Jackson Kayak will formally unveil two new whitewater kayaks and a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jackson Kayak’s new Star series, now production ready, the groundbreaking Karma creek boats alongside the new SUPerCHARGER Stand Up Paddleboard were designed and manufactured at the company’s factory in Sparta, Tenn., and will be on full display throughout the expo.
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For the latest line of kayaks, Jackson Kayak returned to the successful partnership in design of David Knight and Eric “EJ” Jackson to produce a full upgrade to their leading freestyle Star series as well as adding depth to the creek/river running line leaning on the success of the 2012 Zen hull design with added creek-savvy innovation. Leading designer Tony Lee teamed with whitewater industry veteran Ken “Hobie”Hoeve to bring Jackson Kayak to a new stage in river craft with his introduction of the SUPerCHARGER, a SUP designed for running rivers and whitewater play.
Kayak: Star Series
Ready for World Championships Freestyle Kayak- Three sizes, like our past Star series, Star, All-Star, Super Star. Going for more user friendly than the Rock Stars but super high performance. Main differences from past 2010 All-Star, or 2012 Rock Star will be having a longer boat, again, with some of the benefits being slicier smoother feel, but still huge loops and aerial moves. Visual will be a very sexy boat, less stubby. The Stars will focus on lighter weight, fast, smooth, balanced and easy to paddle.
STAR Length: 67” Width: 25-3/8” Volume: 51-1/8 gal
ALL STAR Length: 70-1/2” Width: 26-5/8” Volume: 59-3/8 gal
SUPER STAR Length: 73-5/8” Width: 27-3/4” Volume: 67-5/8 gal
"Star Quote - EJ"
Jackson Kayak’s Fourth Generation Creek Boat in the past 9 years takes a big leap forwards. The Karma takes a turn towards speed, stability, and carving. Following up from the success of the 2012 Zen hull design, the Karma takes the speed and performance of it’s sister craft and is built for the tight lines and drops of the creek. Fast, stable, and forgiving, with predictable turning, boofing, and a bow that rises over anything in its way. The Karma will be released in October, 2012 in two sizes.
KARMA M Length: 8’6” Width: 26” Volume: 83 gal
KARMA L Length: 8’11” Width: 27” Volume: 96 gal
"Karma Quote - EJ"
This board is by far the most stable, stiff, durable and versatile river running SUP ever made. Constructed out of the same material as our whitewater kayaks it gives riders the ability to surf standing waves and paddle the most difficult rapids with ease. Its channel bottom hull and removable fins allow it to track yet spin quickly. It’s the board that will outlast and outperform in the river environment.
MSRP – $799
Length – 9’ 8” Width – 36” Weight –45 lbs
"I have paddled every type of SUP in whitewater and the SUPercharger is BY FAR the most stable and river worthy board I have ever used. It has it all. Superior stability, incredibly durable and versatile and it punches thru holes and waves yet allows the paddler to turn quickly. It makes any section of river more fun and instills confidence in it's paddler. This is the one board that anyone can hop on and immediately feel the stability and charge the river." – Ken Hoeve, JK SUP Guru
About Jackson Kayak: Jackson Kayak was founded in 2003 by Eric Jackson. Currently located in Sparta, Tenn., near the Caney Fork River, Jackson Kayak designs, builds, and manufactures a multitude of models. Their products are all made in the USA. Their line of high quality kayaks includes whitewater, creeking, touring, environmental, and fishing. Converting an old Levi’s Jeans factory into their manufacturing headquarters, Jackson Kayak has assisted not only in furthering the kayak industry but also promoting the economy of Sparta.
Kokatat has just announced the fruits of their labour with the recently announced partnership with Eric “E.J.” Jackson and his son Dane.
Starting January, 2013, you will be able to purchase the Kokatat Jackson Collection which will include specially designed dry suit, dry-top and shorty dry-top.
Everything will be unveiled at Outdoor Retailer in a couple of weeks but they released a couple of sneak peek photos below.
As you can see, everything is designed from a whitewater kayaking perspective so most of the bells and whistles (like pockets) that come on their touring gear have been left behind with a focus on sleekness, function and flexibility.
GORE-TEX Icon Dry Suit
The new Icon Dry Suit is a tangerine coloured suit with nice graphics on the arm. The most obvious design change (compared to their other suits) is that they moved the entry zipper from across the front of the chest to the back of your shoulder. I don’t know all the reasons for the change but my guess is that it allows the front of the suit to be more flexible and move more comfortably during whitewater tricks.
GORE-TEX Legend Dry Top
The new Legend Dry Top has many of the same features and colour pattern as the Icon Dry Suit (minus the pants of course). If you have a tighter budget, the dry-top will also be available in their new Hudrus 3-Layer fabric. More on that below.
Hydrus 3L Mythic Shorty Dry Top
The new Mythic Shorty is going to be available in a new material called Hydrus 3L.
I don’t know a whole lot of information about Hydrus 3L but it looks like somebody has finally figured out how to make a waterproof breathable nylon material.
Here is the description I found:
The Mythic shorty, part of the Kokatat Jackson Collection, features Kokatat’s new Hydrus 3L, a three-layer fabric that is exceptionally waterproof and breathable thanks to its super tough Nylon outer layer with a DWR finish, a proprietary polyurethane micro-porous coating, and a soft polyester inner layer to manage moisture.
I wrote to Kokatat to get more info about the pros and cons of the new material and will update when I hear back.
Update: Kokatat said they will be relasing more information about Hydreus 3L in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned!
Maximus Prime PFD
Not specifically part of the Kokatat Jackson Collection but still new on the market, the Maximus Prime PFD looks like a very cool design. I’m keen to see better photos and video showing off the features. It’s a low volume PFD called the Maximus Prime (awesome name) which features a quick release safety harness and O-ring, a tether/ tow system, and an electronics pocket.
The biggest new feature of the Maximus Prime which is hinting at a whole new line of PFD's for next year is what they are calling the “Dynamic Suspension System (DSS)”. According to the info I received, “the DSS features wide, contoured shoulder straps that allow an independently suspended front flotation panel to move with the paddler.”
So there you have it, the Kokatat Jackson Collection. What do you think? Is it time to start saving up for Sping? All signs point to yes.
No word on pricing for anything yet but look for it in your local paddling shop sometime in early 2013.
Jackson Kayak has launched JKTV. The premier episode is a pretty ambitious 25 minutes and covers a trip report from the Costa de Oro; Team Spotlight with Damon Bungard; Misadventures with Indiana James; Tech Tip- How to Backloop; Gear Review- GoPro Hero2 and the Shot of the Month.
You can subscribe via YouTube here.
Jackson Kayak and Dane Jackson swept the USA Freestyle Kayak National Championships that concluded Sunday at Kelly’s Whitewater Park.
Jackson Kayak’s Rock Star, the company’s newest freestyle boat, was the weapon of choice by five of the six paddlers who earned a gold medal. Paddling the Rock Star to the top podium was Jackson Kayak founder and president Eric “EJ” Jackson, who won the Men’s title, while daughter, Emily, won the Women’s division and son, Dane, won the Junior Men’s division plus the all-ages canoe (C1) and open canoe (OC1) classes.
Plattling, Germany – The 2011 International Canoe Federation Freestyle Kayak World Championships could be called Dane’s party, for US teen Dane Jackson who not only was the first and only person to ever compete in all four freestyle disciplines but also took top honors in three of the four and one bronze in the other.
The 17-year-old won gold in the Squirt, Canoe (C1) and Kayak (K1) classes and a bronze in Open Canoe (OC1).
Asked after his final competition if he was tired at all, Jackson said he was feeling pretty full of energy and pretty happy with his performance. “I felt pretty consistent in K1 and was fired up about the high scores in C1 and definitely didn’t expect such a high score in squirt,” Jackson said. Though not an official part of the ICF-sanctioned event, Jackson also won the stand up paddle downriver race held here yesterday.
Join the Musky Brothers as they take a tour of the Jackson Kayak Factory. It’s a pretty solid look at how they are assembled and inspected before going out the door.
In celebration of National Let’s Go Paddling Month, Olympian and four-time freestyle kayak world champion Eric Jackson is launching a promotional campaign rooted in his own life-long love affair with kayaking. The Fun for Life campaign will award one lucky boater a Jackson Kayak Fun series boat each time a new edition of the model is released for as long as they are active paddlers.
The Fun for Life promotion kicks off this Memorial Day weekend at CKS Paddlefest in Buena Vista, CO and runs through the end of June, National Let’s Go Paddling Month. Eligibility for the Fun for Life contest is open to anyone who meets two simple criteria: purchase any Jackson Kayak Fun series boat from any North American Jackson Kayak dealer during the month of June; register the new boat purchase at the Jackson Kayak website. On July 15, Jackson will announce the lucky winner of a Fun for Life, chosen by random draw from among all eligible new Fun owners.
Just in time for the competition season, Jackson Kayak introduces a carbon/Kevlar version of its new generation freestyle playboat, the Rock Star. Jackson Kayak founder and president Eric “EJ” Jackson compared the new carbon/Kevlar edition of the fast-selling new freestyle playboat to a high-performance automobile brand. “The plastic Rock Star series will be the Porsche of its class; carbon/Kevlar takes it to Formula 1 performance levels,” Jackson said. “Expect to see even more “Huge” bonuses when the carbon/Kevlar is in play.” “Imagine putting a 10-pound weight into your kayak and going playboating, then take it out. This is what every paddler will feel immediately,” Jackson said. “The ease of initiating moves is noticeable the first time you try it due to less swing weight. The rigid hull stays true to the design in any situation and shines on big waves for massive take-offs.”
Jackson touted the new 9.5 Kg Carbon Rock Star as an engineering masterpiece, using carbon, Kevlar, foam core, advanced techniques and top-notch craftsmanship to construct each part. “The seams are well done on both the inside and outside and the cockpit rim is a piece of art in itself,” Jackson said. The outfitting of the carbon Rock Star feels just like a plastic Rock Star, including the Sure-lock backband system, Happy Feet and hip pads. The seat is made with a three-inch thick mini-cell foam and foam wedges that are glued in place to custom fit each paddler. Sweet Cheeks 200 goes on top of that to create a bucket seat that is unrivaled in comfort and control while being super lightweight.
Jackson Kayak just got a massive marketing boost this week by getting profiled by Apple (yes, that Apple). Jackson Kayak was highlighted as a company that uses Apple products (iPhone and iPad) extensively throughout the entire manufacturing process by JK employees.
Apple produced a very slick 2.5 minute video where company president where Erik Jackson and Chief Financial Officer Dave Olson introduces us to the company and talks about how using Apple products has really changed the way that they do business.
“We’ve been surprised how people have responded when we've given them iPhones and iPads,” says Dave Olson, Chief Financial Officer. “We were getting more time and more engagement from every employee that had an iPhone. So we got everyone an iPhone.”
Two really cool applications they make extensive use of are Facetime and the . For example, the staff use Facetime to quickly communicate with other staff (who might be out of the office) and to get a visual confirmation if the boat in question is a blem or not.
Jackson Kayak also makes use of the super cool Square credit card reader. It’s a small widget that plugs directly into the iPhone headphone jack and turns the whole thing into a portable credit card reader. Perfect for then they are out on the road.
It’s an interesting article and you can read the full thing here.
Image credit: apple.com
Jackson Kayak has always had a reputation as an innovative and media savvy company so it makes sense that they are one of the first in the paddling community to roll out a custom iPhone app called Jackson Kayak Mobile.
The app brings together the many different parts of Jackson Kayak’s social media element in one handy mobile location. You can easily pick up the latest Jackson news, online videos and photos. They also have an overview of their entire kayak line for easy browsing. One of the more innovative features of the app is the built in chat room. There you can connect with other Jackson Kayak fans through quick messages as well as post photos for others to see.
I think the Jackson Kayak app is a very good start but like all software that is version 1.0, it has some elements that should be improved before it really takes off.