The first All-Star on the water was in Vail, Colorado, in a good hole, surrounded by very weak small holes, waves, and eddies with about 300 cfs. I spent a week paddling in Vail with the boat, with one afternoon at Glenwood Springs, at a great wave at 12,000 cfs. Stephen Wright, Nick, Clay, Dustin, and Greg all got boats the next day.
Our initial review was mostly focused on playboating in holes.
Here is what we determined from our experience in holes:
- Loops bigger than anything we have ever experienced in a playboat. And easier.
- Very user friendly- ends don’t catch very often, and super easy to maneuver in a hole.
- Incredibly retentive for all moves.
- Best single word to describe… “Easy”
I have since moved from Colorado to Rock Island, and then to Canada.
At Rock Island- we have a “top wave” which is normally not that fun in a playboat, like the 2007 All-Star, however it suddenly became much more fun. The 2010 All-Star is markedly faster! At only 5’ 10” long, many people expected us to lose speed over the already top of the heap 2007 all-star in speed, but it is just the opposite. Brave Wave wasn’t running to test there.
We shot up to Canada and we now have 3 weeks of paddling on the Ottawa and Gatineau Rivers. Wave surfing time…. Great waves, steep waves, flat waves, small waves, green waves, and breaking waves….
- Easy! A new word by a Quebec local at the Gatineau… “Cheating” Moves become much easier, and bigger.
Sorry- I keep adding in what others are saying and I wanted to just tell you my experience.
I am a better boater today and in any other boat, I am not as good, period. This is the easiest way to summarize. Whether you are in a near dry river where the snow is all gone and the season is long “over”, or you are in the swollen rivers of Quebec and Ontario surfing up some of the best waves on the planet, the 2010 All-Star just works right away for me, and for everyone I put in it.
The Why is something that I can tell you, but then…. Actually, I can tell you.
Short, Short, short, short….
I have been told that the evolution of the kayak is over. Kayaks got short, now they are getting longer, they went too far. Well, while that may be a believable statement, seeing some of the longer “retro” boats on the market, that doesn’t mean it is true. I will claim that the 2010 All-Star is a bigger leap in the evolution of the playboat than anything we have done at JK yet. I won’t bring in any other brands, because that isn’t my style, but I will say that the 2007 All-star was at the top of the performance list before this new step in the evolution.
What is special about this boat, or what is so “innovative”? It is about achieving the “impossible”. Here is a list of the “impossibles” that we went after, the mutually exclusive engineering goals:
a. Shorter but Faster- why? Rocker profile, chine shape, etc. etc.- refining one thing, to over come another- progress.
b. Higher volume but easy to throw around- better water resistance design, with well appointed volume for a sum total of “easier”
c. User friendly, but less rocker- combining short, less end length, higher deck, etc. we achieved something that should not be possible at first glance. Faster, but easier to paddle.
d. We broadened the weight range for each size- bigger people benefit from the volume. Smaller people can throw it around. Both are happier in it compared to the alternative. Dane now paddles a Star, but can’t be competitive in the 2007 star, yet the higher volume allows a bigger person to be more retentive, loop higher, more retentive,etc. etc.!
Summary? I am a happy guy. Great waves- great holes, great boat. Non ideal waves, holes, more fun in this boat!
What is not as good with this boat? The cockpit rim isn’t quite a dry as the old one, however , the line is still true- “Want to know how dry your gear is?” try it on a Jackson Kayak. I got about 2 sponge fulls in my last 4 hour play session.