Seth Chapelle 14/04/2018 | Posted in Antix, C1 Outfitting, Playboating, Reviews, River Running, Video, Whitewater, WW Disciplines
I recently picked up a beautiful Jackson Antix (Large) in the new color of “Bluegrass” which is a very aesthetic green/blue combo. This is a boat I was very excited to paddle. I picked the Antix up when I was in NC around the Green Race. The first day in the boat I took it down the Green Narrows. I was super happy to find how well the Antix handled. Unfortunately I forgot my camera for this run.
I had a clean run down the Green and was really happy with several things about the Antix. The Antix is very maneuverable – it turns easily and tracks well. There is even the added benefit of being able to sink the stern and pivot turn.
The bow is large enough to resurface well and has rocker to ride over water features while paddling downriver.
The Antix boofs really well! The low volume stern can sink slightly when the boat is placed on edge while doing a strong boof stroke. Sinking the stern allows the bow to launch really high on boofs.
The Antix feels plenty stable for me. Stability is important to me, especially since I paddle C-1 and have a higher center of gravity.
I will say that as with all boats that have a low volume stern you do need to be aware of your stern edges. Developing awareness of boats stern edges is important and it teaches paddlers to use proper technique. It is important to keep a good upright to forward posture and to consciously lift your bow to launch your boat over pour overs and holes and then get your weight forward to keep the stern from catching.
Paddlers who are used to river running in play boats become familiar with their stern edges quickly. On the contrary, paddlers who have only paddled high volume creek boats may not have learned to paddle with the assertiveness and proactivity that a lower volume stern requires. The Antix river runs much easier than a play boat and is perfect for learning how to be aware of and properly handle your stern edges.
With all that said, the low volume stern is the huge attraction to this boat for me. I love the playfulness combined with stability and ability to run harder rivers than I can in my play boat. In my first day in the boat I was able to get vertical on stern in flat water. And I was stern squirting eddy lines with ease and splatting rocks all the way down the river. I am 6’3” and about 180lbs (keep in mind I sit up higher in a C-1 so have some added leverage). I think I could paddle the Medium as well and it would be very playful and fun. I think I would be a little less comfortable on more difficult rivers in the medium because the stern may be a little too squirty.
When I got home from NC I took the Antix out to a small local surf wave on the Potomac. I was very happy to find how well the Antix surfs. The hull felt loose and zippy. I was able to carve and flat spin with ease. The low volume stern sinks under the foam pile when carving in a front surf, which makes it easy to keep the bow from pearling under the green water. I was even able to throw a loop. This was a small wave but in a more powerful hole I think there is potential to throw some large front loops!
Below is a short video I made of surfing, squirting, and splatting in the Antix. Getting vertical is so fun!
In summary, I have only had the chance to take the Antix on the river a few times so far, but I am already in love with this boat. I love the combination of playfulness and river running ability. I think this will be my go to boat for river running this year and for running many creeks. I look forward to many splats, squirts, surfs, and awesome boofs in my future!