As a farm kid who grew up with dirt bikes and ATVs, I had a hunch where Liquidlogic’s strange new boat name came from. A call to designer Shane Benedict confirmed the Liquidlogic Braaap gets its name from the onomatopoetic spelling of the sound a dirt bike makes when you’re out for a rip and give ‘er some gas: BRAAAAAAAAP.

Liquidlogic Braaap 69 Specs
Length: 8’11”
Width: 24.5”
Cockpit: 34.5” × 21”
Volume: 69 U.S. gal
Weight: 44 lbs
Weight Range: 100-220 lbs
MSRP: $899
www.liquidlogickayaks.com

The Liquidlogic Braaap races ahead

Team paddler Pat Keller is a longtime dirt biker. “He uses the term regularly for kayaking and life in general,” says Benedict. “When people complain about the name I just go ‘BRAAAP’ and they get it.” Yell it with a slightly rolled ‘r,’ and you’ll get it too. Still don’t like it? Take a few strokes in this boat, and you’ll be racing past the name.

One glance at the Liquidlogic Braaap and you’ll know this boat is different than most contemporary whitewater kayaks on the market. The pronounced rocker, round hull and long, tapering, low volume stern make it look like a close relative of a whitewater slalom boat—built for quick maneuvering and speed.

Get ready to roll

On the water, I instantly feel these differences. Paddlers accustomed to flat-bottomed freestyle boats or wide, stable creekers might feel out of their comfort zone at first. The rounded hull shape lacks the distinct and abrupt sidewall of most other kayaks, and means the Braaap likes to roll—similar to Liquidlogic’s Stomper, but without the rock solid secondary stability. This isn’t to say that beginners won’t be able to keep it upright, it’s just not what we’ve become used to. The bonus is that these same features make it super easy to roll back up.

“When Pat and I designed the Braaap together, we wanted to make a river running boat that would be fun for any paddler,” says Benedict. “The Braaap can get you down rapids that are challenging but also play along the way. Splat, squirt, surf or just learn what it’s like to paddle a more responsive hull.” What’s a splat or squirt? Go ask your mom and dad.

My take? Mission accomplished.

Play your way down the river

Zipping in and out of eddies and around the river, the Liquidlogic Braaap has a high-performance feel. Fast and agile, I’m driving it around the river with each and every stroke, never just hanging on for the ride. I’m moving at top speed with just a couple quick strokes and can rip into micro eddies and spin, slide and splat on every rock in sight. After a bit of practice, I can turn the Braaap on a dime with a powerful pivot on the stern.

Man paddles through rapids in a Liquidlogic Braaap whitewater kayak
Feature Photo: Brendan Kowtecky

It takes some practice and a change in technique to figure out how to slice the stern under and get myself vertical. The Braaap is a good balance—slicey enough to do splats and pivot turns but not so low volume that you constantly find yourself upside down. This lets me play on harder runs with confidence.

Liquidlogic’s classic Bad Ass Outfitting sets you up for a comfortable day of playing your way down the river.

Get down and dirty with the Liquidlogic Braaap

With the right driver, the Liquidlogic Braaap is up for a class V run, but just as much fun on a local class II to IV. The combination of speed and responsiveness of the Braaap will open up old runs to new moves and put you back in control of your boating. If you are looking for a fun new way to spice things up, grab a Liquidlogic Braaap and take ‘er out for a rip there, bud!

 

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