You wouldn’t know it from looking at kayak ads, but most boaters gave up hopes of ever throwing big aerial moves long ago. Most boaters have a job off the river, appreciate being able to walk after a full day of boating and still see a long front surf as a worthy pursuit. Enter the Liquidlogic CR125 and CR250 kayaks.

Liquidlogic CR125 / CR250 Specs
Length: 6’7” / 6’9”
Width: 25” / 25.75”
Volume: 55 / 63 U.S. gal
Weight Range: 140-210 / 180-250 lbs
MSRP: $999 USD

Liquidlogic’s CR125 and CR250 surf in style

The CR, which stands for Cross River, is available in the 125 and 250 models. The names obviously don’t indicate their size in gallons; instead they are a play off Honda’s CR 125 and CR 250 high-performance racing motocross bikes. It’s a curious choice, since the CR boats are not high-performance competition designs, but are designed for the paddler that wants predictable river running performance, all-day comfort, and the ability to surf with style—more like Honda’s trusty Enduro line of trail bikes.

Run the river like a motocross track

Looking like a slightly stretched-out playboat, the CR125 and CR250 have a long and narrow planing surface that is almost seven inches longer than that of the Liquidlogic Vision. They also have sidewalls that flare more toward the stern and less kick rocker than most modern playboats.

With these design features the CR delivers performance but remains forgiving and comfortable. The wide stern—without kick rocker—provides easy edging and predictable eddyline crossing. Up front, the prominent rocker keeps the nose riding over eddylines and weird water. Compared to freestyle boats, it’s like running rivers with training wheels.

Ferrying the CR is a joy. Noticeably faster than other sub-seven-foot boats, the long and narrow planing surface allows the boat to plane quickly. The higher top speed allows you to nail river-running moves with fewer paddle strokes and more smiles. On big water this reduces the pucker factor while getting around the nasty stuff.

Carve the waves in complete comfort

As a playboat, the Liquidlogic CR125 and CR250 will inspire you on some features, and limit you on others. It shines on a wave, with the speed and looseness needed to play waves that are too flat or slow for most short boats. Sit up and use the front edges and the CR can lay down some serious carve. Sit back too much and it feels a bit sluggish, but very stable, edge-to-edge. The CR blunts almost as well as more dedicated playboats. The extra speed and stability will encourage boaters that have been trying to master the flat spin to go for it with gusto.

On eddylines and in small holes the CR is not going to open up the world of vertical play for the average boater. The large sidewalls make it difficult to get vertical without applying plenty of muscle and perfect technique. In more retentive holes the boat is a well-balanced cartwheeler and delivers impressive loops.

Man paddles a Liquidlogic CR125 or CR250 kayak
Feature Photo: Ian Merringer

According to Shane Benedict—head designer and lifestyle consultant at Liquidlogic—lots of us are sick of cramming ourselves into small, uncomfortable boats for long days on the river. In response, Liquidlogic made the CR125 and CR250 as comfy and roomy as your favorite easy chair, with lots of volume around the knees, plenty of foot room, a large, easy-entry cockpit, and the “Cone of Comfort,” a thin foam lining in the bow.

Stick some tricks with the Liquidlogic CR125 and CR250

If you want to get to waves easily, surf them in style, and still be able to walk to your car without looking and feeling like you spent the day on a dirt bike, give the Liquidlogic CR125 or CR250 a test paddle—one of them could be your new ride.

This article was first published in the Fall 2006 issue of Rapid Magazine. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions, or browse the archives.


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