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RIPPER, REWIND, ANTIX: Comparing the best half slice Kayaks

Author: Simon Coward

If you've been on the lookout for a modern half slice kayak, chances are you've come across the Pyranha Ripper 2.0, the Jackson Antix 2.0, and the Dagger Rewind in your search. These boats each bring their own unique spin to the increasingly popular half slice category, and each is here to carve their names into the half slice hall of fame.

I'm Simon Coward, the proud owner of AQ Outdoors, with over 20 years of teaching and on-water experience. Today, I'll be walking you through a side-by-side comparison of the latest half slice kayaks, focusing on my personal experiences, suitability, and on-water observations. By the end, I hope you'll have a better idea of where each kayak excels, and which one best fits your personal paddling style.


Before we dive in, it's important to clarify what we mean by a "half slice" kayak. Half slice kayaks feature a full-volume bow similar to a creekboat, paired with a low-volume, "slicey" stern. The spacious bow makes for a comfortable river ride and you can paddle them anywhere: creeking, surfing, or downriver play. The appeal is in their vesitility.

Their distinctive volume distribution is what sets them apart from their "full slice" counterparts. The bow's generous volume grants them enhanced stability, resulting in a more secure and comfortable feel on the water.

Also Read: Creekboat Comparison >



Let's kick things off with the Pyranha Ripper 2. This boat may feel a bit foreign to some paddlers, especially with its minimal stern volume. However, that's precisely what makes it shine when it comes to stern squirting and eddy line moves. Even those without refined technique can effortlessly enjoy playful maneuvers, making it an enticing choice for many. When it comes to river running, the Ripper 2 isn't afraid to show off its sporty side. Its stern can get a tad grabby at high speeds, potentially causing some unexpected rolls for intermediate paddlers. For those seeking a smooth river running experience, sizing up could be an option, although it may sacrifice some ease in getting the stern under for squirts. On the upside, the Ripper 2 surfs like a dream with its rockered and voluminous bow, making dynamic surfing a breeze.

The Pyranha Ripper 2.0 comes in three different size options: the Small, the Medium, and the Large.



Next up, we have the Jackson Antix 2.0. Sure, stern squirting might be a tad more challenging compared to its Ripper 2.0 rival, but don't let that discourage you–it still handles it with grace and ease. The Antix truly shines when river running. Stability and reliability are its middle names - well, figuratively speaking. Although it may be slightly slower due to its shorter and wider build, it more than compensates with its forgiving nature. Perfect for those seeking a versatile boat for playfulness and stable river running performance. Surfing with the Antix 2.0 is also a great experience and feels remarkably familiar. The build of the bow almost makes you feel like you’re paddling a playboat!

The Jackson Antix 2.0 comes in three different size options: the Small, the Medium, and the Large.

Also read: Staying Afloat | An Essential Guide to PFDs >



Last but not least, let's take a closer look at the Dagger Rewind. As my personal half slice of choice, I spend a significant amount of time teaching and paddling it. Compared to the other two boats, the Rewind might be the most challenging to stern squirt, but with solid eddyline skills and proper technique, it can still excel in this area. What sets the Rewind apart is its outstanding performance river running. It may not feel as stable as the Antix 2.0, but once you get it up to speed, this kayak feels incredibly solid and reliable. I must admit, though, the Rewind might be a bit of a tough teacher for less experienced paddlers. At low speeds, it might not feel as stable as you'd hope. But don't fret, practice makes perfect, and the rewards are worth it!

The Dagger Rewind comes in four different size options: the XS Kids Kayak, the Small, the Medium, and the Large.

Also Read: How to Choose a Whitewater Sprayskirt >


Each of these half slice kayaks has its unique strengths. The Ripper 2 excels in playful maneuvers, the Antix 2.0 offers a balance of playfulness and stability, and the Rewind stands out in river running, particularly for advanced paddlers. Ultimately, the choice between these boats will depend on your paddling style, skill level, and the type of adventures you seek on the water. Each kayak offers a unique experience and can elevate your whitewater journey in its own way.

Thanks for exploring the Ripper 2 vs Antix 2.0 vs Rewind with us. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop them below, and we'll be more than happy to to help!