Liquid Logic has had a whole bunch new boat designs come out over the years. Some of them have been more popular than others. They were the first ones to release a "river touring" boat (the XP series), which has now become a staple in the whitewater kayak retail market. One thing that LL has always prided themselves on, was being able to build a BAD ASS creek boat like the Jefe. Being located within a stones throw of The Green River may have something to do with it. Looks like it's time for Woody, Shane and crew to release another steep creek weapon. This one's called the Stomper.
We've had our shop demo boats (80 and 90) for about a week now, and still have enough water in the ditch to spend some quality time in them before the season comes to an end.
Overall all we give the Liquid Logic Stomper 2 HUGE thumbs up. 2 staff members actually bought one the day after they paddled it. That may be a shop record...
This is a great video. Shane goes over all of the new features of the boat. He also talks about the new hull design.
Lots of bow rocker. The Stomper is definitely a creek boat more than it is a river runner. It loves to boof, peel into micro eddies, and be launched off of things.
The peaked deck helps with fast and predictable resurfacing. There is also a lot of volume in the bow. Again, this helps with stability, hull speed and predictability. 2 rescue points - standard issue.
The Stomper has continuous rocker. This means that there is no "flat spot" on the hull. Because the hull's rounded, it's much easier to turn on a dime. Even though The Stomper 90 is 8'6", it paddles like an 8 foot boat because there is not as much hull in the water. At the same time, there is plenty of speed, because there's actually 8'6" of boat.
The Stomper has a planing hull with a chamfered edge. Basically, it has a slight edge on it. Water is able to run under the boat without "tripping" you. We paddled it in low volume, creeky Class IV, and the hull was awesome. The edges did not catch on anything. You can boof off of manky rocks like you could in a Jefe.
Planing hull and a chamfered edge.
Closeup of the slight edge. Nothing to trip you up. There is still enough there for good boat control.
Hull profile of The Jefe vs. The Stomper
The Stomper has a BIG FAT stern. There is elevated volume for stability and speed out of big drops. You can plow through holes and not feel like you are going to get stuck. Between lots of hull speed and a fat rear end, getting out of trouble is easier than in other boats. Just paddle hard.
How does The Stomper compare to The Villain or Jefe? It has more edge than both, but not as much as a Pyranha Burn.
The storage seat system is REALLY COOL for overnighters and expeditionary trips. The backband actually releases, and lifts up, which makes it super easy to stuff gear into the huge stern.
Lift the seat up and put your gear in the stern.
The Stomper is a creeker more than it is a river runner or learning boat. If you are looking for a boat to take on a class IV run or above, this is your machine. Lots of rocker, and a little edge with a planing hull. The boat performs best when you are on your game. If you are learning to kayak, or want a boat for class II and III the Remix is a better choice. The hull is more forgiving, and it has less rocker.
Both boats have an XL deck, which makes for an easy exit. It has been noted by our staff that and XL deck Immersion Research Lucky Charms skirt fits the best, and stays the driest.
There is not as much foot room as you would think for an 80 or 90 gallon boat. There's still plenty of room to be comfortable, but it's not a humungous cockpit like the XP series has.
The storage seat system is super cool, but sometimes makes a popping sound when you first sit in the boat, and ratchet the backband tight. Basically, since the seat moves upwards, it sometimes comes off of it's holder. This has absolutely no impact on performance or safety. It just makes a popping sound. One really cool thing about LL is that they REALLY listen to their customers. If you have any ideas, or things that you think could be better, get in touch with them via Facebook or email...They will listen. Check out this vid.
The Stomper is a brand new boat that was designed by Liquid Logic designers and team paddlers. As with all first year products, there may be a few subtle changes and tweaks. As far as we can tell, it seems like this thing is already off to an awesome start. We've got a CKS Squad member taking the boat to The Black Canyon this weekend - stay tuned for the review.
There's no "Chico" size for now...smaller paddlers will have to paddle the 80. Fortunately this boat paddles a lot smaller than it really is.
Liquid Logic nailed it with The Stomper. So far, everyone at CKS that has paddled this boat has had rave reviews. It's big, fast and ready to charge hard on gnarly drops. It also does not feel nearly as big as it really is, which makes it even more appealing. The soft chamfered edges and continuous rocker will give paddlers confidence, and allow them to maneuver the boat on tight runs and must make moves. Liquid Logic has always had a kick ass creeker in their lineup, and from the looks of this thing, they will continue to have one until they come up with the next great design.