wildwildwes

WIN a JK MixMaster at NoliFest!

wildwildwes wrote 196 days ago:


The Jackson Action Wagon is giving away brand new 2018 Jackson Kayak Mixmaster 7.5 (Bluegrass color) at NoliFest this year!

Where: USA Raft – 2 Jones Branch Rd, Erwin, Tennessee 37650

The J.A.W. is proud to partner with USA Raft on Saturday (April 14th) at this event to give away JK’s hottest new whitewater design in a raffle to benefit Camp Bays Mountain & Green Bridge Landing! :-)

All proceeds raised in the raffle will be split to help the camp and community park.  The new camp is in Kingsport, TN and they are launching their first summer camp program this year for children of our area – http://www.campbaysmountain.com/. The community park under development is a new river access site on the Doe River in Hampton, TN.

Drop by the NoliFest Info booth to purchase tickets during Friday & Saturday of the event!

 

Check out all the announcements of event sponsors, bands, demos and more at:

 

https://www.facebook.com/Nolifest/



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How to Vertical Seal Launch

wildwildwes wrote 223 days ago:


Do you have this skill in your tool bag?

Often on creek style runs we find the most efficient and safest way to launch into the river is off a vertical ledge into a deep pool.  This act can seem really scary at first if you have never tried it, so make sure you find a safe place to practice it.  The Sinks on the Little River in the Smokies is great place to learn this skill.  The cliff is a solid 12 feet drop to a nice deep and calm pool.

Photo by: Ryan Horn

I had a couple of first timers with me on recent trip on the Little River, so we took some time to practice this skill after a lap on the Meanies and the Sinks.  It was a reminder to me from the tourist watching us in amazement, who thought we were crazy, that this is an important skill to have if you want to be a well-rounded creeker.

Knowing how to perform this maneuver will help eliminate the spookiness of dropping off a cliff in your kayak and ultimately be a safer way to enter than river than trying to scurry down a step river bank while trying to handle your kayak.  Here’s my step by step suggestions on how to do a vertical launch with success:

  1. Checking your landing zone.
    • Look for obstructions and flow conditions of the surrounding area.  Is the flow going into an undercut wall?  Is there a rapid right below the drop you need to be prepared to run?  Make sure it deep enough for a plug based on the height of the drop (good rule of thumb is pool needs to be half as deep as the height of the drop).
  2. Find a safe staging area.
    • Make sure you launch place has a stable place to get in you kayak without worry of sliding off the cliff without having your backband set and your spray skirt on.
  3. Set your launch point.
    • Wiggle down to the edge of the cliff with your bow overhanging the drop and find the balancing point of the edge of the drop in your boat (This is typically about the point where your thighs are crossing the precipice).
  4. Prepare Propulsion.
    • Hold your paddle in one hand vertically on one side of your boat chocked against a rock on the lip of the drop.  Use your other hand to find a good grip at the edge of the cliff to help push off of at launch.
  5. Bomb Away!
    •  Give a quick push off the lip with your bare hand and paddle on each side of you simultaneously while letting your bow start to drop.
  6. Control Flight.
    • This is the hardest part of controlling fear while in freefall.  Concentrate on trying to lift your legs to your chest by crunching your chest forward in the cockpit.  This will angle the boat to land at more of a 75 degree angle to the water and activate your creek boat’s rocker to land upright.
    • Don’t lean back on your stern at this moment or you will fall over on your head, because this action drops your bow even more.
  7. Style the Landing.
    • Gain control of your paddle in low neutral paddle position below your chest at landing to help with bracing if you need it at landing.  Make sure to keep the paddle low below your shoulder line, so it doesn’t happen to hit you in the face when you first impact the water.  Your PFD will take the hit and you want even notice it when you keep it low.

Find you a safe place to give this skill a go or two.  Some future day on a new creek run you’ll be happy you have this maneuver in your tool kit. ;-)



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Jackson Kayak MixMaster is Here!

wildwildwes wrote 255 days ago:


Are you ready for some slicey fun?  #JKMixMaster

Both sizes of Mixmaster are now at the JK factory and both will be molding within a week from now.  MixMaster 7.0 size is currently in production.  MixMaster 7.5 size should be molding next week.  Both sizes are now available for order.

Promo video will be released in about a week from now…  Get stoked!  Get your orders in.

Both sizes coming to the J.A.W. in March for FREE demo!



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Kokatat Outercore Habanero Liner Review

wildwildwes wrote 276 days ago:


The best piece of cold gear I’ve used for my winter warmth!

Product website: https://kokatat.com/product/outercore-habanero-liner-inuhab

The Habanero is not your average onesie.  This new one-piece liner is full of technical paddling specific features to match up with all Kokatat dry suits and most other current dry suit designs, including Kokatat’s Switchzip suits.  I’ve also found great use of this liner as a mid-layer for alpine skiing.

You can use the liner as base-layer or mid-layer thanks to the high quality fabric construction.  The main fabric is a 4-way stretch 90% polyester 10% spandex with heavyweight recycled Polartec® PowerDry®.  The fabric of the underarms, cuffs, neck and ankles is a 4-way stretch 92% polyester 8% spandex with lighter weight Polartec® grid fleece ensures unrestricted movement at our pivot point while paddling.  The Velour back of the liner provides extra warmth and superior moisture transportation compared to other liners I have tried in the past.  This combination of fabrics makes for a nice breathable, but seriously warm suit!  I’m a warm natured big guy, so I don’t even think about putting on this liner unless it is at least in the 30’s.

The jersey face of the fabric enables smooth layering with other garment with its smooth finish.  The suit features flat-stitch seams throughout for comfort of wear.  The jersey face and flat-stitching make for a durable suit that can withstand the test of time and washing.

The liner has several great features in comparison to other onesies on the market:

The entire suit is contoured to fit your body better with the body mapped design.  This makes for a warm comfortable trim fit with no extra bulk.

The long front entry zipper is easy to get in and out of when dressing.  There is no need to ever worry about stretching out the neck with this suit entry system.

The second waist zipper acts as a drop seat for rear relief option.  There is also a flap fly for front relief option.  This relief system is compatible with all Kokatat dry suits (including SwithZip).  It also keeps you from having to remove your dry suit most the way off and freezing to death when having to go #2 in the wild.

The zippered chest pocket located on the left front of the liner is a handy for carrying small items.  You never have to worry about losing items in this pocket, since it has a zipper and typically under another layer.  I like to place my skull cap in it when there are days I’m not sure I’m going to have to wear it.

At the end of the wrist cuffs you will find a pair of thumb holes.  This feature help keep the sleeves in place when layering over the liner with your dry suit.  This also make the cuffs act as a toasty half mitt to keep you warm while at camp or loading your boat at the take-out.

Laundering the liner is super easy.  Wash it when it smells.  Throw it in a machine warm water wash all zipped up and hang dry.  Make sure not to use any fabric softener or bleach in the wash. Don’t iron it either… Really, who would do that anyway?

If you’re looking for the perfect liner suit to compliment you dry suite, look no further!  Kokatat has nailed it with this design.  It has superior warmth, does not limit any articulation and breaths well if you start to perspire in it.  I highly recommend checking it out at your local Kokatat dealer and try on your size.  I think you’ll see why it’s my new favorite piece of winter gear!



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2017 Tallulah Race Results

wildwildwes wrote 334 days ago:


A Benefit Event for

https://www.teamriverrunner.org/

Sponsored by

Micah Cox charging down Oceana – Photo by: Rob Giersch

Get the complete Tallulah Race 2017 results and recap with video, photos and more at:

http://regions.worldkayak.com/tri-cities/2017/11/14/2017-tallulah-race-results/



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JK Nirvana Large is Here!

wildwildwes wrote 385 days ago:


Big guys get pumped! A new bluegrass colored Jackson Kayak Nirvana Large has join the J.A.W. fleet just in time for race season!! #JKNirvana

Give the J.A.W. a shout if you want to try out a free demo.



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Kokatat Gore-Tex Trinity Dry Top Southeast Field Test

wildwildwes wrote 399 days ago:


From freestyle to creeking, this shorty dry top gets the job done well in whitewater!

Nantahala “Horns of God” – Photo by: Rahul Subramanian

Product website: https://kokatat.com/product/gore-tex-trinity-dry-top-dtutrn 

I’ve been a whitewater kayaker for over 15 years now, so I’ve tried a lot of different brands and types of splash/semi/dry tops.  I’m a big warm natured type of guy that lives in the southeast, so I’ve learned over the years that I don’t have much use for splash or semi-dry tops.  I typically paddle on hot summer days either skin to the wind or with a light sun protection shirt if the water temperature is above 50 degrees.  However, I find great use in having a shorty dry top for many reasons starting in the spring and throughout till late autumn.

I started using my new Kokatat Gore-Tex Trinity Dry Top in the late spring this year while creeking season was still in its prime.  The milder air and water temperatures during this time make it a bit uncomfortable for me to wear a full dry suit.  Having a shorty dry top as an option in my gear bag during this season always increases my comfort while keeping a much dryer core and creek boat.  I also like the safety aspect of having an extra piece of gear on to aid in rash protection in case of a manky creeking situation.

Laurel Fork of the Doe “Groove Tube” – Photo by: Matt Dalton

This year I was amazed at how much dryer both me and my boat were using the Trinity compared to other “dry” shorty tops I have owned in the past!  I typically layer under my shorty with a short sleeve thin rashguard.  Every time I took off my Trinity this spring and summer after creeks and river runs I found my rashguard completely dry of water.  My boat was also 100% dry as long as if I did not have to get out to scout or portage through the water on a run.  The seal the Trinity makes with my spray skirt is superb.  

I also like to use a shorty dry top when I playboat, because freestyle kayaking tends to keep you upside down and splashing around a lot.  Thus water can implode through your spray skirt tunnel without some sort of paddle jacket to aid in sealing.  The Trinity really shined in performance during summer playboat sessions!  It was by far the best dry top I’ve every worn while playboating.  I could go for a 1-2 hour play session with only a few drops in my boat after I was done flipping and tricking.  This was a very impressive finding in comparison to other tops I’ve used playboating!  The Gore-Tex coating not only helped keep me dry from whitewater in the feature, but it also help me from over perspiring inside the jacket on the warmer days.  This makes for a great balance of comfort all the way around! 

The only thing I thought was missing on the Trinity was some sort of small gear pocket.  I find a zip pocket to be a handy accessory some of the time.  As with any dry top the latex gaskets took some time to break-in (stretch) to fit well.  At first the gaskets were rather tight, but now they feel fine and are still bone dry.  Overall, I am extremely satisfied with this purchase and would highly recommend the Trinity Dry Top to any whitewater kayaker who does not has an allergy to latex.

Nantahala Cascades – Photo by: Rahul Subramanian



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New Jackson Kayak Mixmaster

wildwildwes wrote 411 days ago:


James McBeath gives us a sneak peek of a new prototype from Jackson Kayak.  Does double the slice = double the fun?  We shall see soon…

Introducing the new Jackson Kayak MIXMASTER coming in 2018.

Rapid Magazine Video Report for more details: https://www.facebook.com/RapidMagazine/videos/10155057222617123/



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2017 JK Antix Small Joins the JAW Fleet

wildwildwes wrote 431 days ago:


The small paddlers asked for an Antix they could fit in well and JK answered with this new awesome design to round out all the sizing for the hottest new kayak design in 2017!

A brand new 2017 Abyss Jackson Kayak Antix Small has now joined the JAW fleet for FREE demo!! :-)

Give me a shout if you want to give this new design a go.  #JKAntix



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Jackson Kayak Nirvana Reviews From J.A.W. Demos

wildwildwes wrote 444 days ago:


There is no doubt that the new JK Nirvana (http://jacksonkayak.com/blog/kayak/nirvana/) is getting a lot of hype right now.  It has been one of the most highly anticipated whitewater kayaks in 2017, since it’s announcement by JK back at Outdoor Retailer last year.  A beautiful Abyss colored 2017 JK Nirvana joined the Jackson Action Wagon fleet in late June and I can’t seem to keep it in the fleet long enough for me to give it a try…  I’ve had a waiting list of paddlers wanting to get a hold of the demo to check out what all the rave is about in this new design!  Give me a shout if you want to give this new design a GO!!

The JAW Nirvana has already seen a many runs by several different folks and I’m getting several great reviews on this boat.  Here are a couple of good non-biased reviews from non-sponsored paddlers I have received after a JAW demo:

Shaun Mullins’ Quick review of the new Jackson Kayaks Nirvana (medium)

Wesley R. Bradley was kind enough to let me be the first to demo the new Nirvana from the Jackson Action Wagon fleet. Below is my unprofessional kayaker thoughts about this exciting boat.

Pros:
It has really fast hull speed for a “short” boat. During the initial lake paddle, I was stunned at how fast it gets up to speed from a dead stop. Three strokes and you’re pretty much flying.

The speed downriver is unhindered by features that usually try to stall out other boats. Tremendous amount of lift from the bow/hull design at speed keeps you on top and mostly dry through all but the biggest waves and holes.

When the bow does go deep, it resurfaces very fast and stable – no unusual kicks to one side.

Really holds a line at speed – the faster you go, the more it seems to lock in. This should be great for downriver racing, as you will be less likely to get spun out or thrown off line as you encounter eddy lines and cross currents.

Turns easy though and holds a carve line with precision. Taking inside strokes on edge at speed results in controlled carving turns with a radius that is easily adjusted with just the slightest change in edging.

Surfs great! I was able to catch and surf fast green waves that I haven’t been able to catch in any other short boat. Plenty of rocker and bow lift kept the bow from pearling most of the time, even though this thing is 9′ long.

Boofing was nothing short of glorious thanks to that rocker profile, the ability to put the boat’s trajectory exactly on the line you want, and the speed.

The hull design lands a bit harder than other creek boats I’ve paddled, so that is something to consider on drops. This also means that the boat kind of has a “slappy” ride through rapids, although that is not really an issue.

Definitely one of the easiest boats to roll that I have experienced. I guess the narrow width and low deck height combine to make it a super easy roller. I know reviewers often say this, but this particular boat really surprised me.

One other surprising characteristic was that the boat was very stable through rapids and on features. Even though it is a “short race boat”, I never once felt like I was paddling an edgy, tippy specialty boat. It is very forgiving. Primary stability is good with the mostly flat hull profile, and secondary stability is good as well.

Cons:
On fast eddy out maneuvers, it has a great snappy turn-in, but about half way through the fast leaning carve, I noticed the wide, flat stern lift and the boat tended to want to straighten out. This resulted in blowing through a few smaller eddys. If I came in slower, this behavior was not an issue. But, at speed, it did this almost every time. I really had to pull a hard bow draw at the right instant to counter this and lock in to smaller eddys. But even then, compared to “standard” creek boats I’ve paddled, it was not as consistent in locking into position in small eddys. For me, this is a big deal for its creekability on really tight technical creeks like the ones in the Smokies where must make eddys are often micro-sized.

The Nirvana has an almost flat planing hull. This is a pro for high volume and most river running. But, it’s a con in my book for southeast creeking. This one is subjective I suppose, but in my experience, I much prefer displacement hull creekers. If I lived in the northwest or Cali, my opinion would be different. However, on the low volume, rock filled creeks in the southeast, I prefer a nice, smooth displacement hull with soft rounded edges (i.e. Jefe Grande, Newmad, Shiva).

Fit for me (6’2″ with 34″ inseam and size 14 shoes), was not ideal. The knee pockets are widely spaced and very low. I moved the seat around every way possible and could not get all the pressure off of the back of my thigh where it contacts the highest portion of the front of the seat. Also, foot room is barely adequate for me. I wore Astral’s Hi-Yak low profile booties and still had to jam my feet in there somewhat. Within 15 minutes, my legs were starting to get sleepy. I can sit in my other boats all day with no problem.

Verdict:
This boat will be a huge success for those wanting a short racing kayak, or a high flow speed creeking/river running machine. Dane and crew have already proven it’s ability in multiple events this year. It is also a killer boat for zipping around on big water and runs that don’t involve a lot of rock contact. Team Jackson has a winner on their hands for the right paddler on the right river.

But, for me at least, it won’t replace my Jefe Grande as a creek boat. Mainly because of overall comfort (leg position/footroom) and the Jefe’s ability to lock in to the most micro of eddys with relative ease, and to use rocks as just another way to get where you want to go with no surprises. And, the Jefe lands softer, boofs just as good, and handles steep boulder filled creeks with lots of rock contact with ease.

YouTube Preview Image

 

Brian Vermillion’s Report on how the Jackson Kayak #JKNirvana compares to the Pyranha Kayaks #9r

On Saturday I had the chance to get a lap on the Upper Ocoee in Jackson’s newest creek/race boat, the Nirvana. I am a class 4/5 weekend boater, and for the last 2 years my go to creek boat has been the Pyranha 9r. So, the Nirvana seemed like a no brainer to test out.

The first thing I noticed about the Nirvana was the knee position…it’s low and wide. This is very different than what I am use to with my 9r, which sits with much higher and slightly narrower knee position. The Nirvana is 26.375” wide, while the 9r is 25.2” wide, thats only a 1.175” difference in width. Once on the water the knee position felt much better, and I didn’t really notice the extra width of the Jackson boat.

Much like the 9r, the Nirvana felt fast! Just a few strokes and the boat was up to full speed. The boat stayed at speed even through waves and eddy lines. Both boats are 8’ 11” long which is key to both boats speed. The 9r does feel a bit sportier and nimbler while zig zagging through the waves and rocks.

At Alien Boof the Nirvana lived up the hype and boofed like a champ. You can build so much speed before the lip that the boat just flies off the drop. Again, like my 9r the speed you build before the drop was carried out of the drop with ease. Both boats sterns load up well coming off drops and push you out like a watermelon seed.

Once in the Olympic section the Nirvana felt at home. It was stable and held a line with no issues. The 9r feels just as much at home in the big water as the Nirvana did. The extreme bow rocker of the 9r felt like it stayed on top of the water better than the Nirvana when driving through big waves.

When it comes down to it the Pyranha 9r and the Jackson Nirvana they felt very much the same. The boats preformed similar on both big water and on a few creek moves. The knee position and outfitting of the Jackson vs the Pyranha are the biggest differences for me between the 2 boats. Picking which boat is for you will be up to preference more than performance. But for me the higher knee position and narrower boat win out…..the Pyranha 9r will still be my go to boat.



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