jackson villain small bulkhead
Hey my name is Ryan and I live in Basalt CO. I purchased a new villain elite small from alpinequest sports in Edwards CO in May. On my 1st day with the new boat I flipped in the last major rapid of castle creek and when I was setting up the bulkhead slid 2-3 inches and my knees popped out. I ended up being unable to roll and lost a brand new AT powerhouse paddle. Bare in mind I boated a ton the year before and only swam once when my paddle broke in the 1st drop of two boofs to freedom in the crystal gorge. When I got home I googled and searched all the forums for any mention of problems with the villain bulkheads. I read a few complaints about the bulkhead being loose but nothing that described my problem. On July 13th I went to hop on the narrows of the crystal river. This is a place I have boated often and feel fairly comfortable in even during high water. I pulled the foot pedals tight seated the rope then applied pressure again to the bulkhead. It flexed and I pulled the rope a little tighter. I dropped in behind my friend had a good line but got flipped at the end of the major drops. As I tried to setup my roll the bulkhead again gave way & I lost almost all contact with the pedals. Despite two attempts I couldn't setup all loose in the boat. As I pulled the spray skirt I knew I was in for the swim of my life. I came up with my paddle in my hand. I tried to swim toward the left as my friend looked for an eddy in front of me. I swallowed some water & realized I might die here. I said fu** the paddle & let it go & swam hard for river left. After getting raked over a shit ton of blast rock I grabbed a hand hold and pulled myself out. I laid there for few seconds catching my breath before scrambling up to the highway. I was immediately picked up by a friend. We whisked down the highway and were able to retrieve my boat and paddle with the help of another kayaker. I drank my booty beer & then called in sick for my job. My gf drove me home and by the time I got home I could barely walk. I made it into bed & was stuck there until the next day. I walked with a limp for almost a week. It is a month later and I still have lumps on my shins. I wasn't sure I ever wanted to boat again. I called jacksons customer service and got no reply. I showed the boat to the people at cks and the kayak shed in hood river both stores said it was defective. Finally I got a return email from Tara at jackson. She stated that some of the villains were assembled with the wrong bulkhead. Yesterday I picked up the newbulkhead in vancouver bc. The new bulkhead is about 2-3 inches longer and my boat finally feels secure and safe.
I would like jackson to contact their dealers and consumers and tell people about this defect and which models and how many boats were affected. Kayaking is dangerous enough without your new boat falling apart internally and almost killing you.