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Reviews for Fun 1 Kayak by Jackson Kayak

Rated: 8/10 Based On: 3 Reviews

Fun 1 Kayak by Jackson Kayak

Length: 5' 3" - Starting at: $795.00
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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     My son paddled one of these from age 6-8 at pool sessions, on local lakes and flat water rivers, and on the Middle Yough. For a kid this young, I think the Fun 1 is really the only option for a whitewater boat if you want him or her to learn proper balance and edging/leaning. Other kid boats are too wide/stable for someone that small, forcing them to use body/bellbuoy leans instead of proper hip/J leans. The Fun 1 is scaled properly to have a "normal" stability profile that is comparable to an adult whitewater boat.

Regardless of what the company says, the Fun is more playboat than river runner, with all of the pros and cons that go with that. It will get slapped around when running a rapid, and the edges WILL catch on crosscurrents. It's probably forgiving compared to a dedicated playboat, but your kid will have to learn to mind his/her edges and keep an active blade in the water. My son had fun and learned a lot in this boat, but he was very happy when he got big enough to switch to a Remix 47.

I'll echo the other reviewer's complaint about the rope/cleat back band setup. It's very hard to secure properly, even with adult strength and coordination.

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     This is a follow-up to the review of the Jackson Fun 1 kid's kayak that I wrote over two years ago.
Since that earlier review I have purchased another Fun 1, and we have two kayakers (5 and 9 years old) using the boats. The kids now have more than four "user years" of experience paddling these kayaks. We are completely satisfied with the original boat but not nearly so with the newer one. There has been a change in the design of the boat that leads me to lower my rating.

The more recent version of the Fun 1 has a redesigned seat back that is problematic. The manufacturer replaced the ratchet clasp on the seat back (which was an excellent design) with a cord-and-cleat arrangement. Every time our 5-year-old kayaker paddles the boat, the cords pull out of the cleat; this abruptly releases the seatback and allows it to slide rearward into a useless position. I am sure that the manufacturer believed that the new design would be an improvement since it does allow the paddler to quickly adjust the seatback. However, because the cord tends to release and slide back at inopportune times, it is a constant hassle and a safety issue. The older ratchet clasp design was clear1y superior, in my opinion.

The Fun 1 is still an excellent kayak for young kids; however, I would advise buyers to look for an older used boat that has the ratchet clasp on the seatback.

I would now give the Jackson Fun 1 kayak an 8.0 for the boat itself, but because I got a total cold shoulder from the company when I tried to address my concerns to them, I am lowering my rating by one additional point for poor customer service. I now give the Jackson Fun 1 an overall rating of 7.0.

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     If you are looking for a kayak that's perfect for young kids, look no further than the Jackson Fun One. It's a state of the art whitewater playboat that is designed specifically for children. The Fun One is 5'3" long and weighs less than 20 pounds; it will accommodate paddlers as small as 35 pounds and as large as 85 pounds. The kayak fits our 8-year-old, 46-pound female paddler like a glove with the cockpit's adjustable hip pads and seat back, combined with its inflatable "Happy Feet" bracing system. It is very stable yet highly maneuverable and turns on a dime. Within 90 days our little paddler progressed from lake paddling to running rapids with 3-foot waves and 4-foot drops.
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