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Review Detail

Hero 2008
Boats & Boards
(Updated: January 02, 2009)
Overall rating 
Value / Money 

My new love!

About the reviewer

I love expedition kayaking of all flavors. Some days I am a drift boater, other days I drive.

Test environment

Nearly every major V+ multi-day in California. Creeks with 200cfs and 700fpm to the Indus in Pakistan, 15,000cfs of big water moves.


Nimble: The Hero is easy to move around the river. Because it rides high in the water and has planing hull with just enough edge, it’s easy to use the edges and a few strokes to move around the river. It has just the right combination of edge, water line length and rocker to make it a quick turning boat that is easy to hold a line in.

Resurfacing: The Hero is the champion of resurfacing. It quickly resurfaces upright and headed downstream with momentum. This is perfect for stacked up drops with must make landings, or recovering from a missed boof.

Outfitting: Like all Jackson Kayaks, the outfitting is comfortable, adjustable and performance oriented right out of the box. I didn’t even have to move my seat in the Hero, just hop in and paddle away.

Planing Hull: I love the planing hull of the Hero. Besides the obvious advantage of using the edge to facilitate cross current moves, the planing hull is a great advantage while resurfacing in big water. With the planing hull you can edge the boat to either side and control what direction the boat resurfaces in, allowing the user move around the river while resurfacing.

Hole punching ability. Despite its short length, I’ve found the Hero to be a hole punching machine. It’s easy to control and drive in a straight line, and loves to ride over the top of everything. Combine these two together and it will punch anything from massive river holes to creekey ledges.

Storage, overnights. While it doesn’t have as much space as the Rocker, the Hero still has plenty of room for all my overnight gear, and on the water I didn’t even notice I was paddling a loaded boat!


In true honestly, I've never loved or raved about any other boat like I do the Hero. This boat is just awesome for expedition kayaking of any type. As a bonus, it's light to hike with and great to fly with due to its shot length.


About Me
Location: USA, California
Age: 27
Weight: 68 kgs
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