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Old 06-05-2015   #1
 
syracuse, New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
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karma vs zen

i was looking into getting a new kayak. the karma and zen seem pretty identical. any suggestions about which to get.

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Old 06-05-2015   #2
 
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2015
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Posts: 79
What skill level are you?
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Old 06-05-2015   #3
 
syracuse, New York
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i run class 2-3 sometimes 4
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Old 06-05-2015   #4
 
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2015
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KARMA? OR ZEN?

Personally I prefer the Karma I love it! It's a great boat for beginners and experts for many reasons but mostly because it provides killer stability and is a boofing machine! The boat is very helpful at keeping you up right and wont let you down. It is also one of the FASTEST creekers available on the market 2 strokes and you're cruising at a speedy pace. The edges are very easy to learn how to use and use while yaking. That said the Karma often allows paddlers to cheat a bit with their edges and have an unreal reality of stability while in a kayak. I don't care though I love it! The Zen is a VERY edgy boat. Which is great for carving around the river but it's quite challenging to hold an angle. The Karma is basically made for ferries and the Zen is made to carve. The Zen is a bit smaller and has way less volume making it more compact. Either way both boats are extremely well made and reliable. It really just depends what kind of creek boat you are looking for. If you have any more questions about the Zen or Karma or any other Jackson Kayaks please let me know!!!!!!!!! If you are looking at other brands I would suggest the Liquidlogic Stomper as well as the Pyranha Burn III or the Wavesport Recon.
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Old 06-06-2015   #5
rob
 
canon city, Colorado
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I have a Stomper and love it. Very stable. Easy to roll. Great in big water. If anything, too easy to boat in.
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Old 06-06-2015   #6
swimming
 
behind the 2nd flatiron, Colorado
Join Date: May 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlins View Post
I have a Stomper and love it. Very stable. Easy to roll. Great in big water. If anything, too easy to boat in.
interesting. I hated that boat in big water. Zero control, just gets pushed around. Low volume steep creeking on the other hand...
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Old 06-06-2015   #7
 
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 499
Karma is #1

Get a Karma. You may want to read my review written last year at https://www.riversports.com/blog/ . Scroll down the blog page to find it. As far as the Zen and Stomper goes ... the new Zen is much better than the first generation model. Still the Karma is the best overall boat to own. The Stomper is far inferior to all the others you listed. It is not a terrible boat by any means, but does not score nearly as high in comparison to the others. Note: once you dial in the Karma for your weight and fit you should have the most enjoyment ever kayaking any class I-VI. The rivers are thumping now and going much higher. You better get your Karma now.
Cheers!
Ken
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Old 06-06-2015   #8
 
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
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Zen

I'd get a Zen. I paddle a Karma and love it but it does carry you through stuff without much edging needed. The Zen looks sweet and will make you a better boater.
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Old 06-06-2015   #9
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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Upgrading
From K to Z for reasons Marshall suggests. Karma will be more forgiving and outperform on the super manly steep stuff.


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Old 06-06-2015   #10
 
syracuse, New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 18
thank you, probably going with the karma. just wondering what size i should get. im 5'6"-5'7" and 190-200lbs without gear. also im planning on purchasing a happy set for it, i dont know how much they effect the sizing.
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