Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: 2010 Pyranha Burn

Review by Adam Goshorn
Action Photos by John Kern

Boat Stats:
Length: 8’3”
Width: 27”
Volume: 80.3 gal
Weight: 44.1 lbs

My Stats:
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 265 lbs.
Inseam: 30”
Feet: size 12

Having entered the sport after the introduction of edges and flatter hulls, the majority of the boats that I have owned have had simi-planing hulls, including most of the creekers. Perhaps it is because of my introduction to planing hulls early in my paddling progression or perhaps it is just my paddling style, but I have almost always preferred boats with an edge I can use for ferrying, staying on line, and snapping into and out of eddies. The original Burn series was the natural progression from its predecessors (the H2 and H3) and certainly fulfilled my desires for snappy handling. As to be expected, the new 2010 Burn furthers the progression towards perfection with noticeable design changes, but none that are radically different from the original series.

I never like to review a boat until I have really spent a lot of time in it and gotten to use it in a variety of situations. I paddled the 2010 Large Burn a TON in the last 6 months (80+ river days) and I have had it in almost every type of whitewater. I spent lots of time on low volume creeks like North Carolina’s Green River and Johnnies Creek here in Alabama. I have also been able to paddle it quite a bit on the pushy, higher-volume creek style that characterizes Little River Canyon (AL) at a healthy flow. In June I was able to get a great feel for the Burn in a high volume river running environment when I spent 14 days paddling it down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. I feel that I have thoroughly gotten to know the new Burn design over the past 6 months and can now provide an informed opinion of its features and the differences from the previous design (which I also paddled extensively).

The only thing I think the 2010 Burn does less well than the original Burn series is a slight loss in play ability. It still surfs and spins etc (still much better than other creekboats), but it seems more difficult to break loose for spins with the new design. It also seems to want to carve off of waves more readily than the original Burn series. That being said, I still surfed the biggest waves I have ever surfed while paddling the new Burn in the Grand Canyon. I also brought my Molan down the Colorado and would switch-out sometimes to playboat. However, I only caught rides in the biggest of the ‘catch-on-the-fly’ waves with the extra speed of the Burn.

The new edge design is probably the most noticeable change, but Pyranha has maintained enough edge to still give it that classic Burn handling that made the original such a great boat! The slightly raised edge on the 2010 Burn doesn't require quite as much edge control as the original, making it more forgiving all around. The stern edge seems especially less grabby, making everything easier. From encounters with rocks on low volume creeks, to dealing with harsh cross currents in higher volume rivers, the raised edge makes the new Burn less likely to trip you up in every situation.

The 2010 Burn also rolls up a little easier than its predecessor, due at least in part to the lower sidewall around the hip area. This will be especially appreciated by shorter paddlers or those with limited reach as it really does allow you to reach further around the boat when rolling. The other noticeable difference in the paddling performance of the 2010 Burn is that it has slightly more bow rocker, making it easier to boof. The trade off for that easy boof (after all, every design choice is a trade off) is that the new Burn seems a hair slower than the original. Considering the original Burn was plenty quick, I think it was a trade worth making.

With all the positive design changes mentioned above, the recessed drain plug and reprofiled anchor points are just a nice afterthought. The changes in design from the original Burn series to the 2010 Burn are much less dramatic than the changes from the H3 to the original Burn. The designers at Pyranha aren’t reinventing the wheel here, just tweaking several key areas to improve specific performance desires. A worthy goal and one they have achieved with flying colors!

Until Next Time...