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Old 08-29-2011   #1
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 38
Jackson Star or Allstar size dilemma

So after learning to paddle this year, I'm now hooked on playboating... I'm a 130# female - about 5'5". I've got a solid river roll and have been going to the WW park the past couple weekends. Been trying boats out, blah, blah, blah. I'm comfortable in class III and like to run rivers, but every once in awhile an eddy line will flip me (still learning my edges)...

I have a old, but decent boat for downriver, but now want more of a playboat (once I get comfortable may want to take it downriver). I have tried the 2010 2Fun and didn't like it, got in a 2007 Allstar at the play park and loved it!! Could surf and spin...(don't really know how to do anything else yet) Tried a 2007 Star and it felt kinda small and unstable.... Sat in a new Molan (small size) and it wasn't bad, but found it to be kinda unsteady? (probably just me being a newby?)

So my quandry is this:
Do I buy the 2007 Allstar, learn some tricks in it although I am probably a little too small to be throwing it around effectively (130 = lowest end of weight range), but I feel comfy in it and would probably be willing to take it downriver. or......

do I try something where I am more in the middle to upper end of the weight range so I can maybe do more tricks, but suffer through the learning curve and maybe not be so willing to take it downriver....???

Bottom line - I really like the 2007 Allstar, can get it for a good price, but am afraid I may not be big enough for it??


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Old 08-29-2011   #2
Midwest, USA
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 12
If you are serious about getting into playboating and plan to learn more than flatspins and surfing, get the smaller boat. I started out with the smallest boat I could fit in and find for cheap. Which happened to be a pyranha s6x 185, 47 gallons I think. I've tried my buddys 2010 allstar and it just felt way too big for me. I did demo the star and liked the small size, never felt unsteady in it, perhaps its because I started with the small, unstable boat. I have taken the pyranha on class III+ I did have to pay attention to my edges alot more than taking my jackson fun on the same run. But it was still fun.
I'm 5'2" 140lbs, I was 160 when I first started out in the pyranha, which is 10 lbs over the suggested limit. When I can afford a new playboat, I'm definitly getting a Jackson star or Rockstar small! Hope this helps.

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Old 08-29-2011   #3
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 38
Thanks for the thoughts Hannah. I'm going to try the 2010 Star and see how that goes. Got a friend that wants to sell hers.

Anyone else have some favorites I should try out?
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Old 08-30-2011   #4
brenda's Avatar
bc, CA
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 316
2010 Star

I am also 5"5" and weigh 130 lbs. I had a 2007 star and just upgraded to a 2010 star.(both great boats) My hubby has the All Star and I tried it. I wouldn't even consider paddling a boat that big unless you strictly want it for river running only.
I am also a beginner playboater and I am only able to surf and spin right now. When I loop I just land on my head.
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Old 08-30-2011   #5
huck it's Avatar
longmont, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 51
Bigger boat, Bigger air!

Get the Allstar you will love it. A bigger boat just means bigger air!! Once you get your balance down you should have no problem cartwheeling that that thing all day. Plus that little bit of extra volume will get you down the river easier. Biggest leson ever learned = Always test a boat out first and get whats most comfortable for you. It dosent matter what anyones elses opinions are if you dont feel comfortable in a paticular boat you shouldnt buy it. Get what works for you. The more relaxed and comfortable you are in a kayak the more enjoyable your time on the water will be.
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Old 08-31-2011   #6
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 38
Thanks guys - good perspectives. Brenda I smell what you're cookin' on the smaller boat and am hoping to try the Star out this week sometime to see how comfortable I feel in it on the river. After trying the little Molan, I knowI will need a lot of practice to feel stable in that smaller boat. I know I feel comfortable in the ALLstar as I played in it for two days straight at the WW park.

So Huck it... you think with enough practice etc. I could learn to do more advanced tricks in the bigger boat? i like the bigger air idea. Just wondering if 130# is enough to throw that thing around? 130 is the very bottom end of the weight range according to Jackson. I plan on using it again this weekend.
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Old 08-31-2011   #7
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
I don't know. I'm usually in the 155-160# weight range and have a pre-2010 Allstar. I feel like I'm at a pretty ideal weight for that boat. I'm all about supersizing the creekboats, but I think it's nice to have a playboat in your sweet spot. Yes, if you're really good you can throw around a big playboat, but it will be much more difficult than a smaller boat. I'd go with the Star if I were you. The good thing about playboats is they're made to perform submerged, so even for downriver, you might subout a little more, but you can still remain in control.

If you feel like you want a volume in-between the 2 you might shop around for other brands. The new Wavesport Project X looks promising and the 48 gallon size might give you an intermediate size.
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Old 08-31-2011   #8
brenda's Avatar
bc, CA
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 316
You will feel a little tippy'er in the Star at first but after a couple of days it will feel like an extention of your body. Of course the All Star will feel more stable...the super star would feel even more stable, but....that doesn't mean it is the right boat for you. You want something you can turn easily and throw around. Sure you may get more air when you dive your nose in the All Star but what would that matter if you can't physically bring it around.
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Old 08-31-2011   #9
brenda's Avatar
bc, CA
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 316
PS...the 2010 star has a little more volume, but I loved my 2007 as well.
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Old 09-01-2011   #10
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 38
thanks Brenda - I definitely understand what you are saying about the ability to really learn the tricks in the Star vs. just getting close in the Allstar...

What are the major differences you have notices between the 2007 and the 2010??

Turns out my friend has decided to not sell her Star, so my choices have just been cut in half... HA - at least for now... I'm not in any hurry and I can keep playing with the Allstar for now. I'm gonna see if I can find a Star to Demo this weekend.

Im guessing suffering through the learning curve with the smaller boat will pay off in the end.. I guess the way I look at it is more opportunities for Roll practice... given that its really the only "trick" I know at the moment

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