The Flip Stick is a relatively new boat from New Zealand manufacturers Bliss-Stick. I first saw the boat on the stands at the International Canoe show in the UK last February and was quite impressed by its overall look and design. I’m 6ft 2inch with size 10 feet and found the Flip Stick really comfy and felt like it fitted. The Flip Stick is 200cm long and has a flat planning hull and therefore is extremely loose. The ends are so short and rockered, they do not catch and pearl in the oncoming greenwater, allowing for easy spins on the greenest of waves it will also allow for those yet to be achieved arial moves. On the negative side the boat is noticably slower than similar boats I have tried.

The boat also carves extremely well due to its really nice edges. In the hole the Flip-Stick has stable ends that are short, but well distributed, allowing for good cartwheel sequences. That being said, it is also voluminous (172 litres) and short enough to get the big ‘pop’ needed for loops, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Outfitting is pretty basic, but that said it works well and at the end of the day is very easy to fix or replace if it were ever to break. The back rest feels pretty solid and once adjusted stayed in place.

The footrest used was a carved piece of foam – simple, solid and reliable! Some may want to see a boat with all singing/dancing outfitting but personally I prefer simple outfitting.

This boat is designed to bridge the gap between play and river running machine, which it does reasonably well. Compromises between river-running and play ability have been made, and on the whole have been successful. The Flip stick is happy on a play wave as well as running a class 4-5 river. The boat is also very kind on your wallet!