Jackson Kayak Karma

Alpacka Raft Yukon Yak Wavesport Ethos Jackson Karma best boats of 2013 summer buyers guide

Alpacka Raft Yukon Yak, Wavesport Ethos, Jackson Karma     Photo: Inga Hendrickson

BEST FOR: Serious whitewater.

THE TEST: Creekboat designers have traditionally faced a dilemma: make a boat that punches holes well or one that boofs well. The Karma strikes the perfect balance. We were able to lean its pointed nose into monster holes and plow through, but it still had enough rocker and buoyancy to clear ledges. Jackson ditched the displacement hull it used on its last creeker, the Villain, and gave the Karma a flatter bottom, which affords a ton of primary stability, making it a great boat for new paddlers, too.

THE VERDICT: Just as much fun on Class V water as on Class I. 45 lbs.

STABILITY: 4.5
MANEUVERABILITY: 5

Brand: Jackson Kayak $1,199

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