Jackson Kayak Dealer Summit 2012
Shannon Finch - Sierra South Kayak Instructor
I had the opportunity to attend the Jackson Dealer Summit in Rock Island Tennessee this year. It was nothing short of a good time. The party kicked off with seminars focusing on outfitting whitewater kayaks, building teams, the impressive line of Jackson fishing kayaks, social media, and general Q&A forums led by Eric Jackson and the Team. I learned a lot during these seminars.
Next stop was the Jackson Kayak Factory. Safety Glasses Mandatory. What an incredible thing to see... Made in America. Eric Jackson walked us through the processes of building a kayak, we saw everything, the molds, the molder, the fans, the plastic pellets of color, the people, the smiles and the high fives. The factory is a family of amazing people dedicated to building quality kayaks following the motto, "Build it like it's your own" It was like being in Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory, weaving in and out of aisles of kayaks, each kayak built by an individual, this was not an assembly line of tedious work, each factory worker is able to pour a bit of their own personality into the boats, and their individuality is celebrated.
We got to take part in building a kayak as well... what a process that is! In teams of four we joined a member of the factory team and built a kayak. It was awesome! Quality Control reviewed the boats and made no exceptions, perfection was demanded. I loved it!
Lots of laughs, tons of learning, plenty of smiles and heaps of high fives were happening. We had dinner at the Fog Light one night, which was incredibly good. I had a cool conversation with EJ about his passion for building kayaks, being a kayaker, and having his family. I'm a huge fan of the guy, he brings an energy that promotes goodness and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to just exist with someone like that for a few days. A NEW concept was revealed from Jackson Kayak... But... my lips are sealed, just keep your eyes open, very cool things are coming!
Each morning began with breakfast and seminars, but if you know Eric Jackson, getting on the water was top priority, so we did just that. I hopped in the new Karma and found myself floating down river amongst new friends and good vibes. The new Karma is awesome! Paddling the medium at 85 gallons I really liked the responsiveness of the boat, holds a good edge, is fast, and really has great potential to be an all around river runner / creek boat. Kokatat was there with the new collaboration Kokatat/Jackson line of Dry Suits, Dry Tops, and PFDs. They look so amazing on the water, I will admit, the colors seem a bit loud on the wall, but on the water, they look sharp.
The final night was a party at Eric's home, hosted by the Jackson Family and Red Bull, with an OctoberFest theme we ate well and danced into the night. Everyone was stoked. I was stoked to be apart of the show. Thank you to the Jacksons for hosting such a successful party.
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Godzilla El Nino News Flash!! The California Cooperative Snow Surveys Snow Sensor Report for January 8, 2016 now lists a value of 18 inches snow water equivalent for the Pascoes snow sensor in the Kern River Basin. This is about 72% of the average total on April 1! Nino 3.4 Region temperature anomaly sets new record of 3.1°C, exceeding highest value recorded in the 1997-98 El Nino!
world-famous Lickety-Split and Lickety-Blaster raft
trips are far and away the two most popular and most affordable
Class 2-3 whitewater rafting runs available on the Kern River.
Both are full of enough excitement to challenge just about everyone from young tykes to grandmas and grandpas. Looking for more adrenalin?
Try our Upper Kern and Forks trips.
Learn to kayak! Our proven teaching method takes you through a gradual progression that maximizes the fun. We've designed our introductory and beginning classes for those who have never river kayaked before, or who have played around with kayaking some, but have not had formal instruction in the fundamentals of river kayaking. We also offer a 5-day total immersion learn-to-kayak class and Private Instruction. Our Kayaking School page has all the details on these, and other whitewater and lake touring kayak classes!
Last Spring the consensus forecast was that weak to moderate El Nino conditions would develop by the end of Summer 2014. On again, off again, warming of the equatorial Pacific did occur, but did not develop into a fully-coupled and sustained El Nino event. This year is different. An El Nino event is not being forecast, it's already here and it's a strong one!
Based on the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) the 2015 El Nino is one of the three strongest El Ninos since 1950. The 2015 El Nino is being compared to the "Super" El Ninos of 1997-98, 1982-83 and 1972-73. How might a Super El Nino affect the Kern Snowpack? Historically, they have produced some of the biggest snowpacks on record:
December 17th the Climate Prediction Center released the latest Precipitation Outlook for January, February & March 2016. We're hoping all that green is going to translate into the best paddling on the Kern we've seen in many years!
You've seen them at the lake, river, beach and on TV -- learn to paddle a SUP! It's fun and a great way to get an on-the-water workout! We offer a 2.5 hour Intro to SUP class and a more extensive SUP 101 class. We also have 4 Hour, Full Day, and Overnight SUP rentals.
ALL DAY Tube Rental: Shuttles all day, helmet and life jacket - Minimum Age/Wt: 6/50 lbs. - Price: $30 - Reserve online or call 1-800-457-2082!
One-Time Tube Rental: 1 trip down, 1 shuttle, helmet and life jacket - Minimum Age/Wt: 6/50 lbs. - Price: $25 - Reserve online or call 1-800-457-2082!
Shuttle: Departures will be every ½ hour from the Sierra South store starting at 9:00 am weekends and 9:30 am weekdays. Sunday through Friday shuttles end at 2:00 pm. Saturday shuttles end at 3:30 pm.
Guided: If customer would like a guide to accompany them the cost is $50 for one trip. (One guide for up to 8 people.)
One-Time Shuttle Only: $5/person per shuttle.
Note: Renters must wear PFD and shoes. Tubes can only be used in conjunction with our Shuttle and on the Lickety-Split run. No alcohol!