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Rockstar 4.0 & Pyranha Jed by Maya-ray Cross

Words by GoKayakingAdmin

on 13/09/2018 17:11:39

Written by GB Freestyle paddler Maya-ray Cross

Check out her blog:

On site demos are free of charge. Off site demos have a fee. To find out more or to book a demo of any of our demo whitewater boats click here:

Jackson Kayaks have released a brand new playboat for 2019. The 4th generation of the most decorated freestyle design ever made takes freestyle kayaking to new heights…out of the water.

The Jackson Rockstar 4.0 is great on the flat water making your loops go bigger and making your cartwheel really pop! It’s a nice comfy boat great outfitting, with a huge amount of volume which has be distributed nicely over the boat which makes doing flat water tricks a lot more fun.
Throughout our flat water evening session at Go Kayaking North West we tried a multiple of different playboats to do a comparison, this included the Jed and 2016 rockstar.

Myself and Grant tried all three boats and compared on which was the best to cartwheel and loop. I started out in the 4.0 as I already own the 2016 rockstar. I found it a lot harder to cartwheel than mine at first due to it having a lot more volume, the cartwheels where a little more bouncy due to the extra pop. But once I got the hang of it I really started to enjoy it! I even managed to loop it in the end and it felt awesome, on the flat water it’s a crackin boat and it really helps you to build your technique.

After I’d had my turn in the 4.0 it was time to switch it up a bit and move into the JED. I used to paddle a Jed but due to my disabilities I unfortunately had to stop paddling it but it has been a long time since I’ve had the chance to paddle it, so I jumped into the large and took it for a test drive out on the flat. It felt strange to be back in the Jed but it cartwheels beautifully, unfortunately I struggled to flat water loop it as I need some more padding on the knees but that’s just a minor detail which can be corrected with some outfitting.

Through out the testing process my favourite boat changed many of times, I love the 4.0 for the loops, I prefer the Jed for cartwheels where as the 2016 I have paddled for the past two years and learnt most of the flat water tricks in it. Each boat had their strong points and I couldn’t wait to get out on the white water!

Myself and Grant headed out to Nottingham white water course to really see their full potential! 41673220_304457130142218_1893371401126019072_n41658921_2099404576761073_2657109941763964928_n41663718_334201763807361_7210201082876657664_n

We started out in our own boats to test the waters and make it easier to spot the difference between the boats. As Grant was already paddling the Jed this quickened the process. We went on all the different features to see how they’d react. When I got the chance to try the 4.0 I found it extremely comfy but for a medium it was rather large! From what I had thought about it from the flat I really couldn’t wait to try it on some bouncy water. I started out in inlet to try some loops, as I was looking forward to really going big! When I moved onto the water I was shocked to find it so twitchy, but I got used to it throughout the session. It surfs beautifully on waves and is bouncy in a hole and I enjoyed paddling it.

There was a few problems however, there is not enough rocker in the bow no matter how far I tried to trim it back I couldn’t get the front end up to ride over the boils, I just seemed to go under them. This was especially annoying when surfing.  I have done some research into it and I have noticed it to be a boat for the higher level paddlers and it’s more suitable for countries with bigger water. In my opinion it’s a great boat but the Jed is more suited for UK waters and new paddlers.

After my adventure out in the 4.0 I decided to finish the day off with a play in the Jed. I found it to be extremely stable to paddle over the boils and to get onto features and when it gets on those features it’s just as stable and forgiving as you’d hope a playboat to be. When I got the chance to outfit the Jed and have a proper try the Jed felt even better, trying different tricks as well as the ones I could already do. It snaps on the loops bringing them round nice and quick as well as it surfing easily anywhere I took it. I find the Jed to be an all round boat suitable for any level of playboater if you’re a starter or high leveled it’s a strong solid boat which is comfy and also very stable. It’s another great boat!

Through out the testing process I really got the chance to try new boats and think about how the different shape of boats work. And if you line both the Jed and 4.0 side by side and upside down you see that there isn’t really that much of a difference but performance wise there really is! Being able to test the boats makes it easier to decide which boat is right for me.I’d strongly suggest that you should down to Go kayaking North West and give their whole fleet a try!

Pyranha Jed RRP: £749

Jackson Rockstar 4.0 RRP: £1’249


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