Sunday, December 16, 2012

Review of Liquid Logic Remix 59

Rumor has it that Santa is bringing me a new whitewater kayak for Christmas.  Our rivers have been flowing so I decided to play around a bit with our Liquid Logic Remix 59 while I wait for my new steed.


When I was first getting into whitewater kayaking and realized that one of Jeff's hand-me-downs wasn't in my best interest (or his), we went shopping.  I quickly became aware that the options are limited for a person of my size 5'4" and 120# - kids boats are too small and most adult boats are too large.  Fortunately this is changing and more options are becoming available.

I checked out the Liquid Logic Remix 47 which was way too small.  I sat in the Remix 59 and thought it had promise.  The salesperson in the shop discouraged me from the boat saying that I didn't weigh enough for it so I passed on taking it for a test paddle.

We've had a Liquid Logic Remix 59 in the Liquid Fusion Kayaking fleet for awhile now.  Lots of boaters love it and have recommended it to me, but I have always thought it a bit big.  Jeff paddled it on the Grand Canyon and wasn't thrilled with it.  Last week, our coast range rivers were flowing and Santa hadn't delivered yet so I decided to take the Remix 59 out.  I was pleasantly surprised with it.

The first thing that I noticed about the boat was how comfortable it was.  Initially, I felt too deep in the boat so I put a strip of 3/4" mini-cell foam on the seat under my sit bones.  This did the trick - it elevated me enough to have good contact with the thigh hooks and to be in a position for good paddling posture. I was pleased with the placement of the thigh hooks.  They did not seem to be as wide as many other whitewater boats.  I felt that I had good connection to control the boat with my lower body without being super tight.  The Remix was comfortable for all day paddling.

Furthering the comfort factor was the length of the cockpit.  At 33", it was a little bit of a stretch for me to get the spray deck on but not the usual effort that it takes to wrestle the spray deck onto the longer cockpit of most other whitewater kayaks.

I would like to see the outfitting re-worked a little.  The backband was really rigid which made it difficult to store dry bags with kit in the stern of the boat.  I probably would have liked the backband to be lower and/or more flexible.  Another suggestion would be to make it so that shorter paddlers can easily slide my mini-cell foam under the outfitting on the seat.  I also found the hip padding that was attached with velcro to the cockpit combing tended to slip and my spray deck would sometimes catch on the velcro.

Build quality, the Remix felt solid.  When boofing or bumbling into rocks, I didn't feel any flex.  The plastic didn't gouge or scratch at the slightest offense.  I felt comfortable dragging it across rocks on a portage knowing that I wasn't going to be leaving a trail of plastic behind.

But the most important thing - how did it paddle.  My first impressions of the Remix 59 was that it was solid - stable, predictable, and comfortable.  My first day in it was on a high flow day on the Eel with lots of squirrelly boils and eddylines.  I appreciated the stability.  I expected it to be a little bit faster, but it was fast enough.  It didn't carve into eddies as sharply as a planing hulled boat but did the job.

After a bit more paddling in varied waters, I found that I liked it on boney, low volume runs.  The Remix is so easy to boof that it practically auto-boofs. It is also so solidly made that I don't wince when I hit rocks nor does the boat seem to scratch easily.

In bigger water, I found the boat to be a bit much for me to move around.  I felt like a cork bobbling along and felt that couldn't make it move in the bigger water to make moves - instead of dancing down the river I was finding myself setting the boat on course and working to keep it on course.

The Remix 59 is not the easiest kayak to roll.  I didn't I missed any rolls with it but didn't find it to snap under me like my other boats.  When rolling the Remix, I had to think about my roll and make sure that I was using good technique.  We have had students who have had more difficulty than necessary learning to roll in the Remix.

Bottom Line:  Would I recommend the Remix 59?  Depends on your size, skill level and what type of boating you are going to do.  At 5'4 and 120 pounds, I am at the small end of the fit range for the Remix 59.  For a paddler my size, it is a big boat for me to move around both on and off the water.  I definitely would not recommend it to paddlers who are smaller than me.  (Smaller paddlers should check out the Jackson Zen 55.)  

I would recommend it for paddlers larger than me who are looking for an all around river runner that is comfortable, stable, durable, and easy to paddle.  It is great boat for cruising down the river - comfortable and forgiving.  It will surf and play but is not the most playful river runner on the market.  Those that are in my size range looking for something more playful might consider the Jackson Zen 55 or 65, or Dagger Axiom 8.0.

Note - White kayaks photograph horribly in whitewater so we don't have many photos of the boat in action.  For photos of the outfitting definitely check out the photos and videos on Liquid Logic's website.

And remember the best thing to do is to try a boat before buying it.  The River Store on the South Fork of the American River in Lotus, CA is one of my favorite shops for demoing boats.  As of this posting, they have a used Remix 59 for sale.

4 comments:

  1. I am 5 feet even and barely 110 lbs. I am looking at the Remix 59. Do you think it will be ok?

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    1. You should try it, but I think it will be too big. I can think of a couple of other boats that would be a better fit. Email or call me for suggestions

      Cheers,
      Cate
      (707) 962-1623
      http://www.liquidfusionkayak.com/contact

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  2. My girlfriend has recently began as well. We chose the Remix 59 as well. The slection is limited especially in the displacement hull designs. She is 5'3" and 115lbs. It is a little big on her. We have added 1/2" foam plus a Jackson Sweet Cheeks 100 to the seat. Shes in good contact bit still a bear for her to edge or carry for that matter. Afraid shell get pushed around in bigger water for her lower weight. Id be interested in some more appropriate boats for as well. This will do for now but a better suited boat would be more fun in the future. Thanks for the review.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ben,
      Thanks for checking out my blog and commenting. For your girlfriend, I would check out the Jackson Zen 55 or look for an old school Eskimo Kendo for her (just my opinion). Us lighter paddlers definitely get pushed around in bigger water. I just boated the Remix 59 for 8 days of varied waters. I liked it for low water creeking but would rather have had my Eskimo Kendo or a Zen on the runs that we did that were bigger water and and had nice surf waves. The Zen and Kendo are so much easier to control and roll in big water.

      I find the shape of the Remix a bear to get up on its stern to drain and carry.

      Have your girlfriend contact me with questions anytime. She can reach me through http://www.liquidfusionkayak.com

      Best of days on the water,
      Cate

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