I got to paddle the new JK Antix L for the first time at our local pool session on the evening of 2/7/17. Here are my first thoughts after paddling this new design:
Fit – At my 6’-4” height, 235lbs, 38” waist, 36” inseam, and size 12 shoes I fit quite comfortably in the boat. My hips are a bit snug for my wide frame, but not as snug as in my JK ROCKSTAR Lg for sure. This is the only fit issue I have with the boat. I’ve got room to spare in all other areas.
The knee position feels to be around what I consider mid height and a bit more narrow than my JK Zen Lg. Overall I really like how my knees fit.
Seat height feels good in comparison to the parting line in the water and the sidewall reach over sits at about the same distance as my JK Zen Lg, which I like that position. The 4Fun seems to have a bit more reach over than both these boats due to the taller sidewalls.
I placed the seat in the rear position to see how much leg and foot room I have to play with and I can paddle the boat in the rear position and one hole forward from the rear with the stock 1.5” foam on the bulk head. I can comfortably wear my Astral Loyak or Hiyak in the boat in either seat position. Not sure if I could wear my Chaco Tedinho in the boat with its bulkier sole?
Float – I float surprisingly well in the boat. I initially thought I would be maxing out the boat at my weight, but I have about 1.5” between the parting line and waterline at the cockpit area of the boat.
With the seat position in the rear the boat trims out a bit stern heavy and the bow trim is high, but the deck still floats above the water line when sitting flat. When I have the boat in motion and lean back I can get part of the stern to dip down under water.
With the seat position one up from the rear the boat trims out closer to level from bow to stern, but I’m still floating bow high.
I plan to try out both positions to see which works best on the river.
Stability – This was the area in the new boat design that shocked me! The boat has very solid initial stability both sitting and paddling the boat around the pool. This instantly gave me confidence for its river running/creeking abilities. The secondary stability is a fine line for sure on edge. The Antix has a short sidewall, compared to other JK designs, so naturally there is not as much secondary stability.
Performance – The boat gets up to speed quick with only a couple of strokes and is quick, but it is not Zen or 9R fast for sure. The boat is super zippy in the turns. When you activate the edges in a turn the Antix responses! There is plenty of volume up front to keep you riding high at speed and the slicey edges in the back act like a slalom boat in the turns! The ride is incredible overall!!
Rolling – It’s a Jackson Kayak, so you know careful consideration went into this design on this aspect. I found no major issue in rolling the boat. The lesser sidewall reach made it easy for me to setup and execute the maneuver with ease.
There is more initial resistance in breaking the surface tension when initiating the roll. I think this is due to the spoon shape design of the stern. The lesser secondary stability also makes you stay on point with your follow through also.
Summary – This Anitx is truly unique from anything JK has ever produced! I thought the Fun Runner might be comparable, but they are nothing alike. I am overall happy with the general fit and float of the boat at my size. I can’t wait to get it out on some flow to see what I can do with it there to truly try out the stability and performance. Could it be the best Watauga Gorge playboat ever?! We soon will see…