The Dagger Kingpin’s been around the block a time or two. It’s a tried and true, slicey cartwheel machine that’s won competitions all over the planet. The great thing about this boat is that it’s super easy to learn the fundamentals of freestyle kayaking in, and then will take you to the outer reaches of the sport as well. If you’re looking for the hottest, newest boat that 2009 has to offer, this is not the Kingpin. If you want something that has been proven to do really well in many different aspects of freestyle and downriver freestyle kayaking, the Kingpin’s a great choice. Another reason to check out the Kingpin is that they are only $795 MRSP. The boat is every bit as good as 2009 boats that cost a few hundred dollars more. It’s not a new design, and doesn’t have any hype behind it compared to other boats like the Biscuit, Project 54Cx, etc….Therefore it costs less.

Specs:


Length

Width

Weight

Cockpit

Volume

Paddler Weight

Length

Width

Kingpin 6.1

6’1”

23.25”

33lbs.

34”

19”

44 GAL

80-140lbs.

Kingpin 6.2

6′ 1″

24.75”

34lbs.

34”

19”

47 GAL

100-180lbs.

Kingpin 6.3

6’5”

26”

35lbs.

34”

19”

56 GAL

150-230lbs.

The hull is very loose and carves well on a wave.

Pros:

  • The Kingpin is nice and loose on a wave. If you’ve paddled a Dagger Agent and weren’t thrilled with it’s surfing ability, try the Kingpin.
  • The stern is longer than the Agent’s stern which makes it more predictable when cartwheeling. There is more volume back there and this helps with down river paddling too.
  • If you are looking for a playboat to learn rodeo moves in; you’ve found your weapon. The paddler size to volume ratio of the Kingpin is very low. The Kingpin 6.3(large) is only 56 gallons compared to the Superstar or Biscuit 65 which are both well over 60 gallons. This means that there is less boat to maneuver, and it is easier to throw down. The Kingpin is the boat to learn Squirts,stalls, eddyline and flatwater cartwheels in.
  • The Kingpin is not just for aspiring freestyle paddlers. The loose planing hull, pronounced edges and even volume distribution make it a great advanced freestyle boat too. CKS Staff member Fil Payne has been paddling the Kingpin this spring. Stay tuned for some photo’s from the BV playpark. Also, check out the video at the bottom of this review. Rush Sturges shows what you can do in a Kingpin.
  • The wider hull (than the Agent) makes the Kingpin easier to spin and provides more initial stability.
  • 3 sizes to fit small, medium and large paddlers.
  • The price is right…$795.
  • The outfitting is very user friendly, simple and supportive. It has a ratchet backband system, foam foot blocks, and nice hip pads with extra shims. Check out the video below for some more detail on the Dagger outfitting system. Note: The Kingpin does not come with an overthruster or any type of “front end lifter”. If you want to loop and get some air look at the JK Happy Seat / Happy Thruster combo.


Cons:

  • The longer stern makes squirting the Kingpin little bit tougher than the Agent. Once you get used to burying the larger stern in an eddyline (or flatwater), it’s better because you’ll be able to hold your squirt for longer.
  • The Kingpin is an older design. It’s tried and true, but is old news. The price is right because of this, and the boat still rips.

The Verdict:

Overall, there’s a lot of reasons to like the Kingpin. For starters, it costs $300 less than new most other 2009 freestyle boats. It’s also pretty forgiving as far as playboats are concerned. The edges and hull are loose and carve well. One of the main benefits of the Kingpin are the low volume ends. The bow and stern initiate easily and make cartwheeling really fun. Besides learning easier rodeo moves in the Kingpin, paddlers can go huge as well. Check out Rush Sturge’s Promo video below. The video’s 3 years old, but the tricks are the same ones that are winning rodeos nowadays. His Hail Mary’s (40 foot huge ass freewheels) are pretty ridiculous too.

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