Pyranha Fusion River Touring kayak Review
Whitewater / Touring hybrid kayaks seem to be getting hotter and hotter by the week. Liquid Logic was the first out of the mold with the super bomber XP series. These boats are very stable, have plush outfitting and offer plentiful volume for those wanting a boat that tracks on flat water and then paddles well in whitewater too. Now, it’s Pyranha’s turn to enter the hybrid game. They mimicked many of the features found in the Liquid Logic Remix XP series, and tried to improve upon them. Did they succeed? So far, the Fusion is looking pretty good. In a nutshell, it’s narrow, light, easy to maneuver in whitewater and priced to sell at $895. It has a very similar drop skeg, a waterproof deck hatch/storage area (the Remix XP10’s hatch is not waterproof), and Connect 30 outfitting, which is the same stuff found in their creek and river running boats. Check out the details below.
- The rear deck hatch is waterproof. Pyranha has been building high end touring boats for a long time (Venture kayaks). This is a big asset for the R&D folks at Pyranha. They were able to take many legacy features like the waterproof hatch system, and integrate this into the Fusion. The best part about this is that the Venture brand touring boats are all $2000 plus, and the Fusion retails for less than $1000. In short, the Fusion has lots of tried and true touring features, and a class V whitewater heritage. Great combo and priced to sell.
- The Pyranha Fusion has a narrow beam (narrower than the Liquid Logic Remix XP10). This means that it is fast and easy to roll (the XP10 is very easy to roll also. Our Liquid Logic rep teaches newbie kayakers to roll in XP’s). The boat also has great secondary stability which means that it will do well on whitewater trips.
- Boat outfitting has improved a lot in the past few years and Pyranha is at the top of the list. The Connect 30 outfitting in the Fusion was adapted from their whitewater line (Ammo, Burn, Everest, Karnali). Features include a ratcheting back band, cushioned seat, hip pads and foam bulkhead.
- There are 2 areas that can be used for kayak fishing accessories like deck mounted rod holders. They are very easy to access from the cockpit.
- The drop skeg raises and lowers. There is a line that locks on a cleat that is also very easy to access from the cockpit. Drop the skeg and cruise on flatwater, and then raise it up and paddle the Fusion in whitewater just like you would a river runner.The raised skeg makes loading and unloading the Fusion much easier too. No worries about banging the skeg and breaking it. Also, when paddling in shallow flatwater, the skeg will raise into the recessed area of the hull if it hits an obstacle. Boats that do not have this will break skegs.
- The bow of the boat has bungees for holding maps, water bottles, or just about any accessory that you could hold with a bungee. This is also a great spot for a deck bag like the Watershed Aleutian bag. Also, the deck has a recessed area that can hold a compass or a Venture brand pod. This pod is a waterproof case that will accept things like cameras, GPS’s, etc.
- Overall, the Pyranha Fusion is a bomber boat that is great for a variety of uses. It would make a great addition to a summer camp on a lake or river. People who have never kayaked before can go fishing on ponds, paddle along beautiful stretches of coastline and do just about anything that a recreational kayak or touring boat could. Whitewater paddlers and experienced kayakers can run rivers with confidence. Also, people who want to do self supported overnighters will love the Fusion for obvious reasons. Check out the photo below. Cody Howard likes to plug big waterfalls in his Fusion. I wonder if the storage compartment will stay dry if he goes deep.
- The cockpit of the Fusion takes an XL sized deck (or 1.7 Seals randed). This means that you can use an ordinary whitewater deck.
- The Fusion is light for a boat if it’s size. It weights 45 lbs. vs the Remix XP10’s 49 lbs.
- At $895, the Fusion costs less than most whitewater kayaks, and over $100 less than the Liquid Logic remix XP series. Keep in mind that you do get what you pay for. The Remix XP series has plush outfitting that I personally think is worth it’s weight in gold.
- Boats that fall into the hybrid category do many things well, but nothing REALLY well. They are not long enough and do not have enough storage to do extended touring trips, and are not the right boat for serious whitewater paddling. Play boaters, creek boaters and dedicated river runners will want to use a regular whitewater boat.
- The Pyranha Fusion is quite a bit narrower than the Liquid Logic Remix XP9 and 10(about 2 inches narrower). This means that the boat is more tippy and not as stable. The Remix XP10 is by far the most stable kayak that I have ever paddled including recreational and touring boats. Beginning kayakers will have a better chance of staying upright in a wider boat. On the other hand, hull speed is directly proportional to the width of the boat. The Fusion may be faster and perform better in demanding whitewater because it is not as big and heavy.
- For now, there is only one size Fusion(80 gallons-the same size as a Pyranha Karnali-L). The Liquid Logic Remix series comes in 2 sizes (73 and 105 gallons).
If you like to paddle on different types of water including, rivers, lakes, ponds and oceans…The Fusion will get the job done. Compared to the Liquid Logic Remix series, the Fusion is narrower, lighter and faster. It’s as long as the XP10, but has 80 gallons of volume instead of 105.
Pyranha did their homework in regards to boat features too. The rear storage area is waterproof, the outfitting is the same that is found in Pyranha creek boats, and there are numerous accessories for fisherman. Overall, The Fusion is a top quality, high performance, well made boat for only $895 ( more than $100 less than the Remix XP series).