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Zen by definition: “The idea of being one with your mind, so that self-perfection, self-preservation, and self-renouncement are freely available. One who studies the power of “zen” is one who challenges him- or herself to attaining complete physical confidence through mental stability.”

The majority of my summer has been spent in my kayak, introducing hundreds of new people to the sport I love. This gave me the perfect opportunity to try out some of the new JK river running boats and give my creek boat a little time off.

After jumping in the Zen I can honestly say I have found my new favorite boat. Here are the reasons why, from a paddler and instructor perspective:

• It’s a great race boat: It’s F-A-S-T! It is 2 inches longer that the JK Villain, but short enough to enter the “short boat” race category.
• It’s sleek: With 10 less gallons volume than the creek boat, the low profile quality of the Zen adds to the speed. This boat’s sleek design allows it to carry speed through waves & holes. Best of all, the lower volume makes this boat easy to roll.
• River Play: The fast nature and the aggressive edging of this boat make it easier to catch waves and get your play on! I’ve been playing more in the Zen then any other boat I’ve paddled. So you can imagine my summer has been pretty fun running rivers and catching some playtime.
• Oh, and did I mentioned this boat is F-A-S-T!

Being that 90% of my time in a kayak this summer has been to teach, I have found the Zen to be on the top of my list as an instructor boat:
* Fast: The speed of the boat allows me to assist my students in a quick manner. Whether I need to paddle downstream or upstream, I get there quickly.
* Low Profile bow: This has been one of my favorite attributes of the Zen. This summer I have performed the most T-rescues to date with this boat. The low profile bow allows students to easily reach their hands out of the water, grab hold of the front grab loop and pull themselves up. This is something larger volume creek boats don’t work well for.
* Easy adjusting outfitting: Our fleet of kayaks at Wet Planet Whitewater is slowly turning into a JK all-inclusive fleet. One of the main reasons for this is their easily adjustable outfitting. “Pull three ropes and your set” ~ This is all I have to say and we’re ready to hit the river. Simple and effective . . .

I could possibly go on and on about the Zen . . . Experiencing the Zen this summer, all I can say is “JK picked the perfect name!” YOUR experience in the Zen will give you that peace of mind and confidence to get out there while having fun doing it!

Now what’s this rumor about the Zen and Villain combo?!?! Two of my most favorite boats in ONE!?! Is this perfection even possible? Cannot wait to try . . . . THE KARMA!