Submitted: 12-18-2009 by gary21cp
I paddled a borrowed 2008 Jackson Super Hero for a week on the Class 3 rivers of Huasteca Potosina in Mexico. The boat was so stable and forgiving that I bought it. It's an amazing combination of tank and play boat, easy to turn and easy to get going or surf, but it just powers through the big stuff. And going off waterfalls that were in the 15-25-foot range was easy. It feels like the Super Hero could handle anything.
There are only two caveats: the outfitting and the weight.
The rope-and-cleat outfitting that Jackson uses gets mixed reviews, and I agree. It's simple but it's a little annoying to have strings hanging inside the cockpit, and the security of the ropes in the cleats is a little iffy. I had to adjust my backband and the footbraces fairly often. This is a trade off, I guess; the system is simple to use, but it's just a little annoying.
The other thing to note is that this boat is pretty heavy for a whitewater kayak. I think mine weighs about 50 lbs, which is a bit of a challenge to portage for any distance. I was used to my 35-lb. playboat which is easy to get up and out of the water and back up to do a drop again and again. The Super Hero I have to think twice about what I'm going to do with it, because it gets heavy pretty quickly. Of course, this weight is what makes it bombproof and gets it through the big water. I humped this boat about a half a mile on a Mexican road and that was about my limit. I guess I'll just have to spend more time at the gym!