Alpacka Raft White Water Series Gnarwhal

£1,450.00£1,620.00 Inc. VAT

Gnarwhal

With its next generation Rally Hull design, ergonomic seating, and 4-point thigh straps, the Gnarwhal is our most stable and forgiving whitewater packraft. Ideal for building skills and confidence, carrying heavy loads, and charging hard on high volume runs.

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Description

All of our packrafts are made to order and ship from Alpacka in the USA. Current delivery time can be up to four weeks, most ship sooner. If you need a rush order, you will need to contact us prior to ordering to determine whether we can meet your timing.

 

Powerful or playful, addictive or intimidating, enlightening or terrifying, clean or chaotic. Whitewater can be the ultimate in contradictions, but the Gnarwhal will be there when you need it most so you can get to the bottom of the run with more laughing and less swimming. Advanced paddlers get the most from the Gnarwhal by setting up early and paddling hard, making it ideal for high volume rivers and messy features that require speed, power, and stability to clean. Novice and intermediate paddlers will get the most from the Gnarwhal’s unmatched stability and forgiveness, which makes rapids fun so that you can focus on honing your technique and building confidence without worrying about getting flipped every time you make a mistake.

The Gnarwhal is built with our Rally Hull, high-performance whitewater rigging, Cargo Fly zipper internal storage system, and either a Whitewater Deck or Self Bailing configuration. The Rally Hull is our highest performance whitewater hull with a center panel stern for stability and forgiveness and a rockered bow for punching over holes and carving eddy turns. The Gnarwhal is higher volume than the Wolverine to maximize stability, forgiveness, and weight capacity. The whitewater rigging includes an adjustable foam backband, ¾ length seat and foot brace and patented 4-point thigh straps.

Trying to choose between the high-volume Gnarwhal and the mid-volume Wolverine? You’ll love the Gnarwhal if you want a forgiving and easy to paddle packraft that takes the intimidation out of paddling moderate whitewater, if you want to charge hard in bigger water and features, or if you need to carry a large cargo load on a long trip. You’ll love the Wolverine if you want to squeeze as much as you can out of every run with our most engaging whitewater packraft that likes to hit every eddy and play feature, and boof off every lip. Both the Wolverine and Gnarwhal can be reliably rolled by skilled boaters with thigh straps, but the Wolverine roll is a bit easier for most people.  The Gnarwhal and Wolverine are sized to fit most average sized adults, but larger and heavier (over 6’0” and 200lbs) paddlers will fit better in the Gnarwhal while smaller and lighter paddlers (under 5’7” and 150lbs) will fit better in the Wolverine.

The Gnarwhal is available in Self Bailing and Whitewater Deck configurations. (See the other tabs for additional details and recommendations). Removable whitewater decks are available by special order.

There is a couple more custom colour and fabric options:

Custom Multi colour (£65)

Custom vectran (£400)

Please get in touch to discuss

 

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  • Manufacturing: Made to Order in Mancos, Colorado
  • Shape: Rally Hull
  • Tube Diameter: 11.7-inch
  • Fit: Whitewater (See sizing and specifications)
  • Valve: Temper assist valve for inflation and deflation
  • Attachments: 4 bow grab loops, 2 stern grab loops, 2 double D-Rings, 2 ankle loops, 2 multi-slot strap plates, and two strap plates
  • Seating: 3/4 Length WW Seat, WW Foot Brace, Adjustable Foam Backband, Patented 4-point Thigh Straps
  • Build Configurations: Whitewater Deck or Self Bailer
  • Cargo Fly: Standard including roll-top internal dry bags
  • Materials: Proprietary 210-denier high count nylon hull and 840-denier ballistic nylon floor (Made in USA). Custom Multi-Color and Vectran upgrade options available.
  • Includes: Inflation Bag, Stuff Sack, and Basic Repair Kit
  • Self Bailer: The Gnarwhal Self Bailer is perfect for warmer conditions, quick entry and exit, and anyone that prefers a self bailing setup. It is slightly slower than the WW deck version when punching through waves and small holes, but it tends to stabilize in these situations which helps boaters navigate through tricky spots. If you swim, no dumping is required and you can just self rescue right back in. The seating systems in the Self Bailer and Whitewater Deck are identical except the Self Bailer features a 7-inch thick seat versus a 5-inch thick seat on the Whitewater Deck.

    Whitewater Deck: The Whitewater Deck is ideal for staying warm in cold conditions and maximizing performance in difficult whitewater. The Whitewater Deck features a large kayak style cockpit, one-piece pex coaming, and an ultralight spray skirt. Because the Whitewater Deck will not fill with water when pushing through a wave or hole, it maintains more speed and can punch through larger waves and stickier holes than the self bailing configuration. The seating systems in the Self Bailer and Whitewater Deck are identical except the Self Bailer features a 7-inch thick main seat versus a 5-inch thick seat on the Whitewater Deck.

    Removable WW Deck: The Removeable Whitewater Deck is not available as a standard option on the Gnarwhal due to the intended whitewater use. However, it is available as a custom order option by contacting us at workshop@alpackaraft.com.

    Cargo Fly Zipper: Our Cargo Fly internal storage system comes standard on the Gnarwhal and includes roll-top dry bags. The Cargo Fly features an airtight zipper installed in the stern of the boat to allow you to store your gear inside the tubes. The system provides drier and more secure gear storage and improved paddling performance due to a lower center of gravity. The included roll-top dry bags clip in place along each side of the tubes with a side release buckle and allow for better organization and weight balance than placing the contents of your pack loose inside the Cargo Fly. They also act as additional balanced air chambers for increased safety (even over a two-chamber packraft) in the event of a puncture.

Hull:

  • Standard: Proprietary 210-denier high count nylon, single side laminated with pigmented polyurethane film (Made in USA)
  • Vectran: High performance liquid crystal polymer yarn (five times stronger than steel) in 200-denier and 400-denier options. Higher tear strength and rigidity than nylon, but more susceptible to scrapes and pinholes. 400-denier Vectran is heavier and bulkier than standard fabric. Four week minimum lead time. Made in USA.
  • Custom Multi-Color: Custom Multi Color means that you pick the standard fabric in colors of your choice, subject to availability and a minimum 4-week lead time. If you place a custom multi-color order, please read and follow these Custom Multi-Color Ordering Instructions.

Floor: Proprietary 840-denier ballistics nylon, laminated on both sides with polyurethane film (Made in USA).

Seat: 200-denier oxford nylon, with single side polyurethane laminate (Made in USA).

Accessories: All grab loops and similar attachments are manufactured in house in Mancos, Colorado out of scrap floor materials and USA made webbing. Small parts and fasteners are Made in USA, when available, and sourced from industry leaders like Duraflex, YKK, and ITW-Nexus.

►How to Choose Your Boat Size

The chart below shows our recommended size based on your sit length and the Gnarwhal’s fit profile. To determine your sit length, sit against a wall with your legs flat (wearing your preferred paddling shoes) and measure the distance from the wall to your heels. The Gnarwhal is sized for a whitewater fit, meaning that a typical paddler in the recommended size will be able to deeply bend their knees for maximum engagement in the thigh straps for the most secure high-performance fit. You can size up or down for a more performance or relaxed fit.

Sizing Chart

Small Medium Large X-Large
Paddler Sit Length 36-41in | 91-104cm 39-43in | 99-109cm 42-46in | 107-117cm 45-50in | 114-127cm
Exterior Length 92in | 234cm 94in | 239cm 97in | 246cm 100in | 254cm
Exterior Width 38in | 97cm 38in | 97cm 38in | 97cm 38in | 97cm
Interior Length 41in | 104cm 43in | 109cm 46in | 117cm 49in | 124cm
Width at Hips 15in | 38cm 15in | 38cm 15in | 38cm 15in | 38cm
Max Capacity* 450lb | 204kg 450lb | 204kg 450lb | 204kg 450lb | 204kg

*Max Capacity is the maximum total weight (paddlers and cargo) that the boat can reasonably carry in flatwater under ideal conditions. Actual capacity for any given trip will vary widely based on the paddler’s skill and water conditions. Please review our weight carrying capacity guide for further details.

Specifications

Self Bailer (SB) Whitewater Deck (WW)
Weight* Packed Size** Weight* Packed Size**
Small 7.7lb | 3.50kg 20x7in | 51x18cm 9.0lb | 4.08kg 20×9.5in | 51x24m
Medium 7.9lb | 3.57kg 20×7.5in | 51x19cm 9.2lb | 4.17kg 20×9.5in | 51x24m
Large 8.1lb | 3.69kg 20x8in | 51x20cm 9.4lb | 4.26kg 20x10in | 51x25m
X-Large 8.4lb | 3.82kg 20×8.5in | 51x22m 9.6lb | 4.35kg 20x10in | 51x25m

*Weight includes all components except inflation bag, repair kit, and internal dry bags for Cargo Fly.
**Packed size is a reference measurement based on folding each lengthwise edge of the boat to the center and rolling from the bow. There are many other methods of rolling and folding the boats that will result in a different packed size that may be more or less efficient for packing depending on the situation.

The Gnarwhal was the runner up name in our 2014 naming contest for the Alpackalypse.  After launching the Alpackalypse, we wanted to develop a full sized packraft with thigh straps and a whitewater deck.  The problem was that the 4-point knee cup system in the Alpackalypse was too complex and heavy for a full size boat while the two point aftermarket thigh straps didn’t have the level of control that we were seeking.

In 2016, the answer finally presented itself when we finished development of the self bailer. First, our self bailing seating system was perfect for whitewater paddling position and could easily be adapted to a whitewater decked boat for additional floor stiffness.  Second, we were able to simplify the concept of the 4-point knee cups in the Alpackalypse into an fully adjustable 4-point thigh strap that offered true combat rollability in a safe and reliable ultralight package that filled the demands of a packraft.

In the fall of 2016, we built three test boats with whitewater decks and a 5-inch thick self bailer style seat and our new patent pending 4-point thigh straps. They were great and we thought we had the Gnarwhal set. But then Sheri, as she’s done so many times in our history, had a new idea to change the shape of the hull by adding an additional fabric panel in the stern. The first prototype with this new stern had the same bow as a regular Alpacka Series boat. In testing we found that this new stern was fantastic in whitewater but didn’t balance well with the bow, so Sheri reshaped the bow to give it more volume and length to balance the load.  The result was a whole new level of packraft capability in whitewater, especially in large waves, holes, boils, and eddy lines, and the 2017 Gnarwhal was born.