Nirvana Learning Curve

Finally the Nirvana arrives. Jackson’s long awaited new age creek boat that gives up the speed with an aggressive strait rocker stern and 9 ft length. Every new creek boat I paddle is never a perfect fit. They all take time to figure out requiring small changes in style from boat to boat. The boat might have a strong quality but it takes awhile to dial it in! Here is what I have been dialing in on the Nirvana.

Upper Blackwater – photo by Art Barket

It floats on top of the surface really well. Sometimes too well. I believe the slightly sloped sidewall to rail, low lying stern rocker, and semi-flat hull make it slip and slide across the surface. Boats with a round hull and lots of side rocker grip the water and ride in the current. Where the Nirvana slides atop the water. The good thing about this is I am free to go anywhere using aggressive draw strokes to side slip where I want to go. The drawback, not being able to sit deep in the flow and let it guide me. If I am not careful I can glide offline, must charge at all time.

Upper Blackwater – photo by Art Barket

Nirvana speeds out of boofs. Strait stern rocker, high rocker bow, and plenty of stern to go around. The drawback is you can feel the end of the stern tap as you come off boofs because it is so sharp and low. To over come this you keep speed moving away from all drops and keeping that stern moving away from the boof lip. The outcome is a smooth transition over the hole at the bottom moving on downstream.

Upper Blackwater – photo by Art Barket

So much volume behind the seat. That is the first thing you will notice. The side parting line is also high. The positive is you stay high on the water and all the volume in the stern makes it resurface and keep moving after drops. Instead of rockering up getting stern heavy the Nirvana moves. The drawback is you better keep up. And that wide extra volume behind the seat will catch water if it is exposed while on edge. Keep it strait and moving downstream.

Upper Blackwater – photo by Art Barket

Overall, Jackson pulled off a unique design that will please a beginner looking to slip into and eddy or pro trying to win a race.

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