Inside the Jackson Antix 2.0: An On-water Report from Demshitz’s Jesse Shimrock

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What’s the latest antics with the new Jackson Antix 2.0? Plenty, especially when you get the lowdown from freestyle kayaker and Demshitz crew member Jesse Shimrock, whom Bobby Kuepper of Paddling Life partner CKS Online caught up with for his two cents on the 2.0. Read on for his feedback on it outfitting, fit, performance, play and, uh, other antics.

OUTFITTING: Jesse used one of Dane Jackson’s personal Antix 2.0s. After two simple modifications (tightening up the backband and adjusting the bulkhead), he began paddling. The adjustments took just seconds. Here’s what he said:

LIGHT: Jackson Kayak outfitting is some of the lightest in the industry. What they lack in bells and whistles (burly ratcheting backbands or fancy seat adjusters), they make up for in simplicity and the benefit of having less weight in your boat.

AFTERMARKET ACCESSORIES: If you’re not familiar with Jackson Kayak outfitting accessories, you should be. They sell many different items that will dial in the fit specific to you for ultimate comfort.

“RIGHT AT HOME” FEEL: According to Jesse, things just felt right while paddling the boat.

HIGHER SEATING POSITION: Similar to other Jackson boats, the paddler sits a bit higher out of the kayak. This gives the paddler more torque, leverage, rockered creek boat bow, the Antix is extremely capable. It also has a flat hull, which gives it a lot of primary stability.

Jackson 2.0
Pop and panache…

LOOSE HULL: “You feel like you can do it all,” he says. “The Antix 2.0 is a boat that you feel like you can spin at will, and do tricks that were once reserved for a full-on playboat.”

AGGRESSIVE CHINE: The aggressive chine is not to be confused with an aggressive edge. The chine helps to keep the boat on track, carve turns and feel in control when paddling. The boat does not feel edgy or quirky.

LOW VOLUME STERN: Jesse gives this feature a big two thumbs up. The stern is technically a “wing” shape. The top half of the tail is convex, as opposed to concave (see Party BRAAAP), and hence sits out of the water a little bit higher compared to other boats. Therefore, the tail does not catch as easily and is not as grabby as it would be if it were convex. The tail is also a bit shorter than that of the Ripper or Rewind, which means it’s less likely to hit rocks when pivoting and squirting. You can sink the tail in shallow eddies, which opens up new squirtable river options.

BOOFABILITY: Jesse calls this abstract feature “noticeably awesome.” With a lot of rocker in the bow, and not a lot of boat behind you, the Antix 2.0 is really fun to boof. It’s a boat that rewards proper technique. Take a strong boof stroke, wind up properly with your hips, and next thing you know, you’re airborne!

Jackson 2.0HOW DOES THE ANTIX 2.0 COMPARE TO OTHERS? Of all the competing half slice boats on the market, the Jackson Antix 2.0 compares closest to the Pyranha Ripper, although Jesse says they are “wildly different” kayaks. The Ripper is longer, narrower, and noticeably faster. Similar to the LiquidLogic’s BRAAAP series, the Ripper is more of a slalom based boat than the Jackson. The Ripper takes more effort to squirt and it has a longer tail, which means that you hit bottom in shallow eddies more often, but it’s a fantastic pirouette boat.

The Antix paddles like a playboat, but with more comfort. It’s not as fast, and is easier to initiate turns and tricks, all while being able to hold its own in big water.

The Dagger Rewind is a larger boat. It’s got more volume pound for pound and will be more difficult to initiate on the freestyle end of things. The Antix, he says, is more playful, and the Rewind is more downriver oriented.

The Waka Steeze, is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, saysKuepper.It’s a Class V, planing hull creek boat with a low-volume tail. The Steeze was not built to play the river, it was designed to crush anything in its path. The Antix is certainly capable of paddling Class V, but was designed to win the Green River Rodeo, and not The North Fork Race.

And finally, how does it compare to the original Antix 1.0? The Antix 2.0 is more playful, more confident downriver, and more comfortable than Jackson’s older model. The knee area is roomier, which allows for taller paddlers to fit in smaller boats.

Key Jesse Take-aways:

  • Yes, theAntix 2.0 is longer than a 6’ playboat, but it is every bit as loose. With the amount of rocker upfront, and edge control from crisp chines, you really feel like you can do it all. The low volume stern makes this boat easy to manage (perfect for beginners!). The tail end edge won’t catch or steer you like in some other half slice boats.
  • Compared to other brands of kayaks on the market, Jackson boats always seem to be the easiest to outfit and will have you out on the water the quickest. One issue is that the UniShock bulkhead can feel a little bit loose at times, and it is important to tightly bind the prussick to the cleat.
  • A boat this versatile has never existed. The ratio of playability and comfort is insane.

OUR FAVORITE JESSE SHIMROCK QUOTES:

  • “This is the Upper Yough boat that we’ve wanted”
  • “It filled a slot that hadn’t been filled yet” (again, that’s what Jesse said!)
  • “Not a lot of compromise with this one”
  • “It can paddle class IV+ no questions asked…it may not be the best creek boat, but that is not what it was designed to do”

Read full CKS blog here:

 

 

 

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