There’s a new Hero coming to whitewater rivers, one that aims to make paddlers of all skill levels feel like they have super powers on their favorite rivers. The 2011 Jackson Kayak Hero series is the go-to boat for those who prefer, or for whom situations demand, spending as much time upright as possible. The old Hero’s built-in propensity to keep its pilots dry, comfy and upright found favor among weekend warriors while also scoring some of the most impressive first descents of the past few years. Jackson built on the attributes everyone raved about while mitigating the Hero’s kryptonite in designing the 2011 edition. This is the Hero of old, but with performance and comfort improvements that, though hard to believe, make it even more stable, more easy to maneuver, more easy to roll, more comfortable and more handsome. Three of the top world-ranked freestyle kayakers gave solid thumbs up to the Hero. “Stability is incredible making each rapid seem like tipping is a thing of the past,” said Team Jackson Kayak’s discerning test pilot and bronze World medalist Stephen Wright. Added stability comes courtesy of the cockpit being bumped a tad more toward the stern, a mere half-inch added to its girth and scant few inches take off its length amounting to 1.5 gallons more volume. The new Heroes have a more aggressive rocker which contributes to a drier ride and super easy boofing. “It boofs like a dream!,” said Women’s Freestyle Kayak World Champion Emily Jackson. “On a creek I don’t want to be nervous above every hole or pour-over and the new Hero gives me greater confidence. With a more rocker-shaped bow, it’s no wonder it launches so easily!” Jackson’s husband and Men’s Freestyle Kayak World Champion Nick Troutman was pleasantly surprised by the speed of the boat. “For me, this biggest shock was the hull speed of the boat,” Troutman said. “I assumed that with its short stature it would be slow, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It glides super fast, catching me by surprise at times.” Paddlers of every skill level will appreciate the attention to detail Jackson also engineered into the cockpit lip edge shape to allow easier spray skirt removal. Five inches lengthwise (7’4” and 7’9”) and one inch width-wise (26 and 27 inches respectively) distinguish the Hero from the Super Hero, though prices remain the same for either. At $1049, the SL is made with super linear plastic, foam thigh pads, foam seat pad, unishock foot brace and a one-year hull replacement warranty. For just $150 more, the Elite version comes with extra durable crosslink plastic, that doubles the hull replacement warranty period to two years, and is outfitted with Custom Comfort outfitting comprised of Sweet Cheeks, and a molded in seat that sits atop a composite which, in combination with adjust-on-the-fly unishock foot braces, provides unparalleled hull stiffness and total outfitting integrity. To celebrate the start of shipping of the new Hero, Jackson Kayak is sponsoring a Be a Hero, Hero t-shirt design competition on Facebook. The winning t-shirt design will be produced and Jackson Kayak will share 50 percent of the proceeds from sale of the t-shirt with the winner’s designated river-focused non-profit. For details, go to Jackson Kayak’s official Facebook fan page. Founded in 2003, family owned and operated Jackson Kayak is passionate about paddlesports and committed to helping boaters of all ages, size and skill excel. The global leader in whitewater boats, Jackson Kayak also proudly designs and produces rec/touring and fishing kayaks from its manufacturing facility in Tennessee.