Any one have it yet? Like it?


I’m curious how it handles
Compared to Remix or some of the longer older style kayaks (Perception Whip it and its longer bretheren)… Specifically, for attainment and surfing smoother and larger waves?

Recently posted a review
I moved from the Remix 69 to the Zen 75 to pick up more edge and flatter bottom (surfing). It was a great decision for me.

The Zen has the speed for attainments, as you can guess by the length. The surprise is how quickly it turns with the rocker and sharp edges. It loves to surf and is very predictable (always felt I needed weight well forward and had to be driving the Remix hard in rough stuff, but that might be me). It’s a Jackson so you know it rolls easily.

Probably not as foolproof as a Diesel or Mamba, but you gain the carving and other performance. The deck is relatively low, so it has the old school feel and instant response to leans.

I guess I’ll have to take one for a spin

– Last Updated: Apr-27-12 11:03 AM EST –

Thank you, I read your review and a few others (likely sponsored, so they don't count) and thanks for the clarifying comment on the Remix.

Lately I've been looking into getting a "long boat" for WW that would be good for attaiments but also good for some surfing and not a total dog otherwise (e.g., large creekers or a Green boat-like is not what I want).

I already have a WaveSport Fuse that is for "playboating" (if you can call my surf and 360 spin attempts that) but is not much good going upriver or on smoother larger waves. That I will keep as I don't really fit into anything smaller due to size 15 feet and 36"+ inseam -;(.

I've been using my sea kayaks for WW a lot (currently a P&H Delphin) and they work quite well where I paddle to get there and to play in the rapids. But for surfing on the particular section of the river a slightly shorter boat without the slicey bow that limits maneuverability on the wave will be better.

See this video for instance: http://youtu.be/T0p96jiKad8 - Go to about 5:30 mark: this is where I intend to use that "longer" boat. The yellow Perception Whip It was barely able to hold the first wave (the hull is too slow for that). The longer white Pirouette was OK there, but I think I'd like something a bit snappier for carving...

I will likely have to be in the largest Zen, but that is still "only" 8'10" and I wonder how that compares to the 11-13' long slalom or old school boats. The flat hull will likely make it surf well, but I suspect it will be "slower". I wonder how much different it will be from my FUse 64 at 7' long...

Fuse 64: http://www.wavesport.com/product/index/products/north_american_products/river_play_us/fuse_us/fuse_64_us

Zen: http://jacksonkayak.com/jk-kayaks/whitewater/zen/zen-specsprice/


Surfs great
I’ve had a Fuse and currently play in a 4Fun. It’s good for the quick moves and nestles right into the smaller waves and microeddies. surfing becomes a problem with a steep wave, even with setting a lean to slice the bow up.

The Zen and Remix will drive upstream with the best of them for attainment. Not in a class with the Green Boat for that, but once you get the GB there, what do you do (had one)?

The Zen and Remix have the right bow volume for surfing buoyancy without bloat. Where they part company is that the Zen has the sharp edges for easily carving back and forth. It might just be me, but the thigh bracing on the Zen feels much lower and quicker to engage. Feels more in control to me.

Was out last night with a dozen boaters and the level was such that our favorite surf wave was squirrelly and not too sticky. The Zen was the only one that grooved it.

I have owned slalom boats and near-slaloms (Eskimo Speedo and Prijon Athlete). Athlete could carve but wasn’t a great surfer. Speedo surfed but the ends were long and slicy, making it somewhat difficult to control in funny water. None of the slalom boats surfed very well.

looks nice
but why pay 1200 $ when you can pick up a H2 or H3 255 for a couple hundred?

There’s a reason they’re cheap
Why buy a new car, motorcycle, etc. when there are used older models for less? The answer to the question depends upon the individual.

To me, that question is, will I pay the price for something I will enjoy because it’s exactly what I want or pay less and settle for what doesn’t meet my desires? To me, life is too short to compromise.

Specific to the example, H3 isn’t comparable. It’s shorter, more bulbous and is generally classified as a creeker (see Boatertalk reviews). I’ve had a couple Pyranhas and am not a big fan.

Jackson Fun Runner
A buddy of mine has one and i am admiring it. Has the length for speed and bow and stern volume for heavier stuff. Perhaps this is option for you?

Nah, not the FunRunner

– Last Updated: Apr-28-12 9:37 PM EST –

I am looking for something with an edge an planing hull and long for speed. The Zen has more of all these compared to the FunRuner. Just a matter of intended use, not that one is better in absolute terms.

I borrowed one Zen 75 today and had it out for a couple of hours where I normally paddle. I'm not sure what to think... Yes it is fast for a WW boat at nearly 9 feet. Catches small smooth waves easy, very stable, very forgiving. Great river boat... I managed to surf a few Big fast waves today that I had never before caught - it was scary fast planing and carving. With some practice i think it will be a great boat for these kinds of waves

On the other hand, I thought the bow was a bit harder to control directionally than I expected and at the same time the stern was a bit too lose. In fact, I thought it was harder to paddle in a straight line on flat water than the shorter Fuse.

Trim could be part of it, but I had the seat all the way back and felt I could use another inch for best results in terms of trim (my feet are way forward so that might be tripping the trim to front heavy).

In short, I'm not sure if it is for me. Has most of what I'm after, but at the same time I'm not 100% sold on it, yet. It's fast but I think I want faster - another foot or so would be great. Also, I'm at the low range for weight at 190lb, so not sure how that plays out... Rolls easy, easier than the Fuse and smoother. Since I am not experienced enough i can't figure out what to think. I plan to take an advanced lesson in that kayak from someone who can help me figure out if it is the boat or me that need to behave differently for what I want to do...

Did you have a chance to try a
Dagger Axiom? I think Dagger has discontinued them because of weak sales. Planing hull, more marked edges than the Zen. I haven’t heard any bad reports, it’s just a matter of what kind of kayak you want.

I’ll have to try one …
Thanks for the suggestion. Luckily, we got good used boat market 'round here…

Forgot to mention that I found the adjustability of the Zen’s outfitting to be excellent. I was of two minds about the somewhat squishy footrest, but I was told it is a safety feature on big drops and I suppose it is. Being able to adjust things on the fly was very important to dial-in my seating position.

Good either way
Remix is the most comparable to the Zen. I don’t think you can wrong either way.

Axiom was an update of the old RPM and suffered from the same low volume stern that tends to get munched by holes. Back in the day, the RPM’s plusses eclipsed this and it was a quite popular boat (I liked mine). But too many better alternatives now for it to gain a foothold. Low volume ends on a long boat make sense in slalom but don’t seem to work real well outside of that (Prijon Athlete, Eskimo Speedo, et al). I’m afraid the Fun Runner will fall prey to that.

Paddling plastic is already a compromise. If someone needs to validate the quality of their life through a new boat, car or motorcycle then there are plenty of choices.

Does anyone paddle these???

– Last Updated: May-14-12 10:51 AM EST –

I've been scouting for an independent review (by someone other than a Jackson dealer) but no luck. Bsides the one here on P-net I don't see anything new come-up after the first wave of what I consider "sponsepored" reviews... Not a video, not a write-up...

What's up??? I'm thinking of buying one anyway but wonder if the excitement about the Zen has been a bit overblown ...

I guess the closest comparable (flat hull, similar volume and length) would be the Wavesport Diesel but they have different rocker profiles (the Zen being a more continuous rocker vs. the 3-pece rocker on the Diesel with front center and rear kind of angled against each other in a more pronounced way).