Pyranha Machno Review

Pyranha Machno Review

Ty Skoe
The Pyranha Machno, dubbed the creeking machine, is the newest addition to the Pyranha lineup. With plenty of bow rocker, the Machno can ride over anything, from stout hydraulics to steep, manky slides. The Machno, named for a tributary of the Fairy Glen section where the boat was designed and tested, is a boat that appeals to paddlers of all abilities and types. With a wide planing hull that is both forgiving and responsive, the Machno is at home on big class V or your local class III afterwork section. Taking cues from many past successful designs, the Machno is the next evolution in Pyranha’s creek boat lineup. The bow takes many cues from the highly regarded 9R; lots of rocker, subtle wave deflectors, and a tapered edge come together to create a boat that can boof any feature effortlessly. Upon landing, the bow kicks up, helping paddlers keep their speed and power away from drops. The hull can be described a semi-planing. It is mostly flat on the bottom, but starts to round off towards the soft chines. This, paired with the extreme bow and stern rocker, makes for a boat that turns on a dime but tracks incredibly well in both creeks and high volume rivers. When engaged, the edges allow paddlers to carve, ferry and surf but don’t trip on swirly eddy lines or F-You rocks.
The Machno has an extreme amount of bow rocker, making for a boat that can boof anything.
The peaked deck sheds water extremely well.
The new thigh hooks are easy to adjust and incredibly comfortable.
The 9R and Machno share a similar edge, but the rounded hull of the Machno makes for a more forgiving ride.
The bow on the 9R and the Machno are both aggressively rockered.
The stern takes cues from the Shiva design. Lots of volume and a forgiving edge make for a boat that rolls with ease. Upon landing a boof, the boat planes out and keeps its speed incredibly well. In paddling this boat on a variety of sections, the one issue that I have found is that the Machno, like the 9R, tends to stern tap more than most other boats I have paddled. That could definitely be blamed on a lackluster boof stroke, but it’s always the boat and never the paddler, right? Now, down to the important parts. How is it on the water? In short, it’s AMAZING. I’ve paddled my Machno in 4 states in the short time I have had it. From steep, low volume creeks in the southwest (Vallecito Creek and Arizona’s Christopher Creek) to higher volume sections in the PNW (high flow Farmlands and Upper Wind, Canyon Creek) the Machno has yet to disappoint. Fast, sporty, responsive and comfortable, the Machno is a dream to paddle. I have yet to paddle any creeker that I enjoy as much as this one. It boofs with ease and the bow always stays up on top of the water. One quick stroke is all it takes to turn the boat and due to the extreme amount of rocker, it almost feels as though a boof stroke isn’t even needed. Just a little edging and the Machno does all the work for you.
The author boofing Roy’s Smiles to Trials on Arizona’s Christopher Creek. Photo by Nathan Werner
The outfitting is improved, but is still Connect when it comes down to it. The seat is very similar to previous Connect versions and leaves something to be desired. With that said, Pyranha has made huge improvements in both the hip pads and thigh hooks. The new hip pads are softer and shaped to conform to a variety of paddlers. The thigh hooks underwent a pretty major change and lock paddlers legs into place. It only takes one screw to adjust them, so it’s easy to play around with them until they’re perfect. All in all, the Pyranha Machno lives up to the hype. It is a creeking machine!
The author stomping it down on Donnie’s Drop. Photo by Nathan Werner


  • Fast (not quite as fast as the 9R, but very close)
  • Sporty
  • Boofs better than anything else I’ve paddled
  • Comfy
  • Lightweight (perfect for all of the hiking around Durango)


  • The seat isn’t as comfy as I’d like
  • Hard to disconnect, which leads to lots of stern taps (maybe a “me” thing and not a “boat” thing, but I’d prefer not to think that)
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