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My Kayak Comparison Chart (River runners/creekers & Playboat categories)

This will be an ongoing chart where I compare boats i've paddled to each other along some common categories. I'll try and maintain this as best as I can! This is a list for river running, up to class IV, and I've used to determine what boat I want to get into when I think I'm going paddling at my maximum skill. I tend to get in smaller more fun boats when I'm more in my comfort zone!

Please note that the "total" aspect can be misleading. It all depends on what you are looking for in a boat. I would consider weighting the categories for yourself as to what matters most. For example if you care the most about a beginner friendly boat, double that value.

River Running Kayak Chart

NAMERollsCompliance / AgilitySpeedEddy/MovesComfortBeginner FriendlyTOTAL
2017 Jackson Nirvana9691097.550.5
2015 Jackson Zen Large94879645
2015 Jackson Karma Large87989950
2014 Jackson 4 fun*68558537
2015 Jackson 4 fun*78678642
2013 Jackon Super Hero775891046
2014 Dagger Katana76967843
Pyranha Burn (2nd gen)78896644
2012 Fun Runner 7095878441

* Comparing play boats or river running play boats against creekers isn't entirely fair, and along that note please judge the river play boats (IE: Jackson fun) lightly. They're not meant to outright compete with the other boats in here. They're just placed so you can get an idea incase you're looking at owning just ONE boat but will mostly river run.

Playboat comparison Chart

NameRollsAgilitySurfHoles*ComfortFlatwater movesRiver PlayRiver
Running
TOTAL
2013 Wavesport Project X 642466844236
2014 Jackson 4 fun6774847646
2015 Jackson 4 fun6675812540
2008 Dagger Kingpin 6.38555488548
2014 Pyranha Jed4677555443
2012 Jackson Rockstar L6666755445
2014 Jackson Rockstar L7678955848
2016 Jackson Rockstar L810881078867
2018 Jackson Mixmaster897681010755

We don't have a lot of holes, especially park and play ones, in the PDX Metro area. So I'm not the best judge on this.

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