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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

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.

FEATURES

  • 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

SIZING AND SPECIFICATIONS

►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 91-104cm    99-109cm     107-117cm       114-127cm
Exterior Length 234cm 239cm 246cm 254cm
Exterior Width 97cm 97cm 97cm 97cm
Interior Length 104cm 109cm 117cm 124cm
Width at Hips 38cm 38cm 38cm 38cm
Max Capacity* 204kg 204kg 204kg 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  3.50kg 51x18cm 4.08kg 51x24m
Medium 3.57kg 51x19cm 4.17kg 51x24m
Large 3.69kg 51x20cm 4.26kg 51x25m
X-Large 3.82kg 51x22m 4.35kg 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.

BUILD CONFIGURATIONS

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.

MATERIALS

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.

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