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March 23, 2005

Last year we created 9 new
models and we are still hard at work on the R+D cycle number one to complete
what will be a 13 boat lineup.

Here is the skinny on each model:

1. Rocker

  • You have seen the first Rockers molded out of our production mold.
    This mold is near perfect
    with no porosity, and a great finish on the hull, and perfect
    texturing on the deck. What you may not know are two things.
    We still have to finish our bulkhead. You may remember that
    I was working on a product called the Creek Feet. I was
    unable after numerous prototypes to make the thing work
    right. I am going with the tried and true bulkhead that
    can be adjusted with two thumbnuts and manually moving the
    bulkhead as it slides in a slot in the front wall. I should
    have the first working bulkhead to test tomorrow, and be
    able to tell exactly just how long and the exact position
    of the slot in the wall and compare to what we think it
    should be.
  • We have switched molders for our longer
    boats to capitalize on a larger machine that can offset
    the boats on the molding arm without having to mount at
    a 45 degree angle and still clear the floor when rotating.
    This will allow us to control the thicknesses in the hull
    on the Hero, Super Hero, and Rocker without air amplifiers
    which tend to create too much variance in the thickness
    of large surfaces like the hull. We will have the Rocker
    mold at the new molder on Friday, April 1st. By the following
    Wednesday, I expect to be making 1st quality hulls and by
    the next Wednesday, I expect to be assembling and shipping
    them! (that would be Wednesday, April 13th.) Please give
    me 7 extra days for unexpected challenges.

2. Hero
Super Hero

We will receive both
of these molds in house on April 3rd or close to it. We will
rush to get the proper formula worked out for the thicknesses
on the hulls, and use the concepts designed for the Rocker in
the outfitting. Our new molder will be ready to rock and roll
on these boats when they arrive! The worlds fastest 8’
and 8’6” kayaks on the market. Rolling that only
the Funs can touch. Never molded, but soon to be molded!

3. Ricochet

The new
Jackson Kayak slalom boat
will turn the world of slalom
kayak design upside down. This is not a scaled down 4 meter
boat, it is not an upgrade of the most popular boat in slalom
that has won the Olympics and world championships. It is a new
approach to a sport that was made official in 1949 and still
lives under a very artificial handicap of a length rule and
of course design rules that were created in 1949 when kayaking
was one step ahead of whale bone and seal skins. The rules,
once thought to be the evil doing of the governing body, has
more recently been a factor of the desires of the athletes themselves
to keep the arbitrary rules in place to avoid the sports rapid
evolution, leaving behind those unfit to evolve. Well, I love
slalom, and the athletes are awe inspiring, talented, dedicated,
and fit. I will come back into slalom as a 41 year old man who
hasn’t lifted weights since 1993 (more than a few casual
workouts every couple of years), and hasn’t “trained”
more than a week or two at a time since 1996 for slalom and
jump in with the full intent to compete at the national level,
for fun, but with superior equipment, and an interest in simply
having fun, and introducing my kids to the sport. This slalom
boat is the minimum allowable length of 3.5 meters, and will
be the only USA manufactured slalom kayak left in the world.
The Czech republic has most of the slalom market cornered with
their low cost, quality construction. They have done a great
job and I am impressed. Jackson Kayak will not be able to compete
on price (sorry), but we’ll take the Pepsi Challenge on
quality, and we won’t even have to say a word on the design.
Our plug is finished, our mold construction gets started this
week, and we will be ready to take orders in less than 60 days!
The world’s fastest planing hulled kayak, the lowest draft
slalom boat, the quickest turning, longest waterline (3.5 meter
boat) the best carving, the most comfortable, and the only fun
to play slalom boat yet. I want my kids, Emily and Dane, to
be introduced to slalom in a kayak that they can say, “I
love this!” , instead of “do we have to paddle this

The Jackson Kayak RV will
soon have a permanent fleet of slalom boats on the roof!


EJ 🙂