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I know, I know. The Antix 2.0 is the hot topic right now, but I want to talk about another awesome kayak that’s been a hot item on the used boat market, the Antix 1.0. For years, I enjoyed paddling the Large Antix 1.0. I am 6’0’’, 190 lbs, and wear a size 12 Astral (one size up from my normal shoe size because of wearing a dry suit. I am capable of fitting in both the Medium and Large sizes of the Antix 1.0.

In my head, I always wondered, “What would a Medium Antix 1.0 paddle like?” I truly loved the Large Antix 1.0. It surfed on river waves better than any other kayak I had paddled. I felt just as comfortable paddling a play run as a creek. 90% of the time, you’d find the Antix 1.0 as the kayak I brought to the river. When I had the chance to demo the Medium Antix 1.0 on the Middle White Salmon River, I surely had to take it for a spin. Like all Jackson Kayaks, the outfitting is the exact same so there was no trouble there. I removed the big foam block covering the front bulkhead to provide myself with enough foot room while keeping myself safe with the stock uni-shock bulkhead. My feet were a little snug in the Medium, but I was wearing a drysuit and my oversized Astral Rasslers (to fit those drysuit booties). If I were to do this over again, I would have worn a more low profile shoe like the Astral Loyaks. Either way, I was fine wearing what I had for the day.

I started the day off with a familiar rapid on the Middle White Salmon, Maytag rapid. This is a great and splashy rapid for a test drive of the Medium Antix 1.0. Coming into the first drop of Maytag, I was amazed at how familiar the Medium size felt to the Large size. With my weight being on the upper end of the weight range for the Medium, I expected to sub out or squirt unexpectedly. That was not the case. It paddled just as smoothly as the Large through the holes and waves in Maytag. At the end of Maytag, I was full of excitement because I knew the rest or the Middle White Salmon would be awesome in the Medium Antix 1.0.

One thing I’ve struggled with in the Large Antix 1.0 is stern squirts. Being at the low end of the weight range for the Large Antix 1.0, this is to be expected. With the Medium, I found myself able to drop the stern edges a bit easier to throw a mean stern squirt on some of the good seams on the Middle White Salmon. If I was looking to get a bit more vertical on the river, the Medium would have been the choice to go with. But, sometimes I don’t want an easy to squirt kayak when I’m paddling the hard stuff. That’s why I’ve been quite fond of the Large Antix 1.0. I felt comfortable paddling it on nearly everything I paddle. I considered it my sporty creek boat. In both the Medium and Large Antix 1.0, another thing I appreciate in its design is its avoidance of unintended stern squirts. Yes, a stern squirt can be a truly magnificent experience, but when you’re punching a big hole, I don’t intend on combing a stern squirt to hole ride. This design feature is something that made the Medium Antix 1.0 very attractive! I couldn’t believe that I could paddle such a low volume kayak and feel confident to take it on some of the harder rivers I paddle.

Another consideration is storage. The Large Antix has a lot of room for me to pack a first aid kit, full pin kit, and breakdown paddle. With all this weight in the back, I do not notice any diminishing of performance. With the Medium, the stern has a little less volume and at my weight, extra weight causes the stern to get a bit more playful (which isn’t always a bad thing when you’re trying to get vertical). I could fit a breakdown paddle in both boats, but I certainly would be willing to paddle harder whitewater in the Large than the Medium.

In summary, both the Medium and Large sizes of the Antix 1.0 are awesome! The Medium Antix 1.0 at my weight is going to allow for easier stern squirts and provide confidence for river running. The Large Antix 1.0 at my weight is going to be a sporty alternative to my creek boat and I’ll feel confident to take it on all but the most challenge of rivers I paddle. Both the Medium and Large surf like a dream. It’s challenge to not come off of a big wave in the Antix 1.0 and not have a big grin on your face. If you’re in a similar situation where you fit in two sizes of the same kayak, give ‘em both a try and see which one is best for you. I don’t regret paddling the Large Antix 1.0, as it served me quite well over the years. If you get a chance the grab one from the used boat market, go for it!