Mike here is a review of the boat. I just got mine in and I am going to Union to check it out.
Super RAD 180, my thoughts
Age 55. Don't let the age fool ya. I can work a boat pretty aggressively and am out a lot. Advanced playboater, river runner and creeker in that order. CL4+- overall.
About the test environment
Day one: Upper Spokane "training run" at 8300cfs.
DAY TWO: Trailer Park Wave at 6150cfs
Day Three: Same as day two.
Able to get out for about three hours and play with me new demo. Initial impressions: Huge cockpit! Required use of me creekin' skirt. Nice rocker at bow, less at stern. Long planing surface for such a short boat. Graduated edges. Nice outfitting with strong stainless steel grab loops, adjustable thigh braces. Whimpy backband that catches the camloops on the deck edge which bothered me.
The big cockpit makes entry and exit rather easy for someone my size. Plenty of footroom as the bow is rounded and not flattened out. The level for day one was not really on for any real play. Mini-Climax was just a flattened out wave that required all I could throw into my strokes to stay on the wave. Fast? NAW just like many of the other squatty bodies out there. All relative however. Able to work a little feature called Duplex wave which at this level was kinda like a wide ledge wave/hole and not very deep. Moves were predictable and transitions effortless. Initial stability quite good, and able to get on edge and keep it there without difficutly. Rolls effortlessly.
Overall impression? This is a well designed playboat that accommodates larger paddlers easily. Outfitting adequate (would be great with a better backband system. If all boat makers could use LL's backband system I'd be a lot happier!
Day 2: HAH, got it out on Trailer Park Wave (see above link) at a primo level (6150cfs) and this boat shines here! Blunts, side-grinds, carts, with ease and predictably. One ride had me cartwheeeling so fast I nearly got dizzy! Stern does have a tendency to grab water as it is not as rockered as bow and is flat at its' base. I was still kinda loose in the boat which nearly made me fall out of it on a loop attempt. Fortunately I came up upright, but had to go to shore to get back in due to the backband issue stated previously.
Day 3: After a bit of re-outfitting I was able to stay in the boat better, yet was still comfortable. Others got in for a number of rides and all liked it as well.
Day 4: Went out to try to get some wave surf action today, alas the level a touch too high for Mini-Climax (see link above). Level steadily rose to a point where the wave was barely breaking at all. The boat was still fun, loose on the wave when asked to be, revealed how slow it is when ferrying and attaining compared to other slightly longer thinner boats. One more day before I need to return it, and it looks like a run and play tomorrow.
Overall I really liked this boat. Would be a good little river runner, is fun on steeper waves and is a joy in the hole. For $750 to your door (depending on location in U.S.) it is a steal! Bliss-Stick has come up with a winner in my opinion.
Call me if you want to demo a RAD 185. Super RAD 180 or a Huka in the front range, or call Mike H if you are in the summit area or call Scott Travis if you are near Gunnison to find out what demo boats they have.
Bliss Stick Agent
303 278 4902
Bliss Stick Agent