Does anyone around 200 lbs paddle the Karma M ? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-15-2013   #1
mdignan's Avatar
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 87
Does anyone around 200 lbs paddle the Karma M ?

I'm replacing my Villain after having it's 4th weld put in it. I tried a Karma L earlier this year when I was in Colorado and liked it but it just felt too big. So I'm wondering if any bigger guys, around 200 lbs (5' 10" if that matters), use the Karma M or if everyone around that size goes with the L?

I was planning on switching from Jackson because of the size of the Karma and also because I've grown tired of the back band system. However, after trying the Recon 93 and the Stomper 90, I find myself missing the knee position on Jackson boats. I still have to demo the Karma M but I figured I'd see if anyone else my size was paddling one.

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Old 10-15-2013   #2
littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 92
I am working on a new fussion process for plastic and might be inteested in your old villain for r&d.
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Old 10-15-2013   #3
Abron Cabron
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 611
I agree the Karma L looks like a massive boat. I traded my Villain L in for a Superhero cause i wanted a shorter boat for my microcreekin type of boating. I am interested in the Karma M as well, although i am 230lbs...

but, in my experience JK weight ranges are generous, i had a great time in my old 4fun even though it was supposedly small for me. (also in the past, i have talked to some of JK team at paddlefest, looking at boats,and that was def. the consensus.weight range is flexible. )

Specs/ Pricing - Jackson Kayak - Whitewater Kayaks, Fishing Kayaks, Recreational Kayaks Jackson Kayak Whitewater Kayaks, Fishing Kayaks, Recreational Kayaks

Karma M : 140-220lbs, 86gal
Karma L : 185-300lbs, 103 gal <<>> (!!!!)
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Old 10-15-2013   #4
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,827
I'm right at 200-205. The M is close, but I prefer the L. If you're ever going to load it down, you'll certainly want the big one. It floats higher and is still quite nimble.

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Old 10-16-2013   #5
4CRS, Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 305
I am 6' 190# and have paddled the Karma M a bunch and I feel there is plenty of volume. It's a great design, gets up to speed quickly and holds a line well. Of course, my one swim this year was out of the Karma, but it maybe, just possibly, had to do with pilot error...
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Old 10-16-2013   #6
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 60
I am 6', 195 lbs and have been paddling a Villain the last couple years. After it broke, I went to the Karma M. I had been reading reviews and looking at specs and was leaning towards getting the L. When I sat in it however, it simply felt massive in the cockpit and had a very wide knee position. Based on that I went with the M and love it. Granted I do have a green boat I can load up with gear if needed so I don't plan on loading the Karma up all that often. The Karma is very stable and maneuverable and aside from shimming the seat up it felt great right out of the gate. The volume feels similar to the Mamba 8.6 to me for a reference.
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Old 10-16-2013   #7
Blarney, Iowa
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 537
210 lbs, paddle the L. It does feel a bit big, but you get used to it. Also, if you want to do overnighters, you'll appreciate the extra space.
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Old 10-16-2013   #8
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,107
About the same size and I paddle the L karma. Demoed the medium and it didn't have enough volume for me. It subs out too much at my weight, and downtime means less control in my book. The L keeps me on the surface and in control. The two boats paddle very differently in my opinion due to how much you sink the hulls.

The karma L looks big, but when you paddle it, it doesn't feel big. Its got a nice rocker profile, which means it turns easily, and its fairly nimble. The length makes it fast, which is awesome for busting holes, boofing etc. I have paddled tight manky low volume class V creeks in it with no problem. Have paddled bigger pushier water with it, and love it.

I paddled the villain for years, and loved it. Took me a few times out in the karma to get it dialed, but once I did I really liked it.

Go for the boat that fits you, but don't be under the false impression that the karma is too big or you can't do tight creeking in it.
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Old 10-16-2013   #9
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Nampa, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 249
I'm 180 pounds and paddle the large. I'm the exception though, almost everybody at my weight would paddle the medium.

Coming from the Villain, I feel as though the Karma paddles at about the same size.

The Karma is my favorite kayak that I have ever paddled.

My dad is 205 pounds and has gone back and forth between the medium and large sizes.
As a rule, if you are paddling a bigger boat, you need to be more aggressive and proactive.
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Old 10-16-2013   #10
Abron Cabron
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 611
good beta. room for gear is crucial, and i never go light (as i was reminded hiking into the lower taos box last week.) gotta have the kit, and i def. want to do more overnighters. My Superhero packs up really well... and it's only 95gal (lol!!) the Karma will def. pack up huge.
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