Let's start with the little version and go up in size:
Jackson Side Kick
I have to admit when we first unwrapped the Side Kick I was a little shocked at how small it was. I was under the feeling the Sidekick was going to be a Small adult's boat not a kid's boat. It is definitely a kids boat no question. Starting there one word description - WOW! Finally a GREAT kids boat. It'll fit a similar paddler size as the Fun 1.5 but its way different. The Fun 1.5 was the best kids' boat to date prior to the side kick. The only problem was that the Fun 1.5 isn't a river runner. It's a play boat. Who learns in a play boat? It's VERY hard to learn in a play boat. The side kick is a safe river running kayak- that's all I should really need to say in a kids boat 'but wait, there's more'.
It rolls great.
It fits a wide range of kids - so your kid won't out grow it by tomorrow - and it'll be a great hand me down for your next kid or friends' kid.
The deck is nice and peaked so it'll keep the paddlers visibility open and not constantly splashed by waves.
All in all this is the best kids' boat I've ever seen. This kind of product will help grow the sport and allow more kids to have fun on the water.
There has been a lot of speculation as to the niche this boat falls in. Is it a creek boat? Is it a river runner? Is it a boat for a first timers (newbie) kayak? Is it an over nighter kayak?
To be open, we're still trying to figure that one out. So far we've had 4 different paddlers out in it. All had similar feedback:
S.E- Stable, predictable, fun, and responsive. It fit me right out of the gate. I'm looking for a river running kayak for class 3 a little 4 that I can surf in. Looks like I found it. Only bad thing I have to say is it's slower than the Pyranha Burn. I floated sideways into a hole and didn't flip!
J.W.- (Very experienced paddler that's paddled a ton of different boats.)
"Loved it. It's stable, rolls easily, surfs, and did I mention stable? I probably won't take it down anything too class 5-iy. Definitely for those runs that I want something sportier than a huge creeker. Seems big enough for a light over night load. I was surprised how easily it surfed and spun on a wave. Fun all-rounder for sure! I'm buying one"
Jackson Super Hero
This is the 'biggie size' Hero. We received our first one in 2 days ago 4/6/8 consequently, only one person has paddled it - ironically he ended up buying one! Here's what he had to say:
"I demoed a Mamba, Mega Rocker
, and Super Hero
. I liked both but the Superhero was a way better boat for me because it is more responsive and surfs. I'm not big on surfing infact I'm just learning to kayak however; I can tell this boat will open a lot of doors for me as I develop more skills. It was very stable. I did flip and pulled a half effort roll …. Came up just fine! Wow. I shouldn't have been able to pull that roll off, but I did! Easy boat to roll!"
We'll keep you posted on reviewing all three Heroes as we're able to spend more on water time in them.
So far I'm calling the Hero series a home run.