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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The February Sierra Snow Course measurements are in and the Kern River Basin snowpack stands at 271% of normal for the date and 165% of the normal April 1 seasonal total! According to snow sensor data, the Kern snowpack is very close to the record snowpack of 1982-83. Based on current conditions, the CNRFC forecasts the 2017 season (April - July) for the Isabella inflow to be the third largest in 88 years.
The heavy snow has resulted from a parade of atmospheric river events and systems with a broad, moist westerly flow. At times lower elevation rain and melting snow has produced high flows on the Upper Kern. Based on the preliminary flow data from the COE gage at Riverside Park there have been peaks of 8909 cfs at 6:00 a.m. on January 5; 15263 cfs at midnight on January 7; 18338 cfs at 8:00 a.m. January 9; and then at 9:00 p.m. Tuesday the highest flow so far this season, 23738 cfs. (Flows are from the COE's WY17 tabulation.)
In early January, while most of us just stood with our mouths agape, local Kern paddlers Evan Moore (son of Sierra South co-owner Tom Moore) and Johnny Chase jumped on the river and got in some epic runs. Both are very accomplished, elite kayakers who have paddled internationally. On January 5 they paddled Brush Creek and then the Upper Kern down through Chamise Gorge, Upper Salmon Falls and Lower Salmon Falls, Sock 'em Dog and Fender Bender. On January 9 they did a "Bridge to Bridge" (Johnsondale Bridge to Kernville Bridge) in 2.5 hours, with a stop a Corral Creek. They did it without portages and commented that 17,000 cfs was "'kinda pushy... really fun." Now the they're are off to Patagonia for more amazing paddling. Here's a video from Evan during the Bridge to Bridge run.
The big snowpack and big water has already piqued interest in 2017 paddling season, which should be the best in many years. Following is a video posted by Ivan Rodriguez of KERO 23ABC, with some comments by Sierra South co-owner Tom Moore.
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!Make your 2017 Kayak Class reservations today!
Our 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.Make your 2017 raft trip reservations today!
Check out the big selection of New and Used Kayaks on Sale! Get a new boat for the 2017 kayaking season! Bring in your old kayak and we will sell it for you. Really, how many dinosaurs do you need in your garage?
Evan Moore, Sierra South kayak instructor/raft guide, and son of co-owner Tom Moore, recently competed in the hardest extreme kayak race in the world -- the North Fork Championship -- and crushed it! Three races on the North Fork of the Payette River in Idaho, with the premier race on the notorious class 5 Jacob's Ladder. Racing for the first time in the NFC, Evan placed 7th out of 99 to qualify. In the Boater X he pulled down a 4th place, and then finished 10th in the grand finale on Jacob's out of a field of the 30 best extreme kayakers on the planet. We are so proud of our homegrown talent.
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!