Slice-alicious: CKS Half-Slice Review!


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One of the most exciting developments in recent years has been the reemergence of half-slice kayaks. These boats offer a unique combination of speed, maneuverability, and stability, making them a great choice for a wide range of paddlers and whitewater conditions. Nothing quite like a confidence-inspiring bow with a stern that has you recklessly vertical on your home run!

Here is our take on some of the most popular half-slice kayaks on the market today. (By Johnny Ortiz)


The Antix 2.0 has been our best selling half-slice kayak in the last 4 years! Merging the world of playboating and river running, it comes to life in shallow rivers where longer full slices would hit the river bottom. With its wide, stable platform and responsive hull, this boat is a great choice for paddlers who want to carve turns, surf waves, and throw down in the hole. The Antix 2.0 also features Jackson Kayak’s popular Uni-Shock outfitting system, which provides a comfortable and secure fit while being able to adjust on the fly.

Antix after Tunnel Rapid - Gore Canyon


For several years following its release, the original Ripper set the bar for half slice kayaks. Taking the little bit of room left for improvement here is the Ripper 2!

“The new Ripper is ultra slicey; it’s playful enough that most paddlers can spin to vertical on the slightest of eddylines, and skilled paddlers can go vertical in flatwater.” – Paddling Life

This quiver killer is a fast and nimble kayak that’s designed for paddlers who want to push the limits on the river. With a planning hull, tucked sharp edges and rocker profile bigger than your granny’s rocking chair, this boat is easy to turn and surf, all making it a great choice for technical rapids and stern squirting the local creek. We’ve found that folks are sizing it up and using the Large as a playable creeker with a slicey stern, just in case you get stuck in a hole. The Ripper 2 rounds out arguably the most complete line in the industry–well done Pyranha!

Pyranha Ripper 2's Magic Bow


A boat that is extremely stable and forgiving, yet playable when you want to play. With the Firecracker’s sleek, short hull and aggressive rocker profile, this boat is incredibly maneuverable and responsive, making it a great choice for all types of paddlers. Since being announced by Pyranha in February, it’s been our top-selling half-slice kayak! It’s so forgiving and fun that it accommodates a wide range of paddlers.

Pyranha Firecracker Recklessly Vertical with Elliott Gougen


We’ve got a long form review coming soon, but for now, here’s a synopsis!

“The boat is undeniably good! It splats, stern stalls, surfs great, while running the river surprisingly well.” – Branden Baltich

Designed to be a playful and responsive kayak that meets the needs of beginner, intermediate and advanced paddlers, the Hot Whip checks all the boxes. With a unique, wide planing hull and aggressive rocker profile, this boat is easy to spin and surf, making it a great choice to learn stern squirts and fly off boofs!

Hot Whip on the Noli Photo: Marcelo Galizio


This confidence inspiring river runner has the DNA of the RMX with a side of play. The Sweet Ride has a wide, stable, forgiving hull and moderate rocker profile, making this boat easy to paddle and control. Unlike some of the others on this blog, it tends to help you slow things down and make moves count. The stern can be squirted with appropriate technique and is perfect for a lean rocket boof! Liquidlogic is in for a great year with its two new half-slice options.

Joel Newton Freewheeling Gorilla Photo: Marcelo Galizio


Last but definitely not least, the Dagger Rewind bridges the gap between the sportiness of the Ripper 2 and the ease of paddling of the Antix 2. Playful, responsive, and incredibly stable, this boat ends up being the perfect intermediate paddler’s first half slice! Add in Daggers Contour Ergo outfitting and you’ve got a Gauley stern squirting machine.


I cannot think of a better time to be a whitewater kayaker with all of the capable half-slice options. Whether you’re looking for speed, maneuverability, stability, or all of the above, there’s a half-slice kayak out there that’s perfect for you. So grab your paddle, hop in your boat, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure on the river by getting recklessly vertical!

Read more at CKS Here


  1. Half-slices are great because they’re way more playful for things like surfing than a creek boat, but not as tippy/squirrely as a full-on playboat…

    • A full-slice kayak has low volume in both ends to assist vertical moves and all-round river play.
      A half-slice only has a low volume stern. This enables taillies, rock splats etc. The bow though has lots of volume for assisting the boat to stay on the surface, boof features and generally give you a drier, more stable/forgiving ride.
      So a half-slice has a bow to aid river-running with a stern to aid river-play. It’s the best of both worlds.


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