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Discussion Starter #1
My Karma cracked this year after less than three months of use. I'm hesitating on paddling another one since I don't want to have it break again. Does anyone else have this issue of them breaking quickly?
 

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I went through 4 karmas last season 2 this year so far and 12 total in the last 3 years.

I love Jackson kayaks, I wouldn't paddle any other boat.

All boats break, and Jackson is trying tons of stuff in the R&D department to get us a solid boat.

They are innovators, and they take care of their customers. I always buy two boats now. One to paddle, and one to use while the warranty is being shipped.

I am glad and thankful for Jackson kayaks, I break their boats and they stand by me, no one else will do that for us that I can think of.

Again, all boats break,its more, who do you want to represent.
 

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"I always buy two boats now. One to paddle, and one to use while the warranty is being shipped."

This is the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time.

LOL, That's not right. If I was in the market for a new boat. I would not buy any Jackson after reading your post.
 

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"I always buy two boats now. One to paddle, and one to use while the warranty is being shipped."

This is the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time.

LOL, That's not right. If I was in the market for a new boat. I would not buy any Jackson after reading your post.
There should be a size disclaimer in there... Bob is a big dude. No offense buddy, your post did sound like jackson plastic sucks though. I just picked myself up a karma. Loving it so far.
 

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What you need to do is contact Jackson about the warranty..
One of the best things about this USA brand is that they have the best warranty in the business.. While I know a lot of people that have had broken boats, I paddle nearly one hundred days a year, many days of class 5 (albeit not typically "mank"), and have broken very few boats.
Four years ago when I cracked my extremely abused Villain, the warranty department was quick to get me out a replacement.
All brands of boats break regularly, I've seen it. Although some brands might possibly have better reputations for durability, I don't believe any has a better reputation for warranty. That's part of the purchase of new Jackson boat.
-Micah
 

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"I always buy two boats now. One to paddle, and one to use while the warranty is being shipped."

This is the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time.

LOL, That's not right. If I was in the market for a new boat. I would not buy any Jackson after reading your post.
I am just being honest.

I should add that I am a monster. I am 6'3" and just under 300 lbs. I get 100+ days a season easily. I average 12-20 miles daily.

I paddle tons of class 3 and 4. I creek, river run and playboat.

My playboats break too, and I avoid rocks.

I paddle Jackson because they fit me the best, because they stand by their product.

I can add that I might not be a top paddler, but I get a lot of days, so I like to have a boat on stand by, in fact I have a few.

I will always buy a Jackson.
 

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I am jealous! I use to get 140+ days of skiing in a season, but work/wife/life seem to have slid in some how. Still trying to figure out that one. :)

I am just being honest.

I should add that I am a monster. I am 6'3" and just under 300 lbs. I get 100+ days a season easily. I average 12-20 miles daily.

I paddle tons of class 3 and 4. I creek, river run and playboat.

My playboats break too, and I avoid rocks.

I paddle Jackson because they fit me the best, because they stand by their product.

I can add that I might not be a top paddler, but I get a lot of days, so I like to have a boat on stand by, in fact I have a few.

I will always buy a Jackson.
 

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I am just being honest.

I should add that I am a monster. I am 6'3" and just under 300 lbs. I get 100+ days a season easily. I average 12-20 miles daily.

I paddle tons of class 3 and 4. I creek, river run and playboat.

My playboats break too, and I avoid rocks.

I paddle Jackson because they fit me the best, because they stand by their product.

I can add that I might not be a top paddler, but I get a lot of days, so I like to have a boat on stand by, in fact I have a few.

I will always buy a Jackson.
I'm jealous you get so many days on the water and I totally understand the big guy thing. I'm 6'-4" and 230lbs. I've broken boats from different manufactures and they all break. Jackson's warranty is top notch for sure and I had a very pleasant experience. I just couldn't help but laugh at buying 2 boats because you knew you would be using the warranty and still wanted to paddle. If you have the cash, why not right.

It makes more sense after your second email.
 

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I may not be a smart man, but I do know what a rock is! One of the first things I learnt skiing and boat is.. Ride\boat like a jack wad and shit gets broken.

Jackson does have service. I've seen boats replaced that frankly should not have.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
By the way I'm not badmouthing jackson. I love the Karma but I can't afford to buy two boats with one as a back up.
 

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Marshal, as I typed to you in that email this morning and cc'd to our warranty department ... there are a couple things at play here. Bottom line, for the first time in your padding career, you are quickly becoming a genuine class V kayaker, and a good one at that. That means a lot of things, but firstly, if you paddle steep creeks, and mostly in Colorado, that means that you are going to going through shells at a faster pace then most areas around the US. There is no kayak made that won't crack under low water, class V, sharp mank conditions. You have been paddling SSV a lot, low water Clear Creek (earlier in the season), OBJ for several days and many other classic boat destroying runs. Even though we are using a very strong resin at the moment, there isn't gigantic differentiations in each rotomolding manufacturers propriety resin mix. A lot of it has to do with design of a hull that receives "powder flow" appropriately to key areas during the molding process (this is not minor). A lot also has to do with support of the hull in areas that are inherently weak. Long flat surfaces just don't hold up well in a rotomolding scenario. Most every brand out there these days has pretty kick ass kayaks and outfitting, but they will all break with enough runs down SSV/OBJ. With that in mind, the question most important to me (as a buyer of goods I depend on) is who stands behind their products even when it's obvious that the boat was just run down too many shallow, sharp rock,steep creeks... I will stand by my company on that answer all day long.
Also something that I feel is happening here is the need for a bit of a reset of your expectations. To clarify, I mean that a company that takes a week to define what they are going to be able to do for you (emailing photos/review options/etc), then offer a solution that may still take another week to build, and then ship for 4 or 5 days to get it to you, is reasonable for this time of year. These weeks of the year are the THICK of the warranty period for any kayak brand, but especially those that focus on WW. Steep Creek boats at this time of year have been getting worked over hard for the past three-four months and warranty departments are dealing with issues both small and big. That is not an excuse, it's just a fact that I would think any brand can share with you at this month in the year.
Lastly, the advise that Bob mentions is something that almost any class V boater will tell you. It's always a good idea to have two creek boats. Think of when you use your "rock ski's" early in ski season. You have the boat that you use early season on Bear/SSV/upper Boulder, etc and then when the water finally comes in, you use your good shit. Yes, this is coming from a person who works for a kayak company, but I don't think many would argue. Maybe that is out of your price range to have a beater and your nice boat, but in the meantime, JK will stand behind the boat you bought, it just might take 2-3 weeks to get the replacement to you.
 

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Unfortunately this is more or less part of being a creekboater and not just in Colorado. I discovered it long ago and have been using the techniques described above every since to deal with it.

I just did a once over on my boat to try to figure out why it's been leaking a lot more water the last few uses. This time I found a nice little crack under the seat from the boat I bought at the end of April and most of my days have been on high water Clear Creek, Boulder Creek and PNW with only a little mank mixed in.

Time to play Dagger Warranty Russian Roulette! In the meantime I have that other heavily welded Nomad that they wouldn't warranty to use.

I think it's one of the biggest failings of the WW kayak industry that they haven't made any advances and perhaps have deflated the quality of their plastic over the years. I'm still boating a design, Nomad, that's over a decade old, and don't consider newer designs or outfitting innovations substantially better, which is where all the effort has gone.

If kayak companies really wanted to foster a sense of trust with their customers they would improve the quality of their product such that it can handle its intended use. If all your product ads and sponsored boaters and bombing down steep creeks, shouldn't there be some expectation that it can withstand that use?

Instead there's a perverted "warranty" policy that basically says, "hey, we know that our product doesn't hold up to normal use, so in exchange for $200 shipping, we'll give you another one if you break it quickly, subject to our whim."

To their credit, Jackson Kayak does seem to be the best in the business about taking care of people's investment with replacing boats at little or reasonable cost and consistently so.

There is a solution, and it's Prijon HTP plastic, which I tried to get this year but Prijon's distribution sucks in the US. So many good designs, so few that won't break.

That's my latest broken boat rant.
 

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So I moved to Arizona from Chattanooga. It's an hour and a half from the Jackson factory. One of the best parts of breaking your Jackson is taking the tour of the manufacturing facilities and walking out with a brand new fresh from the mold boat. I know this isn't an option for most but it is really cool. Anyone with a karma, check the seat track welds. They crack all the time and as was stated earlier they are working to remedy this problem. The Jackson's do a lot for the local padding scene in the south east. Don't fight it just drink the Jackson coolaid.
 

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KSC has nailed it. There is a disconnect between what is marketed by boat manufactures and what they are stocking in the stores.

The companies/reps will point to paddling the "mank" and to the advancement of the sport or user error as the key ingredients to boat failure. And while these points have relevancy they are not the sole reasons for boats breaking.

Paddling the exact runs with the same level and style my old Perception Java has and will out last every newer boat on the market. Why is this??

I have paddle the same Prijon Pure for steep runs for almost four years.... best all around creek boat on the market IMO. No heavier than the M Karma I rented on a CO paddling trip this spring.
 

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I think it's one of the biggest failings of the WW kayak industry that they haven't made any advances and perhaps have deflated the quality of their plastic over the years. .
Couldn't agree more. I've been kayaking since 1976, starting out in Lettmann Mk IV's we built ourselves on the Ledyard mold. No boofing back then, and we spent a lot of time patching, rebuilding, etc. Of course none of us were running what creekboaters are doing now. But the New England rivers (Swift, Pemigewasset...) were plenty rocky. Then Hollowform came out, followed shortly by the Dancer? (they're all running together now). This lead to a string of plastic boats which all seemed pretty much the same.

The point is, nothing has really changed much since then, other than design and performance. They're still just as heavy as they were when they first came out (allowing for the much smaller size of today's kayaks), and plastic boats are no more durable, given direct comparisons on the same types of rivers.

Meanwhile, I can program on a laptop in a coffee shop, where once I had to dick around with punch cards using Basic or Cobol, have a cell phone that fits in my pocket where no technology existed in '76, and have a road bike that is almost lighter than the wheels on my first mountain bike.
 

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Plastics are the cheapest and strongest options. Carbon is brittle, inflatables do not have the performance, wood is heavy and archaic. What is the cost to make the plastics better or stronger? Twice as much and/or twice as heavy?
 

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Plastics are the cheapest and strongest options. Carbon is brittle, inflatables do not have the performance, wood is heavy and archaic. What is the cost to make the plastics better or stronger? Twice as much and/or twice as heavy?
I think what many of us are looking at is something as revolutionary as rotomolded plastic was when it replaced fiberglass/e glass/s glass/ kevlar, not evolutionary.
 

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I think riot made a boat out of titanium, I could go for that!!

did anyone paddle it, im sure it dented, but what was it like?
 

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Kevin, and all... regarding the materials discussion, I assure you that this is an important and needed discussion, and I can't think that there is a manufacturer of ww boats anywhere in the world that isn't trying to find it. Rotomolding is antiquated and bottom line, it was never intended to be used for "finished" products like kayak shells, but rather internal parts like dashboard parts/fuel tanks/and other typically not seen parts to products. Rotomolding is more a dark art then a science. Anything from humidity, ambient temps, or different shift personnel... you name it, has significant effects on how the powder flows and lays up in the mold. Each of these has (sometimes not-so) slight alterations to thickness values or brittleness, or even how it wears, once on the water. Getting away from the roto discussion entirely, several brands have looked into alternative methods and materials for ww boats, but it all comes back to roto...
We talk about it often, that design has come a LONG way, but the next big thing is materials.

I have to share that I was laughing pretty hard at the comparisons by Duct Tape (nothing personal, but had to comment on this Duct)... It would likely be an amazing surprise to most in this kayaking world, to find out how big our market isn't... Meaning that comparing the R&D dollars to develop a phone that is made in China for a few dollars and sold for hundreds, and that literally 40 million people will purchase if successful is a BIG difference to the maybe 15-20K (MAX) units of ww kayaks sold annually, and that is WORLD WIDE, BY ALL MANUFACTURERS COMBINED my friends. Add in that in our case, due to JK being made 1000% in the USA with only USA made parts, and EJ never allowing anything in our boats to be sourced from anyone but american made, and I assure you that our budgets for major R&D of something as altering as possibly not using our Roto ovens that we have spent amazing amounts of money on, and you have a bit of a picture of what types of investment $'s exist for discovering the next "Rotational Molding" for ww kayaking.
This is not a woes me post to this thread. If anyone knows me, I am fired up about what is happening in kayaking and all manufacturers strive diligently to make the best products they can for you all, but the overall picture isn't one of millions being made by anyone in this industry. Far from it.
If there are any hard core plastics guru's that have some interesting ideas on cutting edge materials that the ww community should be looking into, I/we are all ears. But something that is as futuristic as paper thin, pure carbon (that link was actually interesting, but far from known if it will be viable for kayaks) is just too far out of reach for our industry to get involved in today. You think 1200 is too much for a kayak now!!! HA

It's been a great season and a huge thank you from Jackson Kayak...

And for the guy that mentioned something about their Java, they are right. That was a cross link shell, and by far, more durable then linear. Thank the EPA for removal of what was truly the best material for ww kayaks of recent. I saw one of our early All Stars from 05 the other day and it was pristine. Little did we know that the plastic industry was changing it's composition annually until it finally was of no use to us for making kayaks about 4 years back...
Man, I am on a tear here!!! Haven't posted here in some time, but this is a great topic and I wanted to shed some light from the business side of this. Hope it's at least slightly helpful.
 
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