This is a gear review of liquid logic kayaks. I have been kayaking for 20 years and paddled 50+ different type of kayak models.
Having said that, these are just my opinions! In recent years I have been an avid user of Liquid Logic kayaks for a few simple reasons: good designs, great outfitting, reasonable quality of plastic, and good customer service.
The quality of the plastic has been somewhat variable at times (as with any company) but in recent years I have found the quality to have been quite solid. I'll typically get 40-60 "rough" days out of the boats. You could get 3x more than that if you don't take the boats on abusive rivers (Oh Be Joyful for example).
I find the outfitting to be the best in the business. I have been pinned in many different types of boats and the Liquid Logic kayaks maintain their integrity very well under extreme forces. Most of the cockpit designs allow you plenty of room to get your legs free and exit (particularly with the Stomper). I have also "pitoned" the bottom of the river on many occasions and walked away from places where others have broken their legs (same hit just different boat model...West Cherry for example).
I own and use the Jefe Grande, Stomper, and the Remix. Here are my thoughts on these designs:
1) I use the Jefe Grande on steep creeks and lower volume rivers where it is important to resurface quickly and keep the nose of my boat on the surface to limit the potential for a piton or getting pinned.
This boat also handles big slides exceptionally well because of the smooth hull. Rivers such as Dinkey Creek in California or the Black Canyon in Colorado is where I like to use the Grande. I also find the boat to be exceptionally stable in turbulent or boiling water. It also handles weight better than any boat I have ever paddled. Loading it up for long multi-day trip is not a problem. The drawback to this rounded hull is that it is not as maneuverable as boats with chines or rails.
2) I use the Remix for large volume rivers like the Payette in Idaho, the Upper Taos Box in New Mexico (before the draughts), or any river flooding its banks. It is a very fast boat that punches hydraulics better than most anything I have paddled in the last decade.
There are few other boats that accomplish this like the Karnali made by Pyranha; however, the outfitting is far superior in the Remix. Sometimes the lower volume in the back of the boat can be problematic for getting tail stands if you are not in good position and leaning back too much. It is less forgiving in this regard when compared to the Grande for example.
3) The Stomper is a great all around (in-between the Remix and Grande) boat that works very well on rivers like Pandoras Box in Colorado, Little White in Washington, or the Middle Fork of the Kings in California. The boat has rails that allow you to cut across water features and maneuver better than a rounded hull boat like the Grande. It is also has fairly good speed, but not nearly as fast as the remix. As for drawbacks, I find that the primary stability of the boat is inferior to the Remix or the Grande. Some have found the boat to be difficult to control, but I have not found that to be the case at all. It was a perfect boat in my mind for the MF of the Kings because the river begins as a trickle and ends on big volume. Like the Grande it also handles weight well.
PHOTO BY:Darin McQuoid
My favorite boat to run large waterfalls is the Grande or the Remix. The rounder the hull of the boat the better in case you land flatter than expected.