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The Rockstar 4.0 is very different than Jackson’s past playboats. The Rockstar 4.0 features more volume, higher knee placement, more leg room, and a narrower haul, resulting in bigger tricks and infinite amounts of river play!

When I first sat in the Small Rockstar 4.0, it was a dramatic change from the 2016 Rockstar specifically, in the knee placement and volume. I am 5’ 6” and weigh 130 pounds. I outfitted my Rockstar 4.0 with one and a half inch foam pads, one 100 bean count sweet cheeks, two hip pads, and I moved the seat forward to the furthest setting. I have a short torso and generally prefer to sit higher. Outfitting the boat best suited to you, can make a huge difference in your performance.

The change in volume wasn’t as challenging as I would have thought. It took a little while for me to figure it out, but after just a day on the river, I could bowstall, sternstall, cartwheel, and flatwater loop as easily as I had with my previous boat. This boat is slightly less stable than past boats, probably because of the narrow haul and higher knee placement. As far as downriver tricks go, they are just as easy to maneuver, except you go way bigger!

When surfing holes, you can literally fly whether you do a loop or even a fly squirrel! After going from a boat with less volume to the 4.0, I discovered that being patient on your tricks, and focusing on your technique made a world of a difference. The Rockstar 4.0 isn’t the type of boat you can just throw around. However, it is easy to control the edges compared to the 2016 Rockstar. Overall, focusing on the basics of the tricks, improves your paddling and will help you master your tricks.

The biggest complaints from past boats was the little foot room. The Rockstar 4.0 provides just enough space for your feet, maximizing your comfort. My feet have not fallen asleep ever in the Rockstar 4.0.

The narrower haul makes the boat less stable than the past playboat, the 2016 Rockstar. It forces you to use better technique on your roll and with some practice, its a piece of cake. If you are in need of more stability, I recommend lowering your seat to give yourself a lower center of gravity.

All in all, the Rockstar 4.0 has a cutting edge design best suited for you to perform your best. Depending on the way you outfit the boat, it can affect the stability. If you are a beginner at whitewater, this may not be the boat for you, as it is slightly unstable. I recommend trying it out for yourself at your nearest Jackson Kayak dealer!