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By Ben Stookesberry

I feel more than lucky to be on the receiving end of all of the Jackson
Kayak staff and Team members hard work in getting this year´s
2008 boats out. I can not wait to see and boat the Super Heroes. It looks
like it should be the perfect high performance hull river running kayak and
an a great compliment to the Rockers in JK´s river running fleet.

As for this winter, I was lucky enough to use the ultimate expedition
machine… The Rockers. Brazilian Team JK David Stephan summed up the
benefits of the rocker in saying “I just feel so safe and comfortable in
this boat!“ From flat landings made soft by a modified displacement hull,
to the one of a kind shock absorption bulkhead system, the rocker sets the
bench mark for all other advance multi-day river-running kayaks.

In India my boat of choice is the Mega- Rocker. At just over 90 gallons,
the Mega-Rocker is as stable and predictable as it gets in this region known
for it´s big water rivers. Add to the 4,000 – 40,000 cfs of water in the
rivers the nearly 100 mile long length of the sections and you need a boat
that will carry some gear yet still float high in order to make the big
water moves.

The truly amazing part about the mega is that you certainly don´t need
4,000 – 40,000 to appreciate this boat. Just a month ago in India, Nepali
kayaker Lama Kundan and I made a 4 day first descent of an amazing creek
that formed the border between Bhutan and India.
Unlike the big sweeping downstream ferries that are needed in the Big water,
this creek required tight Maneuvering and catching all those tiny eddies
right at the lip of the drop in order to boat scout. It´s still amazing to
me that their seemed to be no loss of agility and maneuvering between the 8
foot rocker and the 8 foot 6 inch Mega. In addition to the maneuverability,
the Mega is amazing in the shallow stuff because it floats so high yet still
utilizes it´s length for quick acceleration.

With huge snow packs piling up across the Country and the 2008 production of
the Rockers and Heroes, it is an amazing time to be a whitewater kayaker.


Ben Stookesberry