The Liquid Logic Coupe SOT (Sit on Top) Kayak Review
Whitewater kayaking has been kept afloat by trends. Innovation creates the evolution of the sport. The Dagger RPM was one of the first whitewater "play boats", molded to squirt and pirouette it's way down river. Over the course of 15 years, play boats have morphed from bulky river runners, to long thin cartwheel machines, to short and bulbous aerial weapons. Another major trend that has happened in whitewater kayaking is the creation of hybrid river running / recreational kayaks. You can think of them as the SUV's of the whitewater world. Liquid logic has been the pioneer of this movement, and pretty much every other kayak company out there has followed them in their footsteps.
The Coupe is a Sit On Top (SOT) version of the hugely popular XP series. It has a drop skeg which enhances tracking and flatwater paddling performance, hatches for secure, dry storage and a very forgiving whitewater hull that can bomb through class II and III rapids. This boat is really cool because it can be used in the ocean, on lakes and ponds, and of course true to Liquid Logic heritage, it will excel in whitewater rivers.
- The spring loaded drop skeg is easy to raise and lower. There is a lever next to the cockpit that works well. This is the same skeg system used in the XP's, which means that the system is tried and true.
- The hull has a fair amount of rocker in the bow. This allows the coupe to turn easily and negotiate class I-III rapids with ease. The skeg is great because when lowered, it reduces the whitewater kayak like maneuverability and allows the coupe to track like a rec boat. The best of both worlds.
- The sidewalls are low and forgiving (they are rounded as opposed to being sharply angled). It is easy to get your paddle out over the boat. The rounded shape of the sidewalls make life easy when paddling in rapids. This boat handles just as well as the Remix XP, but without the cockpit.
- A deck mounted paddle clip comes standard. This is an optional feature in most other boats.
- The planing tunnel hull design is stable, strong and works well in a variety of conditions. There are 6 oversize scupper holes that drain water well, and also add rigidity to the hull.
- For the value, the coupe has great features. It comes complete with two watertight 5" diameter hatches, bungees and a storage bay behind the seating area, drink holders and comfortable grab loops. It is also built out of the same high quality plastic that Liquid Logic molds their whitewater boats out of.
- There are lots of great options that will enhance the overall user experience. The DVC Deluxe Seating is the most comfortable and high performance SOT seating system on the market. It's an integrated system with a back band, hip pads and thigh wedge to fit under your legs which provides even more support. When you lean back into the seat, the hip pads tighten, thus providing lateral support which is necessary for balance and edging when paddling in whitewater. It is as close to a full whitewater seating system as you can get. Think of it as LL's Bad Ass Outfitting for a Sit On Top.
- The Coupe is a sit on top hybrid, not a full on whitewater kayak. It's not meant to charge class IV-V whitewater (although it could probably be done). The intended use for this boat is to paddle on the same bodies of water that the Remix XP10 was created for. If you want to take this boat down the Narrows of the Green or Upper Yough, you looking at the wrong product.
- At the time that this review was written, we noticed that the Coupe was a little bit difficult for one person to carry. There is no luggage handle in the middle of the boat. You are forced to either drag the boat on it's bow or stern, or try to pick it up from the side, which is not easy to do(because there are no handles). As it turns out, LL is offering a "tag along wheel" that attaches to the stern, making it a heck of a lot easier to transport.This product will be available in may 2010.
- The DVC Deluxe seat is expensive (MSRP $199). It looks like it's worth every penny though. Also, when you think about it, it is really a seat, back band, hip pads and thigh braces all in one.
The Remix XP10 has quickly become one of the most popular whitewater boats on the market, and also a CKS staff favorite. The Coupe is a sit on top version of the XP10. It's perfect for a lazy summer day on the river, loaded with food, drinks and whatever else is needed for a good time. Like any liquid logic boat, it'll be sure to get you to where you are going in comfort and style.
Liquid Logic has some excellent information on the Coupe and Deuce Coupe (tandem) on their site. If you would like to know more about this creation be sure to check out these links: