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2013 Jackson Kayak SUPerCHARGER Initial Review

- Monday November 12, 2012
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Last Sunday, while paddling on the Ocoee with my buddy Kevin Todd from we just happened to run into some of the Jackson Kayak crew while they were showing some sales people down the river and showing off some new gear on the river, namely their new Karma creekboat and their new and first SUP, the SUPerCHARGER. They were giving short demos of them both and so I jumped at the chance to try the SUP! Now I mostly kayak, but coming from a surfing background I like to stand up paddle once in a while. I have tried a few different types SUP’s including epoxy, plastic and inflatable boards and my first impression of the SUPerCharger is that it has some very unique design features that make it easier for paddling whitewater and it also just looks really cool!

For starters the nose is more pointed than a traditional SUP and the tip of the nose is thicker and comes to a high point on the top, which helps shed water when going through waves and holes, etc. The deck area is recessed so it’s lower than the nose and rails which keeps the paddlers weight and center of gravity lower on the board. This really helps with stability and also the rigidity of the board. The tail is also unique because it incorporates what I call“wings”or bumps on the rails about 18” up from the tail end which help shed water off the tail and make the board easier to turn from the tail. This board is pretty wide at 36” which is great for stability and makes it easier to step on and off. A couple other nice design features I liked were the multiple grab handles which makes it easier to grab the board if you fall off and rigging on the nose area for securing gear. The SUPerCHARGER is made of the same molded plastic as a kayak so its super durable which is a good thing when paddling rapids, putting in and taking out on a rocky shore, etc.

As soon as I hopped on the board I could tell that was a very stable board and easy to paddle. The deck padding seemed very comfortable and had more grip than other SUP’s I have been on. The directional stability while paddling straight wasn’t that great because it had no fins, but it did make it easier to turn quickly, which is definitely a good thing when you are running rapids! It does have the option to install fins if you choose. Now I am no expert and actually have very little experience paddling a SUP in rapids, but after paddling in the eddy a bit I took it out into the current and it handled the waves and chop pretty well. Ferrying also seemed pretty easy. I got to witness the Jackson team riders paddling the SUPerCHARGER over the 2’ ledge at Flipper multiple times, running Tablesaw, paddling through the wavetrain at Diamond splitter and even going through the meat of Hell's hole with style! Definitely fun to watch!

My overall impression of the SUPerCHARGER is that it’s a good design and great river board for up to class III rapids, but would also be nice on flat water and and even 2’ waves at the beach. Im really looking forward to paddling this board again on my local river. The only drawback I see with the SUPerCharger is the weight. At 50 lbs, it’s pretty darn heavy, but the Jackson designer told me they are working on shaving the weight a bit for the production models. The SUPerCHARGER should be available for purchase in about a month or so at the retail price of $800 which is a pretty good deal for an SUP of this quality. If you’re looking for a good all around SUP that will paddle flat water, rapids and last for years then I would recommend the Jackson SUPeCHARGER as a great choice.

Check out the rest of our Jackson Kayak SUPerCHARGER coverage here.

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