David K. Foot, professor of economics at the University of Toronto, is the author of the best-selling book Boom, Bust & Echo: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Shift. Foot is a demographics expert who makes the aging of society relevant to any group—even whitewater paddlers. He explores how changing demographics, especially the aging of the massive boomer generation and the entry of their children, the echo generation, into the marketplace will redefine society’s needs. Reading between the lines I think you’ll find the reason behind the Liquidlogic Remix.

Liquidlogic Remix Specs
(47 / 59 / 69 / 79)
Length: 7’4” / 8’6” / 8’9” / 9’0”
Width: 20.9” / 25.2” / 25.6” / 26.4”
Volume: 47 / 59 / 69 / 79 U.S. gal
Weight: 26 / 40 / 44 / 44 lbs
Weight Range: 40-121 / 110-201 /
130-204 / 181-280 lbs
MSRP: $729 / $1,049 / $1,049 / $1,049

The Liquidlogic Remix comes back around

Joe Pulliam, the founder of Dagger Kayaks and now consultant for the Paddlesports Industry Association estimates that the heyday was in 2000 when the whitewater market was 32,000 boats strong in North America. Dagger, he figures, sold just over 6,000 RPMs that year. Why?

Foot would first look at census data and age of Rapid’s readership. In the late ‘90s the largest population group in North America was in its whitewater years—somewhere between university and 40. The boomers grew up with Deliverance and thrived on the first wave of roto-moulded plastic kayaks. The RPM, released in ‘96, was the perfect river runner and playboat for the average boater.

Soon after, boomer paddlers’ lives began to focus more on their young children. They just weren’t getting enough river days to justify buying a new boat.

Besides, they thought, nothing was better than their RPM for river running. Until now.

The Remix fills a niche

Fast forward to 2008. Liquidlogic is hoping that this large group of paddlers will be returning to rivers and bringing their children. Liquidlogic’s Remix, available in four sizes (the 47 specifically for their kids), is going to help make the transition back to the river a smooth one because it’s a boat they’re used to—remember, the boomers missed the entire freestyle craze.

Person paddling a Liquidlogic Remix kayak through whitewater
Feature Photo: Scott MacGregor

“When I learned how to paddle, all the boats were fast,” says Shane Benedict, designer of the Remix. “And that was one of the big things that made peel outs, eddy turns, ferries and control pretty manageable. That speed carried you through rapids, it gave you more ability to cross over currents or get deeper into the calm spots instead of spinning out on eddy lines.”

It’s a quick learner boat

Last fall I attended the Whitewater Symposium in Fort Henry, Maryland, where the Remix was the most talked about boat. This group of top instructors, mostly boomers themselves, strongly believe kayaks need a minimum amount of speed, stability and tracking for beginners to understand the basic concepts of paddling whitewater.

The Remix is also going to be popular with class-III river runners and big-water paddlers and maybe even some creekers looking for more speed, rocker and bow and stern volume that keeps the boat at the surface. Good old front surfing in the Remix is a blast. And everyone enjoys the modern safety and convenience features like bomber anchor and tow points, drain plug and innovative outfitting that had not been thought of 10 years ago.

Bust out with the Liquidlogic Remix

Foot contends that with an understanding of demographics you can understand the past and create a vision for the future. Demographics, Foot says, explains two-thirds of everything. The rest may be left up to fashion, for which Liquidlogic offers limited editions of the Remix with surfer flowers and flames. These come at a $50 premium, which is perfect really because baby boomers also have lots of money.

This article was first published in the Fall 2008 issue of Rapid Magazine. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions, or browse the archives.

 

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