Traverse The KARMA TRAVERSE mates a stretched, slightly wider version of the the highly acclaimed Karma with unique features to make for one of the most versatile kayaks ever. While the Traverse will handle whitewater with ease, its longer waterline and retractable skeg make for less effort when knocking out miles of flatwater. Yakattack rails allow for attachment of all sorts of accessories like camera mounts, smart phone holders, fishing rod holders, cup holders and more. Full JK whitewater outfitting including the Unishock footrest system and an optional implosion- proof "Expedition" rear hatch cover make the Traverse truly expedition-ready. Two sizes, the 9 and 10, will fit paddlers of almost any size or ability. One boat for many waters and many uses...the Traverse.

Traverse Posts

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  • GoPro
  • Nalgene
  • YakAttack

Traverse Videos

Traverse - Product Description

Product Features

  • 1  - Total Versatility

    Total versatility: class 2-4+ whitewater, occasional flatwater use, overnight/multi-day capability, easy to learn to paddle in, easy to roll. Also the person who wants only one boat in their quiver.
  • 2  - High Hull Performance

    Here's where we separate from the others. A stable, predictable hull with a strong link the Karmas, including really good initial stability but also great whitewater capability.
  • 3  - Classic JK Whitewater Outfitting

    All the ease of adjustability of JK whitewater boats, and the convenience and safety of Jackson Kayak's standard whitewater outfitting including our back band, comfy seating and adjustable paddling.
  • 4  - Uni-Shock Bulkhead

    To make this a true whitewater exploration kayak, we have added our Uni-Shock bulkhead for added safety. This feature and the new hull design bring the level of whitewater it can run up.
  • 5  - Deck Storage

    Deck lines at both bow and stern allow for convenient storage of items you need at a quick reach.
  • 6  - Yakattack Tracks  - YakAttack

    Yakattack tracks allow you to add any number of accessories for your adventure. Using RAM mounts you can add GPS systems, smart phones, fish finders, cameras, cup holders and more.
  • 7  - GoPro Ready  - GoPro

    Capture the moment right out of the bag with our pre-installed Go Pro Bow Mount. Just snap yours on and Simply hit record to watch your technique through the rapids!
  • 8  - Nalgene Bottle included  - Nalgene

    Made in the USA, our custom Nalgene bottles are decked out with Jackson Kayak logos and will last for years to come - like our kayaks
  • 9  - Stern Storage

    Designed for multi-day whitewater and flatwater excursions, the stern hatch provides ample room for packing gear. NEW this year is the implosion proof Hard Hat available as an accessory to keep your gear secure through harder whitewater.
  • 10  - Sure Lock Back band system

    This simple system uses ropes and cleats for a secure, instantly adjustible fit - right from your cockpit! With no metal parts to rust, break you’ll spend more time on the water, as if a rope breaks you’re just a quick square knot away from paddle securely once again

Comments on “Traverse”

  1. October 24, 2018 at 11:01 am

    I am curious about this yaks stability for beginners, since it is more narrow than the others in it’s class. AKA… liquid logic xp10 and Dagger Katana. If I weigh 196lb at 5’10…would I be more suited for a 10 size?

    1. October 24, 2018 at 11:45 am

      Hey Dallas –
      Yes, at 195lbs the 10′ would be your best bet – stable and predictable for beginning whitewater but capable of handling gear when you need it to. I weight 175 and LOVE the 9′ Traverse but would only paddle it on whitewater unloaded – no overnighting unless it was on easier water. The 10′ is VERY stable whitewater design with ample gear storage and a rudder for wind / flatwater cruising. Coming from a ww background the 10′ felt big and overly stable on me compared to the 9′ but I would choose it for extended overnights or for less experienced or larger paddlers. I haven’t tried the Katana, but I know it’s similar ‘from beginner to advanced’ design like our Traverse where as the XP is a wider (slower) less nimble craft better suited to less aggressive beginners going shorter distances. Clay

  2. Tabitha Miller
    January 10, 2019 at 3:50 am

    Not sure why but my comment got erased. I wanted to sure Eric Jackson’s walkthrough video got me so excited about the Traverse that I am going to see one at my dealer this week. Here is the link to the YouTube video. Click here for the video. It’s the same one above of Eric Jackson doing a walkthrough of it. One question though, I am 5′ 6″ and about 128 lbs. Do you think I should go with a 9 or the 10?

    1. January 12, 2019 at 9:07 pm

      Hey Tabitha –

      At 128 lbs I’m sure the 9 is the way to go – unless you plan on paddling for weeks on end. I weight 175 and loved the 9′ for downriver paddling without overnight gear, it’s just fast and sporty and fun! Should handle plenty of gear at your size. Enjoy! Clay

  3. johnny bishop
    January 19, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    I’m 6’1 225 pounds , I’ve kayaked for years and have interest in getting into some quicker moving waters . Is this kayak suitable for an experienced kayaker with little whitewater experience who’d like to learn ?

    1. February 2, 2019 at 11:48 am

      Hey Johnny – Traverse 10 is perfect for entry whitewater – it will track in flatwater with the rudder but is a great shape for all types of whitewater – even class 4+ once you are ready! It’s got a great mix of stability and performance. Give it a try! Clay

  4. Melody
    February 3, 2019 at 1:58 am

    I’m looking for a recreational kayak, but I’m not sure what model is best suited. I’ve been looking at the Tupelo and Traverse. Most of the time I kayak streams or rivers, but I could end up on lakes. I’m 5’2 and 135lbs. Suggestions?

    1. February 3, 2019 at 12:40 pm

      Traverse would be way better for whitewater that might have waves to break over the bow, Tupelo for lakes or easy whitewater where no skirt required. Tupelo you might stand in, or take a small child or dog where as the Traverse is more a solo kayak with room for gear in storage in the rear. Traverse will run hard ww – Tupelo better for fishing, shooting photos, or sitting and talking while Traverse might be better for navigating rocky areas and rapids.

  5. Brandon M
    February 7, 2019 at 8:48 am

    This is my first kayak I’ve owned. I’ve had my Traverse for about a year and a half now. At 5’9″ and 200 lbs, I find the 10′ fits me perfectly. The first day I brought it home, it took about twenty minutes to fit it to me and I put it in the lake to get the feel for it. Day two and three, I put it in class 1 moving water. The next week I was in class 2 and 2+ every day. After a month of owning, I was hitting class 3’s with a smile on my face the whole way. I’ve used it on lakes, low volume rocky creeks and high volume and flooding rivers. I’d be hitting some class 4’s now but not too many around here where I live unless we get some big rains. I’ll be looking at getting an Antix to have something a bit more playful this year but I’ll always have my Traverse as my comfortable do-it-all boat (for me anyway).

  6. Jennifer
    March 30, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Hi, I’ve been paddling for about 6 years now in a Perception Sport 10. Mostly in flat water, sometimes in class I. I’m 5’7 180lbs. Would you recommend the 9 or 10?

    1. April 3, 2019 at 10:06 am

      Hey Jennifer – at 170 lbs I loved the Traverse 9 as it was long, low and fast! I was paddling day trips without much gear beyond a camera and a water bottle but I would imagine for short trips it would be great at 180. For more open water or for harder WW the 10 is rock-solid and far more stable in rapids. I felt it sat higher on the water and I scraped less in shallows, which was nice on the creeks, but the higher floating ride meant it didn’t feel as fast under power. So that’s my take – for cruising flats and rapids as a skilled paddler without gear – consider the 9′. For a floatier, more stable ride to cruise in and have ample room for more gear or overnighters, try the 10. Hope this helps your decision! Clay

      1. Jennifer
        May 29, 2019 at 11:00 pm

        Thank you so much Clay!

      2. Jennifer
        May 30, 2019 at 12:14 am

        I have one more question. For trips with rapids, what kind of paddle would you recommend with this kayak?

        1. May 31, 2019 at 3:06 pm

          Paddles are your connection to the water, so I would skip any plastic blade that flexes more than an inch when you push off rocks or on the showroom floor. Plastic blades are cheaper, and there are some good ones, but a ‘rubbery” feeling is NOT what you want if you can help it. I greatly prefer fiberglass – such as the AT Samurai or Werner Powerhouse – but this ups the price. For a Traverse consider 196-199 (9′) or 198-204 (10’) length. I like 15 to 45 degree blades. Hit me again if more details needed! Clay

  7. Case Terry
    April 13, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    I received the Traverse 9 for Christmas and am looking for a good spray skirt. I am a warm weather paddler in Class II and III with some calm stretches in between. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance

    1. April 29, 2019 at 11:41 am

      As for skirts, you can get a nylon skirt that’s dirt cheap and just keeps spray out or you can get a neoprene skirt that will stay on better and keep more water out. A bungie cord rim is the cheaper option but also easy to put on and off. Many sold at the price point level aren’t bombproof for waterfalls but will handle class 2-3 no problem. A rubber rand skirt is typically harder to put on and off and less likely to pop unexpectedly. Good brands are Snapdragon, Seals, IR, and NRS. The skirt maker will know the sizing, if they don’t that boat is similar to a Zen Medium cockpit rim. Good Luck! Clay

  8. Christian
    April 20, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    Hi, I’ve been kayaking for about 5 years mainly on lakes, flat water, and class 1-2 whitewater using a WS Pungo 120. I’m interested in the Traverse because I’d like to get into more whitewater but also have the option to go flat water and possibly overnights. I’m 6’5” and 260lbs. Thoughts?

    1. April 23, 2019 at 4:05 pm

      Hey Christian –
      YES – perfect boat for 260 as it’s designed for overnight gear. Without overnight gear, you’ll be a great fit for it. With overnight gear you might need to pack lighter than lighter folks – hard to say as I’ve never paddled it that loaded. I know we have several Team folks who took them down the Canyon and love it … for 14 days.. with their food and toilet! Hope this helps – if needed ask Colin Kemp or Peter Holcombe – I can get you contact info for both but I’m pretty sure the Traverse 10 is a great big guy boat. Hit me direct at my first name Clay

  9. Tom
    May 2, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    I’m 5’8, 150-155 lbs. I’ve got a Karma medium which I’ve used as my big water/creek boat and have taken it down the Grand Canyon unloaded and the Middle Fork with other kayakers on a self-support trip. After the self-support trip, decided it would be really nice to have the hatch. It looks like the Traverse 9 is a stretched version of the Karma medium and the Traverse 10 is a stretched version of the Karma large? I’m looking for a good boat for bigger water and creeking that I can also use on self-supported kayak trips. My Karma medium feels big on me, but wonder if the Traverse 9 wouldn’t be big enough for me on a whitewater self-support trip like the Middle Fork or possibly even the Grand?

  10. Sandy Wood
    June 11, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Is there any difference between the 2016 model 9 Traverse compared to later models of 2018 and 2019? Also can one buy and use the special hatch cover (hardhat) on the 2016 and how does it attach?

    1. July 4, 2019 at 4:12 am

      Sorry Sandy – I don’t know the answer to this. Try info at jacksonkayak dot com for such a year specific question. As far as I know the Traverse has not changed but likely I just didn’t notice as it’s not a boat I have tried a new model of. Clay

  11. Jeff Peterson
    August 4, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    I Need a hybrid kayak that will seat a 6’6” male. Recommendations? I have two rogues but the length is not enough.

    1. August 9, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      HeyJeff – length for your legs or length of the boat?

      Our Traverse 10 is a 10′ model and fits a very large person. If the bulkhead is too close that might be a limiting factor but you can put the seat back which might help. If you are looking for a longer kayak, our Karma RG was a great combo of 11′ length and outfitting for flatwater like the skeg and hatches… it’s a Karma UL with a hatch and Skeg – might be some in stores for sale still or check with our CService Team as they may know what dealer would have some. The UL / RG is narrower and faster in flats than the Traverse, while the Traverse is more stable and easy to paddle. Hope this helps! Clay

  12. Joao Carlos
    August 17, 2019 at 3:29 am

    Hi there, which one is best for me ?

    i am 5’7″ and 145 lbs.


    1. August 24, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      Hey Joao – I am 170lbs and loved the Traverse 9′ with minimal gear. I would happily run creeks in it but wouldn’t want to take it on overnighters. At 145lbs that still give you 25 lbs of gear to carry and have a great boat! I suggest the 9′. Clay

  13. Mitchell
    September 4, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    Hi. I am 6’3 and weigh 245. What is the best kayak for me?

    1. September 5, 2019 at 12:42 am

      Hey Mitchell – it depends on how much whitewater and what type you want! Traverse 10 is a great choice for a mix of whitewater and calmer water – the skeg helps it track straight for easier cruising on flats or in wind. Nirvana Lg is a more pure whitewater boat, Rockstar Lg is a short fun surfer for freestyle boating. What type of paddling are you looking into? Clay

  14. Brad
    September 9, 2019 at 7:25 am

    Hey guys! What have the 2020 colors been released yet?

    1. October 4, 2019 at 1:49 pm

      Hey Brad – the colors have been released but not sure the Traverse is on the list… In whitewater it’s Lime, Yellow, bright Blue. Clay

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