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Since the entire world seems to be paddling the new Star series, I'm curious to hear what everyone thinks. Thoughts/reviews?
 

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I took out a Superstar for a demo and bought one the next day... I don't buy new boats that easily, but I was impressed! I'm always on the high weight side for the Allstar and I've been paddling a Project 52 (which is for sale $425). I was getting a little heavy for it, but the Superstar is great. I can throw it around with no problems and I'm looking forward to seeing what all I can do in it! Very fast on waves and stable in holes and very fast ends and loops. They definitely did a great job with the new designs.
 

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For my 5'6''/155 frame, the 2010 All Star is the best playboat I've owned. It's surprisingly fast on a wave, has tons of pop in a hole, and is generally easy to throw down. Add the easily adjustable yet solid Jackson outfitting and no holes (except the cockpit) you have a comfy dry ride. In fact, I usually wear the same Teva Gnars in my All Star that I do in my creekboat. Playboats with no footroom are a thing of the past.

For reference, I've also paddled and liked the '07-'09 All Star, 420 m/l, Disco, and Pocket Rocket. The 2010 All Stars are faster on a wave than any of these boats. That speed makes it easier to do more on smaller features because you don't need a huge wave face to generate a bounce. It's also just as loose as the Disco, which was really easy to spin.

In a hole the 2010 is all about air. This boat gets silly pop and is short enough to loop in all but the shallowest playspots. Compared to slicier designs like the '07-'09 All Stars or the Pocket Rocket, I find that the 2010 doesn't cartwheel as smoothly because it is so short and has such high volume ends. That's not to say that cartwheeling is hard in this boat. It's super easy to initiate but it's very fast end to end so you need to stay forward and move fast to keep up.

Basically, choosing between the '07-'09 Stars and the 2010 model is a matter of deciding your playboating style. The older model is longer and slicier, which makes it easier to control while cartwheeling and a little more directional when on a wave. The new model will open up more moves in more features because of the speed and pop it lets you generate. I also find the new model to be more retentive, which makes sense since it has a good amount of volume for its length. Bottom line, the 2010 All Star is definitely worth a demo if you're looking at playboats; there is a reason everyone is paddling them.

I paddle for Jackson, so add salt as appropriate. But, I also don't paddle boats I don't like.
-Mark Cecchini Beaver
 

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thanks for the report Fish. I am 5'7" and 145 and can fit in the star. Why do you boat the allstar instead? Compare to 420?
 

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Questions

So, since I turn 40 next month, my wife has graciously allowed me to buy a new boat... I think she just wants me to stop whining about getting older.

I'd like to do more playboating and I've been looking at the new Stars Series... (No, I don't drink the Jackson Kool-Aid, I destroyed my knee in high school and Jacksons have been only boat brand I can get my wrecked knee in and be comfortable), but I have a couple of questions before I go grab a demo this weekend:

1. I'm on the cusp of the weight range between the SuperStar and MonStar, so which is a better course of action... top end of the weight range or low end?
2. We don't have any whitewater parks up here in Portland and only a couple of great park-n-play spots, so I need a boat that can double as a pretty good river runner... I saw a post on the Jackson website that the new stars are capable and I've got a buddy who has an older SuperStar that he uses as his primary river runner, but wanted to get some feedback on the 2010's capabilities... thoughts?

Any feedback would be appreciated...

jim
 

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So, since I turn 40 next month, my wife has graciously allowed me to buy a new boat... I think she just wants me to stop whining about getting older.

I'd like to do more playboating and I've been looking at the new Stars Series... (No, I don't drink the Jackson Kool-Aid, I destroyed my knee in high school and Jacksons have been only boat brand I can get my wrecked knee in and be comfortable), but I have a couple of questions before I go grab a demo this weekend:

1. I'm on the cusp of the weight range between the SuperStar and MonStar, so which is a better course of action... top end of the weight range or low end?
2. We don't have any whitewater parks up here in Portland and only a couple of great park-n-play spots, so I need a boat that can double as a pretty good river runner... I saw a post on the Jackson website that the new stars are capable and I've got a buddy who has an older SuperStar that he uses as his primary river runner, but wanted to get some feedback on the 2010's capabilities... thoughts?

Any feedback would be appreciated...

jim
don't know how many times it's been said, but demo demo demo.
 

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Jim, I asked the same question about weight range over on boatertalk.com and Clay gave the best response: BoaterTalk: BoaterTalk - downriver or surf? Insights from 170lbs All-star paddler
Basically, Bigger boat=better river runner/bigger pop on loops.
Smaller boat=easier to through around and learn new tricks in.

In my opinion, I think the last star was a better river runner but I'm still a one boat guy and will run up to class 4+ in this new one.
 

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Ag3, since you can fit in both the Star and All Star the choice will come down to what you want out of your playboat. Do you want a dedicated park-n-play boat, do you plan to run some rivers in it, do you play in holes or waves, are you concerned with flatwater performance? I prefer the A-star because its more comfortable and at my weight it is more retentive, faster on a wave, and gives up more pop. I suppose its harder to cartwheel than the Star, but I don't focus on flatwater and it cartwheels just fine in a hole. It is a 55 gallon boat, but it is still pretty easy to throw down because it is so short, plus it just launches when you plug the bow. It's also more manageable to paddle downriver. I paddled the bigger 420 for those same reasons.

Compared to the 420, the A-star is faster on a wave, easier to throw around, quicker edge to edge, and much much looser. I liked the 420 on a wave because it was pretty fast and had a nice edge. But, that edge made it really directional and harder to spin. I felt like I needed a really nice wave to do clean spins in the 420 whereas the A-Star will clean spin on anything with a green face that's steep enough to catch. The A-Star is also a bit narrower, which makes edge transfer tricks like blunts and helixes easier to initiate. Lastly, I find the Jackson outfitting to be a lot more comfortable, much easier to customize, and drier than the Pyranha stuff.

I hope that helps, but you'll be the best judge of what you like in a playboat - demo, demo, demo.
 

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It's hard to add to what's here, but I'll throw my $.02 in...

to me it feels like cheating.

I had a previous version superstar which I loved- I was pretty sure I was only going to upgrade when I wore it out. I love the hull speed, I could get good pop (especially with beach ball in the cockpit), short enough to throw ends in the shallow features around here, and awesome down river.

Then last year some yeasty douch nozzle stole it out of my back yard.

Being boatless was not an option, and being a total gear head I had check out the new ones- I looked at the specs, read some reviews, and got in on the first shipment CKS received at the end of july last year. bought it sight un-seen.

I couldn't believe the difference- it made pretty much everything easier. better pop, easier loops, quicker cartwheels, spins in nothing, and feels noticeably faster on a wave. I haven't done much down river with it yet, but it felt fine in watertown early this year.

I'd have to say if there was any compromise it would be in the downriver area, mostly because it's so retentive that it might be harder to punch through something of significant size. The increase in hull speed will probably make up for it, but it's just a feeling...

Just as everyone else has been saying- there's a reason you see so many people in them.
 
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