Best GC self support boat ever? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 12-26-2013   #1
Bisters, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 421
Best GC self support boat ever?

Thought Id take a minute to sing the praises of the Liquid Logic Stinger XP. I recently had the opportunity to properly test this boat on a GC self support trip. The Stinger is LL's Green River Narrows race boat concept similar to Dagger's Green Boat. The XP version has a rear hatch and spring loaded skeg. Seems like cross over boats have really taken off lately as most kayak companies offer something with a rear hatch. Upon closer inspection however I believe the Stinger XP currently stands alone.

Most of the cross over boats seem to be marketed to flat water or up to class II/III paddling. I have seen a few that are proper creek boats w/ rear hatch (Fluid Big Bang) and would deal with hard whitewater well, but most seem like they would not be ideal for challenging whitewater. LL also has the XP 9/10 which would make for a comfy ride, but from what I've gathered aren't very nimble and are pretty sluggish (slow). The Jackson & Pyranha boats look similar.

The Stinger is long (12.5 ft) and narrow. The length provides stability, and the width makes for impressive agility & easy rolling. Because of it's length and the hatch, it will hold more gear than you probably ought to bring. I filled all my extra space with cans of Ska Euphoria. The hull shape seems to be a nice combination of designs. Lots of rocker in the front with soft chine until you move behind the cockpit where the hull becomes completely planing and stretches way back to a narrow stern. When I first jumped in the cockpit I looked forward and saw a sweet looking creek boat. I turned over my shoulder and giggled at how far away the stern was. The drop down skeg was amazing at keeping the boat on line in the swirly flatwater in the Canyon, and definitely saved me lots of paddle strokes along the way.

I'm really looking forward to another trip in this boat. Now Im thinking of all the possibilities of long, fast, self support trips. I can only imagine how much fun this boat will be empty on a day trip or raft support trip. It surfs glassy waves like the long boats of yesteryear! If you've been thinking about a crossover/self-support boat that handles flatwater as well as challenging whitewater, definitely check out the Stinger XP. She's Fast!

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Old 12-26-2013   #2
San Jose, CA, California
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 570
the quest for the best kayak self support boat.

The quest for the best kayak self support grand boat continues:

When I kayaked self supported the grand (December 2012) my focus was efficiency. I wanted to maximize the amount miles paddled to calories burned. Thus, the bulk of my prep work focused on creating the lightest life support system that could quickly be packed into a boat without overloading it and creating excess drag.

The problem I saw in my own boat choice, (the large shiva) was that curved hull shape, "rocker" that made it perform exceptionally well in the rapids created excess drag in the flat water. It did not cut cleanly through the flat water like the Green Boat did.

The other boats we had on are trip were the Green Boat, Jackson, Pyranha and Liquid Logic hatch self support models. My observations of the relatively large wake they created when being paddled in the flats in comparison to the green boat were distinct. Even when slightly overloaded the green boat was fastest in the flats. And the best overall on the water. That said all self support users needs a camp and food system to enable reasonable packing times in the morning. Otherwise, the energy saved while on the water is waisted in the mornings playing boat Tetris day after day.

I would like to do a trip with the stingier EP and Green boat and compare performance notes. The boat designers at Liquid Logic have the right idea in creating the stinger (creating a boat that could constantly beat the green boat in the green narrows race).

Perhaps more telling data could come from multiple race style kayak self support trips down the grand at modern flows. Of course park regulations would need to undergo structural changes to allow for the collection of such data which is unlikely given the rigidity in short term policy change in such a large bureaucratic regulatory structure. And so the quest continues with another cool boat to try. Thanks for the report jmacn!
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Old 12-26-2013   #3
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 820
The Stinger design looks sweet. The Stinger XP looks perfect for a trip like the Grand. What do you think of the durability XP features (hatch and skeg) in harder whitewater? I'm thinking somewhat more technical Class IV like Gore and the Upper Animas. Do you think those features would get in the way or be too fragile on rapids with rocks and stuff?
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Old 12-27-2013   #4
Bisters, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 421
Here's a clip of the Stinger XP on the Green River Narrows:

From my experience the hatch and skeg don't seem flimsy. The rubber hatch lid is kept in place by two straps w/ Fastex buckles. It's certainly not 100% waterproof, and doesn't have any sort of rear bulkhead like the XP 9/10 to help keep water out of the stern in case of a swim a swim. (I assumed there would be a rear bulkhead, but it wasn't a problem and made for more storage space)

Fresh out of the box, I was a bit concerned about the skeg durability. There is a small amount of play in the skeg from side to side. Once on the water this was completely unnoticeable. It's also spring loaded so it retracts when you push it in (run over a rock) then pops back out. There is a handy lever that makes it easy to have the skeg in or out. I was carful about packing the boat each day, as the skeg housing and cable system take up space and the cables probably won't like to have gear forced into their space. Once or twice I forgot to retract the skeg before landing and dragging the boat onto shore. It didn't cause any damage. Obviously you can keep the skeg in if you know you'll be bouncing off rocks.

I took the front pillar and foot brace completely out for my trip. I used a watershed Salmon and a Chatooga bag in it's place. I wouldn't recommend that for Gore Canyon say, but on the Grand it made for a super easy & very dry place for all my clothes, shelter, sleep system, etc. The Salmon bag is a wider version of the Futa bag which is their tapered bow/stern bag. It's pretty big, but perfect for the bow in the Stinger.

If what you really want is a super fast, modern long boat, then go for the Stinger. It'll still self support really well (so much better than a creek boat). But if you want a self support boat, the Stinger XP will take self support to a new level. It was AMAZING the difference the skeg makes to help keep the boat tracking. The access that the hatch gives you is also invaluable on a multi day. It takes less than 5 sec to get into the hatch, and maybe 10-15 sec to make sure the rubber rim seats properly when closing. I hope that helps. Also, Brady at Moenkopi just got one too for rent here in Flagstaff. I bet he'll get a few more as the demand for this boat is on it's way. Seriously, anyone who paddles a typical crossover & also tries the Stinger XP will feel the same. Heavy people might still appreciate the width of an XP 9/10 or the like...
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Old 12-28-2013   #5
flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 89
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 148

Stinger has been a giant hit this winter. It seems like the kayak self support trips this winter have exploded.

Here it is next to the Remix's. XP-10 you can barely see in the back. SHould of got it in the picture

Brady Black
Moenkopi Riverworks
928 526 6622
[email protected]
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Old 12-28-2013   #6
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 444
Anyone paddle the green boat and the stinger who can compare the two? Obviously the storage compartment is awesome, but I'd like to know how they paddle on a variety or criks/ rivers.

I guess along these lines, I haven't paddled a long boat and am trying to justify a boat only for multidays (usually bring the rafters along anyway). If you aren't racing is it worth the investment?

I want to go kayaking. Not relevant but this winter internet boating is hard on me.
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Old 12-30-2013   #7
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 265
That's practically a sea kayak....and it's ugly as fawk. :laughing:

A sea kayak is sexy.
The XP-9/10 is sexy.
This thing is like the two had a child...a real ugly child.
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Old 12-31-2013   #8
flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 89
Join Date: May 2007
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Liquid Logic Family

Stinger, XP 10, XP 9, Remix, Everest
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Old 01-05-2014   #9
Bisters, Oregon
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Ugly? I think not...
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Old 01-06-2014   #10
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Where ever the water is...., Colorado
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I am getting ready for Grand Canyon Self Support trip in Feb. 2014. I am taking the Jackson Rogue. This boat is fast stable and comfy. Plus it has lots of room for gear. We have had this out on some other runs and it is such a friendly design I think It is going to be a dream on the Grand. I'll let you know more in March when I return.
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