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First Snow Paddling with JKK Multisport Supernova Kayak

Submitted by on October 27, 2011 – 3:26 pm 3 Comments

I had a chance to do some test paddling with Jeremy Rodger’s JKK Supernova kayak. It happen just after first snow storm in Fort Collins, so I had a pretty scenic paddling on Beaver Pond in the Arapaho Bend Natural Area. I am trying to compare this kayak to my Thunderbolt-X from West Side Boat Shop from a perspective of a long distance self supported paddling and racing.

JKK multisport Supernova kayak

JKK Supernova is a multisport kayak from New Zealand – the same length as my WSBS Thunderbolt (21′), 1″ wider beam (19″), but a much bigger volume and a lot of cargo space with bulkheads and hatches. It is a racing sea kayak. Jeremy wrote a review of the Supernova for my blog a few years ago.

JKK multisport Supernova kayak

Access to the lake was blocked by broken trees and bushes leaning under heavy snow. A lot of invasive Russian olives.

JKK multisport Supernova kayak

And, those Russian olive trees had pretty nasty thorns – my first paddling injury since perhaps my last Texas Water Safari in 2005. It didn’t stop me from paddling, but it doesn’t feel so well a day after.

JKK multisport Supernova kayak

First impressions of the Supernova: fast, stable, quite responsive, much more maneuverable than Thunderbolt.

JKK multisport Supernova kayak

GoPro HD Hero camera set to shoot time lapse still pictures and Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS both mounted on a deck with the Sticky Pod suction cups.

JKK multisport Supernova kayak

Pictures in this post are coming from the GoPro HD Hero and Pentax Optio W30.

JKK multisport Supernova kayak

The Supernova cockpit is pretty small and tight. It is really narrow!. The cockpit opening is only about 14.75″ wide while I have 16″ in my Thunderbolt kayak, and a generous 17″ in Sisson Nucleus 100 which has the same beam as the Supernova. So, the owners of wide hips beware.

I had to remove a hanging seat from the Supernova and sit on a piece of foam pad which was not really comfortable. I am going to see if I can fit my bumfortable seat and try paddling Supernova again. To make the Thunderbolt comfortable I had to trim off the seat hangers and install a foam seat.

Related posts:
JKK Supernova, a Multisport Racing Sea Kayak from New Zealand - Review by Jeremy Rodgers
How to Choose a Boat for an Ultra Marathon Race? The Case of Missouri River 340
Valley Kayaks Rapier 20 and WSBS X-par Missile: Can I Fit My Butt into a Narrow Racing Kayak?
Outfitting Thunderbolt Racing Kayak - Sliding or Guerney Gears Bumfortable Seat?
A Bird’s-Eye View of Kayaking with GoPro Hero Camera

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  • spidennis says:

    Nice pics Marek! (as usual). And a nice boat you got there! I’m looking forward to finding out more about this and it could be placed high on my wish list of next boats!. It seems the guys down under are on the right track for racing sea kayaks and the rest of the world has to catch up? Anyway thanks for the report!

    Aquatically yours,
    dennis barrett
    south padre island, texas

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  • Jordan says:

    Absolutely awesome boat! Does so many things well and extremely fast. I have a used JKK Supernova for sale in SW Colorado. Great shape, imported from NZ in 2003. Used in the Length of New Zealand race in 2001, still has race numbers on it.

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