I'm looking at getting the ultimate creek boat to be able to paddle here in the uk and abroad. I dont want to have to buy another boat in a years time so i'm looking at the ultimate. Can anyone give me some advice about either and the pros and cons?
I have have a LL Remix and like the outfitting in it. The boat is comfortable and rolls really easy. I know its not a creek boat which is what your looking for but it may give you insight to the outfitting.
Seeing that you are from the UK you might want to look into a Draggo Rossi boat. I dont mean to add confusion to your search, just a thought. Since you might be able to get your hands on one you may want to check them out.
First off if you are between the jackson and jefe get the jefe just based on plastic, both have shity plastic but LL is a small bit better and you can plastic weld it= a savoir on 3rd world trips. Also in my opinion the jefe does everything the rocker does just better; speed is not even close jefe has way more speed, boofability maybe a split but I will give it to LL because of the speed, hole punching the jefe wins hands down, both of the outfitting systems are the best on the market we can call that on a draw.
But, I would look at the burn/everest/karnali since you are over in the UK and they make them right there. plus those boats are some of the best for the type of creeking you will find if you go to New Zeland, nepal, BC and it will also do just fine on the low volume stuff in the states. All that being said DEMO the boats, you are going to be paddling it for awhile might as well put some extra effort in now to find the boat that you like the most.
Have fun on your trip,
Hi Tom, thank you for your great advice, we have a shop over in the UK that as far as im aware do not have a demo Jackson Mega Rocker. Its 120 mile round trip so its not round the corner. Saying that i'm thinking of going there thursday to take some to a near by river. I would ideally like advice on the outfitting, I think the ease of the string is a good idea but how practical it is im not sure. I am 6'4 and have 12 feet (UK) so I don't want to be cramped in a creek boat i'd prefer to have extra room to play with. I have a Diesel 80 that I will keep but want to try a displacement hull to try a different style of paddling.
The good news is that there are lots of decent creekboats on the market... Rockers and Jefe's being some popular ones.
The bad news is that if you run the steep hard stuff the boats were designed for, you just might be buying one every year because you will break them. I average about a boat a season, broke two this season.
I've heard lots of rave reviews about the Jefe's. I paddle the grande and its a good boat. I haven't heard many good things about the rocker, through many people paddle them. JK is coming out with a new boat that is supposed to be a mix of the rocker and the hero series that sounds like it could out perform the rocker.
Also keep your eyes peeled for the new prijon creeker. Haven't seen any news on when it is going to be available. Assume europe first. Plastic should be bomber, might be worth a look.
I have a Mega Rocker and the foot room in this boat is just awesome.
There are zero edges to catch and this makes the boat perform like no other in rocky low water creeks.
Have not paddled a Jefe Grande but based on reviews, both of these boats are good choices.
For me, JK outfitting has been great. I have sat in a Remix with the badass outfitting and altho the approach is very different from JK, both outfitting styles are great solutions and better than the rest of the current offers.
Due to the design with plenty of rocker the Mega Rocker boofs super easy and makes the boat easy to manage on gnarly creeks.
I hear all sorts of stories about JK plastic, have had my Mega since they came out and so far zero problems with the plastic.
What I have come up with between Jackson and LL outfitting:
Jackson seems a lot more user friendly to change and adjust the settings but not great to really dial in considering it moves around a lot.
LL's outfitting is sweet once dialed in (which may take some time) It took me a couple of weeks to really get my boat to be comfortable. Once dialed in though its not going to go any where. and the Bad ass outfitting is second to none on Bomberness.
Over all I would recommend the Grande, because of the above and what Tom said.
Oh and I paddle a Grande so I'm biased. But I love it.
HaHa don't you just love how we all would fight until death defending our boats but then when its time for a change we go buy its rivals!
Can I ask about the backrest, when I sat in a mega rocker and tightened the backrest I then tried to get out of the boat - ie if I was to need to get out and I was unable too. Ok I was sitting in it the right way up but most other boats the backrest stays in the boat, this one sort of pulled you back down. Does this happen for you? I'm just trying to work out if its this boat or them all and if there are ways around it.
Also would you say the string slips on the footrest or backband?
And one last question, the foam footrest, the footrest lifts up giving you storage in the front of the boat, how do you fix the foam to the plate if you want to be able to use this storage. Im thinking putting First Aid kit and dry emergency cloths in there!
Thanks people for all your help. I'm testing a LL Jefe Grande today if all goes to plan as they dont demo Jacksons I wont be able to demo one!
Never noticed any problem doing a wet exit from my Mega. And, I boat with a pretty tight back band to insure I lean forward (long time RPM Max boater and you need to have a good forward lean in a RPM Max).
The newer JK boats have a much improved set of ropes. There is still a bit of slippage here and there but not much. What I do is lean back and get my spray skirt pushed under the back and sides of the rim. Then adjust the back band ropes. I have a habit of pushing the rope down into the chock with my fingers and that seems to help. This has worked well for me to reduce slippage.
On my Mega there is a bungie type rope that goes thru a hole in the middle of the foam on the foot brace. Not sure if the new boats come with the big foam pads for the foot brace, but mine did. First thing I did with the boat was get my foot brace positioned about where I fit very well into the thigh pads. Then positioned the seat to fit. Then I got a sharp knife and cut the foam pads to fit into the boat. Making sure they were a bit oversized so there was no chance of getting a foot in between the boat and the pad. I kind of angle my knife blade to bevel the edge I cut to have a better fit. What this does is form kind of a chock with the foam. Then I get in the boat and fine tune the rope in the chock and push it down into the chock. So far this works well for me and I have minimal slippage of the bulk head. I do not glue in the foot foam pads. The bungie cord with a push type holder on the cord keeps the foam positioned on the foot brace but releases when I need to pull the foam pads out.
I originally got the Mega for a self support Selway trip. There is not much room in the bow of my Mega but I can put things like stoves and fuel bottles up there. The stern however has massive storage space. I got the Prijon folding top, over night bags for the stern and they work really well.
Have not paddled a Jefe Grande but sure do like the looks.
I have had a lot of creek boats over the years. The design of the Mega is the best I have found as far as taking care of me and covering up my mistakes. IE Point the Mega where you want to go and paddle and it just moves over all the stuff in the way. Zero problems with hole punching so far, but I am careful to enter with some speed and bow pointed down stream to help the boat punch out. Getting side ways in a keeper might be a long ride but the boat has so much secondary stability a person might be able to paddle towards the ends of the hole.
Expect to have to pay attention to trim when paddling the flats as this boat loves to turn which is great in tight low flow creeks.
It took me a trip or so the get comfortable in handling this boat. So test it and the Jefe as many times as you can. After a few runs, the Mega is second nature to me.
I have not been able to do much surfing in my Mega. This summer I ended up buying a Super Hero as more of a play boat as I do not do the aerial moves. I am very pleased with the Super Hero. Almost as forgiving as the Mega, but surfs a lot easier and makes ferry moves like it is on a rail road track. Hate to add another issue to your decision but if you are not running the super gnar creeks and want to do some play on the way down, the Super Hero deserves a look see at least.
I am not associated with JK in any way, in fact these are the first two JK boats I have purchased. My favorite go to down river is my RPM Max and I was happy with a large Burn as my creeker. I sold the Burn to buy the Mega. Nothing wrong with the large Burn, but for my style of boating the Mega seems to take better care of me than the more flat bottom edges of the Burn. Not getting rid of my 1996 RPM Max but the foot room of the Super Hero is so comfortable, I find myself doing down river in the Super Hero more and more.
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