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Is my boat too big???

2219 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  brenda
Last year I bought a Jackson Zen 55 and I love it. Just for fun I was on Jackson's website and looked at the specs of the Zen... Anyways, the maximum recommended weight is 120lbs. I am 5'4 125lbs and still growing (haven't had my growth spurt yet either). I use it as my river runner/creeker and I know in creeking you generally want a higher volume boat and my Zen is only 55 gallons... Right now I run Shoshone, Dowd (ran a high water lap the other day and plan on many more) and I hope to be running Slaughterhouse, barrel springs, and maybe even Gore (probably portage gore and tunnel).

So I really just have 2 questions:
1) Am I too heavy for my Zen?
2) Even If i fit in it will it be fine on these runs and still be okay once I transition into class V?

Thank you!
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I don't know the boat or specs but you will need a bigger/more appropriately sized boat...and since you are growing it's a no brainer. As you sink the boat you lose fine control over it. It's much better to be on the low side of the range because you'll eventually pack gear/food and such for longer creeking adventures and over-nighters.
just realized I f'd up the title haha it should be "Is my boat too SMALL???"

Yes, and for the runs you listed as planning to advance to ... you should get yourself into the Karma S (it's rated for up to 155 lbs). The Karma is the best whitewater kayak ever. Coming from the Zen, you will love it. I'll be posting a complete review of the Karma on Four Corners River Sports blog soon, but talk to them and get yourself the Karma S for enjoying your growth and class IV-V pursuits in kayaking. Congrats on loving the sport. Fell free to contact me if you have any questions.

Boat specs always confuse me...I own a mamba 7.5 and it is only 57 gallons (so they say). The weight range is 120-170. How can this be when it is 3 gallons less than the Zen 55?
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