Old Pyranha? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-07-2009   #1
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 10
Old Pyranha?

Hi, I am thinking about buying an old Pyranha Creek 280 as my first whitewater kayak (I have only ever used rec kayaks). I was wondering if anybody had tried out this one and would give me some feedback, because I can't seem to find any info about it online. I also wondered if there was any reason I should avoid buying an older boat. Sorry if that is a really obvious question, please bear with me cause I'm new at this, Thanks.

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Old 07-08-2009   #2
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 834
Here is a little description of that boat from Eddy Flower:
Pyranha Creek 280

It is an old-school design. It would probably be OK for a first boat, to learn how to roll and run some whitewater. With a boat that old my first concern would be UV damage. Try to find out what year they bought it new. If they left it out in the sun at all then it is probably brittle and will explode on impact.

I probably wouldn't pay more than a token amount ($50?) for it. You can hardly give away old-school boats these days. Obsolete designs are not really worth anything but they are good for instruction and for picking up the sport.

Whatever you do, don't pay much for it. If it is an acquaintance who owns the boat they should give it to you. I don't think it is very reasonable to ask for money for a 15 year old kayak design. It is kind of like trying to sell a pair of skis from 1994.

Here is a snippet of some advice about the different kinds of boats that I gave to a friend who was getting into the sport:

"There are several categories of whitewater kayaks. The categories are changing a little bit with advances in design and in the general knowledge of the boating community but the basic types are: 1) playboat, 2) river runner, 3) creek boat
A playboat is like a high performance sports car that is very unforgiving, low volume, for doing freestyle tricks, and is unsafe on the river in the hands of a novice. (about 50 gallons of volume?)

A river runner is what a novice wants. It is in between a playboat and a creek boat in terms of volume. The edges are softer than a playboat so they don't grab the current as aggressively. They are easy to roll. (about 50 to 60 gallons of volume?)

A creek boat is specifically designed for quick moves in violent whitewater, for not sinking too deep and for surfacing predictably after big drops. They are built with extra plastic so they are heavy, and they usually are high volume (60 to 80 gallons of volume?)

There are two basic hull shapes: a planing hull and a displacement hull. A planing hull is flat like a table on the bottom with hard chines (sharp transition from the bottom to the sides). A displacement hull is like a bulbous rounded shape that presents a fairly constant cross-section to the water as the boat is tilted. A modified displacement hull would be a displacement hull with a "kind of flat but still pretty round" bottom and a very noticable transition from the bottom from the sides.

The displacement hull has low primary stability and high secondary stability. The planing hull has high primary stability and low secondary stability. Primary stability is what keeps you from tilting your boat up on edge on the side. Secondary stability is what keeps you from going from tilted up on edge to upside down.

A river runner will probably have either a planing hull or something in between the two. You most often see a full on displacement hull in a creeker design for steep low volume creeks.

There are so many boats out there it is hard to pick one but if you stick with "I want a river runner with a design that isn't ancient" then that might be a good start. The ancient boats are not that bad...I just don't like paddling with old technology when so many advances have been made. I would say try to stay with a boat that was not designed more than 5 to 10 years ago, preferably within the past 5."
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Old 07-08-2009   #3
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 10
Thanks very much for the helpful response. I hope you dont mind if i ask you a couple more questions. I live in a state (illinois) that has a lot of water but very little actual whitewater. I want to use this kayak in creeks and lakes locally and possibly some beginner whitewater. I was wondering if the UV damage is a major concern as I dont plan on using it in very heavy whitewater. Also, do you have any idea what the optimum weight load for this kayak is? Thanks again
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Old 07-08-2009   #4
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 234
For lakes and mild whitewater, you would be better off getting a hybrid kayak or a sit on top rather than a full on whitewater boat. The hybrid will track better and be much easier to paddle. Whitewater boats are designed to turn, which doesn't really lend itself very well to flatwater.

That said, I'm guessing it's easier to find a cheap used whitewater kayak than a recreational/touring kayak, although I just did a quick search that turned up a few recreational kayaks in the $150 range. It sounds like you already have a deal lined up, but I would echo what Ture said - don't pay too much for it. If you were interested in running whitewater I know you could get a better boat for $100 or less, and since you're more interested in paddling flatwater (which it really isn't intended for) it would have to be a REALLY killer deal to even be worth considering.

As far as the UV damage goes, I don't really know the answer but since you probably aren't going to be having any strong impacts I personally wouldn't be too worried about it. If it cracks you can probably patch it or just carry a sponge if it was just a slow leak. Not something I'd want to do in whitewater, but I'd be ok with doing that on a lake.
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Old 07-08-2009   #5
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Thanks! I own a sit on top, but I want to get into whitewater. And I want to teach myself all I can (like rolling) on flatwater before I move on to real whitewater. I plan on moving to CO to go to school in a year and want to get some experience before that. Sorry I guess I was unclear about my intentions. I do plan on using this for low class whitewater until I can afford a better boat, I really just need a boat I can learn with inexpensively. If I may ask, where are you shopping online?
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Old 07-08-2009   #6
hojo's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,235
Wauwau & others

Originally Posted by fightwithfire View Post
Thanks! I own a sit on top, but I want to get into whitewater. And I want to teach myself all I can (like rolling) on flatwater before I move on to real whitewater. I plan on moving to CO to go to school in a year and want to get some experience before that....
Take a look for water releases at Welcome to the Wausau canoe / kayak corporation website It's a great place to learn. That boat, so longs as it's in good condition, would be a decent learner boat.
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Old 07-08-2009   #7
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Thank you I'll look into it.
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Old 07-08-2009   #8
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,497
I'd watch out for UV damage. If the seller won't let you kick it, I wouldn't buy it.
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Old 07-08-2009   #9
Join Date: Jul 2009
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haha thanks good advice, I'm bidding for it online though, and I'm pretty sure there is no way to tell just by looking at pictures. I probably should have thought of this before I bid, but I totally forgot about UV damage
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Old 07-08-2009   #10
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,888
Skip it.

IMO- If you're bidding online, you're likely going to overpay. I'd invest in a boat you can use for a few years - your best bet is a river runner with a displacement hull. That 280 is a pig on flat water too. Buy something here (on mountainbuzz) or on boatertalk and have the seller ship it to you via Foward Air. Terminal to Terminal will run $50-60, and you'll pay a fair price for an updated design with a little more edge and play-ability. Just taking a peek at the Swap, there's an Inazone 232 for less than $200, which is a decent all-round river runner, a LL Hoss for $350, a Dagger Showdown, and a few others. Quit a few choises that are better than spending anything about $100 with shipping for that 280. Some overpriced shit too, btw.

And I'm not a Creek 280 hater- I had three of them, despite the fact that they kept breaking. But it's a creekboat, and if you think you might be moving out here in a year or so you don't want to try to have to sell that 280 to get something to paddle Class II-III in Colorado. Money wasted at that point, because you're not going to get more than $50 out here for that boat's design and age.
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