Jackson Fun Series
If you want the kayak that was used to run the Niagara Gorge or that won the men's trials in the World Cup then the Jackson Fun series kayak is the one for you. It's a great kayak for class III or IV kayakers, perfect for running rivers, spinning and doing tricks. It's got a very stable hull, making it easier to stay upright. However, it is less stable in white water due to its low volume. It's also difficult to flatwater cartwheel. This may not be the best kayak for flatter waters, but for doing tricks in class IV rapids the Jackson Fun is the kayak to go with.
The Dagger Kingpin kayak is not a new design, having been introduced back in 2003 however it remains a massively popular kayak. For those just starting out in freestyle and rodeo kayaking, the Dagger Kingpin is a very forgiving kayak. The volume ratio is fairly low, making it much easier to learn how to flatwater cartwheel and do spins and it has a wide hull with great initial stability. However, if you think that the Dagger Kingpin is just for newbies, you'd be wrong. It is also a great kayak for advanced rodeo kayakers with an even volume distribution and great planing edges. Lastly, the price is another reason to consider the Dagger Kingpin which typically retails for substantially less than most rodeo kayaks on the market which typically range from $900 to as high as $2,500.
Wavesport Project 52
The Wavesport Project 52 is another rodeo kayak that's been around for a few years (it was first introduced in 2004) but continues to prove itself today. In 2008 the Project 52 was used by Peter Csonka to take the gold medal in the World Cup whilst Bryan Kirk used the Project 52 to win the NOC Pro Invitational. The Project 52 (52 refers to the volume in gallons of displacement) is an excellent rodeo kayak for women and those of small stature. It's super easy to roll and the slicey ends cuts through the water well making it great for cartwheels.
Article Written By Shiromi Nassreen
Shiromi Nassreen has been writing professionally since 2005. She specializes in travel and outdoor topics, and her articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including "DISfunkshion Magazine" and Matador Travel. Nassreen holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies from Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama.