I had a chance to demo the Jackson Kayak MixMaster. Jackson's the new slicey playboat at the US National Whitewater Center on St. Patrick’s Day. What a treat it was to paddle this kayak. I sat in it at the shop at GetOutdoors before I decided to take it to demo and I found it to be a more comfortable play boat than I thought it would be. Some of these types of boats can be torture machines. However, this was the most fun and comfortable boat of this type that I have paddled, and I have been in most of them.
The definition of a slicey boat is one that has a tapered bow and stern and this typically makes it very good for surfing and doing tricks like stern squirts. I had some great surfs while paddling it on my day at the USNWC. There are several different slicey types of boats on the market currently. The MixMaster
seems to emphasize play with a moderate amount of comfort with only 52 gals. of volume and 7’4” long. There are more playful kayaks of this kind on the market but I can’t stand to be in them for more than a few minutes. There are more comfortable slicey boats on the market but they are not as playful.
This is also a quick boat, and I love the speed for river running. It is great to find a boat like this that I can get my legs into. The 7.5 model fit me fine with the seat all
the way back and I’m just under 6’0 tall. They also make a 7.0 version for smaller paddlers. On the downside, I talked to several people that were interested in this boat but since Jackson currently doesn’t have a larger version they could not fit into the 7.5. Maybe Jackson will put out an 8.0 version someday.
The Mixmaster has a hard edge on it which makes it great for surf and play but also makes it more difficult to roll. However, most people paddling this will already have a solid roll before they get into this type of kayak.
I highly recommend this boat for people wanting maximum river play. This is the perfect type of boat to take out to Wilson Creek and have a fun lap. But at the same time, it is comfortable enough to take out for a long playful day on the Nolichucky. Good times ahead for people paddling the MixMaster.
Keith Raker - GetOutdoors Paddlesports Pro-staff