit and wash out, whereas the Indra wants to carve and drive and continue that speed. If you like paddling your boat on edge the Indra will probably feel more familiar. If you like paddling the boat flat the ReactR is probably going to feel a bit more comfortable to you.

Again, with the Indra I haven’t really been able to formulate anything I don’t like about it because these first thoughts are very much just commentary around what we’ve seen, and I haven’t really been able to lean into the real nitty-gritty of the boat. I’ll check back in in a little while with some more thoughts and feedback on that, but overall it is definitely a new segment in whitewater. They haven’t just made minor changes, the boats do feel very different and I’m excited to paddle them more.

AQ Outdoors offers retail and kayak instruction in Calgary and Edmonton. Learn more about their school and stores at

Feature image: AQ Outdoors


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