GEAR GUIDE 2008 : PADDLING

LIQUIDLOGIC REMIX: BEGINNER BOAT

Liquidlogic’s new Remix was designed to do one thing: get people stoked about boating. The Remix is intended for the instructional market with designs that make it a superb choice for beginner kayakers. The longer hull platform with modern chine placement and the extra width on the ends make this boat very stable and responsive. It stays afloat during drops, is easy to roll, and is generally reassuring to new paddlers.

“Right away, a beginner will understand exactly what it is that paddlers love about the sport,” Bell says.

This doesn’t mean experienced kayakers will find the Remix boring. While the Remix has all the stability a beginner needs, it’s also a responsive and quick package that carves like a sharpened blade and surfs like Kelly Slater, bridging the gap for weekend warriors who like to tackle a variety of river conditions. $1,049.

JACKSON HERO: RIVER RUNNER

Completely redesigned for 2008, the Hero is Jackson’s utility boat designed for paddlers who like a variety of water, from tight creeks to surfable waves. The Hero is based on the Fun hull, so it has the heart of a playboat, with predictable stability and the chops to surf, but the bigger volume and longer length of the Hero keeps creekers on the surface after big drops, while increasing the boat’s speed through the water. The Hero boofs, surfs, carves, and rolls effortlessly, making it a killer all around choice for 2008. $995.

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FLATWATER PADDLING

Some whitewater boaters knock it, but flatwater paddling gear should be in every adventurous person’s arsenal. Picture this: It’s Friday afternoon, you load your flatwater boat up with a tent, some steaks, and a cooler of beer. By 4 p.m., you’re in the middle of a relaxing paddle to the furthest reaches of your favorite mountain lake. Now tell us, what’s wrong with that scenario? Here’s the gear you need to make it happen.

PELICAN STRAIT 140 XE

The Cadillac of flatwater touring kayaks, the Strait is designed for longer adventures with 140 liters of watertight storage space. The XE also has a drop down skeg for tracking. The total package is lightweight, fast, and responsive. $1,050.

MION FLOOD GATE

Imagine all the benefits from Mion’s Current sandal (no-dry time, no afterstink), but a more user friendly and comfortable strapping system. As a bonus, the Floodgate is made from 15% recycled rubber outsole, 29 percent recycled EVA footbed, and 50% PET recycled straps. It’s a huge step toward a completely recycled sandal. $100.

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