Pyranha Fusion

Testing crossover kayaks on Oregon's Wild and Scenic Rogue

CAKP-150500-DESTO-35

Pyranha Fusion

L: 10'3"; W: 26"; 81 gals., 46 lbs., also available in S and M
($999, pyranha.com)

"Sometimes this feels like a big Burn!" exclaimed one happy Class V boater, and fan of Pyranha's carve-y flat-bottomed creekboat, as he leaned it onto one of the Fusion's hard chines and ripped out of an eddy into Class III Lower Black Bar Falls. While the Fusion was built off the less edgy Karnali, when sized up against the soft-chined Karma RG, this crossover felt extremely grippy on edge. Two channels down the middle of the hull had the Fusion tracking the best of the 10-foot boats tested even when the Fusion's deep, thin skeg was not deployed. "It feels like I'm sitting in a Cadillac," said one tester, noting the lack of a leg-separating central pillar—which provided a roomy feel despite a cockpit smaller than the Katana and Ethos. The hatch cover required some elbow grease to get on and off, which made for challenging access to stored contents on the water. Testers did not, however, complain about the bone-dry contents after a day paddling with multiple rolls. Squeezing gear directly behind the seat was difficult, but also not a huge issue given the ample 78 liters of space beyond the rear bulkhead, plus simple access to the extra bow storage in front of the foot panel.

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Jackson Karma RG Wave Sport Ethos 10