Select Page

Its spring and I stand before the boat rack determined to cull the herd. I survey the boats, some new, most old to older, and start to make a plan. I figure I can put boats into piles, categories, ones that are must keeps descending down to the give aways. The hardest category is the one in the middle; the one that includes the sentimental favorite, the battered well loved obsolete design, the last seasons play boat. Most of the boats end up in this pile.

The devil on my left shoulder shouts “Get ruthless” while the angel on my right tells me to “Go slow and think about this”. The last boat I put in this middle category is my Fun. I don’t feel good about doing this for some reason but reality tells me that I haven’t used it in a good long while so into the pile it goes. The devil applauds the move but the angel starts winning me over with good memories from being in the boat and I start to make a plus and minus list for the Fun.

The pluses are easy. Comfortable; lots of room for my feet, hips and legs. Fast; accelerates on the flat water and easy to put on the power when you need it most for a critical move in whitewater. Extremely versatile; great in almost any type of water, me being the limiting factor in terms of what it can run. Stable; a good solid platform— primary and secondary stability are great. Easy to roll; if you spend most of your time in a fat play boat you will be amazed at this one. Low in the water but floats over stuff well; having spent a lot of time in the puffier boats this is a refreshingly overlooked advantage in a boat. Boofs like crazy; being light weight and small in stature you will feel like you are flying on the smallest boof. Playful; with a name like Fun, I guess that’s a given but it is extremely playful in a wide variety of features—waves and holes alike.

The minuses were harder for me to name so I decide before I make the final call to move the boat into the give away pile to take it out for one last test drive and I am really glad I did. Being in the Fun brought back all the reasons I liked the boat in the first place and I was hard pressed to come up with any negatives.

If you are a new paddler looking to get into the sport, this is a great boat that will take you quite a ways for quite a while. If you are a paddler looking for a travel boat, kind of a one boat does it all, this is one you should consider. If you have a play boat and a creek boat but want something for those in between days, consider the Fun series. If you have been away from paddling a while and are just getting back into the sport, consider either the Zen or this boat. If you want an easier play boat that is a bit slower and easier to manage than the latest play boats, this one is hard to beat. The boat is light, well outfitted, and easy to use…and FUN!

I know the Fun series is not a new design for Jackson. I also know that it is easy to overlook something that came out a few years ago but there is a good reason that this boat is still in the JK stable. If you are in the market for an all around, fun, easy to use boat, don’t overlook trying out the Fun. I am glad I re-discovered just how amazing this boat still is! It’s definitely a keeper!