I had the opportunity to paddle the Grand Canyon this spring with some long-time friends and good paddling buddies. I find it hard to summarize, so, just... go see it. Paddle it. My words will fail to capture the magnitude and richness the Canyon holds. And this is most certainly a trip you should do before you die... well before then if possible. Boredom will never occur and you won't ever wish the trip were shorter.
|Kyle, being himself. love ya, buddy|
|Kyle and Karen|
In the months leading up to our spring launch, I debated which kayak to bring. I liked the volume of the Karma and it's what I paddle most. A Rock Star would've been a lot of fun too, surfing monster waves and driving deep into some of the Canyon's big holes. In the end, I wanted to maximize my paddling time in the Canyon driving one boat that could do it all, even the boils and flatwater. Fun was definitely a priority, too! Since this is a river runner's paradise with big glassy waves pretty much everywhere, I picked the Jackson Kayak Fun Runner for my perfect Canyon craft. The first thing I noticed (having never paddled it before) was the Fun Runner is fast and effortless to paddle. It's long water line keeps it fast, while hard chines, combined with a perfect rocker profile keep it nimble and super responsive. I was able to surf the first wave at the top of EVERY rapid in the Grand!! Nearly impossible in the Rock Star and work for the Karma. I was able to carve into and out of eddies (even tiny boily ones) predictably. And I can't say enough about how effortless and smooth this boat is to paddle. It really is perfect.
|scout at Lava Falls|
|a weird 'watery' panorama shot|
|day 4: the inhibitions begin to fall away|
Overall, this kayak had everything I was hoping for. I wanted a fast boat that could hold a line and was responsive. I wanted it to surf well, spin and cartwheel. Not only that, I wanted a boat that could provide a stable rescue platform to comfortably paddle swimmers away from danger or get into tricky spots if I needed to set up an anchor or something like that to unpin a raft.The Fun Runner has that in spades. And if you're looking for a little more stability, little less play?? the Fun Runner comes in different sizes. Sick!! Should you want even more predictability/stability... check out the JK Zen which is more downriver/creek style while less playful.
|day 8: people start feeling... more comfortable|
In the end, the Fun Runner really was a great boat to rock down the Grand. It'll be my choice for next time. So good!! If you're looking for more than just park-n-play... or a river runner who can handle a mutli-day, the Jackson Fun Runner might just be the ticket.
|Red Wall Cavern|
|impromptu performance in the Red Wall|
|a truly magical wonderland you must experience first hand|