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Old 08-25-2010   #1
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 227
Jackson Superstar - Problems Please Help

I got a great deal on a very good condition 2009 Jackson Superstar. I took it out for the first time out to the playpark in Pueblo at around 700. I have been using a Pyranha S6F 193 for the past four years, and finally got tired of not be able to jog a day or so afterwards because of hip pain, as I crammed my 6'3" 200 pound body into it. But a couple of things I noticed between the two.

1) When I finally get my happy feet dialed in, this boat should be a lot more comfortable.

2) My favorite wave is the #1, and I couldn't stay in it to save my life. I have never had that problem with my S6F, from 300 to 5000 CFS.

3) I always hear that Jackson brags about it's secondary stability of it's hull. It felt to me that when I got the SS on it's edge, that I was more often than not having to roll back up.

4) The backband seems to be total crap. I have it fairly tight against my back, so much that it was hard to get out of my kayak after an hour of playing, but every time I rolled, I had to pull off the skirt and pull the back band back up, because it was almost against the seat. Do I need to get past the idea that it is a buttband and not a backband? Is there any advantage to the SS compared to my Connect30 rigid/rachet backband?

5) The SS seems to flatspin and back surf easier than my SF6.

I know this is a better playboat than the SF6, or everyone in the world wouldn't have one. Please help me see the light, as I am thinking about going back to the numb legs after 5 minute boat again.

Thanks - BS

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Old 08-25-2010   #2
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 83
I had one of these before I got my 2010, and I absolutely loved it- I think I'd still have it had it not been stolen from my back yard last year....

The backband is tricky- there was a thread about lacing the elastic through the holes in the cockpit rim to keep it higher that folks seemed to have luck with. Personally I just made sure it was riding high on my back when I tightened it up at the beginning, I'd only occasionally pop out and end up sitting 'on' it when looping (once or twice a season). That said, it naturally rides pretty low across the small of my back, below the hip line.

I'm betting part of your issue with staying on the feature is seat position. If the seat is too far back, it will throw your center of mass back far enough to make it hard to stay in a feature. Also, you may find yourself sitting further back into the foam pile to where it just kicks you out. I'm 6'2.5" 200# also, and if memory serves I had my seat in about the middle of the adjustment. Not too kind on the feet, but socks and the happy feet make it tolerable.

The stability thing could just be that it's significantly higher volume in about the same length- I've never been in an SF6, but I'd bet it's a 'slicer' boat from the look of it. While it's a far cry from a big EZ or a fourplay or the like, less volume at the ends will make it easier to throw ends on edge. For reference, the 2010 superstar is significantly harder for me to stall and throw ends in that the previous model (higher volume, shorter boat). There's just not as much to balance on.

Anyway- I'm still a huge fan of the 'classic' superstars- with out a doubt one of my all time favorite boats. I'd suggest giving it a bit more time.

hope this helps

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Old 08-25-2010   #3
NathanH.'s Avatar
N/A, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 325

I thought the most intriguing thing you said was you have to adjust it after your roll, key word being roll.

J/K man.
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Old 08-25-2010   #4
Buckrodgers's Avatar
Teacher, Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 251
Make sure that you have the shock cords adjusted properly. The section of cord between the seat and the backband needs to not be too tight. If you have just a little more slack there, when you do moves that get your core out of your seat a little (like looping, or it sounds like in your case rolling), there will be enough slack so it can stay on your back as you move away from the will move with your body in other words. If that section of cord is too tight, then it will pull away from your body instead of move with it.

If you have the rear shock cords properly set, you don't need the backband to be unreasonably tight either. Too tight a backband can impede freestyle moves anyhow, not to mention make you very uncomfortable.

When you get it dialed in properly, it is WAY more comfortable and supportive than any other backband I have ever used (dagger and pyranha). Don't let the simple design fool you--get it dialed in and it is great.
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Old 08-25-2010   #5
Mmcquillen's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 267
The backband thing happens to me too when i'm doing loops, i think ill try what BuckRodgers said.
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Old 08-25-2010   #6
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 302
I just went from a Pyranha S6F 193 last season to a 2010 Superstar this season as well, I'm also 200lbs though only 5'9". Some notes from my transition:

Sit as far forward as you can (given your height). Even at my height I have the seat fully forward. If you can squirt or cartwheel think about the bow and stern stalls being equally bouyant, so that you feel you are in the middle of the boat. Being more forward should help with faster front surfing speed and being flushed. I found the superstar to be much, much faster than the s6f, but more so if your weight is more forward. In the s6f leaning back didn't slow the surf speed much, in the SS it does.

The backband needs to be cranked. If you are in the playpark rolling and doing lots of moves it should be super tight, mine leaves bruises. The earlier comment about the bungees keeping it higher on your back is spot on.

Since the Superstar is wider than the s6f, by a lot, the secondary stability is less and the rolls are harder. Work on keeping your ear to the water and within a few weeks you won't even notice. If you are still struggling, especially being tall, try taking the seat bag out (or wiggling it flatter), lower center of gravity might help.

Ends, cartwheels, stalls are harder at first from the extra ~10 gallons of bouyancy but I was really surprised how quickly I adjusted so don't let it get you down.

Of course loops etc are about a million times easier.

River running is almost too easy. I've never been squirted unintentionally, running up to medium-water IV's.
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Old 08-26-2010   #7
Buckrodgers's Avatar
Teacher, Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 251
Originally Posted by eklars View Post

The backband needs to be cranked. If you are in the playpark rolling and doing lots of moves it should be super tight, mine leaves bruises. The earlier comment about the bungees keeping it higher on your back is spot on.
I don't personally agree with that, having paddled the 2010 almost every day this season--I experimented with varying degrees of "cranked," but IMO if your backband is leaving bad bruises then it is probably too tight. That aspect probably falls a bit under the personal preference category. Of course, too loose will definitely fall off, but you just have to balance all the forces at work there. I also have a pronounced man-ass, so that probably helps keep mine up...

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