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 some 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. 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.
Bottom Line: Would I recommend the Remix 59 - YES!!! At 5'4 and 120 pounds, I am probably at the small end of the fit range for the Remix 59. (Smaller paddlers definitely take it for a test paddler before buying.) I would recommend it to those 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, Dagger Mamba 7.5 (I haven't paddled the 7.6 yet), Wavesport Diesel 60, or Dagger Axiom 8.0. Stay tuned for my blog post on these boats.
Is a Remix 59 going to be under our Christmas Tree this year? No. I like the crisp feeling of a planning hull as I carve in and out of eddies so Santa is bringing
me some thing a little edgier with less volume. I think that the Remix may be my boat of
choice though for paddling big squirrelly water and am happy that I had the chance to try it out and that we have it in our fleet. I think that I would
have enjoyed paddling it on the Grand Canyon and will consider taking it out when we do high water runs on the Eel or when doing harder waters where I want a stable boat with stern volume.
Note - We've had camera issues 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.