Zenfolio | Seth Ashworth | The Hype is real. Jackson Kayak Nirvana First impressions.

The Hype is real. Jackson Kayak Nirvana First impressions.

August 03, 2017  •  Leave a Comment



I was lucky enough to hear about a new Jackson Kayak Creek boat a little over a year ago, on the drive back from the ‘Search for Dream Wave’ trip, Dane Jackson showed me the CAD (Computer Aided Design) drawings on his phone.  Through the winter as the prototype phase was happening I was keenly following Dane, Rush Sturges, Alec Vorhees and a few others who were involved in the prototype testing.  Whenever I heard something from them it usually started with “Dude, this boat is gonna be so sick"  but it is natural for them to be hyped about it, after all they are helping to improve it.  

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Then earlier this spring I had the chance to paddle the final prototype whilst I was staying with Clay  and Stephen Wright (no they aren't brothers) in Tennessee.  I was blown away at how easy it was to paddle.  Although it was a 9ft boat it felt nimble and easy to turn.  Acceleration was off the charts, it was super stable and had enough bow rocker to comfortably rocket through almost every boof on the river, with no effort.  But I was still wary.  I know that the things can change between the final prototype and the finished product due to tiny changes in the mould, plastic cooling time, etc etc so I did my best not to be too pumped about it before I received my finished boat.  

Well, I got my new boat on the weekend and wasted no time on getting out and using it on some of the limited creeking options we have here in eastern Canada in the summer time.  I paddled it first on the Seven Sisters section of the Rouge river, and then a day on the Racquette river in upstate NY.  This boat is even better then the prototype. The knee position is a hair lower and the edges are just a bit easier.  It boofs easily, accelerates like a dream, turns easier than the large Zen that I am moving out of.  It is a lot of boat at 9ft long but it doesn’t feel like a lot.  The thing I enjoyed most was the feeling of ‘ease of use’ feeling that the Nirvana made me feel.  I have only paddled my freestyle boat for almost 10 weeks on only bigger volume whitewater, but the Nirvana made it easy to hop straight back into some class 4/4+ creeking like I hadn’t missed a day in my creek boat. So far very very stoked on paddling this boat and can’t wait to paddle it a lot more.  untitled-0309388untitled-0309388DCIM\100GOPRO\G0309388. untitled-0228969untitled-0228969DCIM\100GOPRO\G0228969. untitled-0289278untitled-0289278DCIM\100GOPRO\G0289278.


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