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I just got me a couple of firsts, the first descent on the Elk and Back Fork in the new Jackson Super Hero. Yeah, I know. It’s not a real record. But I did get a lotof attention from other boaters, not because of my skills but because I was the first one in the area with the new Super Hero.The Elk is the site for an annual race, but this year I safety boated instead of racing. I positioned myself in a midstream eddy and practiced surfing and ferrying during the race. After the racers passed me, I went downstream. I easily boofed the small ledges. I caught every eddy I could. I tried to spin on every rock. I surfed the smallest waves and holes. At Parcoal Falls I took the hardest line. All of the lines are pretty easy, but I wanted to see how the boat would do going over the top ledge and then the long slide into a deep but not grabby hole. As I approached the bottom of the slide I veered toward the notch at the bottom and sailed right through it, surfaced easily, smiling at how quickly I surfaced and how stable the boat was. [Picture included. If you use it, please give credit to Angie Westfall.]

The next day I tried the SH on the Back Fork of the Elk, a section with several ledges and small waterfalls. The Super Hero boofed so easily. It surfaced quickly and surely. One time when I didn’t boof hard enough I landed close in to the 10 foot falls and almost got endered, but the boat leveled out. I was laughing. After the first drop, I felt comfortable and confident. I could maneuver so much easier than in the old Super Hero, turning quickly in fast water, but I could still hold a sure line when ferrying. I could boof way easier. I appreciated those 87 gallons of volume as I rode high through the waves. Paddling the Elk and the Back Fork didn’t come close to pushing the limits of this boat,nor am I the paddler who can give a review of the boat to benefit the hard core boater. I’m 63 years old but felt as young as the twenty somethings I was paddling with. And I’m eagerly looking forward to paddling the boat on the big waters of the New, Gauley, Cheat, and Ottawa. As I carried the boat to the road after the last rapid, I was convinced that the new Super Hero was the right choice. This boat will keep my paddling for years to come. As the guy in your promo video says, “You don’t stop kayaking when you get old; you get old when you stop kayaking.”

Joe Napora

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Photo by Angie Westfall