2010 Jackson Kayak Reviews & Paddle This Tuesday!

We're really excited to have one of Jackson Kayak's factory pros in town with us this Tuesday (3/23/10) to fill us in on their line-up for this year! Stephen Wright will be around the shop all day if you have questions, but better yet - he's taking us out for an after-work paddle so we can use his boats and get a good on-water feel for the new designs. Want to join us? Please do! We're going to head out from the shop around 5pm and would love to have you give us your thoughts on the new boats too (give us a call if you need to meet us elsewhere so we're sure not to miss you).

If you want to use your coffee breaks (it IS a Friday after all) for a little "research", here are some reviews to keep ya' busy!

The 2010 Stars

We have yet to meet a playboater out there who doesn't love the Star family. They're a fantastic playboat and it sounds like Jackson is just raising the bar with the updated 2010 line up. Here's a quick review courtesy of Phil Boyer:

The shorter bow and stern along with the increased volume around the cockpit allow the boat to spin faster, rotate from bow to stern more quickly and maximize retentiveness – on holes and waves. These enhancements offer many benefits:

-an increase in energy reserves
-longer surfs
-faster boat response from edge to edge
-stable while front, back and side surfing
-secondary stability while surfing
-spins on a dime
-bigger bounce and pop for bigger moves
-ease of dropping the bow or stern for arial moves
-easy to roll from all positions

The 2010 Allstar is a play boat like no other. It will help every paddler become a better play boater.


Need some more "from the water" reviews? Here ya' go!

The 2010 Funs

This boat is hands down one of our most popular boats: it runs rivers, it plays, it's (pardon the pun) FUN! Here's a quick review of the 2010 from Scott Dougherty, owner/teacher of World Class Kayak Academy:

The new Fun series is a terrific improvement on what has been a staple choice for paddlers who prefer a more classic design over the more freestyle specific 2010 Star series. It feels much more balanced in volume distribution between the bow and stern in comparison to the previous model, making it easy to maintain balance when linking ends.

This seemed to contribute to the boat’s stability in the more challenging whitewater, as well, as it felt very comfortable in the rapids on the Upper Gauley. At the same time, the new Fun retains the narrower width and longer length in the tail retaining the design’s ability to initiate stern squirts and stalls easily. Finally, one of the biggest improvements over the previous design in my opinion was the hull. On a wave and in a hole it had the release I seek in a playboat, spinning easily on smaller green waves. This is a quality I enjoy in the Star series, which combined with the length of the Fun series made it easy to catch every variety of play feature all the way down the river. I can see a lot of potential in this boat and look forward to paddling it downriver in big water.


Also check out JK's announcement of the redesigned Fun series for official specs.

The All New Villian

This is Jackson's latest creek boat offering and so far all the feedback we've heard is nothing but gold! I thought I'd post a review from Stephen Wright, since we're getting to paddle with him, and his post has a video along with it - and who doesn't love a good video, right?

The new Villain S rocks my world! This video is of the 49 to Bridgeport section of the South Yuba near Nevada City in California. This is my first attempt at a video with my new GoPro Hero HD helmet cam-I learned the hard way that Transcend SD cards don’t get along with GoPro-it stopped recording after about 1/3 of the run.

The Villain S is SWEET! It’s FAST, nimble, boofs EVERYTHING, stable, forgiving, holds a line at speed yet easy to spin at low speeds, carries TONS of speed through foam and away from drops. This is a great run to highlight how well the Villain S paddles: plenty of rocks and boofs, but lots of boils and pushy curlers as well. Keep an eye out for how easily this boat goes where I want it to-love that. You’ll also get to see my creeking style: boof every rock I can see-I just can’t stay away from them.I have a real problem.


More proof required? Here's a ladies take on the Villian from Kat Levitt as well as a fairly extensive review from Darin McQuoid.

One more thing

Playak.com posted an article the other day on color customization for Jackson Kayaks. If you have the perfect color scheme in mind, here are the details on how to make it happen. Give us a call and we can get you set up with the prettiest (or coolest, or toughest) boat you've ever laid your eyes on!

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