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Comparisons of the Generations of Jackson Zen – With Jackson’s kayak model, the Zen, all three generations have different characteristics to make them fairly unlike each other. In my experiences I love them all for different reasons. The first gen was super easy to learn and progress with. The second gen was fast and really good for Colorado creeks. And the third gen, (what I paddle now), is definitely my favorite boat for creaking and big water.

Some differences of the first gen is that it’s really skinny but not too long. It was great to learn in because it’s very forgiving for beginners and people working on their skills so they can become a better boater. This boat performs its best in class 3 and 4 whitewater as well as some milder class 5s.

The second gen was also fairly skinny but it was a little longer than the first gen. This boat is fast and really good going down river in all types of whitewater. I loved it on steep creeks so it was really good for springs in Colorado.

The creek boat I’ve paddled since june of 2020 is the Z3. This is by far my favorite all around creek boat. It’s really stable so it doesn’t flip very easily which is very handy. It also has really sharp edges that carve super easy and even though it doesn’t have too much rocker it still skips out of almost everything. I’ve paddled it on everything from Colorado steep creeks to the North Fork of the Payette and I loved it every step of the way.

I love all three generations of the Zens for many different reasons and they’re all really easy to teach people/learn kayaking in, but my favorite is most definitely the Z3! Find the Zen 3 Here.