Rock Star or All Star - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-25-2011   #1
Paddle Publishing
Patches's Avatar
Baja, California
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 18
Rock Star or All Star

What should it be, a Rock Star or 2010 All Star. I'm primarily a playboater, but run the occasional river in my playboat. I'm older, but occasionally "git sum." Air that is. Also: Elite or Linear?

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Old 08-25-2011   #2
Chaser's Avatar
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 100
Elite Rock Star
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Old 08-25-2011   #3
ckspaddler's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 386
If you are older, andcare used to foam and old school outfitting - the super linear boats make a good option - and will also save you a few bucks. No inflating before you paddle, and great outfitting...
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Old 08-25-2011   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 188
I you have to ask get what ever you can get the best price on for an Elite used boat.
Then figure out which outfitting is best for you
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Old 08-25-2011   #5
Jefe's Avatar
river zen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 176
I had an allstar and sold it to get a rockstar. The rockstar took some getting used to but I love it now. You can paddle it down rivers although I wouldn't call it a river runner it is more then capable. The only issues I would be worried about is putting a hole or crack in it. I think in order to make it lighter they simply use less plastic. My boat is very flexible. For instance you can push up with your toes or pump up the happy feet and watch the deck move. Also if you push on the stern on either side of the pillar and it just caves in. Its more pronounced when its hot out. Check it out for yourself. Push on a wavesport boat then push on a rockstar you will feel the difference. All that aside the rockstar is still my boat of choice. If you think your going to hit alot of rocks or paddle shallow rivers you might think about something different cause Its just not going to take a beating.
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Old 08-25-2011   #6
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 350
Friend of mine got a nasty ding in his Rockstar running Lower Blue at 700+. It's definitely not a tank like other playboats tend to be.

That's one reason I'm keeping my Transformer 2 around, even if I get a more loopy-playboat.
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Old 08-25-2011   #7
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 311
I recently moved from a SuperStar to a RockStar L, I've been meaning to write something up on the transition and this seems like a good time.

I am about 185-195, currently 185, 5'9", 32 years old and playboat alot and creek boat a little. My weight puts me in the "optimum freestyle" category for the the boat. I cracked my SuperStar, and I had already cracked and replaced it once before so the warranty was out once the new hull came in. So I sold that and moved into the RockStar without demoing.

If you've read other reviews then you've heard it will feel super unstable the first few times you paddle it. This is true. My first run on it was Upper Blue at 1700. Normally I could run this section in my SuperStar without so much as a paddle but now in the Rock I was high bracing constantly and had 3 real combat rolls. It was extremely squirrelly feeling comparatively. After a few more runs here and there, I now almost can't tell the difference. I do think the change helped my overall down river paddling, my creek boating has improved and I feel more stable all the time now. I think that is a result of paddling a tippy little boat on easy rivers. One note, the move to the RockStar made the line between when I use my creekboat and when I use my playboat much more defined. In The SuperStar there was always a lot of of overlay, for instance I might run Pine Creek in either at lower water. But in the RockStar I have no plans to run Pine Creek in my playboat.

For actual playboating this boat is a noticeable improvement over the SuperStar. It surfs much faster, especially on little waves. I had read this and was skeptical, but its true. It spins easier too and is generally more fun to front surf if thats where your abilities are at. It cartwheels easier too. Bow and stern stalls are easier, and cartwheeling in a hole is easier and you can go much shallower, which is surprisingly noticeable. Loops are where the biggest improvement lies at my skill level. Plugging is so much easier I don't know just how to describe it. And it plugs deep and loops huge. I find myself looping tiny river features that I hadn't even considered before in the SuperStar.

On it being weaker plastic. Maybe. Take the screws that hold the seat to the frame out and sit in it. It wiggles like hell. And yes the whole boat is softer if you step in it etc. But I really don't think I can tell out on the river. I think more importantly, Jackson stands behind their warranty. I cracked my SuperStar in year 1 of the warranty and again in year 2. They replaced it twice, each time rapidly and easily and at a total cost to me of $100. In my opinion thats the best argument for using the hell out of your boat and if you are on the fence between a Jackson and another brand, then let the warranty decide for you and go Jackson.

My overall verdict is yes I am very happy with the Rockstar. However, I would go Star series if: you are only going to have one boat and want to start pushing your way up into class IV, or if your idea of playboating is front surfing with the occasional spin, maybe a squirt, and you aren't trying to rapidly improve. I would go RockStar if you want to use it to strictly playboat or keep the river class to III, or if you are also running a creekboat for harder stuff.

On top of all that, and other all things being equal I would go Rockstar.
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Old 08-26-2011   #8
Paddle Publishing
Patches's Avatar
Baja, California
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 18
Yep, pushing into class IV, that would be me
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Old 08-27-2011   #9
TJ Fluid's Avatar
Aspen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 35
I would go for the all-star because it's simply more versatile. If your not an expert play boater the rock star will definitely be less for giving. I agree with many of the comments above. Check put the cks blog for detailed review photos and video and if you see yourself using the boat in that fashion then it could be for you. I've got a 2010 star that I'm selling, the plastic is way burlier then on my rock star. Pm me if your interested.
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Old 08-28-2011   #10
Okemos, Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 29
So I've paddled an allstar for the past two seasons and really liked it. I took out a rockstar today and I have to say I like it better (at least for playboating, I didn't run anything in it). It's funny because I demoed an elite rockstar and I did notice that the plastic is more flexible and lighter than my elite allstar but the plastic on the superlinear rockstar in the shop seemed very similar. Not nearly as flexible. Anyone know how the superlinear boat compares to the elite in terms of durability? I hear that Jackson is only going to offer superlinear boats next year so I'm assuming it must be pretty descent.
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