One thing that often comes up in conversation among the kayaking community is what kayak do you paddle and why? For me I have been kayaking Prijon kayaks my whole life and I couldn’t be happier to be still part of the team.
It all started when I was very young when my father would regularly go away on creeking adventures where he would take us along and put us in his Prijon kayak on very small whitewater. My father was the first Prijon importer in Australia which began 23 years ago, as such we always had the opportunity to paddle them. People have always known of Prijon for their reputation of being the toughest boats on the market due to the plastic they use. The way they produce them is different to the normal roto mould as it is extrusion moulded using a HTP plastic.
When Rob and I started getting into our teens we were creeking all the time, developing as young kayakers and then we had the opportunity to race at a NSW Combined high school event where we participated in Canoe slalom and Wildwater Racing. We both loved the racing side of things straight away and got our first Prijon Wildwater Racing and Slalom Boats shortly after. Like most things in sport we decided to choose the path of Wildwater after a few years doing both disciplines.
There are a number of different Prijon Wildwater models and some names have evolved which Rob and I have been a part of. We both started using a model that is called the “Loisach”. It is a relative stable boat that has a descent amount of volume to help keep you afloat in bigger Whitewater and is perfect for lighter and younger people. The next model we used is called the “Sesia”. This model has a sharper profile and is less stable compared to the “Loisach”, but when you paddle this model, keeping your lines composed and precise on the river you really feel the speed exiting the rapids. The model we use racing internationally now is called the “Pursuit”. Robert helped name this kayak when he was on an international tour living and training with the Prijons at their home base in Rosenheim, Germany. This boat has the same hull shape as the “Loisach” but the deck is different with less volume and a really sharp nose, which cuts through the rapids nicely. We both love this boat because of this reason and feel super comfy on all types of Whitewater with it.
Now, going back to the Plastic creek boat side of things, we have paddled quite a few different Prijon models such as the “Creeker 225”. This boat in particular was the perfect entry level kayak; it had a round hull which was super forgiving and easy to roll. Then there was the Prijon “Cross” which was a bit longer with a flatter hull, with rails and was slightly more challenging. Although, when you got more comfortable on the water with this model you could have so much fun on all grades of Whitewater.
When I decided to make the big move to Europe to better my kayaking and opportunity to paddle, I was fortunate enough to work and live at Prijon headquarters in Rosenheim, Germany. When I was there I started paddling the Prijon “Curve 3.0”. The “Curve” is a super sporty creek boat. It is fast and agile and has great, bouncy, pronounced edges on the hull which provide great tracking for all types of Whitewater. Whether you are paddling a fun, easy grade or paddling steep grade 5’s, this model can do it all.
While living and working for Prijon, I was placed into the Prijon Pro team and had the opportunity to help with the design of the Prijon “Curve 3.5”. The “Curve 3.5 has the same hull as the 3.0 but has more volume on the deck for bigger rivers and can handle a greater velocity of water. Its shape makes it more of a boofing machine, allowing for exiting larger rapids faster as it is more forgiving and reliable. Still to date Alex, Rob and team mate Daniel Watkins paddle the “3.0” because it’s what we all feel comfortable paddling and have the most fun with on the water.
We often face the common misconception that we are brand biased and ‘too’ loyal t Prijon. Some people think that just because we paddle for a brand that we don’t try other brands and models, but when we have the opportunity to we have. It’s good to compare and know the differences as its helps gain knowledge of what else is on the market so we can give others a true opinion of why we think the kayaks we are paddling are the best for us.