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Old 06-19-2005   #1
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 41
Is there any reason not to buy a Jackson?

From what I've heard, read, and seen Jackson is making the strongest, lightest, most water-tight and affordable, independant (non-corporate) kayaks on the market. Also, I've heard it said they won't oil-pan. I have'nt actually demo'd one yet but sitting in the AllStar on the showroom floor, it was comfy. And It's shorter than my Kingpin 6.3 which I had thought was the smallest playboat I would ever be comfortable in. Any naysayers out there?

Mnsr Ex, just an average guy (no affiliations)

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Old 06-19-2005   #2
Arvada, 80003
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 253
Jackson makes a ripping boat. By far and away the biggest looping boat out there. There is a weakness in their product. The outfitting that is designed to be minimalistic is, but at a price. It is weak. The seat screws come losse regularly, and have to be tightend pretty much every time you use it. As far as oil canning i do believe that i saw an all sart that was oil canning this week at fibark. Other than the outfitting the boat is awsome. And the plastic is the best on the market by a long shot.

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Old 06-20-2005   #3
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
The foot bags, you either love em or hate em. Saw one crack in two places on the bottom on its first trip. That seems to be an exception though.
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Old 06-20-2005   #4
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Boulder, Jackson Kayak, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 911
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Hey "thekid"... I will start off with the fact that I work with JK, but I honestly want to know more about why your seat screw is coming loose. I have an entire demo fleet and have no issue with it whatsoever. The only time I have seen this happen is with some retail demo boats that have lost the lock washers, due to clients carelessly moving the seat around. If the lock washer is lost, then yes they will come loose, but that's really a 1 or 2 cent item...

I personally love the outfitting. Minimal yes, super comfy also least likely to fall apart as there are no more ratchets to break. EJ's idea of least moving parts will be a winner in both the short term as well as long term ownership. Keeps the boats light and with no way to leak...period.

"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 06-20-2005   #5
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 84
First off, I have had a All-star for about 8 months now and love a lot of things about it. As far as outfitting goes, I love the lack of thigh hooks which are just molded into the boat and gives you more knee room. I would end up taking the thigh hooks out of LL and Wave Sport boats to give me more room. What I hate about the Jackson outfitting after 8 months is the back band set up. IMO if they used a solid system like LL's they would have the best bomber outfitting out there, which is super stiff and bomber. But the cleat/rope system is my biggest complaint and I'm trying to figure out how I could move a IR forward ratchet system like LL's into my All Star. Otherwise I really like my Jackson.

Craw, if I want a little more foot room (1/2" vertically) what would the procedure be for heating up cross-link?
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Old 06-20-2005   #6
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Technology Partner, Littleton, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 642
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the boats are simply great

The outfitting is very very good. The footbags are odd at first, but they have to be the most comfortable, bar none in the industry.

EJ spent some time with me on Thursday going through how to set up the boats correctly, and they do need to be set up correctly. Any bad press is going to be the result of a dealer not knowing how or the new owner not knowing how.

A lot of time, thought, and no doubt money were put into designing these boats, the results speak for themselves. Plus the fact that he addressed the kids in the process, something no other boat maker has done. My kid loves his Fun-1.....even though he is shy of EJ's camera
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Old 06-20-2005   #7
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Boulder, Jackson Kayak, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 911
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I am very curious as to what is not absolutely perfect with the backband. Really... and I am not being defensive, it's just that I have to say that it is so simple, doesn't slip under any conditions and I love how it can ride high on the lower of your back if you want it too. We have never seen one that has broken (at least to my knowledge) regarding bomberness (new word I guess), and the fact that it has really no way to break (even if so, it would be a simple replacement piece of rope...) as opposed to waiting for a rachet or component from a manufacturer.

Tell you what... send me a msg or call my cell, as to how to get in touch with you so we can chat. I am really curious and would love to take any feedback back to the plant for investigation.

The Rocker has the same outfitting and I have litterally creeked it HARD for 6 weeks straight. It's holding up perfect and works great in concert with the footsystem for the Rocker as well...


"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 07-22-2005   #8
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 3
I ran across this article on how to install rachets in a jackson you might be interested in..

click: Racket Modification
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Old 07-22-2005   #9
Mike Harvey's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 805
Unbiased two cents and I rarely chime in on these which boat is better posts because I generally think all of the playboats are pretty good and it is largely a matter of personal preference.

That said... I have been paddling the All Star this year and love it for hole riding. It loops better than any boat I have paddled and is super balanced cartwheeling. I happen to think the outfitting is cool. I have had no slippage with the cleat system but I did have Steven Wright show me how to use it properly at Reno this spring. I am really very stoked with the boat and I have had a hard time historically finding playboats that fit me well because I have long legs and do not weigh that much allthough I am trying to eat more milkshakes and cheeseburgers.

The hot tip is that if you buy your boat at CKS or it will paddle better. (that was a biased statement by the way)
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Old 07-22-2005   #10
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 93
Regarding the post with directions to replace the backband jam cleat system with front adjust ratchets...

My inferior understanding prevents me from seeing the obvious logic of this approach.

I own 2 Jackson kayaks, one a 2005 with the new backband, the other a 2004 with a new backband I retrofitted because the jam cleat system worked so well.

What I like about the new cleat system
1. It's very quick to adjust about 5 seconds
2. It's even quicker to release, about 1 second
3. Neither one I own have ever slipped, even a little
4. accessible from the front of the cockpit
5. It's damn comfortable. I particularly like the way the backband adjusts to the height on your back you prefer.

What I don't like about the new backband
1. Still working on this list

Granted, both are new and don't have long term use, but they don't exactly have much in the way of moving parts to wear out. That's my take for what it's worth.

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