Jackson Kayak Dealer Summit 2012
Shannon Finch - Sierra South Kayak Instructor
I had the opportunity to attend the Jackson Dealer Summit in Rock Island Tennessee this year. It was nothing short of a good time. The party kicked off with seminars focusing on outfitting whitewater kayaks, building teams, the impressive line of Jackson fishing kayaks, social media, and general Q&A forums led by Eric Jackson and the Team. I learned a lot during these seminars.
Next stop was the Jackson Kayak Factory. Safety Glasses Mandatory. What an incredible thing to see... Made in America. Eric Jackson walked us through the processes of building a kayak, we saw everything, the molds, the molder, the fans, the plastic pellets of color, the people, the smiles and the high fives. The factory is a family of amazing people dedicated to building quality kayaks following the motto, "Build it like it's your own" It was like being in Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory, weaving in and out of aisles of kayaks, each kayak built by an individual, this was not an assembly line of tedious work, each factory worker is able to pour a bit of their own personality into the boats, and their individuality is celebrated.
We got to take part in building a kayak as well... what a process that is! In teams of four we joined a member of the factory team and built a kayak. It was awesome! Quality Control reviewed the boats and made no exceptions, perfection was demanded. I loved it!
Lots of laughs, tons of learning, plenty of smiles and heaps of high fives were happening. We had dinner at the Fog Light one night, which was incredibly good. I had a cool conversation with EJ about his passion for building kayaks, being a kayaker, and having his family. I'm a huge fan of the guy, he brings an energy that promotes goodness and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to just exist with someone like that for a few days. A NEW concept was revealed from Jackson Kayak... But... my lips are sealed, just keep your eyes open, very cool things are coming!
Each morning began with breakfast and seminars, but if you know Eric Jackson, getting on the water was top priority, so we did just that. I hopped in the new Karma and found myself floating down river amongst new friends and good vibes. The new Karma is awesome! Paddling the medium at 85 gallons I really liked the responsiveness of the boat, holds a good edge, is fast, and really has great potential to be an all around river runner / creek boat. Kokatat was there with the new collaboration Kokatat/Jackson line of Dry Suits, Dry Tops, and PFDs. They look so amazing on the water, I will admit, the colors seem a bit loud on the wall, but on the water, they look sharp.
The final night was a party at Eric's home, hosted by the Jackson Family and Red Bull, with an OctoberFest theme we ate well and danced into the night. Everyone was stoked. I was stoked to be apart of the show. Thank you to the Jacksons for hosting such a successful party.
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Looking for a GREAT price on a Kokatat, Sweet, IR or Bomber Gear Dry Top? Take advantage of our 2013 Spring Dry Top Sale! All in-stock Dry Tops are 25% off! Offer ends May 31, 2013. Subject to stock on hand.
It doesn't take a lot of water to have a lot of fun on the Kern River! The weather in the Kern Valley is currently forecast to be sunny and warm over the long Memorial Day Weekend! Go on a Sierra South Raft Trip, take a Kayaking Class, or learn to paddle a Stand Up Paddleboard!
You've seen them at the lake, river, beach and on TV -- learn to paddle a SUP! It's fun and a great way to get an on-the-water workout! We offer a 2.5 hour Intro to SUP class and a more extensive SUP 101 class. We also have 4 Hour, Full Day, and Overnight SUP rentals.
For a limited time, purchase a new kayak from our Boat Barn and get a free one-day kayak class. Boat purchase must be finalized before the class reservation can be made. Reservation dates for classes exclude holiday weekends. Call the reservation office for details: 800-457-2082.
Sierra South is offering a package deal for those folks who are serious about getting into the sport of whitewater kayaking in 2013! If you make a reservation for our 1-day Intro to Whitewater Kayaking Class (scroll down), we would like to see you continue your education by offering a $75 credit to use towards the Kayaking 101 2 or 3 Day course. For more information about getting your voucher, please call us at 800-457-2082.
Everyone at the 49th Kern River Festival this past weekend had a GREAT time paddling in the Hooligan, Triathlon, SUP and Slalom events.
As in previous years, the Hooligan Boat Parade was one of the Festival's most anticipated events, and this year's boat designer's set new benchmarks for creativity and carnage. Check them out in this slideshow.
The Biathlon was expanded to a Whitewater Sprint Triathlon and was even more popular than last year. Marc Vernon had the fastest Men's Individual time and Liz Brackbill the fastest Women's Individual time. The blazing fast team of Lincoln Campbell, Myka Deaver, Darby Vreven had the fastest overall time, edging Eric Giddens, Andie Clark, Javier Ruiz. Triathlon results are posted on KernFestival.com and KVRC.org.
Eric Giddens set a technically challenging TJ Slalom course incorporating offsets, S-turns, ups, downs, and a tricky-difficult ferry. Even though "injured" in attempts to compete in SUP races, Eric still managed to put down the fastest slalom time. Rebecca Giddens had the best time of the women. Here's a slideshow from the slalom -- it may take a while to load all the photos if the connection is slow.
SUP events included Downriver and Boarder-Cross races, and several SUP paddlers also competed in the T.J. Slalom. Here's a slideshow of some of the Boarder-Cross action.
Do something new and exciting in 2013! Go on a raft trip or take a kayaking class! Trips and classes have started!. Reserve early -- busy holiday weekends fill months in advance! See what it's like to paddle the Kern -- check out the videos on our rafting and kayaking pages. If you think an amusement park whitewater rapid is fun, wait until you do the real thing!
Sierra South Kayak Instructor Shannon Finch had the opportunity to attend the Jackson Dealer Summit in Rock Island Tennessee in October. According to Shannon it was nothing short of a good time. The party kicked off with seminars focusing on outfitting whitewater kayaks, building teams, the impressive line of Jackson fishing kayaks, social media, and general Q&A forums led by Eric Jackson and the Team. Read more...
Yep, it's for real! Check out the insane whitewater in the trailer for CONGO - The Grand Inga Project.
Talk about craziness -- Check out this YouTube video of a 407' long, 100 person kayak. Point 65 Kayaks Sweden and L.L. Bean launched the kayak in celebration of L.L. Bean’s 100th Anniversary.
Reservations: For full day rentals only. If renting for just one trip, tubes are on a first come first serve basis. Reserve online or call 1-800-457-2082!
Rental of Tube ALL DAY, Shuttles all day, and Life Jacket - Minimum Wt: 50 lbs. - Price: $25
One-Time Tube Rental: 1 trip down, 1 shuttle, and Life Jacket - Minimum Wt: 50 lbs. - Price: $20
Shuttle: Departures will be every ½ hour from the Sierra South store starting at 9:00 am and ending at 3:30 pm.
Guided: If customer would like a guide to accompany them the cost is $45 for one trip. (One guide for up to 8 people.)
One-Time Shuttle Only: $5/person per shuttle.
Note: Renters must wear PFD and shoes. Tubes can only be used in conjunction with our Shuttle and on the Lickety-Split run. No alcohol!