Articles - Pyranha Z-One Whitewater Kayak - Tried & Tested

Pyranha z-One in action on the Tryweryn
Pyranha z-One in action on the Tryweryn
Canoe & Kayak UK Test Team - Posted on 30 Jun 2009
On seeing the Z.One laid out on the ground for the first time one of our testers commented that it reminded him a little bit of the Prijon Hurricane. Despite what you maybe thinking this is not a bad thing, as he meant in spirit rather than looks. The Hurricane was from a time when you didn’t need a different boat for all occasions, when you’d use the same boat for laying down winning ride at the freestyle, or as it was called then rodeo, world champ’s as you would for laying down a clean line on a big scary rapid, or playing your way down your local run with your friends. It was a concept that Pyranha continued to pursue with their legendary Inazone series of boats, only with the added benefit of a range of different sizes, so you could get a great fit for you. In recent years boat designs have diversified and become far more specific in their uses, the Z.One follows in the footsteps of the Zone family, but almost looks further back. Its designed to be a boat that will put a smile on the faces of paddlers who want one boat that will provide them with a boat that will provide them with a solid ride, and most importantly, a boat that will provide them with a whole pile of fun. Pyranha Z-One Kayak

Fixtures and Fittings
As with the Karnalis the Z.Ones all come with Pyranha’s excellent Connect 30 fittings. These provide a very comfortable and positive fit. We where also pleased to see an adjustable full plate footrest fitted.

The Ride
We’ll break this part down in to two-halves. First up we’ll take a look at the Z.Ones river running prowess, then we’ll talk about how it plays. It has a ‘nippy’ feeling on the water and a good turn of speed compared to many river/play boats. Despite its narrow width, which allows you to really crank those edge-to-edge transfers for crisp breakouts and dynamic, carving wave surfing, it’s a very stable ride. It’s width also makes it very easy to roll, with our without a paddle. The raised knee position gives a good position for positive, efficient paddling. It really responded to being driven hard on the river and just busting some slalom style breakouts and break-ins had us grinning. When things get a little steeper or bigger the Z.One was surprisingly forgiving considering its low volume stern, but as you’d expect if you adopt a lazy-boy leaning back style when punching holes and you’ll be looking at the sky.
    OK, over to the play potential. If you want to hit funky-monkey back flips and the like it’s not the boat for you, but if you want to surf waves with style and maybe hit the odd blunt and spin it’ll make you grin. It’s worth noting that its length and speed meant that we could catch and surf waves that many smaller freestyle boats couldn’t get near. Playing in holes was fun and it’s a stable platform for setting up cartwheel style tricks, but it does need a reasonably deep feature, due to its length. The long, low volume tail means that you can tail squirt and splat every eddy-line and suitable rock on the way down. It’s stable on its tail too and doesn’t tumble over like a short boat. This means that you can start to really crank up the style on tail squirts. That stern is also going to make it a whole lot of fun in the surf to and it’s speed is going to mean that you can actually catch and ride an ocean wave in the pocket, rather than getting overtaken and bounced along in the soup, again like short freestyle boats

Pyranha Z-One Kayak surfing at the Canolfan Trywryn, North WalesVerdict:
A true all rounder, they should have called it the Z.One-for-all!

Specs        S            M            L
Length:     245cm    255cm     265cm
Width:       62cm      65cm       67cm
Volume:    180litres  210litres  245litres  Pyranha Z-One Pyranha Z-One white water Kayak Pyranha Z-One Connect 30 outfitting

To find your nearest Pyranha Kayak Dealer and demo centre head to the marketplace

To check out more river running boat reviews go River Running kayak group test, Dagger RX and Pyranha Ammo

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