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Pyranha Ammo Review from Andria

My Stats

Height: 5'4"
Weight: 120 lbs.
Inseam: 28"
Feet: 9w

Boat: small Pyranha Ammo
Rivers paddled:

Bottom Moose @ 3ft
Nantahala Cascades at stupid low water
Green at 100% twice!

Sorry for the delay with the Ammo review - I have been busying myself with the Green Race for the past few weeks. But I did have time to get out and paddle the Ammo!

Do you know someone who would like to try creeking, but is intimidated by the size of a regular creek boat? Someone who doesn't like carrying such a heavy boat, can't get the skirt on, and then can't seem to turn the thing? Are you someone looking for one boat for travel or who prefers one boat for running rivers, creeks, and playboating? The Ammo just might be the answer.

If I had one word to describe the Pyranha Ammo it would be "easy." I will begin with carrying the boat. It is so light and easy to carry! I am not exhausted when I get to the put-in or after a portage. Simply place the boat on your shoulder and walk around. You hardly know its there. It would also make an excellent boat for traveling for this reason.

You are gonna laugh, but the thing I liked the most was how easy it was to put the spray skirt on! I am pretty strong, but I often have trouble and I can get worn out at the put-in struggling to get the thing on most boats, especially most boats that I will paddle on a creek. But putting the spray skirt on the Ammo was just so easy! And then I had energy left for paddling.

I love the new Connect 30 outfitting! I fit in the boat really snugly, which is always an issue for me! The seat pad is grippy and comfortable. The hip pads are adjustable, so they take a little work but are worth the effort! They also screw in so you won't litter the river when you swim! Tip: I take the extra hip pad foam and place them beside my knees in the boat. There is extra volume there to accomodate long-legged people, so short-legged people should use foam so their knees don't flop around in there. This will make the boat way easier to handle. Also there is a bulkhead, unlike a playboat, which makes it safer for places like Talllulah. It is super light and makes the boat easy to carry.

Medium Recoil (yellow) and Small Ammo (red) hulls

I have to say, I was a little worried to paddle the small Ammo. I am mainly a creek boater, and I like a boat that has volume and speed. It didn't look like this boat was going to have enough of either. I was wrong! I was absolutely amazed by the use of the volume. It seems to be in all the right places because the boat floated me just fine. I was also amazed at how much speed it had. It has the same planing hull as the Recoil, which is very slippery, like paddling on ice or something.

Once I dropped into Crystal (Bottom Moose, NY), the Ammo was so stable that I thought I was in my Burn. The Ammo had plenty enough speed to get all the way across the river to make the line with no worries. The boat was stable and predictable all the way until the end when I rolled up! I always flip at the bottom of that rapid! The boat was super easy to roll too.

The Ammo carries away from drops well too, but you must be sitting in the boat properly. When you look at it, notice how its sits - the stern is down slightly relative to the bow. That is how it should float - adjust your seat accordingly. Like a playboat, the Ammo is very sensitive to weight distribution. If you are too far forward, the bow will dive upon landing, and well, you know. But if you are sitting in the middle, when you land the boat will propel away from the drop. Yes, propel, that is how it feels. The short length lands you close enough to the drop that you almost back-ender, but there isn't enough boat to backender so the bow doesn't come up - the boat is squirted away from the drop like a watermelon seed!

I found that the edges were not sharp, but that they were friendly and useful in the rapids. For instance, when I was running Funnel on the Bottom Moose, there was a surf across the wave for a must make ferry, and it worked out great to my relief. I was able to do a very controlled surf because the boat was so easy and stable to ferry and then punch through a curler, and I made the line better than I did in my Burn the next day!

Boofing Frankenstein on the Narrows of the Green.

This boat boofs like a dream! I am used to boofing a big creek boat, and it takes a lot of ab and hip flexor strength to boof. Sometimes I end up leaning back trying to get more oomph than my body has. I also end up leaning back too much because I take my stroke too early - all things that I need to work on, but the Ammo makes all of these things easier. This is another reason the Ammo makes a good small person boat. First, it is easier to sit forward and reach out past the lip of a drop because there is less boat between you and the lip, so a person with a shorter torso and arms can grab the lip at the right time and get more power from the stroke. Second, it takes less ab and hip flexor strength to hold the bow of the boat up as you boof because the boat is so light and short.

Getting way forward for a boof at Knife's Edge on the Bottom Moose.

Another issue for many small people is turning a creek boat. The Ammo is super easy to turn. The combination of the small short size, the carving edges, and the slippery hull made the boat super responsive. It was really nice to be able to just whip the boat back on a line.

Entering Chinese Feet, Nantahala Cascades, NC

I ran the Cascades at stupid low water and I was having a much easier time than those in regular sized creek boats. The Ammo is easy to hold a line in a tight space because it is so short. If I was deflected by a rock, I was able to easily get back on line and control the boat. It also glided through tight spaces.

It seems that today boats are either made for class V or playboating with no in-between. The result is either being bored on class III and IV runs or taking my playboat on something that it's too small for. The Ammo is the perfect boat for those class III and IV creeks and rivers with boofs and playspots. I can't wait to take it on Section IV, the Watauga, and the Tallulah. I have never been one to take an itty bitty playboat on those runs, and now I don't have to! It's also good for low water runs by making it easier to maneuver through tight spaces.

I also think the Ammo is the perfect boat for traveling. I think of Ecuador - there is good class III/IV creeking down there and awesome play. You often walk long distances with your kayak and all your gear, and the Ammo would be way easy to manage.

The small Ammo is also perfect for that small person who needs a smaller creek boat to learn in. The boat is easy to maneuver and forgiving, and has that extra added volume for security and stability.

All in all, I loved the Ammo. I am looking forward to taking it to Mexico this winter to surf waves and run waterfalls. Thanks Pyranha for making such fun boats to paddle!


Agers Falls on the Moose.