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When my father , Dieter Stiller, one of the kayak industry’s pioneers of kayak distribution in the United States who has seen many a beautiful kayak in his 79 years saw the first “Journey” come of the the truck and unwrap on the front lawn of my front yard and said ..”Now, That is a fine boat” , I knew Jackson Kayak had a hit. I know compliments don’t come easy from him. Nothing like an experienced eye to see form and function at a glance.

My first day on the water was a typical Spring day at Pier 66 on the West Side of Manhattan. Winds howling 20 knots from the Northwest with a few miles of fetch stacking waves against the concrete embankments, which in turn, bounced the waves back with equal and opposite force. I snapped the spraycover on my Red Journey 14 and seal launched right into the onrushing waves. It took only two strokes to control the boat and propel it effortlessly through the chaotic waters. I proceeded to paddle it without rudder in every direction on the compass. The Journey was immediately at home. It  danced with the waters instead of locking into any particular direction. This combination of playfulness and control redefines the definition of a “touring” kayak. A kayak that is at home in a wide variety of water conditions from flat calm to a field of white caps. It is a forgiving boat does not baby the paddler but rather whispers to the paddler– “journey a little further, always a little further to see what you, the paddler, can do”.

I now have 16 of them introducing New Yorkers to the tempestuous moods of New York Harbor and the lower Hudson River estuary.

Eric Stiller (Founder)
Manhattan Kayak Company