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Old 04-28-2014   #1
shredjesse's Avatar
Plymouth, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 49
Pyrahna 420 M/L for beginner?

Hey everyone!

I tried searching for this topic before posting. I couldn't find the info I was looking for. It may relate to the kayak in question being a little bit olde apparantly!

I just finished up the NH AMC White water paddlers school. Went pretty good and enjoyed myself a bunch, ran everything with no major issues or having to wet exit.

I hastily picked up a Katana 10.4 as it seemed (note the past tense) to make the most sense for the rivers I want to run... which was a bit of an oversight in regards to what I am actually going to run in the immediate forseeable future!

It was recommended a few times to me to look at a different boat. What I have isn't killing me by any means and did everything I needed to without any major issues. All issues were solely related to me. However, I'm not exactly broke and I don't have a wife or girlfriend to complain about me having too much stuff... so why not

Anyways, there is a Pyrahna 420 M/L for sale for $250 by me. Price seems good, and I fall in the weight range (220lbs). Would this be a good boat for starting out on Class II rivers, and eventually trying to get up to class III? I'd also like to do some surfing and playing around and what not... but I'm relatively new.

If it helps, I'm decently athletic, just a bit chubby from being deskbound for much of the week. I've raced motocross, I snowboard a lot and have competed on a national level with it, I've done a lot of sport bike stuff at track days... I enjoy getting out there and hanging it out a bit

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Old 04-28-2014   #2
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,323
I'll give ya a hell ya! Why not?? $250 is a screaming deal. Just make sure you fit in the boat without killing your feet and legs, and that the boat doesn't have any major damage.


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Old 04-28-2014   #3
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
Price is right but most boats that cheap are ready to crack. I thought the 420 sucked when it was new; too edgy on a surf and I struggled badly with rolling in them. I was learning so I'm sure technique was a major factor so take that for whatever it's worth. I would not have bought one then and the design is certainly dated now.

For learning basic, edge control and surfing it might be a great learning tool or it might be frustrating or it might crack.
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Old 04-28-2014   #4
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,323
I grew up learning in the world of the foreplay, xxx, centerfuse, luv, ect. So, I really wouldn't call the 420 a hard roller or edgy. Good edge control is the base of kayaking and a 420 really anit that different than many of the river runners you see on the water these days. I also have a few trips around the sun so I would really hate to think that the 420 is dated because that would make me feel old! (-: Pyrahna plastic is a good as it gets and I see many Mirco's ripping it still today. I think its a streach to be worried about cracking pyrahna plastic. Could you get a better boat to learn in.... sure, but good luck finding a boat at that price point.
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Old 04-28-2014   #5
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
I have one. Same size, paid the same price. It will work fine for learning your roll, working on stability in class 2-3 and learning to front surf, spin and possibly cartwheel. It is pretty boxy and high volume for a play boat. I use mine primarily for downriver play at higher flows. It is more difficult to roll than most river runners/creekers and newer design play boats IMO.
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Old 04-28-2014   #6
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 141
I don't think there's anything dated about that boat. It's quite capable as a play boat and a river runner. It surfs really well, like most Pyranhas. And it rolled relatively easy, compared to the Rock Star, which I have now.

However, my personal opinion is that 220 lb is pretty heavy for that boat. I'm 190 lb and felt that I was in--but near the top--of it's weight range. But if you can fit comfortably in it, with the seat in the middle position, it's hard to go wrong for $250. I wouldn't buy it if you have to have the seat all the way back, since you'll be predisposed to stern squirting.

Lean forward…it always worked for me.

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