The Liska is something that I have personally been looking forward to since the unveiling of our prototype last summer. I find myself taking people new to kayaking a lot every year and this kayaks dimensions grabbed my eyes very right away. The 12’-1” length is going to track well and the 34 inches in width is going to offer some stability. The kayak looked good in all of the photos the Jackson Kayak factory put out early in 2017. Thankfully I got to lay my hands on one of the first Liska’s from the production line at the Louisville boat show with Canoe KY and I am even more impressed after meeting the Liska in person.
One thing you are going to notice right away is how open the deck of this kayak is. Jackson narrowed the sidewall of the deck making it so you can hold a nice wide stance and gave it that open feel. The center console is not too long but offers a great amount of space for a depth finder or a couple smaller tackle boxes. Both the front hatch and console area have a new turn style latch which is very nice for getting to all the gear you need. On the sidewalls as well as the center console the Liska offers a good amount of rail tack to mount anything you might need.
In the seat area of the cockpit you will find the same track system that most the HD and FD models use. I like this option to trim the kayak based on the venue that I am in. On the river I am going to want that seat back a little further to aid in steering and forward on the lake for tracking. The Ergo seat comes with the Liska which is the same seat I have on my Big Rig and found very comfortable all of last season. Beside the seat Jackson added rail track so you could swap the seat for your Orion Cooler or cup holder. You will also find that under the seat they added ability to add on the new tray that comes with the Mayfly and Coosa FD.
Moving behind the seat to the tank well you will find 2 flush mounted rod holders that will be nice for those short trips when you're not carrying much tackle. The tank well it’s self is massive, I am sure crate sizes is going to be a non issue in the Liska. Just beyond the tank you will notice the kayak is also power pole and drag chain ready. I do like the molded handle on the back as well.
Seeing the Liska in person was love at 1st sight. The lower profile is going to be so nice on a windy day when you’re battling that strong head wind. Personally I felt like the kayak was super stable and I was going to have room for human error with my movements. I like the fact that this kayak is a blank canvas as well; it’s really going to allow me to set it up how I need it day to day. This kayak is going to allow me to put just about anyone in the seat and let them enjoy the day on the water. I love where the Liska falls into the Jackson Kayak line-up and really believe this kayak is going to be a fan favorite. The only question I have left is am I getting 1 or 2 Liska's to enjoy this summer?