The Shivas are here! We got all three sizes of Pyranha Shivas in stock. I have tried both the large and the medium. I am around 5’10” and weigh in at svelte 200 lbs. I thought the large would be it for me, but I thanks to the indomitable John Regan, I gave the medium a second look and am really enjoying it. I had fun in large Shiva, but at 92 gallons, I feel it was just too big for me. It would take over sometimes and it was difficult to wrangle back under control, whereas I felt more nimble in the medium, carving and controlling the “charc” with more ease than the larger version. Furthermore, I was paddling a large Burn before, and the medium is actually a bigger boat. Longer and with more volume, it floated me fine. Plus, it is more narrow, especially around the cockpit, making it more comfortable to sit in, not having to have my knees all splayed out, and also making it easier to transfer edges and roll.
I put both boats through their paces by paddling them down our local creek/big water combo of Meadow Run into the Loop of Yough. Those boats boofed, carved, surfed, went down the slides right side up and facing downhill, caught eddies, and generally killed it! Again though, the medium was the winner of the two. It was just more manageable. I think if I was 6’3′ and 200 lbs the large may have been fine, but just lacking that extra leverage, I felt, put me at a disadvantage. The one thing I am going to try tomorrow on the Lower Big Sandy though, is to move the seat back one notch in the medium.
I have been a firm disciple of the burn for years now, but this boat may just change my mind. Maybe it’s just because I am not as edgy as I used to be, but what you lose in the crispness, you gain in speed, nimbleness, ease in rolling, and stability. And, heck, you can still surf waves, navigate the bubbling big water, and ferry across the confusing currents.