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From what I've heard, read, and seen Jackson is making the strongest, lightest, most water-tight and affordable, independant (non-corporate) kayaks on the market. Also, I've heard it said they won't oil-pan. I have'nt actually demo'd one yet but sitting in the AllStar on the showroom floor, it was comfy. And It's shorter than my Kingpin 6.3 which I had thought was the smallest playboat I would ever be comfortable in. Any naysayers out there?

Mnsr Ex, just an average guy (no affiliations)
 

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Jackson makes a ripping boat. By far and away the biggest looping boat out there. There is a weakness in their product. The outfitting that is designed to be minimalistic is, but at a price. It is weak. The seat screws come losse regularly, and have to be tightend pretty much every time you use it. As far as oil canning i do believe that i saw an all sart that was oil canning this week at fibark. Other than the outfitting the boat is awsome. And the plastic is the best on the market by a long shot.
 

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The foot bags, you either love em or hate em. Saw one crack in two places on the bottom on its first trip. That seems to be an exception though.
 

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Hey "thekid"... I will start off with the fact that I work with JK, but I honestly want to know more about why your seat screw is coming loose. I have an entire demo fleet and have no issue with it whatsoever. The only time I have seen this happen is with some retail demo boats that have lost the lock washers, due to clients carelessly moving the seat around. If the lock washer is lost, then yes they will come loose, but that's really a 1 or 2 cent item...

I personally love the outfitting. Minimal yes, super comfy also least likely to fall apart as there are no more ratchets to break. EJ's idea of least moving parts will be a winner in both the short term as well as long term ownership. Keeps the boats light and with no way to leak...period.

Craw
 

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First off, I have had a All-star for about 8 months now and love a lot of things about it. As far as outfitting goes, I love the lack of thigh hooks which are just molded into the boat and gives you more knee room. I would end up taking the thigh hooks out of LL and Wave Sport boats to give me more room. What I hate about the Jackson outfitting after 8 months is the back band set up. IMO if they used a solid system like LL's they would have the best bomber outfitting out there, which is super stiff and bomber. But the cleat/rope system is my biggest complaint and I'm trying to figure out how I could move a IR forward ratchet system like LL's into my All Star. Otherwise I really like my Jackson.

Craw, if I want a little more foot room (1/2" vertically) what would the procedure be for heating up cross-link?
 

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the boats are simply great

The outfitting is very very good. The footbags are odd at first, but they have to be the most comfortable, bar none in the industry.

EJ spent some time with me on Thursday going through how to set up the boats correctly, and they do need to be set up correctly. Any bad press is going to be the result of a dealer not knowing how or the new owner not knowing how.

A lot of time, thought, and no doubt money were put into designing these boats, the results speak for themselves. Plus the fact that he addressed the kids in the process, something no other boat maker has done. My kid loves his Fun-1.....even though he is shy of EJ's camera
 

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TK,

I am very curious as to what is not absolutely perfect with the backband. Really... and I am not being defensive, it's just that I have to say that it is so simple, doesn't slip under any conditions and I love how it can ride high on the lower of your back if you want it too. We have never seen one that has broken (at least to my knowledge) regarding bomberness (new word I guess), and the fact that it has really no way to break (even if so, it would be a simple replacement piece of rope...) as opposed to waiting for a rachet or component from a manufacturer.

Tell you what... send me a msg or call my cell, as to how to get in touch with you so we can chat. I am really curious and would love to take any feedback back to the plant for investigation.

The Rocker has the same outfitting and I have litterally creeked it HARD for 6 weeks straight. It's holding up perfect and works great in concert with the footsystem for the Rocker as well...

Thanks

Craw
303-517-2621
 

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Unbiased two cents and I rarely chime in on these which boat is better posts because I generally think all of the playboats are pretty good and it is largely a matter of personal preference.

That said... I have been paddling the All Star this year and love it for hole riding. It loops better than any boat I have paddled and is super balanced cartwheeling. I happen to think the outfitting is cool. I have had no slippage with the cleat system but I did have Steven Wright show me how to use it properly at Reno this spring. I am really very stoked with the boat and I have had a hard time historically finding playboats that fit me well because I have long legs and do not weigh that much allthough I am trying to eat more milkshakes and cheeseburgers.

The hot tip is that if you buy your boat at CKS or coloradokayak.com it will paddle better. (that was a biased statement by the way)
 

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Regarding the post with directions to replace the backband jam cleat system with front adjust ratchets...

My inferior understanding prevents me from seeing the obvious logic of this approach.

I own 2 Jackson kayaks, one a 2005 with the new backband, the other a 2004 with a new backband I retrofitted because the jam cleat system worked so well.

What I like about the new cleat system
1. It's very quick to adjust about 5 seconds
2. It's even quicker to release, about 1 second
3. Neither one I own have ever slipped, even a little
4. accessible from the front of the cockpit
5. It's damn comfortable. I particularly like the way the backband adjusts to the height on your back you prefer.

What I don't like about the new backband
1. Still working on this list


Granted, both are new and don't have long term use, but they don't exactly have much in the way of moving parts to wear out. That's my take for what it's worth.
 

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structural integrity of rachet mod

i just checked out the rachet modification posted above. this may result in a significant change in forces on the boat, as the backband was previously secured at two ends of the rope (first by the seat, and second at the cockpit rope cleat), creating a 2:1 pull. with the rachet mod, all the force is applied at the cockpit cleat (now rachet) location creating a 1:1 pull, and none at the seat. use caution, as if i am seeing this correctly, it would double (or more) the resultant force at the cockpit (and newly install rachet) when compared to the original set up.

looks like a workable idea, but i would personally modify it to leave the original seat attachment, and then simply drill a new hole for the rope routing to 're enter' the cockpit closer to the new ratchet location, thus leaving the 2:1 pull intact.

this is the engineer in me talking, and i wanted to post this observation. doubling the force on a peice of plastic could lead to pretty rapid failure.
 
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I paddled the Super Star for a stint up on a super fast wave in Idaho and I found it to be a slug on a wave of any real caliber, buddy of mine felt the same on south canyon on wed night.

That will not really be an issue for any CO boaters cause we have like 2 or 3 waves in the whole state that may piss you off in a boat of that hule design.

Another thing, The Kid or whoever said that Jackson plastic is the best in the biz you are wrong. Prijon and Eskimo (although they have very little in the way of play designs) have far superior plastic to crosslink even. After them I agree.

I really hope EJ's company is doing well. It should and his designs look awesom for holes.

NH
 

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Good boat but they will oilcan all boats oilcan over time nothing that can be done about it.

It doesn't matter how big the air it can get if you don't like the way it fits.
 

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I'm with the folks with complaints about the "clam cleat" system on the Jacksons.... as a complete discliamer, I otherwise *love* my Fun-- it's a comfy boat, dry, solid, runs well, plays well, and I've demoed and paddled a number of other boats, and couldn't be more pleased with my newest purchase: DEFINITELY happy I went with the Jackson!

So maybe I'm a complete moron (no touching that one, guys!), but I think I must be doing something wrong with the cleats. I have slippage issues once the rope system gets wet, and it's not uncommon for me to get to the end of a paddle and pop my skirt only to find at least one of the cleats has come undone and my backband is hanging limp on one side. It's a bit annoying. I mean, I've tried pulling the ropes into the cleats as tighly as I can, but I just can't get them to get a solid "catch" or hold....? What gives? Is there some magic formula I'm missing??
 

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Try making sure the ropes are in the teeth when you pull them up. Then lean back against the backband to seat them. That should do the trick.
 
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