karma seat position - Mountain Buzz

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Old 09-02-2016   #1
Summerville, Georgia
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1
karma seat position

I'm thinking about buying a karma m. Found a good deal and want to upgrade out of my old 08 model superhero. 5' 11" 215. I know the large might be better suited to my weight but I want a narrower boat. I like something around 26 inches. The superhero is like paddling a tank, although a stable one. I felt comfortable in it with the seat 1/2", 3/4" behind center.

I probably won't get much of a demo with the karma so I like opinions on where to put the seat, for my weight, to start with. Thanks

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Old 09-02-2016   #2
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 115
Karma Seat

Here's a good write-up on your question. I'm 5'8" and 175# w/gear and run my seat all the way back to the 2nd to last hole in my 2016 medium Karma. I started all the way forward and worked my seat back until it handled the best for me.
Grand Junction, CO.
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Old 09-02-2016   #3
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,827
I second the set in the back position, but question the M.

I've paddled both and even at 195, way preferred the large.

To be fair, what I don't like about the medium is the how my knees feel under the lower deck height. If you like how your legs feel in the medium, maybe it is big enough for you, though, if you ever plan to haul any gear in it, I think it will come up quite small at that point.

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Old 09-03-2016   #4
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 501
My experiences are with the Med and Small. Being near the bottom of the suggested weight range in the M, the second from the stern position worked best and performed just as well if I added 25+ lbs of gear in back.

Then I switched to the Small, which I am at the top end of the weight range for. Initially, I went to the second to rear seat position as I had used in the M. I discovered that was not appropriate for my weight and build. All the way forward with the seat is required instead. Plus, I can only load minimal weight in the stern without noticing a loss in performance. I've got it outfitted were I am perfectly comfortable in the small and the performance is phenomenal when not loaded with much gear, but it required removing the seat pad and thinning the knee pads to allow more room in the cockpit. That gained me an inch in increased deck height and lowered my center of gravity.

I suspect that you could do the same for yourself in the M and may find the seat all the way forward is best, being you too will be at the top of the weight range for that size. However, for your size I'd recommend you go with the Large. Trust me, all of the sizes of Karma each drive like they are smaller. The perform big in stability, but are agile like being smaller. I have numerous friends your size that are in heaven in the Large. Their boating ability is better than ever and they are all smiles.

Just know that the primary and secondary stability of the Karma are far better than other boats. The boat will get you through the gnar far better than you've ever experienced with other designs and will dart in and out of micro eddies like a Porsche. Plus, all of the Karmas roll up super easy.

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Old 10-22-2016   #5
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 57
Hi Ken and others:

I was wandering if you could clear something up on the Karma. Was the first one called a 2012 model? So the next was 2015?

Are there any significant differences in the different years of the Karma?

The reason I ask is that I have been invited interested in trying this one but I am in-between the sizes at 5.5 and 140 pounds. And i see some places the Karma listed for 80-155lbs and others listed at 89-175 lbs and was wondering if those were different models. Actually, I wish Jackson would offer a better web site that would make it clearer when models were released and their specs.

Is there any other boat that is very similar to the Karma? I have a hero but am interested in a little more speed but with similar stability.

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Old 10-23-2016   #6
latenightjoneser's Avatar
steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 421
I'm 5'10" 165 and ride my M Karma all the way forward.
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Old 10-26-2016   #7
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Where ever the water is...., Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 460
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Hi outwash, all Karma years are from the same mold. So no change in size. There are minor changes to outfitting colors and a little tweak to the backband. Otherwise no changes. This boat is like cheating in hard whitewater. I like the Zen too as it has a tad more speed but the Karma is great on tight Colorado Creeks. I'm paddling a comp version now with the carbon seat track that shaves 7+ pounds off the boat weight. Makes a creeker feel more like a play boat in swing weight. This is a custom order but available to anyone. Just ask your dealer.

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