The 2020 paddling season is nearly upon us and there are a bunch of fun new products hitting our showroom on a nearly daily basis. Here are a few highlights from the whitewater world. Keep an eye out for more in depth reviews as we get these new products out on the water!
Dagger Rewind: This hot new half slice boat from Dagger Kayaks is awesome. This replaces the old Axiom and has significantly more bow and stern rocker. We are loving this boat at the shop as it’s fun and playful while still being able to run the river and the bow rocker to skip over holes and waves. The Rewind comes in 3 sizes so there is a fit for everyone. Check out our detailed review of the Rewind here:
Pyranha Ozone: A new full-slice playboat from Pyranha that has an old-school feel but new-school comfort. This is a surfing, spinning machine with enough hull speed to catch the faster waves that the short spud playboats can’t. The progressive rocker keeps the bow from pearling and the boat blunts nicely for its length. The boat comes with the Stout 2 outfitting which is very easy to customize for all day comfort. The Ozone comes in 2 sizes, Medium and Large.
Pyranha 9R2 Large: This boat takes everything that people love about the 9R2 and puts it into a bigger package. At 9’5” long and 90 Gallons this boat is sized for paddlers in the 165-275 lbs. range. Think fast, real fast.
Liquid Logic Alpha: Similar in size to the Pyranha 9R2 Large but with a much different feel. A very fast boat but with softer edges and what appears to be even more rocker. This boat rides up and over everything. A very forgiving hull that does not catch on those swirly eddy lines but throw it on its edge and it will still snap quickly into an eddy. Available in 2 sizes Alpha 75 and 90.
Jackson Zen 3.0: The new Zen, or Z3 as its being called, is a confidence inspiring design that fills the gap between the more playful Antix and the fast creeker Nirvana. The Z3 is a very stable and forgiving design that is great for pushing your limits to the next level.
AIRE Cub 10’5: The new Cub is AIRE’s new, small play boat. Perfect for R2 or R3 teams, the Cub is slightly smaller and has less rocker than the super popular Puma, making this a sportier, better tracking option for steep, technical water.
-Technical Wear and PFDs-
If there is one item that we always recommend that people keep up to date and in good shape, it’s PFDs. It is called a life jacket for the simple reason that it saves more lives than any single piece of equipment.
Kokatat Hustle and HustleR PFDs: These new side entry jackets are really nicely contoured to fit securely in place. Both of these jackets are very comfortable and have a great range of motion in the shoulders. The large clam shell pocket in the front is quite spacious and has internal organizers and a secure inner zippered pouch. The Hustle is the standard Type III and is available now. The HustleR is the Type V rescue vest and should be available at the end of May.
NRS Ninja: This jacket received a new look and a few upgrades for 2020. The Ninja has been a favorite around the shop for a number of years now.With the new clam shell style pocket with internal organizers it is a trend that is sure to continue. This is a side entry PFD that concentrates all the flotation into the smallest space possible to offer a superb range of motion. The Ninja works great as a play-boating or paddle boarding PFD.
NRS Ion (mens) and Siren (womens): The NRS jackets are 6 panel PFDs that have a great fit. With padded shoulders and a fleece lined hand warmer pocket the Ion and Siren are great all around PFDs. The single zippered front pocket keeps your essentials handy.
Stohlquist Amp Drysuits: These drysuits have been around for years and for good reason, they work. We use these at the store in our rental fleet and have had great luck with them. Very durable, 4 layer twin sensor material is waterproof and breathable and hold up well to the abuse we put on our rental drysuits. Month long winter Grand Canyon trips are a serious undertaking and these suits have proven time and again that they are built tough.