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September 5, 2007


I paddled an All-Star for the first time on Labor Day and wanted to send you this short, non-technical review. And I have got to get one of those boats to add to my Jackson Kayak quiver!

On Labor Day I met up with my good friend Wesley Bradley, Jackson Kayak demo ambassador, at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. Wesley brought an All-Star for me to demo as I had only paddled it once in a pool. I was itching to paddle it on moving water. I was a little concerned paddling such a smaller boat on the fast, pushy water of the whitewater center. Much to my delight the All-Star allowed me to paddle the biggest drops and features with 100% confidence and stability. Never once did I feel pushed around and tipsy in the pushy waves and swirling eddy lines.
But then there was the playboating! I have just recently become more comfortable jumping into larger holes and bigger waves in my 4Fun. But for some reason my playboating immediately elevated in sharpness and confidence in the All-Star. I felt as if I had been inhabited by the spirit of E.J. himself (albeit in a very humble, limited way). Despite the fact that I was in a much smaller boat than my 4Fun, I was confident to surf several new waves and holes that I had never attempted. And when I was on/in them I even initiated my first complete spins and cartwheels. Needless to say this was the most exciting and encouraging day on the water for me. The All-Star out-performed any expectations I could have had for it, it was perfectly outfitted and gave me the nice snug fit you’re looking for in a playboat (I’m 6’1, 165 lbs., size 13 feet FYI).
And, to make the day complete, I paddled the Competition channel for the first time with the help of my Super Hero. Two clean runs! That boat instills a tremendous amount of confidence when paddling bigger rapids for the first time. I’ll always count on the Super Hero when needed!
My compliments to everyone at Jackson Kayak who contributed to the design of the new Star series. They are comfortable boats that will take your boating to the next level!

Andrew Bentley