The Liquidlogic Stomper Review
The Liquidlogic Stomper has been readily available for about a year. It’s one of the most popular creek boats for sale here at CKS, and one of best selling new designs out there. LL is known for building boats that run rivers well. This is their core focus, and the main reason that people buy the product. A great example of this is The Remix series. It’s a fairly traditional, extremely user friendly design that instills confidence in paddlers of all ability levels. The edges are “available”, but not trippy, the hull speed is great, and it’s outfitting is hands down the best in the industry. The Jefe series was built to slay hard whitewater; the steeper the better. Loads of rocker, volume and hull speed, the boat kicks ass. It is a legend. A little while back, the wrecking crew at Liquid Logic got the idea to fuse together some design ideas from the Remix and Jefe, and create a “best of both worlds” creek boat. After many prototypes, and high water Green River sessions Shane and his team came out with The Stomper. This boat truly is a blend of both the Remix and Jefe. With a stable semi planing hull, MASSIVE volume in the stern, and continuous rocker the Stomper literally blasts itself out of trouble. Between the velocity that a hull like this can generate, and the sheer volume in the stern, “it will make you feel like you have a helium balloon tied to your ass” – Ted Keyes. I’ve paddled the boat and would have to agree 100%. The Stomper has the unique ability to “land and leave”. You have to paddle it for yourself to see what it’s all about.
- Tried and True:Liquidlogic is not afraid to take their time with prototyping. This is a smart move on their end. The Stomper is not a boat that went straight from CAD to production. It was paddled by some of the most talented and hard core creekers in the world (Evan Garcia, Adrienne Levknecht, Tommy Hilleke, John Grace, Jeff Paine, Shane Benedict, Woody, etc) on one of the hardest regularly paddled class V runs in the country (The Green River). This is a large part of the reason that the Stomper paddles so well. In short, it’s a refined design.
- Easy to paddle: The Stomper has enough primary stability for intermediate boaters to have the confidence needed to take their boating to the next level. It’s got the volume for class V paddlers to safely paddle their way down many of the classics. In fact, it has enough volume in the stern that it’s now a great option for overnight expeditionary boating. Check out this video of the Stomper (the green boat in the vid) doing what it does best, on one of the hardest overnighters in the US, The Clarks Fork of The Yellowstone.
- Great for overnighters: As previously mentioned, the majority of volume in The Stomper is in the stern, which makes it a good boat to pack gear in. In addition to copious amounts of room for gear storage, and the most comfortable outfitting in the industry (good for long days on the river), the back band raises and lowers, making it much easier to load and unload long and cumbersome items like dry bags.
- “LAND AND LEAVE” TECHNOLOGY:LL does not officially call it that, although they probably should (Shane coined the term). The design of this boat, truly gets you our of trouble in a hurry. There’s something about the rocker profile, hull length, semi-displacement hull and huge amount of volume in the stern, that causes this boat to land upright and stable, and literally accelerate out of holes, hydraulics and retentive features. This is obviously great for class V boaters who regularly lap The Green, Lake Creek, The Big South, etc. It is also GREAT for intermediate boaters, who are just getting into bigger and harder whitewater. A boat this stable (with this a semi flat hull and tons of volume), will land upright more often than not, allowing the paddler to focus on the rapid ahead of them, rather than worrying about bracing and taking 2-3 correctional strokes. 3 less strokes, and a little bit of hull speed equals a lot less stress when you are paddling your first class IV+ rapid that has 2-3 huge holes and a sketchy run out. Stomper = piece of mind.
- Paddles smaller than it really is:It’s pretty cool to be able to boof a 90 gallon boat that is easier to paddle than a traditional 80 gallon creeker. Again, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the distribution of the volume in the stern allows average sized people to paddle this boat like one that is 10 gallons less. This is similar to sub 25 lb mountain bikes with 6″ of travel. The days of having to deal with a huge and clunky piece of gear to get extreme performance are gone. So where is the volume exactly?? The stern is narrow but very tall. Because of this, the boat turns easily, is fast, and is also incredibly buoyant. Hence the “land and leave” technology term.
BAD ASS OUTFITTING:You’ve seen it, you’ve sat in it, you love it. If you have not seen it, watch this video, and then go sit in one and check out the quality, support, innovation and comfort.
- Oversized cockpit:Fitting a L deck skirt may take 2 people; an XL deck is preferred. Larger cockpits are easier to get in and out of in a hurry. This is a trend that we are seeing with modern creek boats. I spoke to Immersion Research and they recommend going with a Lucky Charm randed skirt in a XL deck size for creeking, and a XL deck Kling On for river running. The Kling On will be the driest of all of the IR skrits. SnapDragon reccomends going with an XL deck Reinforced skirt for river running, and an XL deck Armortex for creeking and expeditionary boating.
- People have mentioned that you feel like you are sitting deep inside of the Stomper when you paddle it. The reason for this is because it has tall sidewalls, a fat stern, and is a big boat. Personally, I think that this feeling gives me a little bit of confidence, but others wish to sit up higher. This issue can be easily solved with some foam under the seat pad (or even Sweet Cheeks).
- Not a true displacement hull. You’ll notice that The Bomb Flow posse is still paddling Jefe’s in some of their videos. They are hucking 70+ foot drops on a regular basis, and want a boat with a rounder hull. If you truly want no edge on your boat, and a rounded hull for softer landings, look at The jefe.
- Hard to get in the color that you want. We sell through Stompers like lemonade on a hot summer day. It seems like as soon as an order of 20 arrives here at the warehouse, they are gone. Because of this the Black Ops boats (and other desirable colors) can be a little hard to obtain. Keep on looking if you want one; and put one on order soon.
- Extremely large people may not fit. Just because The Stomper is 90 gallons does not mean that Vince Wilfork is going to fit in one. It paddles smaller than it really is. If you are 6’5″+ or exceptionally heavy, you may want to sit in one before making your decision.
This boat is true to it’s name. It stomps big drops (and anything in it’s way) with speed and agility. It’s got just enough edge to keep you on line, and plenty of volume so you’ll sit high on top of the water. The highlight of this boat is the stern design (in combination with hull speed). It’ll save your ass (literally) over and over again. The hull is fast, and the stern is fat. You’ll start looking for holes to punch as soon as you get the feel for what this boat really can do. Aspiring creek boaters will love the primary stability, and the fact that the boat likes to land upright and on point. Class V boaters will be right at home on steep low volume runs, as well as bigger water creeks and rivers. The Remix like edge does a great job at keeping the boat on line, and the bulbous stern is there to STOMP. Something tells us that this design is going to be around for a while; it’s a classic already.
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ALL PHOTO’s BY SHANE BENEDICT AND JEFF PAINE