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Pyranha Firecracker Kayak Review - Next Adventure

Pyranha Firecracker Kayak Review

Pyranha Firecracker Review: A Dynamic Addition to Kayaking Lineups

The Pyranha Firecracker is hands down my favorite kayak of 2023. The Firecracker is an excellent addition to Pyranha’s lineup and over the summer I got to spend a ton of time in this kayak. This boat joins the ranks of the recent short half-slice craze. Other boats that may fit into this category would be the Liquid Logic Hot Whip and the Jackson Antix 2.0. As some half slices have gotten larger over the years (think Steeze & Freeride) with an emphasis on creeking and river running, this short half-slice category seems to have surf and play as a priority.

a man in a kayak on white water

The first thing I appreciate about this boat is how comfortable it is. The knee room is exceptional and allows for all day comfort for my legs. At 6’1’’ 185lbs I fit in the medium quite well. Unlike the Ozone, there is an adjustable bulkhead which makes customization easy and foot placement feel secure. There is plenty of room for river shoes or booties. This boat is a bit wider than other Pyranha models so it will accommodate a wider range of paddlers. 

On the water, the Firecracker is quick and nimble. I’m a big fan of the Ripper 2.0 and thought I would sacrifice a ton of speed in the shorter Firecracker. Luckily this was not the case. It’s fast in and out of eddies and a lot of fun beet bopping your way down the river. One of the things that stands out the most is the Firecrackers performance on a surf wave. The shorter length alone allows you to fit in more waves than a typical 9ft half slice. The sharp edges allow for quick and easy carving, reminding me of the Ozone, but with more stability. The rocker and bow volume are helpful on shorter waves where pearling might be an issue. 

a man walking with a canoe and paddle with white water in background

Lastly, the stern on the Firecracker is perfectly designed for stern squirts and pivots. The slicey tail has minimal stern rocker making it easy to slice under the water. Without a long stern it also makes it easier to get vertical and it’s less likely you’ll be whacking the tail on the bottom of the river.

The combination of all these features makes the Firecracker lively and playful. It’s my top choice right now when running class 3 whitewater. I did a raft supported Main Salmon trip this summer and was very glad I brought it along. Give this boat a look if you love splatting, surfing waves, and want a stable yet exciting hull to spice up your local run.

a man in kayak with paddle in white water
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