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Submitted: 12-03-2012 by bill.farrar

My introduction to the Jackson Kayak Journey happened during a kayak demo. Trying two touring kayaks before the Journey left me undecided. The first kayak I tried almost rolled over as I was getting in. Needless to say, that kayak stayed put. The second kayak was a little better, but it didnít have "that feel." Noticed a Jackson Kayak Journey sitting off to the side, which sparked my interest. I used the T-Grip handle to place it in the water. Carefully settling into the seat barely produced any movement. After making a few pedal adjustments, a staff member gave me a gentle shove. There I was, paddling a Jackson Kayak Journey and enjoying the comfort. The Journey had "that feel," and it felt good! The following notes were recorded after purchasing the Journey a month later:
  • Within the first 45 days of taking delivery of my JK Journey 14, I was paddling in winds up to 35 or 40 mph; 5 to 8 foot seas (with an occasional 10 foot swell) in the Pacific Ocean; playing around in the surf zone. Seal launches have been 100% successful. Packed it full of camping gear and still had room to spare. As a result of the adventures, the water conditions have to be very very nasty for me not to launch. The Jackson Kayak Journey has always been smooth, comfortable and stable, not to mention eye-catching. Loving how the Journey edges and maneuvers, I wouldnít trade it for anything.
  • Knowing how I was going to use the Journey; purchasing the Journey without a rudder system was not an option. When the winds are that high, all I have to do is point my Journey in the direction I want to go and it does the rest. To change direction, all I do is flex my toe. Turns out the Smart Track Rudder System performs to my expectations. Even when the rudder is out of the water, the JK Journey holds its line very well. The foot braces are solid and easy to adjust.
  • Couldn't have had a better day for a final shakedown (aka Sea Trial). Winds were from the northwest at 25 mph, gusting to 35 mph or more. The waves were larger than normal and hitting me from all directions. Despite having to do massive power strokes going into the wind, my JK Journey was cutting through the waves and riding over the top with little to no effort. The experience was very comfortable. I'm ready for more!!
  • I love the reflective material in the deck lines, as they are a great safety feature. The entire deck line system can be seen with a little bit of light. The deck lines also come in handy for self-rescues and assisting others into their kayaks. Assisted swimmers during the triathlon. The swimmers had something solid to hold on to while relieving their cramps.
  • My concern for available cargo space quickly dwindled. There is ample cargo space in the forward compartment, rear compartment, day hatch, the area forward of the Foot Braces and the area behind the seat. Wish I would've planned a 5-day trip!
  • It's nice to have the bungee cord system on the deck. Didn't need additional lines to carry the oversize gear with me. Still love the available space. Just when I think I have too much, there is always room for more gear.
  • Bought my second JK Journey! The newer JK Journey's have an improved seat configuration. The "Sweet Cheeks" provide a lot of additional comfort, especially during extended paddles. After an extended paddle my rear end was feeling great. The Sweet Cheeks provided a perfect mold and the comfort was out of this world. I never had to readjust my sitting position.
  • Woke up, packed up, and paddled out through a maze of trees that would normally be submerged. The Journey's rudder system worked very well. The Journey maneuvered through the thickets of trees, at a reasonable speed, with ease. The Journey maintained a straight line when the wind speed picked up on the open water and glided across the waves, as expected. I was astounded to see how stable the Journey was on video. The extra weight (of the camping gear) gave the Journey a lot of additional stability. It was a very smooth ride!
  • The new JK Journeys come with a GoPro mount; easily within reaching distance of the cockpit.
Hope my notes have given you an idea of how happy I am with the Jackson Kayak Journey. The last thing I can say, with 100 percent confidence; Donít hold back. Take your Journey out in any conditions you feel comfortable with and donít be afraid to push the envelope. The Journey will take care of you.
Here is one of my YouTube videos:
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