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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Our world-famous Lickety-Split and Lickety-Blaster raft trips are far and away the two most popular and most affordable Class 2-3 whitewater rafting runs available on the Kern River. Both are full of enough excitement to challenge just about everyone from young tykes to grandmas and grandpas. Looking for more adrenalin? Try our new Upper Kern and Forks trips. Reserve your 2014 trip today!
Learn to kayak! Our proven teaching method takes you through a gradual progression that maximizes the fun. We've designed our introductory and beginning classes for those who have never river kayaked before, or who have played around with kayaking some, but have not had formal instruction in the fundamentals of river kayaking. We also offer a 5-day total immersion learn-to-kayak class and Private Instruction. Our Kayaking School page has all the details on these, and other whitewater and lake touring kayak classes!
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.
Make your plans now, the 50th Kern River Festival is April 19-20. This year's Kern River Festival will feature two days of non-stop action with the Extreme Downriver Race, SUP Downriver Race, Children's Sidewalk Art Contest, Hooligan Build Your Own Boat competition, Slalom practice, Dinner and Silent Auction on Saturday; and the Raffle, Gear Swap, Sprint Triathlon, Boater/Boarder-Cross and TJ Slalom & SUP Race Sunday. Registration is available online on the Kern Festival web site through Thursday, April 17th.
The Climate Prediction Center has changed the ENSO Alert System Status to an "El Niño Watch." The Mid March Plume-based ENSO Forecast in the March 20, 2014 ENSO Quick Look from the IRI & CPC indicates a 50% chance of El Nino conditions developing in the Jun-Jul-Aug season, and the probability increases to 60% by the Sep-Oct-Nov season. In a March 24th Australian Broadcasting Rural article atmospheric scientist Paul E. Roundy (University at Albany, New York) says the chance of a major event is "close to a 70 or 80 percent." He explains that the only time equatorial Pacific subsurface temperatures have warmed this much this time of year was in March at the beginning of the historic 1997-1998 El Nino event. Guess we'll see!
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!
ALL DAY Tube Rental: Shuttles all day, and Life Jacket - Minimum Wt: 50 lbs. - Price: $30
One-Time Tube Rental: 1 trip down, 1 shuttle, and Life Jacket - Minimum Wt: 50 lbs. - Price: $25
Shuttle:Departures will be every ½ hour from the Sierra South store starting at 9:00 am weekends and 9:30 am weekdays. Sunday through Friday shuttles end at 2:00 pm. Saturday shuttles end 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!