Jackson Antix

The new Jackson Antix has been getting a bunch of attention since it was released a couple of months ago. My local kayak shop, The Kayak Shed in Hood River, OR has been nice and let me take it out a few times. This new creek boating river play machine is an excellent mash between the river run/play boat the Fun and the river run/creek boat the Zen. I typically paddle class III and IV and love to spend my time surfing waves, spinning on rocks, and playing my way down the river.

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Comfort

I am a pretty average size human at 5’9″ and 165 lbs with size 9.5 feet so I don’t have a hard time getting comfortable in most boats. Besides how fun it is to paddle, maybe the best feature is the bulkhead up in front of this nice and roomy bow. Easy to adjust so you can get just the right fit without spending a bunch of time shaving down blocks of foam to shove into the front of a typical “play boat.” This boat is just really comfortable, and ready for being on the water all day.
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Down River Play

This boat is incredibly fun to paddle. It can boof, rock spin, splat, surf, loop, and all of those other fancy play boat tricks many folks have mastered. My favorite part about paddling the Antix is catching surf waves on the fly, hitting big boofs with confidence, rock spinning, and squirting my way down the river, all while being comfortable.

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River Running

This boat is on the shorter end at 7’9″ compared to some river runners, and on the long end for all modern play boats. It is in a magical length area where it is fast, holds a good line, is really maneuverable, but can still throw some of the more technical aerial play boat tricks. The roomy volume of the bow allows you to punch through holes with ease and confidence. The low volume stern sits just out of the water enough to not send you rocketing toward the sky. It catches eddies with ease, gets up to speed in a few paddle strokes, and doesn’t get pushed around.
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Pros

Comfortable

Fun to paddle down river as well as play

Surfs, splats, spins, and squirts like a dream

Punches through big holes like a creek boat

Cons

You may never want to paddle any other boat
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Conclusion

This is just an excellent boat. So much fun to paddle, can do so much, and can help take your skills to the next level. This really is a great boat if you are looking for something to make your local run a bit more exciting, or looking to get one boat that can do nearly everything. All of the volume and bulkhead make it extra comfortable for all day paddling. It has a great amount of rocker to handle big buffs and holes as well as a slicy stern to play around in every eddy line. Everyone that I have seen paddle this boat doesn’t want to get out and starts thinking about buying one.
Michael tries to get on the river every chance he gets. Wintering in Hood River allows him to paddle and mountain bike, while helping run Northwest Rafting Company. He spends his summer down on southern Oregon’s Rogue River sharing his love for muli-day rafting trips.

-Michael Hughes

North West Rafting Company 

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