2016 River-Runners: Liquidlogic Mullet

This scoop-tailed river-runner is an homage to old school style, with 21st-century comfort.

By Nick Hinds / Photos and video by Dan Patrinellis and Mike Hagadorn
L: 9'; W: 26.25"; 71 gals., 45 lbs. $899, liquidlogickayaks.com

I'd been eagerly awaiting the Mullet since paddling a prototype on the Upper Gauley last fall, and the production version did not disappoint. My first impression is that it would be a quiver-boat rather than a daily driver because the design and underlying idea are so unique. As the name suggests, the hull profile is business in the front, party in the back. The soft chines don't get tripped up on rocks or converging currents, but you do need to mind the slalom-inspired tail, which engages the water easily. This boat surfs like a dream, and the pronounced kick rocker behind the hips really helps a paddler cut up the wave. When punching holes the Mullet melts through with ease; just remember to keep your weight forward if you don't want the tail to engage. Stern squirts are reminiscent of the glory days. Designer Shane Benedict knew just what he was doing with this kayak (Check out his online tutorial on stern pirouettes to wring the most fun out of his design). Not everyone felt comfortable paddling the Mullet on Class IV+ rapids, but those who did loved its playful nature on rapids they know well, while shredding waves and popping stern squirts between bigger drops. Leg room is ample, and LiquidLogic's plush, easily adjustable outfitting rounds out a comfortable package.

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