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Jackson Kayak SUPerCHARGER Review by Chris Gibson

- Monday June 17, 2013
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Recently I had the chance to demo Jackson Kayak’s first and new SUP, the SUPerCHARGER, on the Stones River in Murfreesboro, TN. with my friends Kevin Todd and Mike Loftis of Westroke and our friend Clinton Norton. It was a nice day with warm weather and a good level to SUP the Stones river so I was excited to get on the water and try out a new Stand up paddleboard! We paddled a five mile section of the river with a mix of flat water and a few class I-II rapids, which makes it a fun section for an SUP.

Jackson is mainly a kayak manufacturer and they came out with their first ever SUP, the SUPerCHARGER late last year. The thing I like the most about the SUPerCHARGER is that it is designed specifically for whitewater and is manufactured in the same fashion as their kayaks. Because it's the same plastic it is very durable, which is obviously important in a whitewater environment. This SUP can definitely take some abuse! The first thing I noticed about the SUPerCHARGER is that it has a very solid and stable feel to it. At about 50 lbs it’s a bit heavy, but that is actually a good thing for stability when paddling through rapids, holes, waves and choppy water.

There are a few design features I really liked that make the SUPerCHARGER a great whitewater board. The nose of the board is not too wide, but also not too narrow and has a high point on the top to help shed water and makes it easier to paddle through rapids. I liked the width of the SUPerCHARGER, which is pretty wide for an SUP at 36" and helps make the board more stable. The deck of the board is recessed which means that it’s lower than the nose and rails. This lowers the paddler’s center of gravity, which also helping with stability while adding stiffness and strength to the board. I liked the deck padding, which is softer and thicker than most deck pads and makes paddling for extended periods of time more comfortable on your feet. I paddled for about 3 1/2 hours and my feet were comfortable the whole time. Another cool feature is that it has grab handles on each rail and the nose and tail so if you fall off it makes it easier to grab ahold the board and climb back on.

Chris Sup Harkers1
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Before we got on the water I wanted to see what the bottom of the SUPerCHARGER was like, which is different from any SUP I have seen. The bottom has 4 wide channels that are almost the entire length of the board and 3 short fins in a tri fin setup. Because it’s a white water/river running board the fins are short to avoid hitting rocks in shallow water and are made of a rubber like flexible plastic which seemed to be pretty durable. When I first paddled the SUPerCHARGER in flat water it was without the fins because I wanted to see how the channels helped the board to track without fins. It seemed to track ok, maybe a little better than a board with a flat bottom and no fins. I’m sure the channels help with wave surfing, but they also add stiffness and keep the bottom from flexing and oil canning over time. After installing the fins the board tracked much better despite the fins being so short.

The SUPerCHARGER paddled the flat water sections with ease and was fast and smooth. Turning was also easy which was surprising considering that it’s a rather large and heavy board. Pivot turns were easy and felt stable because of the SUPerCHARGER wide tail. We paddled through a couple of class II rapids and the SUPerCHARGER handled them really well. Going over small ledges was fun. It was super stable when going through chop and waves and was pretty easy to turn into an eddy. Exiting the eddy into the current was fairly easy as well. I didn’t really get a chance to surf any decent size waves because there weren’t any on this trip, but I’m sure the SUPerCHARGER would be really fun on a good sized wave. I did fall off a few times, however a couple of falls were intentional just to see how easy it was to climb back on. Given that it is a wide and heavy board, climbing back on was fairly easy. The weight of the board seemed to keep it from flipping over during a fall, which is a good thing because it’s always a pain having to flip a large SUP board back over in the water. The only drawback I could see with the SUPerCHARGER is the weight which is a good thing on the river, but would make it difficult for one person to carry long distances or when portaging a rapid or loading it on top of a car.

Overall I had a lot of fun on the SUPerCHARGER and was pleased with how well it performed. Jackson really did a great job on the design. It’s a great river SUP that is fun in the rapids with good design features, bombproof construction and a competitive price. Get out there and try one for yourself! 


- Length: 9′ 8

- Width: 36 “

- Height: 8″

- Weight: 57 lbs

- Capacity: 250 lbs

- MSRP: $799

To see more about the SUPerCHARGER, click here to see our additional coverage a review from a first time SUP paddler's perspective.

Don't forget to check out one for yourself at

The paddle you see being used in this review is the Trident Ultra Carbon Adjustable paddle by Global Surf Industries. It is a stellar SUP paddle and you can read our review of it here.

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