Kai Wa'a's Pegasus

I had the chance to try the new Pegasus. Here's a summary of my experience with the boat. Hopefully, you will find this info helpful if you're in the market for a new boat.

The boat is a contender among the smaller boats. I believe its the same dimensions lengthwise as the Hurricane and Vantage, coming in at about 20'6". I know of only one smaller boat, John Martin's Nai'a Iki. The boat is beautifully crafted with a lot of attention devoted to details. The seat sits lower than the Hurricane and Vantage so paddling in the Pegasus feels slightly different thanin the other two. The boat is super narrow and bulges outward starting from the where the peddles are mounted. Even for a small guy like me, the seat felt pretty snug. Not uncomfortable, just snug. The bungee cord placement is far out in front of the peddles. So is the hole where the front iako fits. The cords are so far forward that I wouldn't consider putting a water system or water bottle there because it is impossible to reach unless you dismount your seat to reach for it. The canoe appears to have more of a rocker than the hurricane indicating its potential in the surf but not as steep as the vantage.

The Ama is of the reverse S type, like the ones that come with the Polaris. I don't have much experience with this type of ama to know how they are are supposed to perform in all conditions but the one on the Pegasus looked great but slapped the water a great deal. This made the canoe "noisy" as compared to the other two because the ama kept slapping the water on just about every stroke. I don't know what affect this has on speed but something tells me that energy is being absorbed evertime the ama strikes the water. This makes for an awesome boat for those who like to keep the ama off of the surface of the water as much as possible like me but more tippy-er for the inexperienced.

I've only experienced the boat in flat water so I can't comment on the way the boat moves in the small to larger stuff. I'm willing to bet that the boat really moves since it comes in at around 17 - 18 lbs from what I recall. I personally felt that more effort was required to get the boat up to speed as compared to the Vantage or Hurricane. I don't know whether its because the boat is so narrow that it sits lower in the water or because I forgot to eat my Wheatties that morning.

I'd like to try the boat again in some small stuff and some larger stuff to get an all around feel for the boat before I rate the boat as compared to the others out there. Until then, my conclusions about the boat will have to wait.

The only word of advice that I can offer those in the market is that you should definitely demo as many as you can. After all, the cost of these new boats clearly puts it outside of the category of the chewing gum-type impulse item you find at Long's Drugs while waiting to pay for your Gatorade, although some people tend to treat these boats that way.

Submitted by Snarfblat on Wed, 01/07/2004 - 10:21am

I've used the pegasus a fair amount in the last few weeks, but most of it has been in either a river or small choppy seas.. I have to say though that in those conditions the canoe felt amazing. I also have to strongly disagree about the canoe being "tippy-er" for beginners. Since i've been using a demo canoe, i've been switching around a lot and have seen a number of people in it. I have been rigging the ama as light as it can go and have never seen a single person huli it. In flat water, while paddling on the right side, the ama easily comes off the surface, but rather than flipping all the way over, the canoe just cruises with the ama flying.. But still, it makes a lot of noise when it's in the water and appears to be slowing the canoe down.. i have no idea what the theory behind it is, but I have a lot of faith in Kai and Bixler, I dont think they could make a faulty ama..
anyways, in flat water and choppy water the pegasus is undoubtably the best canoe i've ever been in.. Long and slow strokes make the thing fly, and it holds it's glide just like a hurricane, which i noticed is it's best surfing attribute... rather than other boats, where they have these huge differences in speed, the pegasus will catch a little bump, and hold that speed for a really long time, enough to get on another.. It's a joy to paddle and has to be the most comfortable boat i've ever been in.. The foot peddles seem like they were placed further up in the canoe, so you can sit with your legs stretched out and get a lot of power into your stroke through the legs..
Everybody has to try a pegasus before they buy any other canoe..

#1 Wed, 01/07/2004 - 9:02pm

I feel like i may have overpraised the canoe a little; I was not completely sold on its surfing abilities.. The one surfing run i did with the canoe I was switching off with a friend between the pegasus and a waveblade. I have always been most comfortable on a waveblade, and on the run i was deffinetely still surfing better in the blade than i was in the pegasus. If i were in the market for a new canoe it would be a tough sell between the polaris and the pegasus.. Pegasus is deffinetely better in the flats, but to me the polaris is probably still the better surfing canoe.. the thing about the pegasus that i liked is that even when i was just cruising, it would always feel like the canoe was flying, i have never had that feeling with any other canoe except occasionally on the hurricane (a canoe which i never could get used to)..

#2 Thu, 01/08/2004 - 9:07am

[quote="luke"]I also have to strongly disagree about the canoe being "tippy-er" for beginners. Since i've been using a demo canoe, i've been switching around a lot and have seen a number of people in it. I have been rigging the ama as light as it can go and have never seen a single person huli it. In flat water, while paddling on the right side, the ama easily comes off the surface, but rather than flipping all the way over, the canoe just cruises with the ama flying.[/quote]

You're right about the flipping. The boat seems tippy-er because the ama pops over the water a lot but not once did I nor my two other buddies who tried the canoe flip over or come close to it. For the beginner, this can be an eye-opening experience if you're not use to paddling with the ama constantly popping up. In fact, if you remember when you first got started, that's the one thing you tried not to do when you were paddling. You minimized this by leaning a lot to the left. The advanced paddler, however, strives to keep as little pressure on the ama as possible. Some even try to keep it in the air.

I personally don't think the popping is a flaw. I think its a unique approach to the OC-1 design. I'm just not sure what affect it has on the speed of the boat. I like the fact that the ama is light. The noise just takes getting used to.

#3 Thu, 01/08/2004 - 8:42am

I think that if the ama pops up and is tippy it is a good thing. You should try to have the ama out of the water as much as possible when paddling. The only way I could see the Bixler slowing you down is if it is being slammed down too far underwater and going deeper than it would be if it wasn't popped up at all. I have not tried the Bixler ama but it looks like the best ama around along with the Waveblade ama. Aloha

#4 Thu, 01/08/2004 - 12:27pm

hey luke and further reviews on the pegasus. mine is on order!! have you run on a vantage yet??

#5 Wed, 01/14/2004 - 9:52am

you'll deffinetely be happy with the pegasus.. only problem is that the waiting list seems to be getting longer and longer.. so might take awhile
I havent been on a vantage but it looks like a pretty sweet surfing canoe.. i dunno about the ama though, and have heard some pretty mixed reviews about it, i think it just takes some time to get used to....

#6 Wed, 01/14/2004 - 3:17pm

u mean the ama on the pegasus or vantage??

#7 Wed, 01/14/2004 - 6:23pm

ha, i meant the vantage at the time.. but i guess both need getting used to.. the vantage in more ways than the pegasus.. but i think that unless you paddle with the ama in the air or skipping the surface, they both have their faults

#8 Wed, 01/14/2004 - 7:08pm

hi luke,

we haven't seen the canoe here on the mainland in person, but since you've used the demos, do you know if the seat is a fixed molded seat or an adjustable type?

jus curious.


#9 Wed, 01/14/2004 - 9:47pm

it's a moveable foam seat with velcro. I'm 6'0" and i have to put the seat as far back as it can go to sit comfortably... i'm not sure if thats only from the demo i used, or if all are going to be like that.. taller people could always shave some of the back of the seat off though, nah, i'm sure kai must make some seats for taller people..
Where in the mainland are you? production is going to start relatively soon i believe in california, and a demo is getting shipped up to zach lenz pretty soon

#10 Wed, 01/14/2004 - 9:59pm

yep the seat on the pegasus can be the adjustable kine (velcro). i talked to Kai on tuesday and he said that the seat can move about 7 inches forward and back.

#11 Fri, 01/16/2004 - 4:57am

Pegasus Update:
The first Pegasus is finally on it's way to California! (the mold too!) It shipped out and is due to arrive in-dock on Feb 20th!!

#12 Thu, 02/12/2004 - 11:47am

hey zach this is kelly lukes friend from oahu and i personally packed your boat and its pretty nice. when u unpack it there is a vacum bag over the whole boat so after you open the seran wrap don't try and rip the bag because it will be very hard so when u take off the seran wrap take the vacum bag off the end of the bag wraps over the back of the canoe. so yea jus so you don't struggle with that vacum bag cause there pretty tough.

#13 Thu, 02/12/2004 - 5:35pm

:wink: woo, cool guys. I bet it will be a great boat in California.

#14 Thu, 02/12/2004 - 6:15pm

HA! Awesome, I'm so stoked! i'd heard there were some special uncrating instructions...kelly, saw the pics of your polaris...NICE!

#15 Fri, 02/13/2004 - 5:12am

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