Having only paddled a few rec. boats, then a Liquidlogic Remix XP9, an older creek boat pyrahna micro bat 240, and having difficulty with stability on faster water (class II III), I then got into a Super Hero... and I have to say... WOW!!!
This boat is so stable, and surfs so well I can't imagine ever wanting to paddle anything else. I do agree it is not light, but the 2010 model I have has a strap inside the bow along the foot block to hold while carrying the boat this allows you to support the boat on your shoulder by the thigh pad which is quite comfortable.
I can't stress enough about how comfortable this boat is on bigger water...I'm no class V paddler by any stretch, but this kayak increases ability by at least 1/2 class just by getting in it. Oh yeah did I mention it surfs!!!! It surfs so good it feels like a play boat,but stable.
I am 5'10", and about 160 this kayak is meant for bigger people, but it handles so good for a high volume kayak. Being under 8' it turns on a dime... I can catch eddys like nothin'. This boat rolls very well too... I was on the Chattooga river in Georgia,and it is full of surf spots...I was trying to flip this boat...finally it went over... I had my first combat roll in the field, and it came up so quick it was shocking. Once you have that confidence in the roll, the possibilities are endless......Jackson got it right the second time around. The boat ferries, draws, boofs and does about everything else you could ask without a hitch. And, it rolls like a Jackson. With Fun series DNA, it surfs like a champ. It punches holes with ease and shrugs off big and funny water.
Buy this kayak!!!
I like the cord/cleat adjustable backband. Precise and easy to repair, although there's little to break down. This model includes the same system for setting the footboard, enabling you to dial in the perfect position while in the kayak.
My only quibble is that it handles a little like a creek boat. In a river runner, I'd prefer a tad more length or less rocker.I paddled a borrowed 2008 Jackson Super Hero for a week on the Class 3 rivers of Huasteca Potosina in Mexico. The boat was so stable and forgiving that I bought it. It's an amazing combination of tank and play boat, easy to turn and easy to get going or surf, but it just powers through the big stuff. And going off waterfalls that were in the 15-25-foot range was easy. It feels like the Super Hero could handle anything.
There are only two caveats: the outfitting and the weight.
The rope-and-cleat outfitting that Jackson uses gets mixed reviews, and I agree. It's simple but it's a little annoying to have strings hanging inside the cockpit, and the security of the ropes in the cleats is a little iffy. I had to adjust my backband and the footbraces fairly often. This is a trade off, I guess; the system is simple to use, but it's just a little annoying.
The other thing to note is that this boat is pretty heavy for a whitewater kayak. I think mine weighs about 50 lbs, which is a bit of a challenge to portage for any distance. I was used to my 35-lb. playboat which is easy to get up and out of the water and back up to do a drop again and again. The Super Hero I have to think twice about what I'm going to do with it, because it gets heavy pretty quickly. Of course, this weight is what makes it bombproof and gets it through the big water. I humped this boat about a half a mile on a Mexican road and that was about my limit. I guess I'll just have to spend more time at the gym!I have only been kayaking for a year but have tried out several different boats. At 6'2" and 215 lbs., many of them are not very comfortable. The Super Hero is by far the best fitting kayak around. Just hop in and within 60 seconds you can adjust the back, seat, foot rest and leg support.
After my first run on the New River, the boat did everything I wanted and more. I give the boat a 10 just for these reasons. When I had some questions and concerns about my used Super Hero, I contacted Jackson Kayak. Their web site listed the owner's email AND cellphone number. I've never seen that. I emailed Eric Jackson at 7:00 pm and had a reply at 8:37 the next morning. All of my questions and concerns were met beyond my highest expectations. Truly a first-class operation. It's not a matter of which manufacturer to buy from but which Jackson kayak is best for you. This Jackson customer gives the Super Hero a 10 and the Jackson operation a 10 plus.I'm 6'4" 270 lbs. I haven't paddled many white water boats because there are so few of them that I can fit in. It is extremely comfortable and a perfect fit for someone my size. It paddles fast and tracks well for a small kayak. It's easy to maneuver, very stable and the 87 gallon volume really floats me well in the white water. It also has plenty of storage behind the seat.
The Pyranha Everest was my other choice and about my only other option since I already have the Mega Rocker. I thought about the Super Fun but I'm not a play boater. I heard many recommendations from smaller paddlers but either I couldn't fit in the boat or it didn't have enough volume to float me high enough in the water.
This was by far the best money I've spent on a boat. I am very happy with it and that makes each trip even more enjoyable. Jackson will have a hard time topping this kayak for a river runner.