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Looks like they've got another hit. I've said it before, there need only be two whitewater boat companies, JK and WS, and JK seems to now be dominating. I still love my Diesel and Habitat, but the Hero and Punk Rocker became huge rivals to them. Now the Villian looks like it may take the prize. Kudos to JK.
 

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Let me qualify that I am in no way, shape or form an authority on creekboat designs but to say that "there need only be two whitewater boat companies, JK and WS" is a gross misrepresentation by my experience. To the contrary, the brands I see on the river are Dagger, Pryranha, LL and Prijon. I'm not sayin that JK and WS don't deserve some laurels but to say they are dominating the market? really?
Redpaddle,

No offense to anyone. It is only one man's opinion, of course. Next season will be my 30th year of white water kayaking. In that time I have owned 17 or more boats and have paddled many others. Undeniably, all boats have been enjoyable to me. Over time there has been various leading design/perforamance dominance by different companies. In my opinion, Perception had it for a while, then Prijon, Dagger, Wave Sport, and possibly Jackson now. Again, just about any boat is capable of getting down the river and there are several top contending boats to justifiably credit as excellent tools. However, I would credit Wave Sport and Jackson as producing the top designs for performance and quality. And, as I have stated in the past, a third mentionable should give credit to Prijon for its advanced thinking in technology (HTP plastic) and having been somewhat inspirational in certain designs over the years. Right now, though, I see the Diesel and Habitat and the entire line of JK boats as dominating in design performance. It is my opinion that if you are going to buy a new boat it should be one of those. Maybe someday another manufacturer will come into leadership. I don't know how far boat designs can improve, but it seems to me that the all time best boats have come from WS and JK.
 

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Fairly quick to decide arent you? You see two pictures of a prototype and its hit? I musta missed something.
Time will certainly tell. As with the Diesel, ZG, Habitat, and Hero ... the design previews convinvced me that those designs were going to kill it. And they did. The Villain looks refined to me. I love the punk rocker already. What if it gets better? We'll see!

Cheers!
Ken
 

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KSC,

Good thougts. I agree that the Jefe and Nomad are excellent boats. As far as durability, I have found it to largely be a matter of the boater. Some people willingly or carelessly abuse their boats. Having had paddled 4 meter glass boats in class V early on, I aspired to try to be clean in my lines, and to treat equipment with care off the river too. I generally own my favorite boats five years or more and they are in great shape still when I sell them. The other durability factor is, of course, that some boats are definitely being subjected more often to sic decents by the best boaters these days. In which case, damaged goods should be expected. If Prijon makes a great design, and if someone really felt the need for an added pillar, they might have the ultimate durable creek boat. Otherwise, each generation of designs has generally improved the performance over the years and it is left to the boater to try not to abuse the boat. Everyone will likely voice support for the brand they own, are sponsored by, or work for. I'm just a guy that likes to boat and who feels that, even though the Nomad and Jefe are great creek boats, I prefer and feel that WS and JK have the best boats. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how much more boats can improve and which companies survive. I might consider a Villain now that my daughter wants my Punk Rocker. Which, for the health of the industry, we all need to encourage the kids and need to buy new gear.

Cheers to all,
Ken
 

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Besides being mildly entertaining to talk about, I'm glad people think about and discuss such things. If not, there would be no new innovation and I'd have to paddle one of those long cigar boats with no back band and hand carved foam for outfitting like the old guys used to do.
LOL -- I probably qualify as one of those old guys. Sure wish we had today's equipment back then. This may crack you up -- hard hats, wools sweaters and socks, no thigh hooks and no foot braces were just fading out when I started. Then came the Perception Quest (maybe the worst boat ever, but it was plastic, had a plastic pillar and foot pegs). Yahoo! My how great we have it now days. Let's go boatin'!
 

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Don, did you ever have to warranty an X or Y?
I don't think I've ever broken any of my plastic boats. My Diesel does have a crease under the seat from using it for creaking some mank. So, yes the Wave Sport plastic is softer since the Y days and earlier. I am interested to see if Jackson's plastic is better this year. They were to intending to bake them longer to improve the bond and strength. Hope so! Nonetheless, one thing I really don't want is a heavier boat. I enjoy canyon runs and my body is not as young as it use to be. The ol' back, neck, knees, and shoulders have had a lot of wear and tear form a lifetime of impact sports. So lighter is my hope, but I agree that the conversation and pursuit for more advanced plastic techologies is of great interest for us all. In the meatime we're still having fun, aren't we? I will be interested to try this new JK design. It seems like a blend of a lot of designs factors.

Cheers!
 

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FYI - Just opened an email from CKS about their sale and it looked like they may have some new rocker series on sale for $750 (get 'em) and some new Side Kick (hands down the best kids/young adult kayak ever in my opinion) for $650. And for those that think the Rockers suck, well there is a sweet used Jefe just dying to meet you. Just saying! Don't read anything into it. Just helpin' my brothas from other mpthas out. Those look like some good sale prices for the persons that aspire to upgrade. (Ahmmm, Clark.)

As the dude older than me said. "You don't stop kayaking when you get old, you get old when you stop kayaking." .... And start them kids young, too! As early as 2 or 3 in my opinion. In the pool and on lakes for a few years. Get 'er done! IMO watching the kids and gals take to the sport is almost as great as cleaning a 5+ river. (As you can tell I share the attitude of Glen Plake, which delights in seeing the old Europeans enjoying the slopes during their lunch break ... while he rides the lifts to lap more steep! And were is that next snow storm in CO anyway? Is this boating weather or ski season? One or the other ... let's go!)
 

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Apology

I couldn't wait to get to work this morning and type an apology to 4 Corners River Sports. Just before leaving the office yesterday I typed my previous post in a rush and inconsiderately forgot what forum it was in and that 4 Corners had so generously started this thread. I apologize to 4 Corners for having made a plug for a competitor in your thread. My intent was only to add to the discussion going on by mentioning the availability of Rockers and Jefes at sale prices. I had not checked 4 Corners sales before typing. So in apology, fairness, respect, and hopes of encouraging the sport and the economy, I searched riversports.com this morning and see equally great sale prices on their new and used boats, too. I am all about enthusiasm for kayaking and think it is fair to suggest that there are some excellent bargains going on for kayaking equipment during this holiday season. I wish all businesses a prosperous holiday season and coming new year. Cheers to all and my sincere apprecation for Andy and the team at 4 Corners. Durango boaters are some of the best spirited and expert boaters anywhere. Kudos to you guys! Thank you for having debuted the new Jackson design to us. It is very cool to receive a preview and much appreciated.

Best wishes to everyone for an adventerous, safe, and enthusiastic boating season. Keep the spirit, obtain the gear you desire, and indulge in and protect our rivers.

Best regards and happy holidays,
Ken
 

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Of course he has to be biased, but here's EJ's comment:

"Loving the villain and i have a new favorite boat for creeking. Sweet!!!!"


 

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According to EJ, upon further testing in Mexico, ... "The villain paddles like having a conversation with your best friend. It is easy and you feel right at home."

So, why would I seem enthusistic about this boat and this thread? First, even though I really love skiing, I am jonesin' to boat this special year for me (30th/50th). Secondly, two of the boats standing side by side in my garage are the Punk Rocker and my wife's Little Hero. Two outstanding boat designs. Side by side I can see their blend in the Villain. Assumming that the Villain will be available in a similar size as the Punk Rocker, I can picture how awesome this boat may be. It might well be the refined excellence of a boat that is of a best friend nature. One that is always welcomed, kind, supportive, dependable, and fun.

I am very psyched to experience this boat. It appears to be another superbly refined addition in a full spectrum of top performing boats from a single company. I hope that 2010 is the year for everyone to upgrade and fill full your river sense.

Enjoy!

Ken
 

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