Simple, stable, durable. That’s what you get when you buy a Jackson Riviera. The company’s most affordable sit-on-top kayak, the Riviera was designed with simplicity and fun in mind.
Jackson Riviera is a beginner-level sit-on-top kayak with minimal features. It’s a viable option for occasional paddlers that value ease of use. It is also popular as a rental kayak, a “cottage boat” to leave at your summer house, or as a buddy boat to introduce your friends to the sport.
Size and Weight
Jackson Riviera is 11’4″ long with a 29-inch beam and a 17-inch deck height. The kayak weighs 58 lbs, so it’s not the lightest boat in its class. The capacity of 300 lbs makes it suitable for most average-sized adults as long as you don’t bring a lot of gear.
Jackson Riviera is made from High-Density Polyethylene using the rotational molding technology. Beads of polyethylene are poured into the mold, the mold is heated up and slowly rotated so that the material fills up every nook and cranny. After the mold cools down you get a one-piece construction that is extremely rugged and durable. Rotomolded kayaks are very durable and require minimal maintenance.
Jackson Riviera is a minimalistic boat. It has molded front and back carry handles (great for strapping the boat on top of your car) plus two grab handles on the sides. A small semi-dry day hatch on the front deck is great for a lunch bag or small items you need on the water. A decently sized rear tank well is secured with a bungee cord.
The seat is molded (you might need a cushioned seat pad) but has a high back, so it’s not entirely uncomfortable. The molded footrests offer three different positions.
Jackson Riviera also features a skid plate to protect the keel when dragging the boat.
The Riviera does not come with scupper holes, which is a noticeable drawback. Any water that gets in (and it WILL get in, even in relatively calm conditions) needs to be pumped out, so make sure you bring a bilge pump or at least a large sponge.
Jackson Riviera combines good speed characteristics with reasonable tracking and agility. It is also very stable. Surprisingly for a beginner boat, it handles waves pretty well (but can get flooded easily due to the lack of scupper holes).
All Jackson kayaks bought in 2020 and after come with a 5-year limited warranty for the hull and components made by Jackson. For full Jackson’s warranty terms, see Jackson’s website at https://www.jacksonadventures.com/warranty/
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Specification: Jackson Riviera