The Jackson Kayak Karma is the latest creek boat offering from EJ and the rest of the Jackson Kayak crew, and, according to EJ, for the first time in the manufacturer’s history, this new creek boat is outselling Jackson’s new playboat (the 2013 All Star). I haven’t yet had a chance to paddle the Karma, but my Dad, Phil U, has been paddling his Karma at Extremely Low Flows (ELF Boating) on the Arkansas River.
Phil is coming out of many years in the Large Dagger Nomad, a boat which he has really enjoyed. But he already like the Karma better than the Nomad for the quickness and maneuverability it offers. “The Karma basically has a flat bottom so I can boss it around and twitch around rocks, which is really nice. That makes a lot of sense for ELFing. It’s more nimble [than the Nomad] in that regard by a lot. I can set it on edge and carve quicker too. In tight quarters, it’s a super nimble boat, whether on edge or not.”
Other features Phil is really enjoying:
Outfitting: ”Love the bulkhead for safety and comfort and for how easy the pull string makes adjustments. You can really move yourself around in your boat without gettting out and spinning nobs.”
Forgiving: “It’s really user friendly and forgiving. Have really noticed that getting in this boat, I’m a better, more conscious boater. It’s a very stable boat. It’s got a flat bottom, but I can present the bottom to a rock and pull around it with a stroke but not fall over like I have in a Super Hero.
Great for tight quarters: It is a better for ELFing than the Nomad. Corrective strokes and sweeps are a lot less effort than in the Nomad. You’re displacing/ drawing significantly less water! The chines are a theoretical negative in terms of “tripping” on them, but I haven’t expereienced that. Not drawing an extra inch or two is a big deal when you’re ELFing.
Speed: “It’s fast… faster than the Nomad.”