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Old 07-13-2007   #1
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4
Need Jackson Kayak Thought/Opinions

Hey all!

I'm working on a project for a class and the company we've decided on is Jackson. So.....since I don't own a Jackson (have the EZ - haven't upgraded - yet) and everyone on this site is an expert (in their own special way), I'm working on some background.

With that in mind...what are your thoughts on:

1. The current industry structure.
2. Jackson as a company.
3. WW kayaking trends (ie - what's the next big thing?)
4. Who could WW kayaking be "marketed" to that it isn't already?
5. What limits Jackson from being the market leader in WW kayaks? What have you always wanted that you feel no company has addresses?

Help where ya can, I'd love your thoughts!

With great appreciation,


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Old 07-14-2007   #2
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 646
Wow, too many questions. Some of them can be answered by searching on past posts. There have been some good comments in the past. Someone said it well in a post: In a niche market for a specialty toy that people are passionate about, you want a company that shares the customer's passion, supports the sport, and has excellent customer service.

Jackson may be the market leader already.

The question of "what is the next big thing", is interesting that could get some good opinions. More WW parks? Something that helps beginners more? I don't see big changes in boat design.

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Old 07-14-2007   #3
Seadog's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 75
you should talk to the Craw. He's on this forum often and works for Jackson.
To be brave, by definition, one has first to be afraid.
-Robert Harris
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Old 07-14-2007   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 416
Send a message via MSN to Jiberish

Shoot me an email, or a PM,I might be able to help you out

Ben Guska
Team Jackson Kayak
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Old 07-14-2007   #5
Big Building with Gear
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 112
Well speaking from the point of view of a retailer/boating lover who does the other, more popular alternative sports (skiing, cycling, climbing), Kayaking is different from other sports out there and is at an interesting place within its progression as a sport. Unlike skiing, it lacks a formal and widespread instructional system and is greatly misunderstood by the general public. I've had people tell me I'm nuts for paddling Boulder Creek at 300 through town and I've had drunken rednecks want to borrow my "oars" to use with their tube on the Gnarrows. It also doesn't have the cultural cache that sports like skiing and cycling do, there is no Tour de France of paddling and the world competitive scene that gets the most attention from the general public (slalom and sprint kayaking in the olympics) really doesn't reflect the state of the sport as a whole. So all this was a roundabout way of getting to my point...the trend in whitewater industry now is two-fold: an expansion of the number of participants and an increasing development of "new-school" techniques and events. 15 years ago playboats were 8 feet long and considered pretty gnarly to paddle, now they're 6 feet or less and being taken down the zambezi. Events like the Teva Mountain Games are bringing modern play and creek paddling to the attention of millions of people that otherwise only recognize boaters as a crazy fringe of canoeing. What Jackson Kayaks really shines at is recognizing this trend and designing their product around it. They're one of the few companies with a full line of kids boats aimed at getting youth paddling better and faster. EJ and his family do a great deal to bring exposure to the sport through their events and positive corporate image. Basil is right, there isn't much more than can be done to boats, the change in the sport will come from a greater number of people exposed to it. Somewhere out there, probably in Iowa, is the next great kayaker, boating's lance armstrong or johnny moseley, who has the potential to take whats being done to the next level. The key to that happening is for boating to reach them and give them the opportunity. Jackson's product not only makes it easy and comfortable for someone to get into boating with something that works for them, they give the support and personality thats needed tom keep people interested. Its a corporate model more folks in the outdoor industry and business in general should follow.

Hope this helps.
2510 47th St #A1, Boulder
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Old 07-15-2007   #6
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4
Thanks so much! This does really help. Ben - I'll email you in just a bit and I'll PM the Craw Thanks again!

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Old 07-15-2007   #7
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4
Well, this may be shallow, but if Jackson used a non-plastic grab loop on their creekboats, they would make the finest product out there, in my opinion.
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Old 07-15-2007   #8
, Iowa
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 7
We're trying

Originally Posted by Alpine Sports View Post
Somewhere out there, probably in Iowa, is the next great kayaker, boating's lance armstrong or johnny moseley, who has the potential to take whats being done to the next level. The key to that happening is for boating to reach them and give them the opportunity.
We have the best playspot of the whole state in our community (Cedar Falls, IA). It's not much but we've taught ourselves how to cartwheel, loop, and a few other simple tricks.

Members of have been leading a push to get a playpark built in at least one of 6 cities. One community is hot-to-trot and has the best attributes. The rest pay it a lot of lip service.

Everyone's right, we have to get more exposure and more people into it. We help teach rolling clinics during the winter/spring in conjunction with Crawdaddy Outdoors. They've seen a marked increase in their customer base in the 2+ years they've been in business. Mostly rec boats, but if some of them progress through the stages we did, some will end up in ww boats.

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Old 07-15-2007   #9
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Boulder, Jackson Kayak, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 911
Send a message via Skype™ to thecraw

Feel free to give me a holler at any time. I usually have my cell on at all times and very easy to get in touch with. 3 03-5 17-2 621

Kodahblue... I NEED A CRAWDADDY OUTDOORS SHIRT NOW!!!! Really please get in touch with me to let me know where I can get one.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body. But rather...To skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... WOW !!!! What a ride!!!!!!"
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Old 07-15-2007   #10
, Iowa
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 7

Go to and ask Darrin to send you a shirt. I can't speak for him but I'll send you the PRP shirt off my back or a new one. PM me and we can work a Crawdaddy shirt out somehow.


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