Support American Whitewater! support unicef
Brave Browser

[please login to make this ad block disappear]


My favorite gear:
Login first to add this to your Likes or Haves.


4.3 (1)
22393   0   4   0   0  
Write Review
All-Star - boats_178-1
All-Star - boats_178-3
All-Star - boats_178-4
All-Star - boats_178-2

Short Facts

Jackson Kayak

325 Iris Dr.
TN 38583

Phone: +1 931-657-3530

· Show brand details.
· Show all Jackson Kayak products.
Model Year
Intended Paddling Environment


Please login to see full stats.

What makes a great freestyle boat? Amplitude in aerial moves, balanced ends, speed and carving, on waves, and lightweight for lightning fast moves.

How is this different from a river running playboat? The river running ability is certainly less due to lack of rocker, lower edges, and difficulty in keeping the ends out of the water. The playboating tends to take a little more focus to stay on top of it. The ends go faster and they pearl easier. However, the top end is higher. Bigger and faster moves are enough motivation to make those paddling on easier rivers or doing park and play go for a full on freestyle boat. The All-Star is just that. Short, fast, balanced, and super for carving up any wave it is nimble and explosive. The hull and deck come together for the best of both the wave and hole moves. Your playboating will take a leap forward in the All-Star.

Fits up to 34” inseam size 12 shoe.

User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
4.0  (1)
5.0  (1)
4.0  (1)
Value / Money 
4.0  (1)
Already have an account? or Create an account
(Updated: May 27, 2005)
Overall rating 
Value / Money 

REVIEW Jackson All Star


6', 180lbs, size 10.5 shoe, active paddler: CL4+-, playboating, river running and creeking. 18 yrs experience. Current boats: Pyranha H-3 245, S-6 200. Recent demos: DragoRossi Fish 6'6, BlissStick Super RAD 180

Test Environment:

Wenatchee river at sub optimal flows of 2,980cfs

The boat

Jackson All Star (special thanks to Patrick and Brian at Leavenworth Mt Sports stop in the shop in Leavenworth, Wa. when you are there) 6'2" long, 25" wide, 13" high, 51 gallon displacement, "ideal" paddler wt: 130-180lbs, wt: 28lbs
Chart below is from Jackson Kayak:
Optimum River Running: 140 lbs (64 kg)
Optimum Playboating: 170 lbs (78 kg)
Optimum Overall: 155 lbs (71 kg)

First take

hull design similar to other newer "squatty bodies", i.e, short, wide, little more bow than stern rocker, long planing surface. The AllStar has EJ's stamp in the flared sidelines, the "thruster" chines, shallow v in hull. The hype per Jacklson Kayak: "Short, fast, balanced, and super for carving up any wave it is nimble and explosive. The hull and deck come together for the best of both the wave and hole moves. Your playboating will take a leap forward in the All-Star".
Cross link plastic is stiff, and the finish is good looking.


Spartan is the word here. Seat looks cheap, no water bottle holder, no tie down straps to hold gear, simple backband, no drain hole (hype is this: not needed since there are no holes drilled in the hull so it stays dry), flimsy front pillar support. The model tested was 2004 series, small changes in backband adjustment and some modest support for front pillar have been added to the 2005 boats.
Ease of seat adjustment is quite evident: unscrew the side wing nut, pull out the screw, move seat front or back Only three slots to make adjustment. I was able to fit with it in the center slot. Velcro hip pads easy to take out, add or remove shims as needed. The "happy feet" bag is used for foot support in the bow. That takes a bit of getting used to and some swear by it, others swear at it! My initial setting was OK, but once I got out and tried to get back in, each time it was different. I would not like to have to keep messing with the bean bag and air all the time (personal preference).

Initial comfort

quite good. I really like the knee/thigh brace which is molded in and gave super support as well as comfort. I have unstable knees and some boat ouutfittings leave me tweaking my knees as I work the boat. None of that with this boat!
Long term comfort is another story. I spent 3-4 hrs in this boat, taking 2 breaks. My butt was sore and uncomfortable due to the thin, sparse outfitting of the saddle. My posterior illiac prominences (back of my pelvis/hips) was sore from the backband. Both of these components seem cheap in comparison to other boat makers efforts.

River test

On the water, this boat was quite stable, both initial and secondary stability. Rolls effortlessly. Flat water moves are difficult to initiate and require lots of "throwing". Slow in the flats like similar playboats. Small waves are hard to get and stay on. Small holes the boat performs well. No stern grabs noticed in "river running" mode. Stable is the word here.
Larger waves: Unfortunately the river level did not have any really fast, steep waves for me to truly judge this boat. Of the few mid-sized waves I was able to catch, I found the hull nice and loose, carves well, bow and stern go down when needed withoiut suprises. I went into a few holes, some quite large and the boat was predictable and able to move around in the holes with ease and no suprises. I like the stern in this boat as it did not grab unexpectedly and back stabs were a no brainer!


The plastic, the knee/thigh support, easily adjustable outfitting, stern design. It is made in U.S. by U.S. premier paddler. Lightweight at no cost to durability.


Spartan, cheap outfitting (whimpy backband, uncomfortable mini padded saddle, front pillar support, no water bottle holder, etc). Similarly priced boats ($995 U.S.) have much better outfitting and designed saddles/backbands. ?Happy feet? (jury is out on that one for me) Some like the "less is more" philosophy, and to a certain degree so do I, but why pay for less?????????


I liked the boat, unfortunately the test conditions did not give me any indications of why I would spend close to $1,000 for this boat. Not a true test at all. But it did give me lots of time in the boat to ponder my likes and dislikes. I certainly would love to demo this boat again in conditions more to my style: larger holes, fast steep waves. I did not feel I was too large for the boat.


About Me
Location: nine mile falls, wa. USA
Age: 55
Weight: 81.6 kgs
Was this review helpful to you? 



See the AUP for our Acceptable Use Policy and a Privacy Statement. Verein Playak is responsible for all editorial content on this site (including all graphics). No part of this site may be duplicated in any way without explicit permission from Verein Playak. Verein Playak takes great care to only publish original content, but since part of the content is user generated, we cannot always guarantee this 100%. If you notice any copyright violations, please let the editors know through the contact form and they will take appropriate action immediately. As a news and information platform, we republish small text snippets and thumbnail images, but always link to original content on other sites, and thus aim to adhere to a 'Fair Use' policy. If you believe we violate this policy in any particular case, please contact us directly and we'll take appropriate action immediately.