Find your Flow: Jackson Kayak Flow | Review by Andrew Holcombe

Let’s start with the name.  Naming a boat, at least in my experience, is not such as easy thing to do.  It’s difficult to settle on something that conveys connection to the project, company, and/or river without stepping on the toes of projects that have come before.  The “Flow” accomplishes that with style…. It brings images of ease of movement, is connected to the “fun” of Jackson Kayak and is easy to have a good time talking about what it means to you.  Now to the boat itself.

I’m excited about this kayak!  It mixes playfulness with dependability and is thus fun to paddle in a wide variety of circumstances.  The front rocker kick allows you to skip or climb over waves, holes and eddylines with ease.  This combined with the shorter length makes it incredibly easy to control and adjust your line when you need to.  The play inspired hull creates a nice platform that is stable while paddling downriver and then performance oriented when you get on a wave or in a hole.  I think it is this aspect that surprised me the most when I first paddled it.  It’s really fun to surf!  The sharper edges allow for good carving on green waves and the lower volume stern helps you to feel confident that you’re not going to catch those edges while side surfing or doing 360’s.  And rolling, no problem!

The outfitting package sticks with the tried-and-true Jackson Kayak outfitting that you know.  Comfortable and easily adjustable.  I’m a particular fan of the Bees Knees in the Flow to help lock in my legs so I can take advantage of the performance this boat offers.  I also appreciate how easy it is to move the seat so I could try out different places to find my sweet spot.  Lastly, the full package of grab handles and safety bars help contribute to the wide range of uses for the Flow.

Jackson has currently released the Medium size which, depending on a person’s shape, should roughly have a weight range of 145ish to 190ish.  If that’s not you don’t worry, the Large and Small are on track to be released around May of 2024.

Personally, I’ve paddled the Flow on all kinds of whitewater: Class II to Class V, larger rivers to smaller creeks, and play to river running.  It was my boat of choice for the Gauntlet, a slalom race with five gates placed through Gorilla and the two slides immediately after, on the Green River this past year where I placed 3rd.  I chose the Flow because it was easy to maneuver and keep on top of the water.  For comparison’s sake, I also paddled it down the Nolichucky at around 1500 and had a great time surfing all the little features on that run.

At the end of the day the Flow is a kayak that can be at home wherever it makes sense for you.  It supports you as you grow and provides a platform to learn all while being just plain out fun to paddle.  I’d encourage anyone to take it for a demo and find your “flow”.

Written by Andrew Holcombe
(photos by Spencer Cooke)

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