Before I bought the pyranha burn small, I paddled the wavesport diesel 60. Because I worked for the University of Tennessee Outdoor Program in Knoxville, Tenn. as a kayak instructor, I could use the boats almost whenever I wanted (so long as they weren’t reserved). This benefit was better for the other kayak instructors who got to use the Jackson Hero, Dagger Nomad, Wavesport Project, and other boats we had. I was lucky to have the Diesel 60–ordered in 2010 along with the 2010 series kayaks–which was for the occasional tiny student or faculty that wanted to try kayaking.
That said, Wavesport’s new diesel series is pretty awesome. Though a solid river runner, the diesel handled big and tough whitewater almost with the best of the creek boats. In fact, had the pyranha not had the edges that it does, I would have bought a diesel over a standard creek boat. I’m going to go over the specs that make this a great boat in general and specifically for female paddlers.
SIZE AND OUTFITTING
In short, Diesel reigns in full-performance boat that accomodates almost any sized person. The Diesel 60 fits people from 60-140 pounds, which puts people like smaller women who are alwaysy, and I mean always, at the bottom of the weight range in the middle for once. This different placement allows for less need for padding. I only put a small pad on the seat to raise myself up a little. That was it. I mean, 10 minutes and I was done. Really. I’m not kidding! I understand that pretty much everyone has to outfit their boats, but being a 106, 5’1″ female trying to outfit most boats available to make it work is like handing her a pair of 34 by 30 men’s pants and expecting it to be form-fitting. Also, kayaks are basically men’s boats that women can outfit, which is fine, but hence the analogy.
So the diesel 60 was like finally introducing a women’s section to kayaks. While men can also use the diesel 60, hipsters also wear skinny jeans. So it all works out.
ROLLING AND CONTROL
Despite its hard edges, the diesel series is designed to roll easily. The edges also allow this boat to turn sharply and even surf fairly well–not that you’re doing cartwheels, but 360s are possible and even fun in it. The roll does feel a little similar to rolling a playboat like Wavesport’s EZG; however, I would still suggest this boat to a beginner.
NOT A CREEK BOAT
I love this boat, but I bought the pyranha because I needed a boat that could take me to the class V whitewater I’ve been flirting with lately. The diesel is solid on any and every class IV-IV+ I’ve tried, but I’ve run into a couple holes and some bad spots that a bigger rocker could have handled. The diesel has no rocker; it is a torpedo. It will generally punch through rapids, but not ride them. It’s edges exist unlike on creekers and are lower than the pyranha, and those have also tripped me up in some meatier whitewater.
Overall, I trust and love this boat on anything from beginner to class IV+ big whitewater and rivers. Ladies (and gentlemen), what say you about this boat? Any good/less than good experiences with it? Anything else you’d like to me to cover regarding this kayak or specs about it that should be mentioned? I’d love to hear it. Happy boating!