I boat a 2011 hero on everything except park and play. I really like the feel of the boat and hull is solid. I think the boat is kinda uguly and I don't like the outfitting. I think the outfitting is just too much over the top. I use alot of close cell to get a good solid fit. I do feel like I get pushed around a bit in high volume rivers. I don't even try to take on big eddy fences if I don't need too. But, I mostly boat low volume creeks, catch on the fly, and saftey boater stuff. the hero works for me. I like that it has a simular feel to my playboat, easy to go from hero to p52.
Pros: boat is stable and somewhat comfortable. Everything else sucks. Its too slow and gets pushed around. Have you noticed that almost every pro/sponsered jk paddler doesn't paddle this piece of crap anymore? They all begged ej to make them a real creeker and he did. There are just so many better boats. I understand if someone is going to give you one for free but even then I wouldn't paddle that turd. I'm not just talkin shit. I paddled the hero 4 times cause I had no other boat. I'd rather go roller skating or some other gay thing than paddle a hero again.
Most people that paddle it as their only creeker actually like it. I paddled one in Chile on steep creeks, drops, and big water. It handled everything pretty easily. It is very stable, but easy to roll. I wasn't a fan of the outfitting either, but it wasn't bad. I actually like my habitat better than most creek boats I've been in.
I agree it is a very stable boat and easy to roll wit good plastic, and a lot of people like them. I paddled a 2011 Hero demo on Byers Canyon, Poudre Gnarrows, and Willow Creek at 550cfs. To me it feels like a playboat/creeker, it was REALLY SlOW and does get pushed around a lot. At the same time the bow is so big that it wants to stay in the main flow good and bad! Jackson has got it figured out with playboats, but they need to work on their creekboat design. I will stress that this boat is SLOW and your gonna be so far behind your buddies that no one will see you BOOF lol...
Took a demo down some local low water BS run then WW at 30,000 cfs... HUGE mistake. Feels like you're paddling a pig with its ugly snout. The knee area was so big you bump it all the time with your thumbs/paddle. Very slow.. did I mention its slow? Yeah cuz its very very slow. +2 on the fact that there are MUCH MUCH better boats out there.
I love my superhero! Other than on big water this boat rocks. Someone said hole bait. I couldn't disagree more. With the edges on this boat you can surf out the sides of a hole very easy. Try that in a displacement hull and its swim time. I also see people are complaining its slow. Its way faster than my Jefe grande could dream about also what do u expect from a sub 8' boat. It may not be the fastest boat but it turns on a dime and will catch the smallest of eddies. Its super stable. It also accelerates very fast which to me is important. I don't need to go a hundred miles an hr through a rapid. To me thats just being out of control. I want control in a rapid. I want to be able to take 2 strokes and miss that rock or hit that boof. It did seem big at first till I added an extra sweet cheeks to the already existing seat pad. That raised my knees higher and gave a better fit. THE KEY IS TO DEMO ONE. Remember opinions are like assholes everyone has one and some of them stink.
It may not be the fastest boat, but the latest model is faster than its predecessors. I Love the SH. it is very stable and maneuverable, punches through big holes easily and resurfaces quickly. It turns on a dime, and is still tracks well enough to stay on line. It does roll pretty easily, but i rarely find it upside-down.
Not sure how anyone can bitch about the outfitting- it doesn't get much easier to dial a boat in.
I love all the high knee room, so I could see how someone with shorter arms might bang their hands on the sides. I've not had that problem.
My friend Tomas Wilkening (amazing kayak instructor) says the JK Hero is the absolute best boat to put beginners in. It is stable, turns easily, rolls easily, extremely maneuverable, and inspires confidence. I agree, if I were to put an adventurous friend in a boat for their very first time to hit the local class 2/3 run, I would put him in a Hero series boat. Extremely forgiving. There isn't a more stable whitewater kayak.
The 2011 design boofs amazingly well. For playboaters that want to get into creeking, this boat excels as the hull design and shorter length makes it a smoother transition. This boat absolutely is NOT "hole bait." While you're reading this, please check BoaterTalk: BoaterTalk - surfs great actually for Clay Wright's excellent description of what makes a boat hole bait and how the Hero is NOT it.
The boat is small so it is easy to travel with but has a large enough stern for your creeking expeditions.
Every boat has pros and cons. The Hero's many strong points make it a really great boat in my honest opinion.
and think it is a great boat for creeking and river running
I also have the first gen mega rocker and it is a great creek boat. for low water rocky gnar the mega works great for me. If the water is running big time the super works great mainly cause it will carve a ferry or eddy move as if on a railroad track. Both good designs the super just carves a bit better and a bit faster than the mega.
very happy with performance and comfort. keeping both of them in the boat shed!
I have had zero issues with the boat being hole bait, for me it just blasts on through and heads where I point it.
I like how ppl describe the Hero as "hole bait." I pound out all kinds of runs and YES I would say that the Hero is hole bait. I mean when I'm in the Hero I look look for holes. They totally "Bait" me in. And the hero is the boat to rip the holes up. Spin left, spin right, maybe loop it, then simplely crave out the side. The hero loves holes, just like me!
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