The Flying Squirrel was realised this summer from Liquidlogic but today was the first time we got to try one on the water.
The Flying Squirrel whitewater kayak comes in two sizes: 85 and 95 gallons and is an evolution from the Remix design of fast river running kayaks. It has a similar hull to the Remix (long and slender with no defined edges) but with more volume on the deck to make it ride higher and resurface better on steeper creeks.
Off the water, its heavier than some kayaks in this category (Tuna/Karma) but still lighter than most others and well balanced on the shoulder.
I chose to try the bigger 95 size model as I wanted to assess its speed – at just under 9 feet long, this is intended to be a fast boat and a contender in whitewater and boatercross racing. On the water, it feels every bit of its 95 gallons and takes a fair bit of muscle to boss it around. Being only at its bottom size and weight range, I would definitely raise up the seat height a notch and use a longer paddle to get the best leverage possible.
The boat still feels very much like the Remix in terms of how it handles on the water. It is not very aggressive due to the lack of rail which should make it very forgiving on harder whitewater and relies on the paddler powering it in and out of eddies rather than letting a rail do all the work.
First impressions suggest that this is primarily a fast, point and shoot river runner/racer. After a couple of strokes, and up to cruising speed, the bow sits up and rides its own bow wave just back from the nose. Stability wise, the boat is very stable both sitting flat and on edge. The construction, finish and outfitting (its Badass) are all impeccable and what you would expect from Liquidlogic. With so much length and deck volume, you can cram a lot of gear in here if you are looking for an instructors kayak or one for tackling multi days trips.
This was just a very brief, first outing on big volume water. I’m looking forward at getting it out on something steeper over the next days/weeks.
Specs and ordering info can be found here: