J-190 C1

I’m looking at picking up a used J-190 and have found virtually no information out there on them. Can anyone tell me something about how it compares the more recent J-203? Any other pertinent information I should know?

I’m 6’1" and run around 170.



I have a J-190
It is 18 feet long and weighs 19 pounds.

I love it for speed, but hate it for making a bouy turn.

I fit in it good but I am 5’-8" and weigh 162.

It might be a tad small for you, so if you can try it out first, you should.

My wife at 5’2" and my oldest daughter at 4’-11" love the J-190

I just picked up a J-203 and the gunnel width at the seat seems a lot wider than the J-190, but I haven’t actually measured it yet

If you need any other measurements, just let me know

Jack L

J190 vs J203

– Last Updated: Aug-06-10 1:26 PM EST –

Hey Alan,

If it is the original j190 (pre 1990+-); which was a terrific boat, it will not be as fast as today's designs. Around 1990-91? came the Express series where Jensen reduced the footprints on the J series, and the j19s became completely different boats, better suited for paddlers perhaps less than 170 lbs.

If you are looking at doing races, and being competitive, the original j190 does pop and rides wake very well; but is just not as fast as the j200 or the j203 or newer J191/193. But if you just want to excercise or partake in races and do not care about placement, then the J190 would be a great choice. It would certainly be a great starter boat and you should have no problems selling it to upgrade as used C1s are in demand; or keep it as a training boat.

I really miss that original j190 (was my first race boat) for its forgiving nature and excellent handling, but again, you will be faster in an 18'6" boat; especially in suck and shallows and when the pace picks up.

Good luck !

I just measured the two of them
the 190 is 16-1/2" wide at the seat from gunnel to gunnel vs 18" for the 200, and the 200 is 18’-6" long.

I think we should all spend the big bucks and get pro boats!


Bought it!
Thanks for the information guys, I told the seller I’d take it!

I’ve never test paddled a boat before buying it and figured there was no point in starting now. The boat is about 5 hours away but will actually be on my way as I head to nationals next week so I’ll pick it up along the way.

I’m not sure of the age, I’ll see if I can figure that out when I pick it up. Looking forward to getting it out on the water!

Been racing kayaks for a while and want to start concentrating more on canoes, this should be a good starting point.


When you are at the nationals
tell the powers to be that it would be nice if next year they had some older age groups for the “C-2 mixed”.

Kind of hard for us old farts to compete with 40 year olds.

They go all the way up to the 80’s for the C-1’s and c-2’s, but we are the forgotton ones.

jack l

Got a call from the guy this morning. A friend had been using the boat lately and storing it at his place. When he found out the boat had been sold and the price he said, “If I’d known you were selling it so cheap I would have bought it.”

Long story short, I’m not getting a new boat. :frowning:


Bummer. Hopefully, you’ll find another.

no boat
Sorry to hear that Alan.

Keep your eyes open; monitor the racing association web sites and email their dirctors and ask if they know of any C1s. Look for a J190, J203, J201, or J200 (NOT the old J200, i.e. pre 1990, which was huge); and any of the more recent vintages of Savage River C1s are very popular. Unless you get a deal, maybe pass on the J191, 193, or any J180/181; all may be a bit small and are not as friendly.

Good luck.

Picked up a carbon Crozier yesterday.

Glad I missed out on the 190 now!


Sweet! Congratulations.