Kokatat collaborated with whitewater kayaking icon Eric “E.J.” Jackson and his son Dane Jackson, the reigning Junior World Champion, to create the Kokatat Jackson Collection that will be introduced at the 2012 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City, UT, August 1-4, 2012. The collection includes multiple dry tops, a PFD, and GORE-TEX dry suit.
“Pairing E.J. and Dane’s ideas with our designers abilities was amazing to watch,” said Jeff Turner, Kokatat marketing and sales manager. “The resulting collection truly pushes the boundaries of innovation and design in our sport.”
Last fall, Kokatat announced its strategic partnership with the Jacksons, who have since been working with Kokatat’s product designers and developers to create the signature collection. Along with selecting the bold color pallet of tangerine, yellow, and denim, the Jacksons provided valuable product insights that lead to such innovations as the Dynamic Suspension System (DSS), which was incorporated into the new Maximus PFD.
The Jacksons wanted one PFD that they could use for all whitewater paddling disciplines; creeking, river running, and play boating. Kokatat’s team responded with the Maximus Prime, a low profile, high float PFD. The Dynamic Suspension System consists of wide, contoured shoulder straps paired with an independently suspended front flotation panel. The floatation panel moves freely with the paddlers motions, even through the most athletic tricks and critical moves. Kokatat designers also moved all the webbing adjustments to the front of the vest, making it incredibly easy to dial in a perfect comfortable fit.
Along with the Maximus, which will also be offered in Kokatat’s main collection as well as in a rescue version, the Maximus Prime, the Kokatat Jackson Collection includes three dry tops and one dry suit.
The GORE-TEX® Icon rear-entry dry suit and the rest of the collection is easily recognizable with its bold colors and details like fresh graphics on the arm, a denim blue stripe down the leg, and color blocking on the back of the legs. Made with a mix of 3-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell and 330 Cordura® GORE-TEX® fabrics where needed, the Icon features a Masterseal T-Zip flexible waterproof zipper for easy entry that moves comfortably with the paddler in even the most difficult moves.
The collection of dry tops includes the Legend, offered in GORE-TEX® and Kokatat’s new Hydrus 3 layer fabric, and the Mythic shorty, made in Hydrus 3L. All the tops have latex neck and wrist/ bicep gaskets, self draining punch-through neoprene neck and wrist over-cuffs, dual adjustable overskirt with “hook & loop” compatible neoprene, and factory sealed seams. The Legend has an additional zippered chest pocket with key lanyard.
“We’ve been testing prototypes for several months, and I’m stoked at how awesome the collection came out,” said reigning Junior World Champion Dane Jackson.
Dane Jackson was paddling before he could walk. He grew up crisscrossing the United States in the family RV making stops at all the big whitewater events. 2011 was a banner season for the eighteen-year-old phenom. In the early spring the young Jackson won the inaugural Whitewater Grand Prix beating out some of the biggest names in the sport. He followed this with a medal filled performance at the 2011 ICF Freestyle World Championships in Germany where he became the most decorated athlete at a single World Championships when he won three gold medals and a bronze. Jackson then capped the season off with three gold medals at the USA Freestyle Kayak National Championships.
E.J. is one of the most recognized and decorated whitewater paddlers in the history of the sport. Every year since 1989, Jackson has been a member of the United States Kayaking Team, either in slalom or freestyle, and competed in the 1992 Olympics in the slalom discipline finishing 13th. Over the past twenty plus years, E.J. has been a pioneer in freestyle whitewater kayaking both as an athlete, where he has continued to win championships in a sport generally dominated by younger competitors, and in the industry. In 2003, after paddling for and helping design for various kayak manufacturers, E.J. founded his own kayak company Jackson Kayak. Today, Jackson Kayak is the leading manufacturer of whitewater kayaks.
The Kokatat Jackson Collection will be available through Kokatat’s network of specialty paddlesport dealers in January of 2013.
About Kokatat Watersports Wear:â€¨
Celebrating over 40 years of innovation, Kokatat is an independently operated, US manufacturer of technical apparel and accessories for water sports. Handcrafted in Arcata, California, Kokatat employees are focused on building the finest functional product for people who work and play on water. Our gear is designed for paddlers, by paddlers, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience on the water all year long and in all weather conditions. Into the water with Kokatat! Please visit www.kokatat.com and follow Kokatat on Facebook and Twitter “@kokatat”.