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Old 05-04-2007   #1
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 176
Does Anyone Else think Jackson Kayaks Needs to get Their Priorities Straight??

First off I want to say I have had a couple of opportunities to paddle the new Allstar thanks to Confluence Kayaks hooking up the connection for me, and this boat is off the hook. Now for my gripe. I think Jackson Kayaks really blew it on getting getting boats to the market place. To be fair this is hands down the best new boat of the year. I paddled the Agent 6.2 and though fun it was not nearly as much fun both on the wave and in the hole and I don't even want to talk about the new showing from liquid logic. Granted there is still a new Bliss Stick and fluid boat to come out but they are still not major contenders in the market here in Colorado. Maybe I am making to much of this and there is not the market for the allstar here in Colorado but I suspect there are a lot of people looking to get into a new play boat this year. I also suspect there are more people in the Allstars weight range than the Star or Shooting Star which have both been in the shop for a while. Additionally where is the Super Star? Again more boaters in this weight range than 10 year old kids looking to go huge. Then to add insult to injury they produce the Rocker series and get them in the shops as well. Dont get me wrong here I am a creeker to the core but a shop will sell only a fraction of creek boats compared to playboats. In my mind the only good choice they made was to get the fun series done. I am not personally into these boats but they certainly do represent the broadest market segment for the company. But in not producing the Allstar / Super Star next they isolated they second largest market segment and now those of us who have had the opportunity to paddle the Allstar are stuck in limbo until they decide to get some boats to the shops. I know I probably just sound like a spoiled kid who wants his toy now but from a business standpoint does this make sense to anyone else or am I just full of sh*t?

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Old 05-04-2007   #2
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LiquidGuy87's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 295
I definetely agree that an extreme shortage of All-Stars and Super-Stars is taking place, but I did hear that a production mishap took place with some boats in the star series (not really sure how many). This might attribute to the long wait on many boats in the Star series.

To me, Jackson really does have their shit together. Look at the bullshit that Confluence has been going though. I just picked up a new project 52 the other day only to find that all 2007 project 52's have a cosmetic blem (possibly a structural issue) on the stern seam... and by the way... Wavesport's response to the retailer was "sell the boat at retail anyways... it's only cosmetic". My question to wavesport:"is an 1/8 of an inch deep split on stern seam truly only a blem?" Why would I drop $1000 for a blem.

I retured the boat and I'm buying an allstar at CKS this weekend. I'm sure Jackson will stand behind their products 100%. If Wavesport payed any attention to production and customer service I would stick with the project, but the truth is they don't.

Jackson is where it's at.


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Old 05-04-2007   #3
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 176
Good choice on the Allstar, but how do you propose to get one? As far as I have been told there arent any new ones in the state yet.
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Old 05-04-2007   #4
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Bham, Washington
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 463

Quit your whinning and come up to boat the gnarrows. To borrow a quote from climbing;

Playboating is neither.
The high side of good - Daniel D
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Old 05-04-2007   #5
Telluride, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 207
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Just talked to Jackson. My SuperFun cracked on the hull. It took about two seconds for them to offer to replace it. They're a great company to deal with and they definitely have it together.

I'm sure from a business standpoint they want to have as many AllStars and SuperStars out there as possible (who wouldn't?). But if they had a problem in manufacturing then that would obviously slow things down and when you add that to huge demand you end up with no boats in shops. I'm sure they didn't conscioulsy make the decision to hold off on Stars and get out Rockers (although that was the biggest change in their line. the others are arguably just improvements to the previous designs. and the creek boat market is a good target right now. most people would say the jefe's the leader but it hasn't changed in about 5 yrs. so a lot of people are looking for some new blood).

Anyway, like I said they're a great company with great boats (but you already know that). Hopefully you (and others) can hold off on buying a new boat until you can get your hands on one.
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Old 05-04-2007   #6
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 57
I had no problem getting an 07 Allstar right away about a month ago. I think the problem is that they fill all shop orders according to a pecking order then if a shop reorders a second batch it takes a while to get them in. So if you didn't snatch one up quick, you may have to wait or look for one on-line out of state.

As to the Superstars, my understanding is that the machining company that makes their molds totally screwed up and made a second star or shooting star mold instead of the Superstar mold. From info from BT, looks like Superstars will start shipping soon.

As to going with the Rocker series ahead of the star series, that made good business sense since JK wasn't perceived as a creek boating company but the updated Rocker series, which is a very good creeker, is going a long way to changing that perception and they wanted to get it out during "creeking" season, i.e., early to late spring.

"It's All Good"
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Old 05-04-2007   #7
Emigrant, Montana
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 21
Market for kayaks? What market?

Is there really much of a market for any whitewater kayaks? I think this is smart business what Jackson is doing. Creek boats have a shelf life of several years- people arent always looking for the latest and greatest when it comes to creekers- so, of course release it as soon as you have it made, because over the tenure of its utility you'll sell alot of them and get the money back on your investment.
Play boats though- what a losing endevour. You have to make several sizes of them, so that means your going to sell less of each model, then the boat is at the whim of the consumer. If it becomes popular you get a year or perhaps two of selling them- after that you can't hardly give them away.

Jackson is smart- release a few of them- see the response people give it. If its a great response, keep releasing them in small batches and keep the demand up and the supply low- this way dealers can sell them for retail price, because of the lack of them available. If something else comes out that is hotter, you quit making them and come out with something new- that way the dealer nor the manufacturer are stuck with a bunch of boats that nobody wants. Jackson is playing it safe and smart!
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Old 05-04-2007   #8
Edwards, Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 258
All-Star in stock

Talked to them earlier today and it looks like a couple more weeks to get more all-stars, however it would take a lot longer to reorder many of the other companies boats at this point.
We have a couple all-stars in stock & our swap is going on this weekend.

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Old 05-04-2007   #9
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Leadvillian, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 381
Isn't it always the case?

I have never thought that the east coast boat manufacturers are very in touch with the western market. Full inventory should be in stores by May 1. Period.

There's some truth to the small market being a consideration. Stores wait to place pre-season orders, manufacturers deal with delays in production (in the case of Jackson they had some kind of mold disaster during the initial run - last years molds were re-run), and it's a cash poor industry everyone wants terms...

It's a give and take so just think when you're in the line in the eddy "do I want there to more whitewater paddlers?"
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Old 05-06-2007   #10
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Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 295
Just picked up the '07 All-Star at CKS in Buena Vista. Sweet stuff. It's going to take a little bit of time to get used to coming from the project... but it should be awesome once I dial it in.

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