2017 Pyranha Machno – What we know so far…

Whitewater Kayak Product Reviews, Whitewater Kayaking

Pyranha hinted that they were going to release a new river runner earlier this year. They confirmed the rumor at Outdoor Retailer 2016.  When we found out that the new 2017 Pyranha Machno was a burly yet playful, heavily rockered, river running and creeking machine, we were not surprised (because most Pyranha’s have these traits…). What we were particularly excited to learn, was the focus that was put on ease of paddling (i.e – planing hull, yet softer edges than the Burn). We gave a call to the person that probably has the most time behind the wheel of the new boat – Dave Fusilli. Here’s a quick rundown of the info that he gave us.

Test pilot, Dave Fusilli getting rowdy in an early Machno prototype. Location – somewhere in the Pacific NW.

Boat Specs / Sizing:
The 2017 Pyranha Machno will be available in 2 sizes – MED and LARGE. The Medium will be available later this year (November or December). There is no current ETA for the Large, we are hoping to have it in stock by next Spring.
MED – 8’6″ (est) / 81 gallons (est)/ XL Cockpit
LARGE – 8’8″ (est) / 90+ gallons (est) (boat release is TBD – specs are a guesstimate)

Boat Design:
The 2017 Pyranha Machno is a mid to high volume river runner with a massive amount of rocker in the bow (that will plow over any feature), a “mostly” planing hull that has a manageable edge, a bit of rocker and volume in the tail, and a focus on ease of paddling. You can think of it as a boat that is similar to the 9R with more rocker in the bow, an “easier” edge, more rocker in the tail, and more volume in the stern. The 2017 Pyranha Macnho the street legal version of the race car 9R.

The Machno has a mostly planing hull with an edge that tapers off in the tail (for comparison, the hull is wider than the 9R, but not quite as wide as the Burn or Dagger Mamba, and rounder than the Burn…). Eventually, the tail becomes rounded (similar to the Dagger Mamba). This helps the boat not window-shade when the paddler is leaning back, or in cross currents (that could catch the edge of a boat like the Burn for example).  Same goes for self support paddlers, if the back of the boat is weighted down, there will not be as much of an edge in the water…Dave also thought that it helped the tail release when surfing – he had a good time surfing the Machno….

Mostly planing hull, a clean edge and lots of rocker.
The 2017 Pyranha Machno has more volume in the stern (than a 9R). This boat will be a good choice for self supports, or for the paddler looking to boost their confidence in hard whitewater.
A shot of the bow – slender, and heaps of rocker…

Visually, the thing that you notice the most when looking at the Machno, is the bow rocker. It has A LOT of bow rocker. This boat looks like it will have similar sportiness of the 9R, but will literally plow over everything that is in it’s way. The tail has more rocker than the 9R as well.

Pyranha has upgraded it’s outfitting for 2017. The improvements include new roto molded thigh hooks – they are similar to what is in the new era Dagger Mamba’s (which is a good thing – because the Dagger Mamba has what many people consider the best outfitting currently available). The thigh brace itself, is a little bit smaller, and similar to the one that is in the Waka Tuna.
Other changes include bigger, softer and better hip pads, the removal of the cockpit rim screw, and possibly an updated seat (we will have to wait until the production models land in the USA to confirm).
Performance (or as I like to call it “when would Dave Fusilli paddle this boat, and not his 9R“):
Pyranha is known for making kayaks that have a focus on:
1.) river running / creeking
2.) high performance
We are excited for this boat because it seems to fall into both of those categories.  It also has some unique features, which would appear to make it really fun to paddle (the massive bow rocker, flattish hull and edge, more volume in stern).
We were trying to get an idea of where the Machno fit into the quiver of Pyranha boats, so we asked Dave, when would you unload the Machno from the rack of the Orange Bitch, and not a 9R, Shiva or Burn?
Dave’s answer was simple – when he first paddled the Machno, he realized how fun it was. It made him feel confident in the river. It also had more volume (pound for pound) than the 9R (his current favorite boat, and one that he has been crushing it in). He’d take it on self support trips, especially one “where shit gets rowdy“. It’s more forgiving than a 9R, and “would be good on juicy stuff, like the Little White at 5 feet” for example.
Most of us will never get to know what the Little White feels like at 5 feet. We will not get to experience paddling the same way that Dave Fusilli does. One thing that is reassuring about the Machno’s design, is that it seems focus on “making things easier” for all levels of paddlers, and not just pro’s like Dave. Seeing the heavily rockered bow, semi flat hull with a nice edge, knowing that the edge removes itself towards the tail, and having plentiful volume in the stern makes me think that this boat will take care of me. Similar to a Dagger Mamba, or a Jackson Karma, it is nice to hop in a kayak, and know that rapids will feel one class easier, 100% because of the boats user friendly design / volume distribution- confidence is everything….we have a feeling that the new 2017 Pyranha Machno will offer this same benefit to those that paddle it. #GameOnPyranha!!

3 thoughts on “2017 Pyranha Machno – What we know so far…

  1. Lee

    Great review. One of your best yet. I have a 9R. I agree on the self support applications. The one reason I’ve kept my Remix 79. I would have preferred the older thigh hooks with the Waka type mods included. Definitely agree with the hip pad changes as well. I replaced my stock hip pads with those from another manufacturer. A mid sized sedan speedster for the less aggressive paddler…

    1. bobby@coloradokayak.com

      Thanks for the comments – yes, all of the changes that Dave mentioned, and in the pics of the demo boat seem like ones that are much needed – and will make the boat more comfortable. The niche that the Machno could fill is much needed too….race boats are fun, but a little more volume and forgiveness goes a long way for every day paddling and self support trips…

  2. Chris

    Thank you very much for your great review. I’m wondering if the Machno Small might be a good (first) boat for me (5’5”, 135lbs). I have done some sea kayaking and just started whitewater kayaking recently. So far my experience is very limited (mostly catching Eddies and doing ferries on class 1-2 and a first experience on an easy class III). As the boats owned by the local club are either kids boats or feel to big, I decided to get something on my own. As a novice I’m looking for something that will help me to advance my limited skills to be able to paddle class 3 and with time class 4 (I don’t think I will ever get beyond that). The boat should be somewhat forgiving and stable to provide me with confidence, be easy to roll, but still allow/force me to learn a proper paddling technique. Some of my friends thought the Machno might be too much of a creeker for a beginner to learn proper paddling technique and told me I might be better of with a Mamba 7.6 or a Jackson Zen Small. What do you think?
    Thank you very much for help.

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