The first glance tells you that P&H tapped the Pyranha side of the organization as the yellow grab handles stand out. The kayak has carrying toggles and deck lines in addition to these. Climb into the cockpit and you're ensconced in whitewater outfitting typical of the Pyranha boats. This makes edging, rolling, etc. a breeze. The hull is sturdy and the high quality of P&H is evident is all aspects of the boat. I'll gladly take a few extra pounds for a bulletproof hull in the rocks.The flat planing surface facilitates easy surfing.
The edges are hard, so you can dig in when you want to and cut those bottom turns with ease. However, the extreme rocker facilitates turning on a dime. By the same token, this limits hull speed and you quickly realize that this is not a boat for covering any distance without the help of a current. The skeg functions with little effort; something I'd like to see on touring boats where it's a more critical feature.
All of this makes for kayak that will do it all in surf and paddle like no other. Plus, it's got the storage and the chops to take you on wilderness whitewater trips.
I recently had a chance to try out a P&H Hammer for a brief time. It was highly maneuverable, yet performed well in a straight line with the skeg down. This seemed like the perfect boat for the rivers I paddle. Curiously, the P&H site didn't list the weight, but the dealer first told me it was under 50 pounds, then called the rep who said it might be in the 50-55 range.
Unfortunately, when I went to the dealer to pick it up, the weight was a over 60 pounds!! This was not the under 50 pounds that you can find on unofficial sites on the web nor the 50-55 range that the P&H rep quoted. This is not just manufacturing variation.
My kayaking injuries have all been out of the water, putting kayaks on cars, helping carry heavy kayaks/canoes, ... If my joints were 50 years younger, I'd get this boat, but 60 pounds is too much, especially considering that my 5' 2" wife has to take the other end.
How was it weighed? When looking at kayaks I take a good luggage scale that can be lifted with two hands and a strap (3.5 oz) to hold the boat.
This boat is made heavy for ocean surfing with rocks, so I can understand the weight. But it's bad business practice for the company to not give a weight on their web site yet allow misinformation to be freely passed on.
If this boat was available in a light version, I'd buy it immediately.
I will start by saying that I own and have been using both these boats for the past couple of years and am an avid lover of both. The Delphin, in my opinion, is the best all-around sea kayak on the market. And I have been having lots of fun paddling the Fusion as my go to rock garden boat for the last couple years.
Last week I picked up the Hammer from California Canoe & Kayak, where it is living right now, if you want to see it live. And had the opportunity to paddle it over two days, logging over 10 hours in the three categories that I wanted to try this boat in:
• Surfing and ocean wave play
• Rock Gardening
• Tide rip play
So here is my take on what I thought about this boat...
The short version:
See the long version of this review on my blog: