In January this year I had an exciting a delivery – a brand new Pyranha Scorch! In the week that I got it – I was flooded with questions about it. I gave brief answers but wanted to wait until I had had enough time in the Scorch to really know it before sharing more detailed thoughts. I have now had a good 7 months of paddling in the Scorch and am ready to share those thoughts! For reference I have a medium but have spent some time in the small Scorch too.
Outfitting it properly
Before taking it on the water, I made sure to outfit it properly. If you want some tips to outfit a new kayak, I wrote a blog about it to help guide people which you can read here. I added hookers a little while after the initial outfitting and this was the final change that I needed to really click with the boat. Before this I was enjoying paddling the Scorch but something still felt not quite right. The addition of hookers helped me to feel really connected to the boat and have such better control in it. The first paddle after adding hookers had me absolutely hooked on the Scorch!
Thoughts on how the Pyranha scorch paddles
Once I had outfitted it properly, the most noticeable thing about the Scorch when paddling it was how easy it was to control. I feel very connected to the boat and it is pretty easy to get it on it’s edge. It has very good primary stability, although prior to the addition of hookers I did find it a little twitchy. It’s secondary stability once it is on edge though is fantastic! Edging is something that I, along with most kayakers, could do with doing more of. Having that secondary stability allows you to be comfortable to put a hard edge on which ultimately allows you to paddle better. I find the Scorch to be incredibly responsive.
The next thing that I noticed was how well it goes through/over holes. The combination of lots of rocker and a slicer tail (compared to my previous creek boats) means that it is easier to boof. Even if you miss your boof stroke, the boat does a pretty good job of going over any holes anyway!
Something else which is really noticeable is just how well it tracks. Once you pick a line and commit, the Scorch does an excellent job of staying on that line. This served me well in the last boater-x that I took part in. Despite nudges from other boats or their owners, it was relatively easy to keep the Scorch going where I wanted it to.
Finally it is easy to roll. With a creek boat, my intention is not to be practising my roll too often. But it is good to know that if you do need to roll then the boat will come up easily. I have recently completed a 24 hour charity paddle on the Dee and 16 hours into the challenge, I had an upside down moment. It was at 2am, on white water and I was exhausted. Yet the boat was up before I knew it! If a boat is easy to roll when it happens unexpectedly and when you are tired, that is always a good sign!
Thoughts on Pyranha scorch sizes
I actually paddled a small Scorch before I paddled a medium and decided that a medium better suited what I wanted the Scorch for.
The small Scorch has a suggested weight range of 40-70kg and I would agree with this. For reference I am 5ft6 and weigh 68kg and so was right at the top of the weight range for it. I paddled it on the Upper Tryweryn (grade 3 fun) and really enjoyed it but was aware that I might find it’s playfulness less enjoyable on harder rivers. Being at the top of the weight range in a boat means that the boat is sat lower in the water. You have better control of it but I found it was also harder work to move it around. It was great fun and if I could only have one boat, then I would probably go for the small.
Luckily for me, I can have more than one boat! I have a small Pyranha Z.One which I love and generally will use when I want a more playful boat. I wanted the Scorch as a creek boat for rivers where I was primarily paddling down them and wanted that extra stability. The medium Scorch better suited me for this. The suggested weight range for the medium is 65-90kg and therefore I am towards the bottom of the weight range. Although when you add the weight of the kit you are wearing plus the weight of kit in the back of the boat, that then goes up.
If you are like me and unsure which size of kayak would best suit you then I would really recommend demoing both sizes. Consider what it is that you want the kayak for and therefore which size would best suit your needs. I am pleased to say that the small Scorch really is a boat for smaller paddlers. I have heard many of my smaller friends express their wish for a creek boat which would be more suitable for their weight. Finally it feels like those requests have been listened to and a creek boat for the smaller paddler is here. So if you are on the lighter side – it might be worth trying the small Scorch!
If you have any more Scorch related questions – please do feel free to get in touch! Equally if you are a Scorch paddler, it would be great to hear what you like about it in the comments too!
Thank you to Pyranha Kayaks for the loan of the Scorch. I have enjoyed it!