Liquidlogic Biscuit Kayak Review | Rapid Magazine | Rapid Media
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Liquidlogic Biscuit Kayak Review Photo: Scott MacGregor

Trade up to this great new play boat

A review of the Liquidlogic Biscuit whitewater kayak by Rapid magazine.

It may not be purely chance that Liquidlogic’s highly anticipated, latest playboat is this year’s only fresh freestyle design. Chalk it up to clever marketing, a keen sense of timing, a fresh remix of winning ingredients, or all three, but this time Liquidlogic has pulled from their ovens a sweet playboat—the Biscuit.

While other boat companies rest on one, two and three-year-old freestyle hits, pinching development pennies and waiting out this year’s economic slowdown, Liquidlogic has seized a perfect comeback opportunity. With a string of forgettable designs stretching back six years—culminating most recently in the coolly received Ronin—the Biscuit needed to make a big splash.

Borrowing hull design and rocker profile elements from Liquidlogic’s much loved and not forgotten 2003 Space Cadet series, the Biscuit embodies all the best attributes of these classic boats while adding cleaner edges and armchair comfort. Designer Shane Benedict says the key features of the Biscuits are a larger spin surface, the distinctive “bumper” (more on that in a moment) and slicier, broadened ends.

While Benedict’s previous freestyle designs relied on a spin disc—a very distinct planing surface on which the hull spins—the Biscuit’s planing area is larger and less defined. A larger planing surface means the hull slips and spins down a wave face like butter in a hot frying pan, but Benedict cautions, “The problem with adding a ton of spin surface is that you can start to make the boat boxy feeling [because it gets too wide] or twitchy [because designers can’t use much flare on a super-wide hull, and flare is what typically provides secondary stability]— that’s where the bumper comes in.”

 

Get air in this playboat

 

The bumper is likely the first thing you’ll notice about the Biscuit—it’s quite unique. A modest bulge that wraps all the way around the trim, little boat’s waterline, Benedict says the bumper allows for a synergy of two disparate traits: a super loose hull and a forgiving ride. While the generous planning surface maximizes looseness, the bumper’s extra width creates space for a second chine to temper the transition between hard carving edge and sidewall, producing a more forgiving ride. Above the bumper, the sidewalls squeeze back together so the paddler’s legs are in a more upright and comfortable position.

Like the Space Cadet, the Biscuit flies above a wave with the same alacrity it shows for spinning down the face. As eagerly airborne as the Frisbee dog it was named after (yes, Benedict named the boat after his hyper-energetic mutt), the Biscuit jumps huge and lands on its feet. The boat’s lazy acceleration on edge is not really an issue as it can be thrown from pretty much anywhere without carving.

Playing with the Biscuit around the Ottawa, we’d say it’s best suited to ambitious intermediate paddlers looking to amp up their game—especially their aerial tricks—on smaller and mid-size waves. Get it on anything bigger like Bus Eater and it takes time to learn how to harness the flighty Biscuit. It responds best when paddled aggressively— let out too much leash and you’ll be hanging on for dear life.

If Benedict’s design sword wasn’t at its sharpest with the Ronin, his latest creation is cutting edge. If that is not enough, one look at the plush Liquidlogic Bad Ass wall-to-wall carpet outfitting and fully foamed foot box—or Cone of Comfort—and you’ll be convinced that it’s finally time to trade up your six-year-old Space Cadet.

 

Liquidlogic Biscuit Specs

Length: 5’11”/6’1”/6’3”
Width: 24”/25”/ 26”
Volume: 45/55/65 US Gal
Weight: 30/32/34 lbs
Paddler: 100–160/140–200/180–240 lbs
Price: $1,049 US/$1,149 Cdn

 

This article originally appeared in Rapid, Early Summer 2011. Download our free iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch App or Android App or read it here. 

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