CKS First Look: The Rockstar V with Emily and Dane Jackson

Two days in the past, Jackson Kayak introduced their newest playboat kayak, the Rockstar V.

This fifth technology mannequin follows a protracted legacy of World Championship profitable boats. The design, and subsequent efficiency, have matured because the Authentic Rockstar kayak, first launched in 2011.

The Jackson Rockstar has turn out to be the default selection for playboaters. Actually, the US market hasn’t seen a whitewater playboat designed to compete with the Rockstar kayak sequence because the Pyranha Jed, Dagger Jitsu, or Wavesport Mobius, all launched between 2012 and 2013.

The earlier iterations of the Jackson Rockstar playboat have been so excessive performing that many individuals are actually left questioning: “how can they presumably make it higher?”

We sat down (just about…it’s 2021) with two of one of the best freestyle paddlers on the earth to get the inside track on the most recent boat.

The earlier generations of the Rockstar already stand out in a class of their very own. When you already personal an older Rockstar, why would you need to improve?

Emily: As a result of it’s simply higher…..Ha! Okay, however actually…The Rockstar is a continuous development and evolves to match the wants of paddlers and what they’re engaged on – whether or not you’re studying your first cartwheels or doing probably the most difficult combos.

We frolicked in all our earlier fashions (all 8!) and pin-pointed what individuals beloved about every design, what flaws have been discovered, and what we thought we may enhance.

I’m excited in regards to the outcomes as I actually really feel this design pays tribute to years of innovation by persevering with that development. 

Top, bottom and side views of the production model Rockstar V.

What are probably the most noticeable variations between the 4.0 and the 5.0?

Dane: The Rockstar 4.0 was an excellent boat, and a a lot completely different boat than we had finished up to now. What we did with the Rockstar 5.0 is take numerous what we favored in the previous few generations, and put all of them collectively.

We stored the center of the boat good and excessive quantity for max air, in addition to for consolation. Whereas on the similar time, we introduced again our slicey bow and ends, making it simpler to provoke, cartwheel, and interact when wanted.

For wave efficiency, we widened the center of the hull barely for greater floating and extra planing floor, however stored the strict good and slim for straightforward take offs.

The opposite thrilling addition that we’ve not finished earlier than is we added a second rail to the kayak. This can make carving higher, however the greatest factor is it makes the Rockstar V insanely unfastened. It would slide and spin like nothing you’ve got paddled.

Inform us extra in regards to the design historical past and course of.

Dane: The Rockstar V was designed with enter from our crew in addition to our R&D division, led by our designer David Knight. All of us labored collectively from completely different angles to convey this kayak to life.

We obtained to take the prototype out for some classes on “Good Wave” in Columbus this spring, which is the positioning of the 2023 World Freestyle Championships. After evaluating with our earlier fashions, and paddling for days there, we felt we had the boat we needed.

Dane on the Ottawa

Let’s discuss sizing. 

Emily: This mannequin floats a variety of paddlers, however I really feel the closest mannequin for becoming is the 2014 Rockstar.  It is between the 4.0 and the three.0. With the three.0 and 4.0 being on two reverse sides of the spectrum (one being the smallest of our Rockstars, and one being the most important) We went smack dab within the center whereas making certain foot room was thought-about.

Dane: I’m 5’6″ and 150lbs, and I paddle the Medium Rockstar. I like that it’s tremendous snug. There’s greater than sufficient room, with out feeling too massive – particularly from the knees ahead. It looks like all of the bow finish strikes, as nicely initiating, goes to be simple wherever I paddle it. The amount in a Medium gives all the pieces I have to get most air. 

Emily: I’m a wanna-be Small. I pack numerous weight on my 5’3 body; I’m 145lbs, and I can throw round a Medium in flatwater. I do, nonetheless, love the convenience of being in a Small. It would not require as a lot muscling once I’m making an attempt to hyperlink collectively numerous strikes. If I used to be taller and had extra leverage then I’d think about a Medium for extra stability in down river, however actually, I’ve at all times been a Small.

Measurement S M L
Size 5’4” 5’8” 5’11”
Width 24 ¾” 26 1/8” 27 ½”
Peak 14” 14 7/8” 15 ½”
Quantity 50 gal 59 gal 69 gal
Weight 26.5 lbs 29 lbs 34 lbs
Optimum Paddler Weight 100-160 lbs 140-200 lbs 180-240 lbs

I’m on the fence between sizes, ought to I dimension up or down?

Emily: This query actually comes right down to you: What are your targets? What makes you smile while you’re on a river?

If the river itself is making you nervous and the concept of flipping over is intimidating, go greater.

If you’re assured on the river and also you need to problem your self, go smaller.

Figuring out what your intentions are together with your playboat (mainly, having an open sincere relationship) is the important thing to making sure you’re getting the appropriate dimension.

When you’re sizing particularly for playboating, smaller kayaks can be simpler to throw round (flatwater cartwheels), however it is going to be flushier and have much less velocity in case you are seeking to park on a glassy inexperienced wave.

When you’re uncertain, PLEASE be at liberty to succeed in out and ask us. Clay Wright and Stephen Wright (when not paddling themselves) completely love the interactions and questions, and so they we’d love that will help you discover the appropriate match.

What’s the normal outfitting included with the RSV?

Emily: This yr we went with Candy Cheeks, Bees Knees, Hips Pads, and Foam Foot Block.

The large modifications are the addition of the Bees Knees, and the Completely satisfied Toes being switched for Foam Block.

I do know – I’m foot bag fanatic myself however we discovered that usually they aren’t used to their full potential. When foot luggage aren’t used correctly it could possibly actually have an effect on your consolation within the kayak. Subsequently we’re retaining Completely satisfied Toes as an adjunct for these which are within the know (I see you cheerful ft peeps!) and changing it with the froth foot black to make sure that the kayak is trying as recent as potential.

Worlds are on a wave in 2023. Is the brand new boat designed extra with waves or holes in thoughts?

Dane: It would do each extraordinarily nicely. For holes, it is going to be the simplest to provoke, study methods, in addition to one of the best likelihood to get huge air. On waves, it is going to be probably the most enjoyable boat to surf, spin, and take off. It would do what you need it to do irrespective of the place you convey it.

Playboats are typically thought-about a distinct segment or expert-only boat. Would the category II-III aspiring playboater nonetheless benefit from the RSV?

Emily: Heck sure, they might! Jackson Kayak’s basis is in inclusivity, so whereas we push innovation and design, we don’t sacrifice consumer friendliness.

The Rockstar 5.0 is straightforward to roll, considered one of extra balanced Rockstar fashions, and is available in 3 big selection sizes. If you aren’t aware of playboats, they’re probably the greatest issues you should purchase for the general development of your paddling.

In whitewater, it may be actually exhausting to discover ways to push your self in a protected and managed manner. Playboating actually does that for you – you will be in flatwater and nonetheless problem your self.

On class II-III water you may see the river from a complete new lens. Eddies, eddy traces, and different options all turn out to be extra obvious. Whereas pushing your self to attempt  new issues, you’re going to get an excellent (semi)intentional roll apply.

Compared to different playboats, it’s considered one of our most consumer pleasant designs.

To wrap issues up, what’s your dream river to pair with the RSV?

Emily: Actually any run the place I get to goof round with buddies, however I like playboating in any of the whitewater parks in Colorado.

I look ahead to taking the brand new Rockstar V to Uganda for some BIG heat water, the Ottawa, the Gauley, the Arkansas, the record continues. Mainly any puddle and I’ll be there!

Dane: The Ottawa River! Huge macho strikes on the best way down, massive loops, and massive airscrews all down the river.

The Rockstar V is now obtainable for restricted pre-orders. Jackson is releasing the Rockstar V within the restricted version Cotton Sweet coloration for Fall of 2021, and the usual colours of Flame, Watermelon, and Pink can be obtainable by means of the 2022 mannequin yr.

Rockstar V Out there Colours

Rockstar V Specs and Sizing

Measurement S M L
Size 5’4” 5’8” 5’11”
Width 24 ¾” 26 1/8” 27 ½”
Peak 14” 14 7/8” 15 ½”
Quantity 50 gal 59 gal 69 gal
Weight 26.5 lbs 29 lbs 34 lbs
Optimum Paddler Weight 100-160 lbs 140-200 lbs 180-240 lbs

For more information, try this walkthrough with Dane Jackson

Click on right here to Order the Jackson Rockstar 5.0 Playboat

Jackson Rockstar

Click on right here to Order the Jackson Rockstar V Kayak

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