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Pyranha Debuts the Firecracker: Short Playful Half-Slice Whitewater Kayak

The evolution of the half-slice whitewater kayak has led to the Pyranha Firecracker, an 8-foot super-playful design that is appropriate for beginners and the most advanced downriver freestyle hucksters alike.

Pyranha Firecracker(Photo/Pyranha)
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The Pyranha Ripper is a 9-foot half-slice that continues to be wildly popular but isn’t optimal for super-low water/shallow rivers around the globe. The stern is just too long for such environments, making it harder to get vertical and play the river. This is why the Pyranha Firecracker was born.

The name “Firecracker” was landed upon during testing because it “became synonymous with the fun and energy we (Pyranha athletes) all felt when paddling this boat,” wrote the brand. Here’s what we like about the boat so far.

Pyranha Firecracker

Pyranha Firecracker

The Firecracker is shorter and more playful than the Ripper 2 and more forgiving and downriver capable than the Ozone. The Firecracker is a wide and relatively short planning hull river running boat that should offer comfort, nimbleness, and both on feature — waves and holes — as well as downriver playability.

Beginners should love the Pyranha Firecracker as a one-boat quiver for learning to downriver paddle, surf, and squirt. Intermediate and advanced paddlers should love the boat for progressing downriver freestyle and unlocking the play potential of lower-volume class four/five.

The super-talented pros at the top of the sport, like Pyranha pro Bren Orton, will likely use the Firecracker to progress the downriver and waterfall freestyle that has come of age in the past few years. New tricks like the tomahawk and cobra flip are becoming more commonplace, while new combos and variations are being unlocked every year.

Pyranha Pro First Impressions

In the video above, Pyranha’s Orton gives some first impressions of the Firecracker after a few days on his local UK low-water winter runs. While conditions were too low for his normal massive trick downriver freestyle antics, he still manages to give us a glimpse of what this boat can do with a seasoned pro in the cockpit.

He also said the boat surprisingly “rides high and dry” downriver and will likely be the “ultimate Zambezi kayak.” That basically means it will run massive whitewater with ease and style while also being a ton of fun on surf waves and in holes.

Firecracker Kayak Specs

Pyranha Firecracker

The Pyranha Firecracker will come in three sizes: 232, 242, and 252.

Firecracker 242 Specs:

  • Length: 7’11”
  • Width: 26”
  • Weight: 40 lbs.
  • Optimum paddler weight: 135-200 lbs.

Specific specs for the 232 and 252 haven’t been released yet, nor has the volume of the 242.

Pyranha Firecracker

The numbered naming nomenclature for the different Firecracker sizes refers to the length, in centimeters, of the boat. It’s also a throwback to the naming nomenclature of early successful Pyranha designs like the Ina Zone 242, Micro 250, etc.

Pyranha also said it wanted to avoid the normal small/medium/large naming for the Firecracker. The company did this specifically because paddlers are more often than not buying a specific boat size based on desired performance versus just their weight and size. Squeezing into a smaller boat for “easier chuck-ability” or going up a size for more comfort and river running forgiveness.

Pyranha Firecracker: Availability & Pricing

The mid-sized Firecracker 242 is being delivered to North American dealers now. We should see the smaller Firecracker 232 hit North America this spring, with the larger 252 coming this summer. All sizes are priced at $1,699.

The Modern Half-Slice

Pyranha Firecracker

While way more advanced and freestyle-oriented, the Firecracker reminds me a lot of my very first kayak, a Pyranha Attack. The Attack was an early 2000s all-around budget- and beginner-friendly whitewater kayak of similar size and general shape.

Is the Pyranha Firecracker the ultimate downriver freestyle kayak? The Pyranha team hopes so. It should be a better surfer and easier to get vertical than the Ripper, and easier to paddle, more comfortable, and more hard-rapid capable than the Ozone.

While there are lots of half-slice kayaks on the market, the only direct competitor is the Jackson Kayak AntiX 2.0. The Firecracker should be a bit more freestyle- and surf-oriented than the AntiX, but also a touch less forgiving.

Get Pyranha Firecracker info direct from the source, and find a local dealer online. And you can follow #HalfSizeHalfSlice on social media for Pyranha Firecracker content.

Bren Orton paddles Norway, 2022 - Send It screenshot

Style & Freestyle Down Norway's Massive Rapids With Bren Orton

In this edit from Send It, a professional paddler embarks on an epic tour of Norway's most exceptional whitewater. Coolio handles the tunes. Read more…

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