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Reviews

THIS BOAT IS AWESOME!

You know when you find that magic boat! There is just something about it that’s amazing. Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on exactly what it is that makes it so fantastic, and sometimes you know exactly what it is that makes you enjoy paddling it so much.

This page of reviews is peoples opinions of our kayaks, from pro’s and champions, to industry insiders and of course, paddlers who simply love to kayak. These reviews are separated into style style categories, so scroll down this page to find information about the different boats we’re making.

 

Playboats Fish
"The Fish's rocker and edge design allow me control my speed and position on the wave easily. This enables short sharp bursts of speed for explosive aerials and a slower, easier recovery and set up speed. This all equates to more fun, especially easier and bigger moves on the wave. The higher volume allows these moves to be landed and retained every-time on all but the most finiky of waves. This is not just a big wave boat, it's edge speed and looseness allows move moves on smaller features from flat spins to blunts. The innovative tail design not only allows for autopilot backstabs but also aids release for backwards moves on smaller features that would otherwise be out of reach. In a hole it is stable, balanced and controllable. It cartwheels smoothly and remains retentive, it's volume enables big loops and other variations. Not to be forgotten is the stern volume, making this one of the easiest boats to air backloop out there. All in all, this is a great, involving and fun package for the boater looking to explore new aerial realms and sensations all in an easy to use package
Donnie Brasco - Australia
The most fun I've had in a boat. Period. Crazy fast on even the smallest of waves, the Fish can carv anything on the river. At a local play spot I could carve the top wave for hours if I wanted to hog the wave that long. A few long, old school boats, known for being able to surf the greenest waves due to thier length, couldn't stay on the same wave the Fish could carv to shreds. The Fish is fast enough to carve into an air blunt, rather than bouncing first. However, if initiated, the Fish will bounce higher off a wave than ever thought possible. If you can dream it, the Fish can do it. What I love the most about the boat is the learning curve associated with paddling something so high performanced. The very sharp adges can be tricky at first, but once you catch on, your moves will look bigger and cleaner than ever before. The reason is because the edges don't allow for much room for error, unlike most other boats that have a smoother, curved edge. This means that an arial move must be landed perfectly, therefore, making you a better paddler. What more could you want?
Thomas LUCIER - Washington
Playboats Thruster
The most comfortable boat I have been in, it's big and roomy but does not give the impression this is a bathtub. It is responsive and fast, allowing more features to be utilized on the river. It can be bounced into aerials or surfed in a true soul surfing capacity with smooth carves and graceful spins. This boat is loose and releases well from the water to enable big aerials. In a hole this is again balanced, and has the right volume to perform cartwheels and give ample pop for loops and all variations. Its not a bad little river runner too boot
Donnie Brasco - Australia
I had just returned from a trip to Nantucket, where I was researching the old whaling industry based there, when I picked up my new Thruster. With it strapped to the Baja I headed for the closest park and play wave to try it out. At the wave, my first impression was amazement at how roomy it was inside. Here was a boat that virtually the same length that I am tall, yet I could slide in and out with ease, wiggle my toes freely, and actually walk normally after hours on the water! Amazing! But, the greatest impression the boat left on me was it's abilities on the wave! Wow, it blew me away. After a couple of warm up rides, I found the slot on the nice three-footer that was the local fun spot that day. My first impression was, "Holy crap, now I know what a Nantucket sleigh-ride feels like!" For anyone not familiar, a Nantucket sleigh-ride is the ride you take when the 60 foot whale you've harpooned from a small, light wooden whaleboat decides it gonna run out to sea with you and your row boat in tow! There are stories of the whale boats being driven through the ocean swells at high speeds for miles, surfing on the rollers as the whale dragged them along, the sailors using the rudder to tear up the wave (all in a twenty-six foot boat.) The Thruster felt like it had just that kind of power driving each carve, snapping from turn to turn. It felt like I was being driven right down the wave. I could pop each turn hard and clear the water, land and take off in another direction. The edges held tight, and the speed came in a rush. This is just the kind of experience the old whale men described - and it was obvious they thought it was a real good time too - adrenaline addiction is nothing new I guess. But, as fun as a genuine "sleigh-ride" sounds, I'll stick with the Thruster. There's a lot less chance of having the boat, and my head smashed in by a whale's fluke, or sunk somewhere in the middle of the south Pacific. All in all, even without a whale attached to it, I'd have to say that the Thruster is a fast, agile, and amazing ride
Perry Vayo - New York
Playboats Stinger
I’m not the sort of kayaker that you will find on massive creeks, I’m also not the kind of kayaker that you’ll find air screwing on the largest waves. When I paddle a river I’m always looking for the next feature to play on, a rock to grind or a drop to hammer and that’s my personal interest. The Stinger was the perfect boat for me… beefy and stable enough to take on a moderate creek but short and bouncy enough to have fun on any feature you saw on the way. Before this I paddled all creekers in a river boat which where unsuitable for playtime but my play boats couldn’t safely get me from A to B. The stinger makers this all possible, it’s the boat short enough to fit in your car that you can turn up to any event, river, feature and still not feel outgunned. The perfect boat for the UK
Chris Headleand - UK
I paddle a DragoRossi Stinger and I love it. As a novice, I find it to be plenty stable enough for ferries and peel outs, aggressive enough to stay on the tiny waves I can find. The best part of the Stinger to me is the way it begs to be paddled properly, no slouching back or just using your arms to paddle, good form is rewarded with a fun and reliable paddling experience. The boat is forgiving, rolls almost too easily and yet still can throw down some great play. This is a boat you can't outgrow. Thanks for a great Boat
Andy Woods - North Carolina
Playboats Squashtail
Simply much faster than all the others playboats. It runs faster, it spins faster: the Squashtail is amazing on the river green waves. Technical and precise, you have to use it in a different way compared to the common bouncy polayboats. The Squashtail doesn't bounce, it flies. You just have to enjoy your flight !
Marco Merini - Italy
the very first time i saw the squashtail i thought "wow, definitely something new! can't wait to try it!" then, once tried it, i thought "wow, this is a bomb! the most exciting "plastic surf machine" i have ever tried!!" living at the seaside i had to change my mind regarding the potential of the surf figures applied to this boat. squashtail is not meant to surf the waves or to make blunts but to look for the utmost possible speed. it is almost embarassing how faster it is compared to other freestyle boats: you can do bottom turns, aereal blunts, elixes, side kicks, pan ams, air screws just with its speed and carving ability it is incredibly stable and fast when running "green walls". its bow is "glued" to the water, it does not bounce and gives a unique feeling. it makes you want to surf such big waves that, when you go home, you will not be able to stop smiling!
Giorgio Codeluppi - Italy
River Runners Pintail
The Pintail is my favorite kayak. It's a fast, nimble river runner, and a dream to surf on a green wave where it carves like an ocean surf kayak. Corran's sleek hull design catches waves with ease andaccelerates down the wave when you put it on edge. I've never had more fun than linking power carves using only my hips and body weight to steer and the back of my paddle blade to skim off the water. The typical wide-hipped drag-inducing river running playboat can't even come close to this level of performance. The Pintail is also very loose in spins, cartwheels nicely, and is an excellent ocean surfer if you use the fins. It's easily the most unique and under appreciated design out there today.
Kevin Whilden - California
River Runners Mad Boy
My first Dragorossi was the Mafia, and immediately I was surprised by its acceleration and ability to hold lines, for a kayak no more than 230cm long. And the boof is super- easy! Then when I paddled with Critical Mass, I surpassed my limits...it takes away one class of difficulty! But now the Mad Boy has arrived...at first I thought it was a classic river runner, only for clean lines and not for excessive runs, but when I tried it on the water, it was nothing like this at all! The Mad Boy is surprising in its speed (faster than Critical Mass) , it holds a line unbelievably and at the same time turns very well. It is great for creeking! I’ve never been backendered in the Mad Boy going through holes. The tail always pushes me out with a kick. The bow always stays out of the water and it boofs easy. Sometimes in the class 3, with the Critical Mass I was bored, but with Mad Boy I always have lots of fun! I think that it's very comfortable and the new adjustable footrest and thigh brace are what that was missing
Andrea Colombo - Italy
Creekers Mafia
The Mafia is the most amazing creekboat I've ever tried. Fast, precise and technical. It's round enough to run steep and rocky creeks, boofs like anyone else, and gets out of the holes very well. Quite short and small, it's not the kayak for big guys, and , if you can choose, for HUGE stuff you would take the Critical Mass. But when I use another boat, I just want to come back to my Mafia again. I simply like to use it. If you are a technical paddler, you will enjoy it a lot. If you are a beginner, you will think about selling it after the first descent. But once you'll get used to it, you will love it. A friend of mine, who was paddling a small Nomad, tried my Mafia and he said: "Hey! this is turbo charged! Wow !". He bought the Mafia the week after and now he doesn't want to change it anymore. Try it with the new 2009 low seat if you want it more stable and forgiving or if you need more room for your knees. Or try the Elite seat if you want more performance and a super-stiff bottom
Marco Merini - Italy
Creekers 88
While paddling with my 88 i realized at once how performing it is. to me this does not mean that with the dragorossi 88 you can win competitions, this is not my main goal... this just means that its design really keeps to what it has been meant for: to have fun in the river! it amazes with its instant sense of safety in the water, you understand how easy it is just from the very first runs. easy to boof thanks to the tail rocker, soft landings thanks to the semi-circular bottom in its central part, easy to turn and very stable. its big volume really helps when you push it to the limit. its comfort is another big bonus. legrests are superb and, if well fixed, they ensure a big control of the boat
Giorgio Codeluppi - Italy
Creekers Critical Mass
I love this boat because it gives me the confidence to go where I need to go in whatever type of condition. What I love about the hull is that it carries a concave characteristic to its buoyancy which provides commanding control and forgiving rails for unexpected currents. This is an "everything" boat. I live aboard, anchored in the pacific. No dock, no power, no engine. The critical mass is an all-round, high adventure craft that can literally do everything from hauling in drinking water and laundry to running some of the most intense white water situations I've ever been through. Take my word - have you ever tried walking into a kayak? I do every day and its easy
Evan Jones - Canada
The Critical Mass does everything so easily and gives so much confidence because it is so forgiving and responsive. I've never paddled a boat that can bash through everything so easily yet still turns and boofs easier than previous boats I have paddled, some of them almost a foot shorter! It gets you out and over places you shouldn't be like no other boat I've paddled, sometimes it almost feels a bit like you're cheating the river it make it so easy-I'm not complaining though
Chris Pedley - Scotland
The Critical Mass is my choice for serious creekboating. It’s big, safe, (auto) boofable and despite being the size of a tank, still feels like a kayak (although it’s weight sometimes reminds me of the former). This summer I had it with me on a five week trip to Southern Siberia in the Altay mountains. On all kinds of water from some pretty big volume to some narrow technical creeks it brought me down safely.Its big size made it very controllable, even when fully loaded on multi-day trips. On big volume the boat rides very high due to its huge and well placed rocker, crossing diagonals and boiling eddylines effortlessly. In combination with its reasonable speed and reach, the boat definitely is at its peak performance on big technical runs. On tight technical creeks the Critical Mass seems a bit big at first glance. Nevertheless it turns very easily and boofs almost like the Mafia, which excels in this environment. Its wide rounded hull makes the boat forgiving on slides and tight moves where you’re using rocks for take-offs, while the stern rails are perfectly suited to allow you to fine tune your lines, and make getting out of holes easier.
Daniel Herzig - Austria