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Bliss Stick Tuna vs Liquid Logic Stomper 90

- Friday August 3, 2012
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A couple weeks ago, Bliss Stick posted a pic of their new all white Tuna creek boat on Facebook. It looked really sick in white and I had heard a ton of hype about the boat especially the speed so naturally I was anxious to try one out. I left them a comment on the post and Bliss Stick's Sam Fulbright was kind enough to respond and figure out how to get one to me. Turned out that some of their crew were headed down to the Upper Ocoee River for a World Kayak Hometown Throwdown race that next weekend and Sam would be camping with us at our usual hangout Adventures Unlimited, the unofficial Ocoee kayak hangout.  Now, excited as I was, I warned Sam that I currently had a Liquid Logic Stomper 90 and I LOVE that boat. It was gonna take one special creeker to sway my opinion. Check out my blog post on the Stomper here. Despite that, he was confident I would change my mind so Saturday morning I grabbed the Tuna and started pouring over the details.  

I decided to set it beside my buddy and I's two Stompers 90s at the campsite to compare. I can definitely say that they share some similar characteristics in hull shape and size. Stomper 80 would be even closer. Length is similar at 8'6" for the Tuna vs 8'5" for the Stomper 90. Volume is 78 in the Tuna vs 90 for my Stomper. Given the hull shape and lines, the length and volume, it looks fast.  Check out the gallery to see side by side photos. Beyond the general shape though, it is easy to see that the Tuna is a more agressive vessel. The bow and stern are more pointy rather than rounded like on the Stomper, the stern rocker transition is more abrupt, edges are more pronounced but not as aggresive as say a Burn. Basically it looks like a fast, aggressive creekboat made for speed, boofing and carving in serious whitewater.

Click to see the gallery

On to the outfitting. I personally don't have any experience with Bliss Stick outfitting so I was not sure what to expect. What I did know is that Liquid Logic's Bad-Ass outfitting (actual name) is in my Stomper and it lives up to it's name in every way possible. Hard to compete with. At first glance, the Tuna's seat looked hard and uncomfortable. Even though the seat pad appears rather thin, after sitting in it, I found that it was rather comfortable. The bulkhead is also nice and very adjustable. By far the shining star of the outfitting though, in my opinion, is the thigh adjustments. You can adjust them back and forth and then adjust how much they come out from the sidewalls for the ultimate fit. In the Tuna it really felt like I could lock myself in there for the ultimate in control. Even the Bad-Ass outfitting of the Stomper can't touch it and I honestly don't know why all manufacturers don't do something similar. 

That's great and all but you are probably wondering how it performed on the water. Well, I took the Stomper out on Friday and ran the Middle Ocoee from start to finish. I then took the Tuna out on Saturday on the exact same run for a fair comparison.  While this was a good back to back run, let me point out that the Ocoee is not the greatest place for a creeking test seeing as how it's not a creek. Not a whole lot I could do about that given the season but I made the best of it boofing off every rock I could find, taking the hardest lines, doing rock slides and more. 

I'm happy to report that the Tuna rides just like it looks. It basically felt like a more aggressive Stomper, which is a good thing in my opinion. The slightly harder lines allow it to carve well without having to worry about it tripping you up in an eddy, etc. The Stomper, with its' softer edges takes a little effort to slide into an eddy. Oh and the speed, wow the speed. The Tuna is insanely fast. The planing hull with its' parting lines allow it to plane up on the water more than the Stomper, thus giving it more top speed. The Tuna is so fast in fact that it takes a little bit to get used to. I nearly killed a playboater in Staging Eddy while carving back and forth across the main current because of the speed and shot wide at the start of Broken Nose off the curler, into the top eddy and nearly onto the bank! Like doing attainments? On the Ocoee at least, I could actually stop mid-rapid and attain back up river some. That's crazy fast!

These same characterisitcs that make it quick also keep it from spining on a dim at lower speeds as quickly as the Stomper does but I think it's a fair trade-off. I have also heard some people say they enjoy that aspect of it because they are less likely to inadvertently turn sideways when boofing off a ledge like is possible in the Stomper. I've personally never had that problem but I could see how it could happen. 

Now you would think with all that speed and carving ability, stability might suffer. Thankfully I didn't notice that at all. Both primary and secondary stability felt great. While not quite as stable feeling as the Stomper 90, probably due to the much lower volume, it is still rock-solid and I felt super comfortable in it all day.  Boofing also felt good. While not quite the auto-boof of the Stomper, still plenty easy to do. Punching holes and waves also came naturally and never upset the Tuna.  Rolling was easy too.

So what is my conclusion from my float? I love the Tuna.  Possibly even enough to make me switch out from my Stomper, which is really saying something considering what an amazing boat it is. I figured I would like the Tuna going in but not this much. The speed, stability, awesome fit of the outfitting for amazing control, etc should be experienced by all.  Congrats to the whole Bliss Stick team for crafting such a great boat and big thanks to Sam for hooking me up with a demo.

If you are in the market for a creeker, do yourself a favor and check a Tuna out. See the specs and order yourself one at and check out the promo video below. 


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