Getting Silly with Fusilli: Pyranha Paddler Dave Fusilli Talks Scorch Kayak Design(Special Video and Q&A)!


- Advertisment -

Paddling Life sits down for a question and answer session with longtime Pyranha and White Salmon, Wash., paddler Dave Fusilli, an ageless wonder still getting after it (and sometime washing his paddling gear) year after year.

We ask Fusilli about whitewater kayak designs, the health of the industry, how Pyranha is able to continue to push innovation, get some insights on how the latest Pyranha kayak the Scorch came to be, and more. We also learn what it means to be shrig, scorch and swul. Check the Q&A and vid…

PaddlingLife: How many years have you been paddling?

I learned to roll a kayak at age 7. I paddled on and off as a kid, but around the age of 18 I became a full addict.

PaddlingLife: Did your dad teach you?

Yeah, my dad taught me in my earlier years, but I did paddle with my mom as well. I think Dad did a little more of the teaching though.

PaddlingLife: Where’d you grow up paddling?

I grew up in the small town of Clarion, Pennsylvania. It’s in Northwestern PA, kind of in between Pittsburgh and Erie. It’s a very rural area, which I like. The first section of water I paddled was called Mill Creek. It’s an easy Class II just over the hill from my parents’ house. I think I would have been 8 years old. We also did a lot of trips over to Slippery Rock Creek. It was about an hour away and ran quite often. It’s actually a really cool gorge about 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh. Then the real big trips were to the Youghiogheny, a big rafting river about 45 minutes south of Pittsburgh.

I ended up raft guiding for several years there when I was in college. The Yough is really where I became a better kayaker. I had some great yinzer mentors there at that time. They helped push me to that Class V level that I craved. Thanks Yinz! Big kiss!

Watch early Mill Creek video here:

PaddlingLife: What are some of your biggest paddling accomplishments? 

Paying my bills working for a kayak company, making the US Freestyle team, I have several bigger drops I see as nice accomplishments, and the clean blunt

PaddlingLife: How does paddling out West differ from paddling in the East?

The water is cold as all hell here, usually cleaner as well. The west is usually pushier with incredible gorges! It also has incredible waterfalls to drop. The East has better, longer boulder-style rapids. There are some old-ass boulders over on the East and really smooth rocks. There are very few waves out West or play at all. There are some, but out here you will have miles of Class III with not one damn wave. They are very different in many ways which is why I love both sides.

PaddlingLife: How do you like the White Salmon area?

It’s terrible. Sometimes in the summer it won’t rain for over 4 months straight.

PaddlingLife: What’s your take on today’s kayaking scene? 

I like today’s kayak scene. Over the years the paddling style has changed some. We river run more and freestyle less, but the fire, energy, and love are the same as always. I paddle with all ages out here, and on most days I could be ripping the Little White with some old heads one day ,and the next with a few 17-18 year old jawns. The language can be a little different, but I generally see the same love and respect from the youths as the olds.  I see them picking up trash at take-outs, or pulling wood out of rapids no matter the age. I want to say much love to the youths, you are the future of our rivers.  Big Up.

PaddlingLife: What do you like most about paddling?

I love the exploration, the unknown, the head game it can create, the scenery, the workout, the smell (in most places, sometimes not so much), the adrenaline, the focus, the simplicity, the water in general, and the most powerful and important part of kayaking…the community. I love yinz guys.

More details on the Pyranha Scorch kayak

Related Content


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Kokatat Sold

After 50 years under the direction and ownership of its founder, Steve O’Meara, Kokatat has been purchased by the company’s Director of...

Flash Flood Kills Rafter in Grand Canyon

A 29-year-old woman was found dead and others were injured following a flash flood July 14 in Grand Canyon National...

Tokyo Sneak Peak: The Top 5 Women Slalom Kayakers to Keep an Eye On

From oldest to youngest, the inside skinny on the top female slalom paddlers at this year’s Olympics. Spain’s Maialen Chourraut is the...

Director’s Statement: Rush Sturges on the Premier of “The River Runner”

Any kayaker who’s worth his or her weight in noseplugs knows of Rush Sturges, an accomplished filmmaker and expedition...
- Advertisement -

Cool Running: Jamaica’s Solomon Maragh Makes Slalom History

Call it Cool Paddling. In the 1993 movie "Cool Running," a group of Jamaicans created history by qualifying for...

Rafting Season Strong Despite Low Snow, Pandemic 

While snowpack levels are below average across much of the western U.S., rafting outfitters are anticipating a solid season...

Must read

Kokatat Sold

After 50 years under the direction and ownership of its...

Flash Flood Kills Rafter in Grand Canyon

A 29-year-old woman was found dead and others were...
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you