Ruth Gordon Reviews The Jackson Kayak Happy Seat and Thruster

EJ turns to me in the eddy and with a smile says, ‘Ruth, would you lend your happy seat/thruster combo to my friend here?’ I don’t realize it but he’s asking me because he certainly won’t part with his and he wants to know if I feel as strongly. The truth is I do, so if I’m going to lend out my happy seat/thruster combo I’m going to have to sit on shore. This product is now a part of my boat, an integral part of my outfitting and definitely something I just don’t want to paddle without.

Two separate pieces, the happy seat/thruster combo was created to be used together. Easily locked in place with a simple Velcro/tie system the combo is installed in a flash. The rest is up to you: more air, less air. It all can happen while you’re still in your boat.


  • Works as an implosion prevention device
  • Easy to inflate/deflate while still in your boat
  • Inflate to the max for huge air in a hole
  • Guides your knee in place for better pull/push
  • Can be used in any brand of kayak
  • May be more difficult to get out of your boat; depending how inflated you are and how much room you had to spare. Definitely try getting into and out of your boat before hitting the water.
  • For some people it takes a little getting used to

The Verdict:

While I won’t recommend this product to a beginner I strongly believe it can help anyone’s playboating. I like to explain the new found boat control you gain from the Happy Seat as comparable to a clippless biking shoe system: by holding your knee in place you now have power in both the push and pull. Combine this with the extra volume from the Happy Thruster and you’ll see higher loops and protect yourself from the unexpected crash of an ocean wave. Outfitting is the new era of kayaking, add the happy seat/thruster combo to your boat for a whole new kayaking experience.

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