Ah man, the 9R.
The newest boat from Pyranha kayaks.
This boat is just what I love in a white water kayak. Its fast, nimble and some people will hate it.
Primarily designed as a race boat to fit in with the new length maximums for the short boat category in some extreme race events. It just so happens that the design team at Pyranha have come up with a boat that is not only really fast off the mark it is also super nimble, turning on a six pence (if there were such a thing? umm, try dime?).
Last winter I mostly paddled the Lettmann Grante which was also developed for the extreme race scene and has been very successful, being piloted to its second win in a row at the Sickline race in Austria, paddled by Joe Morley (UK). This boat is also fast but i did find it tended to wander about a bit unless you were totally bossing it. Line it up, paddle hard and hit your line. if you were not on line or stopped paddling at any point that was it, you would find yourself spinning pout of control on an eddy line or some thing else.
Basically the 9R is not like that, if you have to make last minute adjustments you can! It is so responsive, just like a Burn mk3 but it still has the speed to nail the line.
I love the narrow asymmetric plan, so quick edge to edge which is great for quick turns and hasn't caught me out yet, but I'm sure it will at some point. However it doesn't feel "Twitchy" like some narrow boats do. The square back end is a bit funny. Coming through boily water or a bit of a jet at the bottom of a rapid the pressure can load up on it and it feels like it might have you over then it just releases with a spurt of speed. Just like squeezing an orange pip from between your fingers. POW!
Its not just the quick acceleration and speed out of rapids but them way it carries its speed along the flat that does it for me. I used it at the Pots Rodeo, an event in Exeter based at the Mill on the Exe organised by A.S Watersports (me mostly) and Exeter Uni. Its a freestyle comp if sufficient water in the "Mighty Pots" hole at the bottom of a large weir but the highlight is a Boater Cross racing with 2 or 4 man head to head races over 300mtrs with two weirs, touch boards, buoys and gates to make it through.
A good 290mtrs of that is flat water! I crossed the line first in all heat and the mass entry "le Mans" race at the end. There were other long boats including a Stuntbat and Mountain bat so they should have been quick. Pah, no chances against the 9R!
Thats about it really. Fun just got fast! Try one then buy one here