LiquidLogic Stomper Whitewater Kayak Specifications
|Specifications:||80 Model:||90 Model:|
|Volume||302 Litres||340 Litres|
|Paddler Weight Range||50 – 95kg||77 – 122kg|
We couldn’t wait to give one of the LiquidLogic Stompers a go and see what it was like out on the water.
By the sound of it we weren’t the only ones, we lost count of how many people stopped to talk to us by the side of the rivers we were testing it on to ask what we thought.
There has always been a lot of buzz around this boat, and looking at it you can see why.
It is a true river-beast and, with its high sides and massive rocker, placed side-by-side with any other boat its comparative chunkiness becomes apparent, and you soon appreciate the reason for its name.
This boat truly looks like it’s made to Stomp!
On The Water
The Stomper is a boat that you may have to paddle for a little bit to get accustomed to, and you’ll probably find that this takes a different length of time depending on what you’re already used to paddling.
If you have been using a Jefe Grande it will be less time to get accustomed with the Stomper than if you have been using a boat of a less similar design, with squarer edges and less volume etc..
Also what style of boater/paddler you are will influence how much time will be required to get used to the Stomper.
The Stomper requires an aggressive style of paddling, which you’ll have to learn to adopt pretty sharpish in order to be able to command this beast!
Other things, like how deep the boat feels to sit in, can be perturbing at first, but persevere and you’ll cease to notice these things as strange and begin to relish the downhill power at your disposal.
This power comes from the large amount of volume in the stern and extreme rocker profile keeping the boat riding high and fast.
All of our testers were incredibly impressed with how well this boat holds a line down big water, and it has amazing punching power through holes.
The width of the stern and the very soft chines also make this craft a forgiving one; so long as you’re maintaining a positive forwards paddling position you’re unlikely to find any of the edges, which are soft almost to the point of rounded, catch.
Needless to say this thing is incredibly fast, once you’ve got it going, and then not a lot is going to stop it.
The Stomper boofs well, and even landing swirling boily water from a height does little to encroach on the high waterline: this boat just continues to skip – well, stomp – over the surface.
We can confirm that when you do end up either stuck or enjoying yourself side-surfing in hole the Stomper is incredibly stable in there, but for when it all goes wrong it is also incredibly easy to roll!
There are some really fantastic features to this boat, and in big water you can be completely secure in the knowledge it will look after you.
However, we do feel the need to stress that this boat requires you to really boss it around or you’ll suffer the consequences.
On their initial runs in it some of the testers were finding they’d turn and edge the boat to drive it towards an eddy, only to sail past it and drop into the next bit sideways.
The answer is to really get your weight over and aggressively engage that edge, body forward and really dig in or you will miss eddies that would be far easier to make in a hard-railed boat, and find yourself still in the flow but set up badly for what is to come.
The problem is that this boat wants to do what it excels at: power downstream.
If you don’t really assert yourself, you’ll find that that’s exactly what it does.
Be dynamic and the Stomper will respond!
Fixtures & Fittings
There can be no arguments with the ‘Bad Ass’ outfitting employed by Liquidlogic boats.
Is it a kayak seat or an armchair?
No need to differentiate, it’s got the practical use of the former and the comfort of the latter.
More than just a lot of cushioning, once you’ve adjusted the outfitting specifically for yourself you’re extremely snug with excellent contact between your hips, legs and the boat, meaning edging is incredibly responsive.
This gives you more control and helps with ease of rolling, as well as making these great boats for long days out on the water.
With the five metal grab handles mounted one on the nose, one on the stern and three around the cockpit, there’s plenty to grab or clip, making the boat easy to rescue and haul around.
What the Designer Says: Shane Benedict of Liquidlogic
The Stomper is a reaction to demands of our own team paddlers and our friends on Facebook of all things.
Everyone wanted us to do a boat that was a blend of the Jefe and the Remix series that had a flatter hull design.
Right away that combination gives you a very nimble shape that maintains speed, boofs like a champ, and is easy to use.
We also upgraded the outfitting with more storage in front of the seat and better access to storage behind the seat.
You gotta love Bad Ass Outfitting.
- Great downhill power, particularly once you have perfected the aggressive paddling technique that this boat demands.
- Impressive ability to hold a line.
- Strong punching power through holes.
- Boofs well.
- The comfortable outfitting also gives you more control of the boat.
- The boat takes some getting used to, especially if you haven’t paddled on similar style boats before.
- Requires you to boss it around, otherwise you will struggle in the boat.
The Stomper is very much a product of the country of its birth, where big water and bigger waterfalls are, if not the norm, not difficult to find.
Down river this boat is astoundingly fast and buoyant; paddling it it’s easy to see how it won a competition to get down a chunky section of river in the fastest time.
It can certainly handle drops, too, that very ample rocker gives it lift, and the boat resurfaces quickly or, more often, stays afloat completely.
Not only this, but it’s stable and forgiving to boot, handles well in a hole and is easy to roll.
But will it be everybody’s boat of choice for eddy-hopping down classic UK runs every weekend during the winter?
Possibly, some people, especially if you’re less confident, will really appreciate how much this boat looks after you and how effectively it will get you from the get-in to the get-out without incident.
We feel that others, though, may find that for blasting down UK water looking for micro-eddies and tight sneak lines the Stomper’s enthusiastic zeal for powering in a resolute downstream direction is a little bit more than is needed for an average weekend on British water.
But get the Stomper on the big volume steep creeks where it was developed and we’re fairly sure it won’t let you down.
Still not sure? Why not compare this review with our other whitewater kayak reviews to be sure you are making the right choice.