After a Hero

Inland paddling
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drkdjones
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After a Hero

Post by drkdjones » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:40 pm

Hi folks,

I'm looking to move on from my first WW kayak - a Jackson Hero - now that I have a better idea of what I want. However, I'm having trouble deciding what fits that "want" so I thought I'd ask for input since it's always interesting to learn from others.

Bit about me: between 180 and 185, 5' 10"; late starter to kayaking (although have a few years before I'm too decrepit to paddle!); In my first WW season and am currently working on class 3 (with the Dart Loop being my usual paddle); having great fun and am an obsessive gear freak in all my activities (a large collection of skis, snowboards, monoskis, blades, ... as a case in point).

I like some things about the Hero very much: stability, forgiveness, weight, outfitting, ...

Things I don't like: slow, feels a little floaty, hard to feel connected, volume seems excessive for the kinds of things I paddle.

I want a boat that is a little more involving, allowing elegant flows from eddy to eddy in class 3+ (ignoring the fact for the moment that the limiting factor there is me) without being too unforgiving. No interest whatsoever in tricks and if the tail squirts it's because I've done something stupid by mistake

I've demoed a number of boats but haven't found what I want. For example:
Nomad - hated it, clearly not a fan of displacement hull creek boats
Burn - too edgy
Ripper - horrendously unstable from my point of skill
...

If they still made one, I think I'd be looking at a Fun Runner but they don't and I've never seen one in the UK.

Getting to the point of all this: Is there some one familiar with the Hero, the Antix and the 4Fun, who'd be willing to give some input on how they feel relative to each other and which one I ought try to track down to demo? What else should be on the list that I haven't thought of? Robbie at CIWW is convinced that the Raptor would be the right answer and I shall try that when I can get up there :-)

Thanks,

Kevin

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Jim
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Re: After a Hero

Post by Jim » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:36 pm

I've only tried the 4Fun (ran the grand canyon in one), from my point of view it feels very stable, in fact whilst playing I found it rather slower to capsize than I'm used to; however this needs to be read with the understanding that I have always enjoyed paddling a Glide which is one of the twitchiest playboats of all time... If you didn't get on with the Ripper, I'd be surprised if you get on with the 4Fun, although it may be a little more forgiving of catching the tail?

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ion
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Re: After a Hero

Post by ion » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:36 am

If you have "No interest whatsoever in tricks" then I'd be looking at the Zen, not the Antix from Jackson...Antix is designed to be playful while running the river. 4fun is even more playful...and short, doesn't seem to fit your self described interest.
I'd give the (Medium) Burn more of a chance if I was you, switching out of your first boat can take time, and the Hero is "Not many peoples favorite boat" i.e it's going to feel quite different to most (of the best) things.
Mamba from Dagger should feel less edgy than Burn but same general philosophy.
Remix from LiquidLogic, or a Diesel from Wavesport also in the same vein...they all feel different and it's down to personal taste.
Curve from Prijon is winning a lot of fans, and you can be sure it's bomber with that German plastic.

drkdjones
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Re: After a Hero

Post by drkdjones » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:43 am

Jim wrote:I've only tried the 4Fun (ran the grand canyon in one), from my point of view it feels very stable
That’s interesting although as you say, everything is relative.

Just didn’t feel comfortable in the ripper, the antix on flat water felt a lot better.

I’ll see if I can find a 4fun to have a try with.

Thanks.


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drkdjones
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Re: After a Hero

Post by drkdjones » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:51 am

ion wrote:If you have "No interest whatsoever in tricks" then I'd be looking at the Zen, not the Antix from Jackson...
I did try the zen on flat water. Felt long and narrow and no more connected than what I’ve got now.

Diesel and mamba both felt like “big” boats and again not that responsive feel I think I’d like to try.

I’m not going to be play boating (shudder :-)) but I’d like to try a small sports car rather than an SUV, even if it does mean I have to improve rapidly. The club uses axioms as the teaching boat and already mock me for a high volume crutch :-D

I haven’t considered prion boats. I’d like to like the burn but so far Pyranha I I just don’t seem to have found a good fit !

Thanks for the input.


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ion
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Re: After a Hero

Post by ion » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:38 am

So there is nothing wrong with the Antix at all, in fact it's an awesome boat, it just has a squirt-able stern. I'd like one myself.
I actually think that is a good thing because people at your point in the learning curve tend to evolve that "eddy to eddy" flow into a deliberately engaged tail as confidence grows and there's a desire to add some more challenge and technical skills.
Perhaps share your thoughts on the Axiom since you have been exposed to that...its loosely a longer Antix. Liquidlogic have 3 broadly Antix like boats also, though they might be hard to demo in the UK.

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Re: After a Hero

Post by drkdjones » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:00 am

As I mentioned, I tend to be a gear geek and have to search for the "perfect" vehicle before just getting on with learning to cope with whatever I'm given ...

My one star day was in an acrobat and in retrospect I'm amazed that I didn't give up. Didn't get on with it at all, in any way shape or form - but had fun despite the boat.

Switched to an axiom for the next 4 or 5 sessions and liked it better (couldn't paddle in a straight line for long and occasionally end up upside down for no obvious reason but liked the feel of control and responsiveness) but couldn't paddle for more than an hour without hip/knee pain.

Moved to a diesel for the rest of the summer training and got on quite well with that but it felt a bit big and disconnected (especially when upside down :-)).

When I bought a boat for the river season, I picked a hero based on reviews, comments (and liking EJ's videos!). After about a dozen trips, I do get on with it better than anything else I've spent significant time in but it lacks that responsiveness and does feel slower than I'd like.

I'm sure I could borrow an axiom to try longer term but the group would probably have to put up with stretch stops every 1/2 hour :-)

I think I'm being convinced that an antix would probably be the right way to go and they are demo-able. Maybe I'll apologise in advance to the group for the more frequent swims until I get the hang of it -and it is supposed to be the easiest rolling boat in various promotional videos :-D

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Re: After a Hero

Post by clarky999 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:17 am

Exo Rexy? Not sure how easy they are to get in the UK though...

Yew
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Re: After a Hero

Post by Yew » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:40 am

I'd try an Axiom, or perhaps the Soul Gonzo

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TechnoEngineer
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Re: After a Hero

Post by TechnoEngineer » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:16 pm

Although my SuperHero is for sale, I still maintain that I loved it however I was right on the weight limit which meant I couldn't carry any "cargo" such as safety gear, spare paddles etc. Plus I had my backrest jammed in very tight. What I will say for the SuperHero is that if I wanted to suddenly break out then I could do that; it is a great kayak for paddling "reactively".

I also have the SuperFun, which is great for play but not particularly good for running rivers.

I needed something with more volume, so tried:
* Jackson Karma - Although I fit in it OK and could carry cargo, I found the nose was so much further forward that it was too much of an adjustment of timing my break-in strokes to adapt to it. I also found it difficult to steer out of current.
* Wavesport Recon. Too little room around my feet, so a bad fit.
* Dagger Mamba. Too little volume.

I didn't try the Zet Director nor the Lettman Granate XL nor the Jackson Zen.

I ended up with the Burn 3 XL - I found I needed to paddle it more proactively, and to turn out of current I'd either have to reverse-sweep or put it on edge and bow-draw.

I see a lot of people get on with the Zen so that may be a good option for you, perhaps also try the Mamba, Recon and Raptor. I think the Axiom will be too "boxy"; it's good as a surf kayak.
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Re: After a Hero

Post by DaveBland » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:10 pm

I agree with much said above. My immediate thought was a Zen too.
Not sure which you tried? The older one is very different from the new one.

As an offbeat option... a Stomper may be a good transition from a hero to a more creepy boat. Still non edgy and stable, not one of the new long feeling boats, but with more performance than a hero.

Should be say to get a cheaper one now too, maybe.
dave

drkdjones
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Re: After a Hero

Post by drkdjones » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:00 pm

Based on the discussions here and elsewhere, I think I want to try:

Antix (M&L)
Raptor
Inazone
Soul Gonzo

some of which I can reach. It will be interesting to see how they feel based on expectations from what's been said.

Thanks for the input!

Kevin

drkdjones
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Re: After a Hero

Post by drkdjones » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:42 am

And after further discussion:

Antix (M&L to see which works best as a river runner)
Raptor (since Robbie at Cardiff is convinced it's the right boat for me)

And I'll also try getting an expert to fit the hero to see if the reduces some of the disconnect just in case.

Thanks for the info one and all.

drkdjones
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Re: After a Hero

Post by drkdjones » Tue May 01, 2018 8:04 am

Resurrecting an old thread:

Fitting the Hero helped but it's still a bit "floaty" and slow so I'm continuing the search.

I've tried a number of boats now but still haven't found what I want :-). There are a couple more I'd like to try before committing but haven't managed to find them yet.

Can anyone suggest a way I could paddle a Jackson Fun Runner (more responsive and "fun") or a Jackson Karma (faster)? (I really like the Jackson outfitting and didn't like the Zen or the Antix!) Preferably without going to the US :-D

Thanks!

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Re: After a Hero

Post by Franky » Tue May 01, 2018 12:56 pm

Lee Valley White Water Centre have loads of Jackson demo boats. Not sure if they have the Fun and Karma specifically; you could phone them and ask.

The only problem is that you'd need to pass the Legacy assessment first. If you're in the West Country (which by the sounds of it you are), you could make a weekend of it - take the assessment on Saturday, demo the boats on Sunday. It wouldn't be a cheap weekend (I think each boat is £15 to demo, on top of the hourly paddling charge), but it might be worthwhile, and it would certainly be fun.

Alternatively, you could try CIWW. I don't know how many demo boats they have (never been there), but it may be closer, and there's no assessment.

drkdjones
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Re: After a Hero

Post by drkdjones » Wed May 16, 2018 6:36 pm

And to finish the story:

Managed to demo a Fun Runner (Thanks SquareRock!!) and really liked it. Bought one and now just need water in the rivers ...

Thanks for all the advice.

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