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I called the factory at 8:00 am and Mark answered, “Jackson Kayak, this is Mark.” I said, “What are you doing there, man, we need a big guy like you to try the Hero! He said, “No way man, I have work to do!” ….. Uh, OK, maybe, If I remember right, he said- “I’m in, I’ll be right over!”
Well, here is his “big guy review”…

Review of the 08 Jackson Hero.

By : Mark Hammock

Shoe size:13

Paddled the boat down at Rock Island running 3600cfs.

Starting off, the boat was really comfortable. Just a slight bit of adjusting was needed for me to achieve a snug fit. Still feel I have a bit of room to work with!

In the water, the boat floated me very well. I didn’t feel like I was sitting too low in the water. EJ looked at it while in the water, and stated in looked trimmed. Now, on to the paddling.

Practiced a few ferries before the waves, both forward and backwards. Boat is quite stable crossing the current. On a forward ferry, I felt I needed to be more aggressive in my stance. Leaning back caused the boat to peel out on me. Staying on top of the boat corrected this, making the ferries with ease. This is the first time in a LONG time I was able to catch the top wave from the river left eddy!

Surfing in the waves at the top, it carves surprisingly well. Had to get used to the leaning forward and back for adjustment, enabling me to stay on the wave. It’s a fine line between leaning too far forward, causing the bow to pearl, and leaning too far back, which seemed to lock in on the rail. Once a rail was locked, it was tough to shift my weight over to the other side to stay on the wave. I also had a difficult time getting the boat to spin.

River running, it stayed high, and drove like a champ! It punched through waves and holes with ease. Didn’t feel too squirrely in the larger, pusher current, which is a plus.

After playing around with more ferries and peal outs below the hole, I decided to paddle on down towards Brave Wave. The river left side leading into the hole provided a 3 -4 foot ledge. I was able to build up sufficient speed leading up to the ledge, planted a solid boof stroke, and kept the boat level while making the drop. I find this will be a plus while running larger drops.