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Old 03-11-2016   #1
Medford, Oregon
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6
2014 Villain Elite

Lookin to move out of my 2008 Super Hero and into a 2014 Villain Elite. I am 6'1", 230 lbs and pretty much stick to class 3 and 4. I'm mainly into river running and not so much play boating. Input?

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Old 03-11-2016   #2
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,324
The hero is a really good boat, the villian too. But for completely different reasons. The Hero will be more stable sitting in place. The villian will be faster and its rounder edges will be less effected by cross currents. In the end if your boating rocky water with lots of current the villian would be better. If your in deeper water pool drop and your not hitting rocks then I'd lean to the hero.

Way are you thinking of changing things up?

What are you hoping for that the hero lacks?

good Luck.

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Old 03-11-2016   #3
Abron Cabron
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 594
JK boats have different charecteristics based on redesigns every couple years... the 2011 and newer superhero is an awesome, comfortable and very stable boat. it also rolls very reliably. although they are somewhat slow downriver....
a >2011 would be a major upgrade to a 2008, and cheap if you can find one. I have done the best boating of my life in the 2011 superhero. some creeking, mostly river running, even a couple waterfalls on brush creek, even tho i am primarily a class III/Iv boater.

for a newer boat You should check out a 2015 Zen LG for river running class III/IV. Villain and Karma are as Dirtbag described, designed for creeking, big drops, class V etc. although they will do fine on class III rivers too, they are larger boats (1' longer bow on karma then superhero)

one last thing, which turned out to be a massive fail for me, was that they eliminated the high knee bumps on the older boats with the new karma and rockstar. (smoothed out the hull in front of the cockpit.)
in comparison, for my legs, i have all day comfort in the 2011 SH, 2012-15 zen, and 2012 superstar.
I demo'ed a Karma M and my feet were asleep, like the old days, (like afraid to stand up no feeling asleep) in @ one mile. that really, really sucks, because other then rolling reliablity and performance, comfort is one of the biggest reasons to paddle JK.
user experience may vary... but thats what happened to me. to be really thorough, I should have demo'ed a Karma LG, but at 105 gallons, it is a Supertanker of a boat. seemed too big for me. A 2015 Zen does work for me and is my new boat as of last year.
hope this helps a bit.
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Old 03-13-2016   #4
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 475
Originally Posted by jdallas View Post
Lookin to move out of my 2008 Super Hero and into a 2014 Villain Elite. I am 6'1", 230 lbs and pretty much stick to class 3 and 4. I'm mainly into river running and not so much play boating. Input?

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The Villain is a great boat. Second only to the Karma. However, because of your size, I believe your are to big for the Villain. I would suggest it for up to 205 lbs. Your best choice would be the large Karma. It should it elevate your boating to the highest enjoyment. The boat is superior in performance and stability. All three sizes of the Karma drive with ease like they are smaller, but they are the ultimate in stability and performance. I have a couple of friends your size that boat the large and express only the highest appreciation for having bought them. If you do and need any help with outfitting, feel free to contact me.
No risk, no reward. It is not that we have to, it is that we get to. Preparation and education are essential to self-confidence and success. - KV
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Old 03-14-2016   #5
littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 92
I am 6'3" 200 and have a number of boats. My Villain is my go to boat and closest to it I have found would be a Pyranha Shiva.
I have had a Zen and Karma but they have gone away and still in the Villain. The Villain is becoming harder to find and there were some plastic issues in that time period but even with that said it is my boat of choice. Jackson's tech people (call them for their thoughts) describe the Villain as one of their most performance aggressive hull designs that they have made.
As you will probably hear from everyone try the boat b/4 you buy..everyone's body geometry will change the boats handling so how the Villain works for me may not be the same for you.

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