Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Looking for opinions – I’m a second year beginner (didn’t do much last season) and I’m wondering about boat size. Lots of the beginners I see start with big boats, like the Jackson Hero. I have a Jackson Fun. I’m told the difference is that with the Fun, I’ll learn better boat control and have more maneuverability. However, with the larger boats – I’ll be more stable and have fewer swims….

What are the pros/cons for beginners with boat size?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,113 Posts
I've said it before, I just don't remember where. I think if you're more aggressive, have strong aspirations for advancing in this sport and, less likely get freaked out over a swim or a jab from a rock, then the "Jackson Fun" aka the river running/playboat is the way to start out. If you just want to spend some time with friends, be out on the river, are worried about spending time upside down, and might throw in the towel over a scary experience, then go with the big volume river runner boat.

The advantages/disadvantages of the experience is what you said. Playboat should offer a quicker learning curve as you'll be forced to react more to the river. The bigger volume river runner will be more forgiving - kind of like having training wheels.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,836 Posts
I started out learning in a playboat, and it was a little rough the first two seasons at high water, but it helped me become a better boater. I eventually got a bigger boat for high water and more difficult runs, but I am glad I learned to run the river in a playboat (LL Vision56). The Fun is a great boat to learn in, just work on your roll more, that way you don't worry so much about a swim:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
be a hero

Sheryl,

I saw your post on the home page and wanted to respond. No doubt the Fun series are really great boats. Some of the finest ever made. That said, so is the Hero series. And, with an advantage. The Hero series (probably the Little Hero or Sidekick for many women) is the Fun hull with more stability. The boat is a definite contender for the title of SUV of kayaks. It is Fun. It carves and shreds waves and eddy turns just like the Fun/ I truly believe it is a boat that will easily delight a boater from beginning to class V accomplishment. Maybe the only boat you will ever need to own. Let's face it, unless you are going to hang out at the whitewater parks or only boat early and late slow-water seasons, you will end up being in fast, pushy, challenging, and often continous whitewater rapids that can dish out consequences for lots of time upside down or swimming. The Heros reduce that potential by being more, and more evenly, bouyant and with taller and flared sidewalls. Except for learning tricks, the Heros will likely help you develope and preserve an enjoyable appreciation for what kayaking is really all about in my opinion, and that is river running. With the Fun hull you will still find plenty of playful skill development and enjoyment along the way. Again, the Fun is a super great boat that "is a lot of fun" ... unless you find yourself where it is not enough stability for your ability. That is where the Heros are better.

Hope that helps you. Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Personally, I wish I had started out with a smaller boat. The first boat I ever owned was a RPM, the easiest boat to roll in my opinion. After months I would say, I was ready for an upgrade. I got a Wavesport EZG (River runner/somewhat playboat) and was able to learn from that. After less than a season I decided I wanted something more. I got a Kingpin and loved it. Learning with that boat really helped me with boat control and understanding edges. I’m no “playboater” but I will say that I have been able to develop an extremely solid roll and brace from paddling “bigger” water in a smaller boat. I’m getting in to harder creeking now, but I’m glad I got into the smaller boat first.

I’ve never paddled the Fun series, but from what I’ve heard it’s an awesome boat, and a great one to progress in. I’m pretty new to the sport as well with a little less 3 seasons under my belt, but I’ve learned that if you want to step it up you can’t just play it safe. Swimming, as much as it sucks, teaches you something each time. Why not learn in a less stable boat? Won’t that make you a more solid boater in the long run?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the opinions. I rolled a friend's Hero in the pool the other night, and it seemed easier to roll than my Fun. Hmmm ~ I guess I’m holding what I’ve got and I will just see how it goes. Maybe so many started out with big boats last year because of the high water.

- thanks for the input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I’ve learned that if you want to step it up you can’t just play it safe. Swimming, as much as it sucks, teaches you something each time. Why not learn in a less stable boat? Won’t that make you a more solid boater in the long run?

Thanks Becky - you really gave me some inspiration! :p Now, if I can just carry that in the river - it'll all be good!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
No doubt the Fun series are really great boats. Some of the finest ever made. That said, so is the Hero series. And, with an advantage. The Hero series (probably the Little Hero or Sidekick for many women) is the Fun hull with more stability. The boat is a definite contender for the title of SUV of kayaks. It is Fun. It carves and shreds waves and eddy turns just like the Fun/ I truly believe it is a boat that will easily delight a boater from beginning to class V accomplishment. Maybe the only boat you will ever need to own.

the Heros will likely help you develope and preserve an enjoyable appreciation for what kayaking is really all about in my opinion, and that is river running. With the Fun hull you will still find plenty of playful skill development and enjoyment along the way. Again, the Fun is a super great boat that "is a lot of fun" ... unless you find yourself where it is not enough stability for your ability. That is where the Heros are better. quote]


Great input - thank you Ken. What you say makes a lot of sense. This is why I'm so on the line in which way to go. I want the enjoyable experience (staying right side up sounds good to me ;)) - but I want the agility of the smaller boat. This makes it sound like I can have it both ways - lots to think about. I have no aspirationsof getting into class 5 - I'm also not interested (at this point) in getting into play boating...but if I can get over this learning curve I may change my mind.

What do you think of something in-between - like a liquid logic or ??? I'm not sure what else is in the middle there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I think if you're more aggressive, have strong aspirations for advancing in this sport and, less likely get freaked out over a swim or a jab from a rock, then the "Jackson Fun" aka the river running/playboat is the way to start out. If you just want to spend some time with friends, be out on the river, are worried about spending time upside down, and might throw in the towel over a scary experience, then go with the big volume river runner boat.

To this point, I have not been aggressive and I have thrown over (what was to me) a scary experiance (that's why I didn't do much last season)...but I continue to come at it - I'm determined to learn. I've spent a lot of time in the pool over the winter - developed a somewhat reliable roll, still working on the brace... So I want to come out this season being assertive (I'll have to work on that aggressiveness) and really hammer my skills. Lots to think about. Thanks for your input. Nice to know what someone thats "been there and done that" thinks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I started out learning in a playboat, and it was a little rough the first two seasons at high water, but it helped me become a better boater.

The Fun is a great boat to learn in, just work on your roll more, that way you don't worry so much about a swim:)

I think this is where I'm at ... I just hope I can survive the learning curve (two seasons is a long time to hang with it). I have worked my pool roll where I'm fairly confident in it, but I've not tried it on moving water yet...so we'll see. Thanks for your input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
I learn't to paddle in a LL Trigger which is a river runner, very stable. After a few months hubby said..."If you want to get better and have fun surfing you need a smaller boat" I then advanced to a Jackson 2Fun. The first time on the river was hilarious. Pulled out of the first eddy and flipped. The whole day went like that. Thank goodness the boat is the easiest to roll ever. I now also own a Jackson Star that I bought for winter pool seesions and am now working the courage to take it on a river run in spring. Like you I have also paddled for 2 seasons, so this year will be full of surprises I'm sure.
I highly recommend the Jackson series. Perhaps the Fun is too big for you and a 2Fun would be better. I weigh 135 lbs and the 2Fun is perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
Sheryl,

Frankly, the Fun or 2Fun are the logical recommendations for something more aggressive than the Little Hero for you. An EZG 50 might another option. IMO the best alternative to the Little Hero for you would be the new Deisel 60, which is a super great boat, too. Of course, there is no shortage of boats to chose from. So, it won't all be about the boat. One thing I preach to women kayakers is to boat early, boat often, keep it fun, don't try to advance too quickly, and maximize your aggressiveness as you advance in class ratings (meaning attack the river, slicing and dicing it, learning skills and control before you advance to faster, steeper, more powerful, more technical runs). It does seem you already love and will continue kayaking. So best wishes for having fun.

Cheers!
Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
I agree with Ken's comments. Paddle lots of class 3...learn to surf on waves with a safe runout behind them. What I used to do is park in an eddy while everyone in my group played and when they were finisihed and ready to move on, I would hop on the wave. That way if I had troubles they didn't lose their play fun while chasing me. This way they will never mind a newbie tagging along.
The only comment I didn't understand, Ken, was "paddle early". If you mean in the a.m. then I am OK but if you mean "start young" then I am out of luck before I even started. My first ever river run...I was OMG 50!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
LOL. That is funny, Brenda. What I meant was start early in the season. When the water is low, so to get practiced up while the water is slower and less powerful. Then get in there and milk the rapids for all they're worth. Dart around making demanding eddy turns and difficult lines. Try dropping into small holes to learn to play and work out of them. Then keep do more of the same as the season progresses and becomes more demanding.

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
Ken...I knew that is what you meant. You're 2Fun-ny ...hmmmm sorry, couldn't resist.

Sheryl...keep it up. Paddling is so rewarding. Next to climbing, it is the only thing I do where my mind never wanders to useless things like, bills, work, etc. Have a great time in your new journey.

Quote: Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
When taking your pool roll into moving water, my advice is to start small in some gently moving current on flat water, then some faster current, and then in some wave trains. These steps will help you to build confidence in your roll for when you need it in rapids. Also I have found rolling in moving water is a lot easier than rolling in the pool.

All the best,
Cate
Liquid Fusion Kayaking | Fort Bragg & Mendocino Coast Sea, River, Surf Kayaking
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top