Crossover boats on the Cheat Canyon? Yes we did!

Perhaps you are aware of a new paradigm in kayak design: the Crossover Kayak. Bridging the gap between rec boat and whitewater boat, these kayaks allow you to own one boat to do it all. Recently I had the opportunity to try a couple of Crossover Kayaks on the Cheat Canyon, a class IV-V big water run with plenty of long pools – the perfect testing ground for these boats.

First up, the Pyranha Fusion. I have to say that I really enjoyed this boat – it is phenomenal in the whitewater! Handles like an old school long whitewater boat with clean, smooth edges, quick resurfacing, and ample rocker. I was pulling big slalom-type moves and getting excellent surfs in this boat. It definitely leans more towards the whitewater side of things.

Lou paddles the Pyranha Fusion through Big Nasty on the Cheat Canyon in West Virginia

Paddling the Fusion through Big Nasty. I had no trouble getting left and staying online.


Catching the eddy after Big Nasty - Cheat Canyon, West Virginia

After missing the hole at Big Nasty, one right stroke and some left edge flicked the boat effortlessly into the eddy.

Surfing at Typewriter on the Cheat Canyon, West Virginia

The boat surfed very nicely, especially on the long glassy waves.

Rec paddlers will like the boat’s sleek feel, although you must trade some stability for it. Truth be told, I expected the kayak to be faster, but for such whitewater performance I cannot complain. A drain plug would be nice, as well as a more secure skeg system. The string controlling the skeg looks a bit flimsy. However, the outfitting is very comfortable, supportive and easy to adjust, and the hatch is very dry. This is a great boat for the Middle Yough, especially if you fish and purchase the Angler’s outfitting package. 

Overall, the Fusion gets 5 out of 5 stars for whitewater, and 3 out of 5 for flatwater for a total of 9/10.

Are you curious about the Remix XP? I tried that one too, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to read the review. Until then…

Categories: Family Fun River Trips, Fly Fishing, Kayaking on the Youghiogheny River, Outdoor Gear | Leave a comment

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