I am a long time, but part time, play boater that enjoys time spent at the Buena Vista Whitewater Park . I have been in almost every play boat designed in the past 10 years and have seen the design changes come and go. Last year, I ended up in the Jackson Star, the small one. It was a great boat for me. Easy to get vertical, great surfer, and all around fun. The downside of the Star was down river paddling. It was low in volume for my weight, which made it a little squirrelly in bigger rapids and fast eddy lines. I spent a fair amount of time upside down.
This year, I opted for the bigger size, the All Star. At first the boat felt a little big. The width made it way looser and a much better surfing boat. But it was a tad harder to roll and a harder to “throw ends”. I was content until I had the opportunity to have EJ, Eric Jackson, outfit my new All Star to my paddling style and build. Wow what a difference. He moved my seat all the way forward to start. The idea behind this is to get more forward on the bow. Way easier to cartwheel and initiate the front end of the boat. It also has made it a lot easier in back surfs and spinning, since you are already forward in the boat making the stern less catchy. EJ also got me dialed in with the Happy Feet, Happy Seat and Sweet Cheeks. All of which I knew about, but did not know how well they can outfit you into your kayak. These outfitting tools have made this boat fit me very well. They take away all the “slop” and make your form fitted without being to tight.
I am having a great year of play boating. Even thought I am older and slower than I was, I feel this boat is the tool I need to keep up with my mental side of where I ant to be at paddling.
I can play for hours on waves with ease and not get tired or fatigued. It is super comfortable and easy on the body. The All Star is very loose, easy to spin and cartwheel and loops easily. If you have not tried one already, take the time to do so. They come in 3 sizes for adults and a kid’s size, the Shooting star, so one of them should be up your alley.