I started kayaking when kayaks were 12 feet long and the Perception Dancer was considered radical. I own some relatively current small play boats that are under six feet. I was looking for a flat bottomed boat that would surf well but round enough chines and enough volume that you could drop into holes and side surf them like the old days.
The Remix has hull design very similar to the old Necky Jive but with more volume. It doesn't surf as well as a Jive (a tall order) but the extra volume is much more forgiving in big white water. The entry into the beveled edges is a bit more gradual than the Jive allowing for pretty relaxed side surfing. Plus with the modern outfitting it is about ten times more comfortable. I can sit in a Remix 69 comfortably all day and change the position of my legs (I am 6ft 180lbs).
General river running is very precise, predictable and at the same time forgiving. The hull speed is very good by modern standards (that is not saying much). One really stand out feature is how well it makes eddy turns. How much difference can there be you say? All I can tell you is that I have never had so much fun making eddy turns and I have owned or paddled a lot of boats. It is like it has little rocket boosters. One other thing it punches through holes like nothing and the same goes for corking out of the bottom of falls - again it is like it has little rocket boosters.
White water feels like a fun amusement park ride with this boat. If you are a beginner and white water freaks you out after some practice with this kayak you need to find a different sport. About the only criticism of the boat I have is the easily adjustable thigh braces although comfortable could be more solid and substantial.I purchased a Remix 69 this last spring in preparation for a trip down the Grand Canyon. Not having much WW experience, I bought the boat based upon reviews I had read and a pool sessions worth of rolling, bracing, spinning the boat. With a grand total of 5 days of real WW prep my wife and I joined other kayakers, WW canoeists, and inflatable kayakers on a two week trip down the Colorado.
The Remix handled very well, was amazingly comfortable, and rolls easily. I had no problems getting it up to speed when I needed it. In fact, I had to be careful that I didn't overtake other kayakers when we ran the rapids. With a 34" inseam, my feet were a bit cramped, but not fatally so. The seat was set up too far back when I initially got the boat and I had to move it about 1.5 inches forward to get good trim and keep it from wanted to spin on every stroke.
The only downside to running the Colorado was that when I swam (which I did 4 times) getting the boat to shore was a real bear. Even with float bags, the volume of the Remix means that it rides like a partially submerged submarine and is a real pain to tow. Of course, if I hadn't swam any rapids this wouldn't have been an issue.
So, all in all, it's a very nice boat and I am looking forward to running some more rivers in it.Over the weekend, I motored down to a cruise-in in my late model ride. Iíve become used to turbine-like smoothness and quiet. I climbed out of it and into a vintage 427 Vette. Wham! A whole different world of power and sensations.
Thatís the closest I can come to describe the feeling of wriggling out of my river/play boats and dropping into the Remix. This boat is cocked, locked and ready to rock. Itís got the speed to crash through eddy fences and make attainments a breeze. But, the rockered ends enable it to sweep like a shorty.
Itís a unique hull design. Enough edge to get some carve on peelouts, but rounding sufficient to easily dial in a lean. It shrugs off funny water and tells the big stuff to bring it on. Ferries and draws are a walk in the park. Rolling? Itís up before you can think about it.
It loves to surf. If youíre on a side in a sticky wave, just use the flat plate on the stern deck to squirt right out. The outfitting is parlor plush, although I prefer a backband with a little more grab. The hip padding wraps up and around the cockpit rim. Nice for carrying on the shoulder, but may not be a friend to a tight sprayskirt. Overall quality is first rate.
Not wild about the color selection. The green and gold bring pea and squash soups to mind, and thereís no red available. The optional graphics packages are nice, but the flowery surfer edition pretty much confines your resale market to one gender, in my estimation.
If you need a reference point, think of a narrower creeker with speed and some edge. Itís not park ní play; itís let Ďer rip! But, itís tough to typecast this ďBack to the FutureĒ kayak. It just canít wait to get out on the big wave trains and punch through a few holes. If you feel the same, it may be the boat for you.