Stephen Wright, Jackson Kayak Factory Team Member, swung by the shop Tuesday morning to let us know what's new in the world of JK. Most of us have had the opportunity to meet Stephen before, but for those who hadn't, it was a great chance to talk about boats with a guy who knows about them inside and out. Stephen's not only a proud member of Team USA, he's a world class boater and instructor - and just a really great guy in general!
Without further introduction, here's what 2010 has in store for Jackson Kayaks!
* The biggest news is Jackson's new creek boat, the Villain! Coming in two sizes (S/M - the Villain S - and M/L - the Villain) this promises to a boat everyone will want to check out. The Villain S is in molding now, so we should be able to get our hands on these soon, with the Villain coming later in April. Both sizes have removable bulkheads that will allow front loading of the boat, but the design will ensure that any unfortunate pitons don't result in a complete failure - upwards of 8" of flex is built into the system! The Villain series will be available in both super linear plastic and Jackson's famous cross-link plastic... which brings us to...
* All whitewater boats will be available in super-linear or cross-link plastics this year. What's the difference? Glad you asked! Cross-link is, hands down, the burliest plastic in the industry. It stretches twice as far as super-linear, has a reduced friction coefficient (which helps it slide over those rocks you're splatting), it's more rigid than super-linear, longer lasting and it boasts a 2 year manufacturer warranty! That said, super-linear is the industry standard, so it's as strong as any other non-Jackson boat on the market and Jackson backs it with a 1 year warranty. Oh yeah - and it's $150 less than the cross-linked versions. Win-win, right? One more differentiator with these two flavors of the same boat: the super-linear versions come with standard outfitting and the cross-link versions come complete with Sweet Cheeks & Happy Feet (Jackson's high performance, highly adjustable) outfitting.
* Speaking of plastics, another fun thing for the 2010 line up is that for $70 you can choose whatever color of Jackson Kayak whitewater boat your heart desires. Simply let us know which boat you want, what colors you want (and where - in general - front, back, side?) and we'll put your order in. We'll hear back from Jackson then on when your boat can be custom made, we'll confirm with you and wah-lah! The purple/pink/yellow burst boat you've been dreaming of can be yours!
* A couple of non-whitewater "coming soon" boats: the Journey rec is being molded now and will set the bar for solid, all around rec boats. For all of you kayak fishing maniacs, a new bass fishing boat is being developed in conjuction with Drew Gregory. And a Riviera sit-inside is on the horizon!