Jackson Rec Tripper Review

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A full year has yet to pass since Jackson burst into the recreational kayak market, but given the early successes we’re already placing bets on when EJ will be shaping canoes. Just before Jackson Rec’s first anniversary, PL got to take an inside look at the company’s line of Trippers.

“It’s our first stab into recreational kayaking and we’re excited,” Kristine Jackson said of the Tripper, which comes in 9, 10 and 12-foot sizes. Brand manager Marty Cronin and his wife Sonia are fond of taking the larger Trippers out on the water when not in the office. “The boats are really fun to paddle and for a person that has never kayaked before, I really like being able to just get in and feel confident. Plus I always bring my dog along with me,” Sonia says.

Like the kid-sized Jackson whitewater kayaks, the 9-foot Mini Tripper was designed from the start as a boat for younger paddlers. At 23” the hull provides enough stability to inspire confidence, but is not so wide as to prevent new boaters from keeping up with their parents. While it’s an efficient boat to paddle, the folks behind Jackson Rec’s R&D had the foresight to make a towrope an integrated part of the craft, just in case. Given Jackson’s history of producing lightweight kayaks it should go without saying that most of the boat’s paddlers will be able to carry it to the car on their own.

The 10-foot Day Tripper is a one-boat quiver for all manner of inland flatwater kayaking. It’s 30” waist makes the boat stable enough to fish with and the uniquely large cockpit design allows for gear storage and retrieval both forward and aft of the seat, even while out on the water. With a 300-pound carrying capacity there’s almost nothing you won’t be able to take with you.

The 12-foot Day Tripper is of the same width as its smaller sister, so the extra feet directly translate into added speed. This boat can easily handle loads of 375 lbs, and the greater length makes this the perfect craft for boating with a dog, or enough gear to spend the night on an island in the middle of the lake. An extra seat option makes this boat ideal for taking a small child out onto the water for the first time. For its size this boat is remarkably light and can easily be carried alone.

All boats are available with either the standard molded seat or the more comfortable Sweet Seat similar to that found in Jackson’s whitewater boats.

If you’re an angler and are considering the Tripper you may want to hold out for the ’08 models, some of which are being updated to include the Day Tray outfitting package. Cronin described the Day Tray as having “a built in tackle box, space for rod holders/fish finders, cup holders, and plenty of room to keep a camera, binoculars, you name it.” No additional sizes will be available for 2008 as Jackson Rec focuses on refining the existing models.

For more info check out the Jackson Rec site.