By Eric Jackson
It’s been the 3d time i’ve made it to the Fibark event in Salida, CO, but for the first time this year as a Jackson kayak paddler. Not that it changes my trip in the US, but more that it changes my competing a lot!
I would just sum it up with two words about my padding in competition: Performant and easy. Performant is the first thing when it come to competition.
The Karma is fast, it has a big rocker in the front to get the boat over every waves and holes, it takes a lot of speed as soon as the hull reaches the water reconnecting from a boof, and it bounces on the top of the water adopting the beat of your paddle stroke, finding a slide that i never had before. This is how i won the Pine creek race last weekend, which was flooded this year. The organizers set up gates on this amazing rapid of the Arkansas river, and made us take some crazy lines.
The Rock Star is the best boat when it comes to being performant at freestyle. It throws you high in the air, it takes speed very quickly when surfing from edge to edge, and that’s why in the Salida’s feature where we were doing half waves tricks and half hole tricks, the Rock Star did so well: Dustin Urban and i, both with the same boat, tied for first until judges decided to count our second best ride of the finale to break the tie. Dustin had a better second ride and took the win.
Performance is one thing, but competing is also about consistency and confidence, and that’s also when the Jackson kayaks help me to compete. Both the Rock Star and the Karma are very easy boats. So on the top of Pine creek or before my ride in Salida i could really focus on the beat of the water, the time running, the power to give through my paddle more than my finding my balance or being careful of my
Fibark gave an end to the Colorado tour and just out of the water after the finale, we started driving with Clay Wright to Idaho where we’re training for the Payette River Games. This trip to Colorado was such a blast. Following the tour i could visit great places, meet awesome people and paddle crazy creeks on my way. Thanks every body and see you Colorado!