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Whitewater Outfitting Guide

Words by GoKayakingAdmin

on 10/04/2018 12:46:03

Our customers enjoy our legendary outfitting service when they purchase a new boat from us in store – regardless of brand. Not only do we ensure that you know exactly how to outfit your boat for you, we also offer to do it for you, to spend the time in store with you to get it right. We’re all paddlers here at Go Kayaking, so take advantage of our specialist knowledge.

We hear a lot of talk about connectivity, but what exactly is it?

It is a common mis-conception that connectivity is about cramming yourself in a kayak. This is not correct. If you are crammed you are more restricted, tense and more likely to get cramps and numbness. Whilst exact fit comes down to personal preference, the boat should be outfitted to be snug, but without feeling restrictive. It’s a fine line, you should be able to turn it on when you need to, but you should also be able to relax. This guide will help you get it right!

The boats we are showing you how to outfit are the Stout 2 range of Pyranha Kayaks, which includes:

Pyranha Machno

Pyranha Ripper

Pyranha 9R

Pyranha Burn

And the Connect River range which includes:

Pyranha B.Two

Pyranha Z.One

Pyranha Jed

Similar principles can be applied to other brands such as Dagger Kayaks & Zet Kayaks.


Free outfitting in store on any kayak purchased from us!


So lets get started:

Tools needed – 4mm allen key (included with kayak); posi-drive screwdriver (or small phillips); craft knife; 10mm spanner/socket (for optional Hooker attachment).

All fitting should only be hand-tight, so power tools are not required.

To simplify adjustment, any bolts that need to be undone feature red washers. All others can be left as they are from the factory in order to maximise waterproofing.

The Pyranha seat can be moved forwards and back by removing the two bolts either side of the seat. It can then be slid back or forwards into the desired position before the bolts are re-inserted through the cockpit and seat pillar, before being tightened into the threaded plate.

From the factory the seat is set in its central position, and we recommend leaving it there unless necessary as this will affect the trim of the boat. A boat trimmed forward means the front edges are more engaged with the water & the stern is released meaning sharp snappy turns. A boat trimmed back allows more leg room, kicks the bow up and allows for slower more controlled turns. It also plants the stern making straight line paddling easier.

Seat height can be adjusted by placing the included foam shims under the seat cushion by removing the screws at the back of the seat.


The Pyranha seat is designed to be as close to the water as possible which lowers the paddler’s centre of gravity giving a more stable feel to the boat. It is easier to raise a seat than it is to lower a seat. Paddlers at the lower end of the weight range will need to boost the seat to help paddling technique over the volumous knee area. Generally you want your elbows to be 2 inches above the cockpit rim when relaxed – otherwise you may find the seat height needs to be increased. The picture on the left shows good seat height (Elbows 2” above the cockpit rim). The picture on the right shows bad seat height (cockpit rim restricting movement)



Seat heightening shims are provided with a new boat. Extras can also be purchased by clicking this link.

I would not rely too much on the back rest to sit up right, your body weight should be on the seat as you’re sat upright. If you’re putting any weight on the back rest then you are slouching! People often tighten the backrest too much and this can lead to numb feet, and discomfort on your lower back. Be careful not to over tighten your backrest!

Minor adjustment to the backband can be done before entering your kayak by adjusting the strap in the buckle behind the backband. Pulling it tight brings the backband forward.


In Connect River Plus, C30, Stout or Stout 2 you can then fine tune the backrest tension using the ratchet buckles on the thigh grips. This can be useful in order to fit over the course of a day’s paddling.


You can also adjust the height of the back rest  by using the elastic cords between the back of the seat and the cockpit rim. Higher provides better back support but restricts movement especially when rolling.


In CR+, Stout & Stout 2 you can adjust it lower by tightening the buckle behind the seat.



Foam Wedge – Playboat
The foam wedge included with all Pyranha playboats is designed to be trimmed to size, this can be done using a sharp craft knife. It is important to remember that less is more, and whilst more foam can always be cut away, it is very difficult to add it back afterwards. The fit can be tested before final fixing using the attached sticky pad.


If you lose your foam wedge then more can be purchased by clicking this link

Full Plate –River Boats
The full-plate foot rest on Pyranha river/creek boats is easily adjusted by removing the four thumb screws from inside the kayak, and then sliding to the desired position. There is then a 3 inch self adhesive foam pad to attach to the foot pod. This provides both cushioning during regular use, and impact protection to prevent injury to the ankles/lower legs so It’s use is highly recommended. This will need trimming to size using a sharp knife due to the shape of a kayak, but it is designed to fill the hull as much as possible. We can do this in store for you as we have the correct tools to make a neat job of it.


Additional foam pads can be purchased by clicking this link

Hip Pads
Pyranha hip pads are attached to the seat pillar using Velcro and secured using a webbing strap around the seat pillar. Hip pads can be adjusted in all 4 dimensions, with additional padding being added to the pocket in the back. Again, less is more and a good fit should provide light pressure without feeling tight. If you are getting numbness then it is more than likely because your hip pads are too tight and are restricting blood flow to your legs.


Adjustments may need to be made from summer to winter as our paddling layers change, so it may be useful to keep hold of the spare padding included in the outfitting kit, or purchase a spare set of foam shims here:

Stout 2 Hip Pads

Connect Hip Pads


Thigh Grips

Thigh grips are another key component for getting connectivity correct & just the smallest adjustment of the thigh grips can make such a huge difference. It is key to experiment to find what is comfortable for you. Too far back can be too restrictive on larger thighs, but too far forward and it can be harder to get the leverage needed. Here is a handy guide to adjusting both Connect River & the new Stout 2 thigh grips.

Connect River
Loosen (but don’t remove) the screw under the side of the cockpit rim (left picture), then completely remove the screw from top of the cockpit (right picture) being sure not to lose the metal plate it screws into. The thigh grip can now be slid into the desired position and secured. Start by re-inserting the top screw through the cockpit rim and corresponding hole in the thigh grip and tightening, followed by the screw under the rim.

Stout/Stout 2
The stout 2 thigh grips are more rigid than the connect river thigh grips. This means you get more from your thigh grip when using it to edge. To adjust remove the screw from the top of the cockpit rim and slide the thigh grip to the desired location. Re-insert the screw through the new hole and tighten.


For additional contact for the legs, an optional thigh hooker is available for stout outfitting. To fit, remove the existing thigh grip pad by undoing the plastic screws from underneath. The hooker can then be attached using the included metal hardware. On earlier stout outfitting this will require the nut to be attached to the back of the bolt, on later models this is moulded into the thigh grip. Hookers can be adjusted at any time by slackening the bolts and sliding around the hull of the boat.



Hookers can be purchased by clicking this link. But they are only compatible with Stout 2 thigh grips.

We will fit these to your new purchase, any time.

Outfitting your kayak should take no longer than 2 hours and is a key tool in getting the boat fitted to you correctly. When correctly fitted you should then find moves easier!

If you require additional assistance with outfitting your Pyranha kayak, please contact the shop directly. We are also happy to help you outfit your new kayak upon collection, as well as any old kayaks that you have. We’re here to help!



I: @go_kayakingnw



Written by John Fitzpatrick

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