Pyranha Kayaks has been around since 1971 and this international company based out of the United Kingdom has been raising money to help Ukrainians through the Disaster Emergency Relief Fund for Ukraine.
Pyranha has currently raised more than $80,000 and now they've set their next goal at $130,000. They have created a t-shirt that says, "Drop waterfalls, not bombs" and also molded their newest kayak in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
While this movement started in Europe, it is now coming to the United States. Pyranha donated seven Scorch X kayaks to retailers across the country, with one of those will go to Idaho River Sports here in Boise.
"We are one of the seven and one of the three on the west coast," said Pam Tucker-Kopp of Idaho River Sports. "It feels like a huge privilege for us to be able to work with Pyranha and donate the profits from the ticket sales to the Ukrainians."
Pyranha left it up to the retailers to decide how to raise the most money from this Ukrainian kayak that retails for $1,800. But instead of selling it, Idaho River Sports will hold a raffle at $50 a ticket because they believe that will generate more revenue.
"It means a lot to be able to help people that are going through such a horrible time," said Tucker-Kopp.
Here is a link to the fundraiser where Idahoans in the outdoor community can help Ukraine with the possibility of winning a very unique kayak.
Idaho News 6 reporter Steve Dent down to the Columbia River Gorge to talk with Dave Fusilli about the Pyrhana Scorch X. Fusilli is a legendary kayaker who joined Pyranha in 2007 and spent four years designing this unique boat.
"I was like pushing for this idea, pushing for this idea and we saw the final drawing like it’s going to mold," said Fusilli. "I started getting nervous, I hope I was right because it is something different."
The Scorch X came out last year and it has more rocker than any other kayak. Rocker refers to the curve of the bow and the stern and how high the tip of the kayak rises above the ground. More rocker in the bow allows kayakers to stomp features, plow through holes and skip out of big drops.
Here is a video Team Pyranha made this past winter with the Scorch X and other kayaks in the Scorch lineup on the Little White Salmon River in Washington, a mecca for professional kayakers.
"I just wanted more rocker because I wanted to skip over more features and have a dryer ride I guess as I get older I don’t want to get my face wet as much," said Fusilli.
But with more rocker, Fusilli needed to make the kayak 10 feet, a foot longer than most other modern creek boats. But the Scorch X doesn't paddle like a long boat previous generations used because of the edges for control, adjustments to the stern and other modern designs.
"It is very playful, it is fast, it is so skippy and super dry," said Fusilli. "I don’t know what I would change at this point and I’ve paddled it quite a bit so I'm very happy with it."
Tucker-Kopp said it was an honor to get a Scorch X and be part of Pyranha's fundraiser where 100% of the proceeds go to helping Ukrainians, it also speaks to the paddling community here in the whitewater state.
Idaho River Sports will raffle off the kayak sometime in May. They are still waiting for the boat to arrive, and while they don't have any in stock they have worked hard through the supply chain crisis to get other kayaks in stock including other boats in the Scorch lineup and they have other gear to help people enjoy rivers in Idaho.