In Case You Missed It: Liquidlogic Hot Whip and Pyranha Firecracker sales dominate Jackson Kayak Antix 2

The short half-slice kayak market has witnessed a seismic shift with the emergence of two standout contenders: the Pyranha Firecracker and the Liquidlogic Hot Whip2023 sales numbers are in and the numbers don't lie!

In this blog, we'll explore how the Firecracker takes the lead in performance, while the Hot Whip stands out as a top-value choice. Additionally, we'll throw the ol' Jackson Kayak Antix 2 into the mix for a comprehensive comparison of the top players in this dynamic niche!

Pyranha Firecracker

Nantahala Freewheel in Firecracker

Setting the standard for performance the Pyranha Firecracker has quickly become the go-to choice for paddlers seeking unmatched performance in the short half-slice category. Its playful, sharp and versatile design characteristics known to other Pyranha boats, coupled with a planing hull and hella slicey stern, make it a force to be reckoned with. Paddlers can confidently freeride down the river and not worry about big drops with its easy to manage bow. 

"If you are in the market for a downriver play machine with a confidence inspiring ride, THIS IS THE BOAT FOR YOU!" - Matt Wallin, CKS Regular

Key Features
  1. Playful and versatile design for half-slice shenanigans and river running.
  2. Stable, wide enough planing hull and sharp edges for crisp jet ferries and carving turns.
  3. Extra slice in the stern to stare at the sky. 
  4. Ergonomic cockpit ensures comfort during extended paddling sessions.

Check out Matt Wallin's First Impressions of the Firecracker for a more in-depth perspective. 

Liquidlogic Hot Whip

Hot Whip on the Shoshone

Unbeatable value without compromise while the Pyranha Firecracker takes the lead in performance, the Liquidlogic Hot Whip stands out as a top-value option without compromising on stability. The Hot Whip's short length and aggressive rocker profile contribute to excellent maneuverability, making it an ideal choice for paddlers looking for an affordable yet dynamic kayak. It's the perfect balance between performance, stability and cost-effectiveness. This boat resonates perfectly with other Liquidlogic designs.

Key Features
  1. Short length and aggressive rocker for excellent maneuverability.
  2. Planing hull for primary stability. Soft transitioned edges that are there when you want them but won't punish you in pushy water.
  3. Slicey enough stern, with good technique and a powerful eddyline.
  4. Budget-friendly without sacrificing performance.

Check out a The Liquidlogic Hot Whip: A Beginner's Review for a more in-depth read. 

Comparative Analysis

Let's compare the Pyranha Firecracker and the Liquidlogic Hot Whip in key aspects:

  1. Performance

    • Firecracker: Unmatched performance in freestyle playboating and river running.
    • Hot Whip: Dynamic playboating and surfing performance at an affordable price.
  2. Maneuverability

    • Firecracker: Agile and responsive, perfect for quick spins and dynamic moves. Typical drive it like you stole it Pyranha performance. 
    • Hot Whip: Excellent maneuverability, thanks to its short length and rocker profile. Forgiving chines make this a better floater boat. 
  3. Value
    • Firecracker: Premium performance comes at a higher cost.
    • Hot Whip: Offers outstanding performance at an affordable price, making it a top-value choice.

Jackson Kayak Antix 2

A balanced option In the mix, the Jackson Kayak Antix 2 offers a stable platform and semi-dry bow, catering to paddlers. While not as intimate as the Firecracker or as comfortable as the bad-ass outfitting in the Hot Whip, the Antix 2 provides stability, versatility, and a well-rounded paddling experience, with Jackson's easy to adjust outfitting, it shows its age in the short half-slice lineup. Is it next on their list update?


In the evolving landscape of short half-slice kayaks, the Pyranha Firecracker takes the lead with its unparalleled performance, while the Liquidlogic Hot Whip stands out as the top-value choice, offering an unbeatable combination of affordability and quality. Paddlers can now make an informed choice based on their priorities – whether it's chasing the thrill of high-performance paddling in the Pyranha or getting the best bang for their buck in the Liquidlogic.




I currently own a Firecracker 252, have owned the Hot Whip, and have paddled an Antix 2 Large on several occasions. A lot of this will be personal taste – particularly outfitting. At 6’2, 210lbs, sizing was great in all three. Most comfortable for me, by far, is the Firecracker. The Stout 2 outfitting is dated and spartan, but it is also a clean slate to work with, and I know how I like Pyranha’s set up. I love Jackson outfitting, and the A2 would take top comfort honors but for the low knee position…my legs are literally asleep in this boat after 20 minutes. The Hot Whip was the least comfortable – the thigh hooks don’t engage enough for me, and the back-band slips down incessantly. My experience with the plastic – Pyranha tops the three, with the Jackson a reasonable second, and the Hot Whip a distant 3rd – it has the softest plastic I’ve come across in my experience. Performance – the Firecracker feels like a Pyranha. The heritage of the Ozone is definitely noticeable in the tail. Luckily, seat position has a huge impact. At my size, I felt the stern was too engaged in the middle. I shifted it full forward and it is perfect for me – the hallmark of the Antix 2 is the confidence it inspires – the bow that enters into features and lifts predictably with a higher volume stern balancing it out. The Firecracker is more like the Hot Whip in that the stern is easier to engage than the Antix 2 L, but with the seat forward, the Firecracker gives me the best elements of both the A2 and the HW in a more comfortable, edgier platform, that is more engaging and dynamic to paddle.

CKS Customer Service

CKS Customer Service

Bomber plastic, slick and unique designs, outfitting to set and forget. We’ve got a blog coming at you soon, STAY TUNED :)



Tons of people are paddling Zet these days as well – how is Zet?

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