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Summer seems to be the busiest time of the year for those of us in the kayak business.  Jeff and I are teaching and guiding 6 days a week.  We have been using our Jackson Kayak Karma RG’s to guide Liquid Fusion Kayaking’s Whitewater of the Sea Adventures – 3 hour ocean rock gardening experiences for beginning through advanced kayakers.

Jeff rock gardening in the Karma RG Photo by Mark Boyd

As a guide, it is super FUN but challenging as we are blending the skills of sea kayaking, whitewater river kayaking, surf kayaking, and coasteering into one adventure with ever changing dynamic ocean conditions.  We are coaching students on whitewater kayaking skills, helping them to time their rides with the swells, and vigilantly maintaining safety.


The Karma RG has proven to be a versatile boat for guiding these adventures.  It has speed to cover distance, maneuverability to get into tight spots, volume and stability to confidently handle what ever the ocean throws at us, storage for our safety kit, room to carry a spare paddle on the deck and is “all day” comfortable.

Cate coaches a student to run a pour-over

But most importantly it performs like a champ when riding pour-overs or surfing through surge channels.   Afterall, we have to demonstrate how its done.

Whitewater kayaking in the ocean rock gardens of the Mendocino Coast

Jeff showing how its done!

One modification that we have made to our RG’s is the addition of webbing to the grab handles.  We have tied on a 20-24 inch length of webbing for swimmers to grab onto as we assist them to safety.  Jeff has a blue webbing on his red RG and I have red webbing on my sprite RG so that we can tell swimmers what color to grab (so that they grab the webbing and not our kayaks).

Karma RG rock gardening on the Mendocino Coast

Webbing on grab handles gives swimmers something to grab onto.

We don’t get a lot of personal play time when teaching and guiding rock gardening adventures but do get to hone in our precision boating skills as we demonstrate how to run features.

Jeff blasts a pour-over!

Occasionally, we get to take a ride when a bigger wave come in or the students are taking a break.  The RG begs for those big rides (as does the rider).

Ocean whitewater kayaking in the Karma RG

Cate Rock'n her Karma RG