As a long time Jefe paddler who’s just tried the new Burn, I couldn’t help but want to do a side by side comparison. They’re very different boats so this should be easy, but also hopefully helpful to those of you who don’t understand some of the finer points of boat hulls (Yes, I know I’m implying that I do, which is a bit cocky, but c’mon, it is my job!).
First, a look at these two boats:
First, let’s cut to the chase. The Jefe is the Creeker, and the Burn is the River Runner. With its completely rounded displacement hull, aggressive rocker and volume distribution, the Jefe is your choice for boating at the very top end of your comfort zone. You will land soft, stay upright, and punch through features more easily in the Jefe. The boat will swivel on a dime, but once you point it in that new direction, you need to hit the gas. When it comes to slalom-style eddy moves, a boat like this requires a lot of finesse, precision paddling, and superior knowledge of how eddy currents work.
When it comes to slalom style paddling, making fun moves and ferries, surfing, and staying on-line, the Burn really shines. It can handle some gnarly whitewater too, and has excellent primary stability. Because it is more edgy, you will probably flip a little more in the really serious whitewater.
A word on Outfitting: The Liquid Logic outfitting is the total package. Comfortable, high performance, and easy to adjust. If you buy a new Liquid Logic kayak, you are fully outfitted and on the water in no more than 20 minutes! The Connect 30 outfitting from Pyranha is a little less user friendly and takes more tweaking to get it just right. What can you say, it’s a British thing. But if you spend the time, you will be well compensated for your efforts.
A word on Boofing: The Jefe boofs anything like a champ. That smooth rounded hull glances off any rock, no matter how funny its shape. This can lead to an unexpected fun boof, or a way around a really tough spot in a rapid. (A shout out to John Weld of Immersion Research for pointing this out to me!) The Jefe lands softly and modestly. The Burn, though, is more box shaped, and you must take more care to present the bottom of the boat to the boof rock. This requries a mid air hip snap so you don’t land on your edge. If you pull it off right, you will land with a dramatic WHOMP, and heads will turn. Oh yes, they will.
Bottom line: the Burn makes class IV easier and more fun, class V a little trickier, compared to a creek boat like the Jefe. As John Regan put it, if you are a good boater running the gnar, get a Burn. Running the Super Gnar? Go Jefe. And if you’re not running the gnar or the super gnar, get a Wave Sport Diesel. It’s friendly, maneuverable, and fun, and if you ever decide to run Class V, it will be there for you.