Pyranha Shiva Review with Robert Peerson and Chris Roberts
Pyranha likes to cut to the chase, and build boats that perform. They always have, and always will. The Shiva follows in the foot steps of true Pyranha heritage. It’s a nimble, fast, large volume, rounded hull creeker, built to run the steepest and hardest whitewater on the planet. As paddlers push the boundaries of the sport, new gear is needed that can keep up with the demands that are set in place. The Shiva is a piece of kayak gear built specifically to help facilitate rapid vertical descents of very steep things. Also, Demshitz is going to huck this design all over the world – so it needs to be able to keep up with those guys (and girls).
Part of the reason that we are so excited about this new boat, is because Robert Peerson designed it. He is the former lead boat designer for Wavesport. We can thank him for boats like the super smooth Project, and Project X. We spoke with Robert, and also with Chris Roberts about the different aspects of the design. Here is what they told us:
- The first thing that Chris Roberts mentioned was that this boat was built with “Pyranha performance” in mind. It is not a dumbed down version of a current model boat, nor is it a beginners kayak. Similar to The Dagger Nomad, the Shiva is designed to confidently paddle steep and technically challenging drops.
- Where does the Shiva fit in Pyranha’s 2012 lineup? The Burn and Everest are still being produced. They are going to be better for big water paddling (runs where you would want a planing hull and edge) and general river running. Since Pyranha has not had a tried and true creeker for a few years (Micro’s and M:3’s) they will now be able to offer a steep creek weapon (similar to a Dagger Nomad or Liquid Logic Jefe) with a rounded hull and slight chine instead of hard edge. If you live in Durango or Crested Butte CO, Asheville NC, Northern California, The Pac NW and towns that have lots of rivers that are 200+ feet per mile nearby; THIS IS THE BOAT FOR YOU.
- How is the hull speed? According Chris Roberts (a man that has been paddling class V for a long time), this is the fastest creek boat that he has ever paddled. The primary reason that it’s so fast is because it has a swede form hull shape (just like a wildwater boat). This means that the widest part of the boat is just behind the cockpit (instead of just ahead of it). By making the knee area of the boat narrower than the stern, the paddler can take more vertical strokes closer to the boat (vertical strokes = power). Also, the hull is very rounded (side to side) and has progressive rocker (from the center of the boat), as opposed to kick rocker(just bow and stern). The result is a very fast boat.
- What is the handling like? Chris had a great way of describing the handling. “You can slither down the river and put the boat exactly where you want it almost telepathically”. Precision is the name of the game with The Shiva. Again, the somewhat narrow swede form shape with a rounded hull and subtle chine, allow the paddler to achieve a level of precision paddling needed to safely navigate steep class V drops. The primary stability will feel a little bit tippy for some paddlers. The reason for this, is because the hull is rounded (similar to a Nomad or Jefe), and there is less waterline width. The Shiva has AMAZING secondary stability. There is a chine that connects the hull of the boat to a flared sidewall. When a paddler lays down the chine, they will be able to track “even in Niagara Falls eddy lines” according to Chris.
- What boat(s) is the Shiva similar or comparable too? Imagine a Dagger Nomad with crisper handling and more volume for increased confidence. The hull shape is similar to The Nomad in the sense that the hull is more rounded than it is flat. Also, The Nomad is a “use specific” boat that does really well on steep rivers and creeks. The Shiva also has that trait in common. Neither of these boats were designed as instructional kayaks for beginning kayakers.
- Because the Shiva is so rounded, it is incredibly easy to roll.