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Dagger Jitsu Review

- Friday February 22, 2013
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WeStroke Team Rider Ben Ghertner brings us a review of his relatively brief time with the new Dagger Jitsu playboat. The world has been waiting for a while for a new freestyle kayak from Dagger and they did not disappoint. 

Checkout the following first-hand description from Ben about trying out the new Jitsu:

"Over the past year or so I’ve been hearing a lot about the Jitsu as it went through its prototype phase.  People I paddle with told me it was so balanced and loose and though it doesn’t go as big as a Rockstar it still goes big.  I of course was excited to try and after much waiting I finally got my chance one day in early January.  Nothing was running that day and I didn’t have anyone to paddle with so it was looking like a playboating day.  The only thing was that when I had left home two weeks before I wasn’t planning on doing any playboating so I only had my creekboat.  Well I was close to the NOC so I headed over there and asked if I could demo a Jitsu and fifteen minutes later I was dropping into the hole at NOC.

I knew I would be trading off a bit of air for easier moves and I was right about that.  I hit my entry move and immediately took a right back-stroke to kick my stern around to set up for a mcnasty.  I had been struggling with my mcnasties in my Rockstar but the mcnasty came around so easy and so fast; then the other side, hit that one easy too.  Next I tried a phonix, a move I’ve only been able to do a few times.  I dropped in the cross-bow stroke right next to my bow and the boat spun around effortlessly and next thing I knew I was flipping the boat over my head and I had landed the phonix.

The rest of the session was much of the same.  The difficult moves I’d struggled all summer with in my Rockstar were suddenly made easy in the Jitsu.  In between rides I decided I would try some flat water in the eddy.  I double pumped and threw around a few ends and a split wheel; the boat was so balanced, no falling on my head the way I had in my Rockstar so often.  I then decided I would see how it balanced in a bow stall.  I pumped it up and sat there so easily, so balanced.

The only thing I still felt like I needed to test out on this boat was the downriver abilities.  I got a chance to do that about a month and a half later at the first Nashville World Kayak Cumberland Plateau race.  After the race I ran up the bank and grabbed my Jitsu from the car and jumped back on the river.  It was a blast! It wove through the lower flow rapids before the Obed confluence super well.  And after the confluence I was able to throw beautiful wave wheels and kick flips on each wave train all the way down.

This new boat from Dagger is definitely one of the best playboats I’ve paddled if your looking to throw the high scoring advance move in competition or just have a fun run down a playboating section of river.  This boat does trade a little air from the Rockstar but still a very fun ride."

Watch the Dagger Jitsu promo video below with Rush Sturges

Click here to see all of our Dagger Jitsu coverage including specs, videos, etc.

For more info and background about our Team Rider Ben Ghertner, click here.

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