Villain S –

  • Weight:  41 lbs
  • Length: 8’2”
  • Width: 25.5”
  • Height: 14.5″
  • Volume: 79.5 gallons
  • Ideal Weight Range: 100-180 lbs
  • Cockpit Dimensions: 20.5″ x 34.75″
  • MSRP: $1149


Villain –

  • Weight: 46 lbs
  • Length: 8’8”
  • Width: 27.0”
  • Height: 15.5”
  • Volume: 92.5 gallons
  • Ideal Weight Range: 155-230+
  • Cockpit Dimensions: 21.63″ x 36.75
  • MSRP: $1149

Comments on “Sizes/Specs”

  1. Trevor
    December 20, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    How tippy is the villain s compared to the hero? And like this website a lot better than the old!
    – Great Job

    1. January 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm

      Hi Trevor,

      Both are super stable, but the Hero has a little wider flatter hull making it feel more stable overall. Very confidence inspiring.


  2. Konrad
    January 12, 2011 at 4:09 am

    Villain looks huge. What height/inseam range do you recommend for the Villain and Villain S?

    1. January 12, 2011 at 4:38 am

      Inseam isn’t much of an issue unless you’ve got really long legs – I wear my size 11 Avatar’s in my Villain S and I’ve got a 31” inseam. I weigh about 175 and paddled the ‘S’ all season. Paddled the Villain also on some big water and for Green Race – really forgiving and easy to drive – VERY confidence inspiring so I might choose a Villain for overnights. BUT – I simply prefer the ‘fit’ and maneuverability of the ‘S’ not to mention the shorter length and lighter weight on the shoulder. I would say the Villain S is just smaller than the Nomad 8.5 but wider and more stable than the 8.1 about the same size as a Jefe or Burn Medium. The Villain ‘fit’ is a lot more comfortable on me than the MEga Rocker so I think smaller folks will like it, yet it’s close to the same volume and a bit more stable. Hope this helps!
      Clay Wright

      1. Konrad
        March 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm

        Thanks Clay.

        I tried both size Villains. The “S” seemed the best fit, but the sizing guide lines put me at the upper limit for the “S”. You are slightly taller and about the same weight and have confirmed my opinion.

        Thanks again.

    2. January 12, 2011 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Konrad,

      The volume of a creekboat works in your advantage for both storage and paddling. it stays on the surface and is less bothered by big water, resurfaces faster, and is safer. When you are sitting in a Villain, Villain S, Hero, or Super Hero if the deck seems too high on you, it is because you are sitting too low. Jackson Kayak has a ready to go system to adjust your seat height. This is as important as adjusting your seat foward or back, and your bulkhead forward or back. The Elite models ship with a Sweet cheeks 100. If you need to raise yourself up, put in the Sweet Cheeks 200. now the deck feels much lower on you, because it is!! it is like putting the right height of a chair in front of a table or bar. if the chair is too low, the bar/table seems too high! Dane started paddling the Villain S at 4’11” tall and 95 pounds! He sat on Sweet Cheeks 200, and a 100 as well!

  3. Anthony Balsiger
    January 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Buying a Villain here as soon as I get my taxes back, but I need some advice on what size to get. During the paddling season I weigh 175lbs(6’0″ tall, 33″ inseam) consistently. So, I am on the high side of the weight range for the S. I mostly run small(er) creeks(NS Lake Superior, and Rocky Mts) with some high volume stuff, so I am leery on paddling a boat that is 8’8″ long. Any advice here would be appreciated, and I can’t wait to get a Villain, it will go well with my ’07 Allstar!

    1. January 12, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      Hi Anthony,
      the funny thing about a longer boat at a given weight is that the longer boat is also wider so the draft is less meaning the water line shortens. It works out in the end, that you really need to think about how much stability you need/want, weight you’ll be carrying, etc.. The Villain S is great for your weight unless you want to really load it. It still has plenty of volume but will sit deeper in the water.

      You sound like a Villain S guy to me.

    2. January 20, 2011 at 5:55 am

      I weight 175 and paddle the Villain S too. While perhaps I’m ‘on the fence’ I feel more confident on portages or hiking into rivers and confident enough when running rivers and creeks. While I”m not planning for overnight out of it without raft support, I like the smaller size 98% of the time. Easy to roll, easy to maneuver, and I’m confident with a rope, handpaddles, and camera. Hope this helps – Clay

    3. Anthony Balsiger
      January 31, 2011 at 1:05 am

      Thanks guys! I appreciate the feedback. I have decided on the Villain S Elite. Taxes are done, just waiting on the money to get into my account. Can’t wait to add the Villain to my arsenal of boats!

  4. Jeffe Aronson
    January 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Hey EJ: I used to manage for Echo on the Middle Fork, and we did a trip for your partner Tony quite a few years ago. After his trip he gave some of the crew, including lucky me, a Fun. Love it! However, I brought it to our place in Australia. I row dories in Grand Canyon for OARS, and am getting a bit older… so, here in the States, I have an old Necky Blunt. I love the size (8 foot plus a little), edges, a lot about its stability, but hate the weight… its really heavy! Been looking for a new creeky but longer boat like the Blunt, and found this Villain which seems perf. (I’m 170 lbs to 175 after Xmas, abt. 5 foot 8.5)… but I’m confused… your boats are always so much lighter than all others, but the Villain is listed as 44 lbs… even heavier than my Blunt… is this correct? Perhaps its an all fitted out weight whereas the Blunt is 41 plus pillars, etc etc?? Thanks for your response… and keep lovin’ rivers!

    1. January 18, 2011 at 2:01 am

      Hey Jeffe:
      This is Clay and I weigh around 175 as well, have paddled the Blunt, and now paddle a Villain S. The Villain S is 8′ 2” long which I think is about the same as the Blunt. The S has more volume and a bit more crown to the hull but it’s a ‘modern’ style with tons more volume overall and a shock absorbing bulkhead. Both the extra volume and shock system do add some weight but we think you’ll agree it’s well worth the performance advantages once you are heading downstream.
      Another option would be the Hero line. The Super-hero will be a bigger boat but also come in around 8′ long. The smaller ‘hero’ is a great little ‘spud’ boat and I love the size but if you want the longer boat you may try the larger size. The Hero line has a flatter hull like the Blunt but also has extra stability and even higher volume for it’s length. I would suggest you demo the Villain S over the Villain (you could paddle either) just to save weight and because our JK boats are so forgiving and high volume I think you’ll be very impressed. Clay Wright

  5. Eric
    January 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Hey there, I’m trying to decide between a Villian and a Super Hero. I’m 6’4″ 240lbs and currently paddle a Super Fun and a Monstar. In the spring I’ll be taking a course and doing my first creeking. Because of the other boats I have I’ll only use my creekboat for creeking. Which boat would you recommend and why?

    1. Travis
      January 24, 2011 at 2:33 am

      I am the same size as Eric and have the same boats. I would also like to know which boat to go with? The Villain or the new Super Hero? I have paddled the old Super Hero and the Villain, just not sure which is better for my area. I live in Boise, Idaho and my upper end is Class 4 on the South Fork, though I have toyed with running the Lower 5 on the North Fork.I should ad that I am 6ft6″ with a 14 foot.

      1. January 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm

        You have some SUPER long legs. I can’t begin to imagine what that’s like–I have hobbit legs :). We’ll be shipping Superheroes this week, so you should try to get over to Alpenglow as soon as they have theirs to check fit on both of them. Assuming that both are comfortable, you’ll just have to pick which style of boat you like better. The Superhero will be the ULTIMATE in stability, forgiveness, ease of turning, and it’ll be an easy transition if you switch in and out of a playboat. The Villain will feel faster, will hold a line a little better at speed, and will carve around in and out of eddies with more energy. Both are great boats.
        Stephen Wright

  6. Rich
    January 30, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I’m old school. Love my RPm and displacment hulls. Is this easy to roll?

    1. January 30, 2011 at 3:45 pm

      Rich the Villains are SUPER easy to roll! There’s also a good bit more stability and forgiveness than your RPM, so you’ll find yourself needing to roll less often. The rounder sidewall shape should make for an easy transition from your RPM, but the higher knee position will feel unfamiliar…you’re gonna LOVE the leg and foot room!!!

  7. Mike
    January 31, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    What would be the disadvantage to the Villian vs the Superhero? Both sound like great boats but is there a situation where one would be better than the other? Will one help with making big water/holes easier to handle than the other (forget about surfing)?

    1. February 11, 2011 at 6:28 am

      Disadvantages of the Villain would be … it’s longer so harder to carry on your head when going downhill? The Villain may punch sticky holes a bit easier than the Super-hero since it’s longer, but then again you might be more likely to get the Super-hero straight quicker so you’ll rarely be at the wrong angle in the shorter boat. It’s apples and oranges really — Villain=more speed and more rocker, Super-hero = quicker spinning and extra stability.

      I felt like the Hero just feels lighter on the shoulder but it might be because it’s shorter.

      I would prefer the Hero most of the time – on the rivers I paddle a lot or the places I am going just to have fun.

      I might choose the Villain for high water runs, longer trips, or when carrying some gear for an overnight. But that’s just me. Try them both if you get the chance… to great options for river-running and creeking.

  8. Mike
    January 31, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    To add a little more to the comment regarding Villain v Superhero, I am a 240lbs 6’1″ paddler wanting to step up from a LRC Chairlift runs to LRC Upper 2 runs. Which would make this transition easier?

  9. dusty
    February 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I am super excited to finally get to be ording a large villain custom color elite within the next week or so since i havnt got to paddle much since my old orange mega rocker met its demize snow yakin on christmas lol(hit a tree cracked both sides by the seat)i hope to be ordering it by this weekend if tax money gets hereby then!! im doing my custom colors black/yellow/black with the marbeled pattern i havent seen any other boats with these colors(except stevens charlie brown boat lol) i think it will be a awesome lookin boat maybe even a first! well got to run ill send some pics when it gets here!

  10. Ryan Mooney
    February 12, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Hey EJ,
    Im thinking about getting a villain next year…I weight 165-170 with a 34″ inseam and size 13 feet. I will mostly be paddling around new england on tighter creeks rather than high volume. Would I be able to fit into the villain s? Will my legs and feet fit in there?


    1. February 13, 2011 at 2:22 am

      I’m not EJ, but you should be able to fit in a Villain S without any trouble. And most people who are your weight would prefer the Villain S as well! You might be able to find a dealer up your way who has a villain and villain S in stock that you could either demo, or just check for comfort. Check out our “dealers” section to find one near you. You’ll love it!!!
      Stephen Wright

      1. May 19, 2011 at 12:01 am

        I feel so much happier now I unedstrand all this. Thanks!

  11. Jason George
    February 13, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    i am 6’2″ about 175+ and just started creeking and have been looking at the Villain S and the Villain but cant seem to decide which boat would fit me better. Any suggestions would be great.

    1. February 14, 2011 at 4:06 pm

      Most people your size would go with a Villain S. If you were planning on regularly overnighting, or carrying a ton of gear, or you just like the feel of a bigger boat, you might prefer the Villain. You really could happily paddle either size–it’s just a matter of preference. Can you try one?

  12. Alex
    February 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Any talk about smaller sizes of the villain or the hero?

    1. March 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      The Villain S is the smaller size, and it’s really a Medium. The Hero is the smaller size and it’s a Medium as well. Villain and Super-hero are our Large sizes… I feel the grey area is around 185-190 lbs .. where for day runs the S and Hero are fine but once you take rope, camera, spare paddle etc the larger one starts to look good. I’m around 175 and expect the Hero to suit me as well as the Villain S did this last season.

      Clay Wright

  13. Ellen Jones
    March 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    So…at the other end of the scale from most of the comments, how would a Villain S fit a 5’2″, 118 lb., 28″ inseam female? I wouldn’t be packing lots of gear. Should I be thinking a Little Hero, or maybe a Hero?

    1. March 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      I absolutely love my Villian S, but I also had an amazing time in the Little Hero,
      I would not get the Hero if i were you, simply because I am 5’4 and 140 pounds and I really enjoy the hero but I wonder whether its a bit big at times….
      So at your height and definetly weight, i feel the boat is going to be big for you,
      The little hero would be absolutely perfect and the villain would but fun but same situation I think you may be too light for it, it would float nice and high and be really fast and fun to paddle, but you wouldnt be able to turn it on a dime as easy as you could the little hero
      Hope this helps and the best thing for you to would be to demo both little hero and villain s and go from there!
      I would rule the hero out for now!

      1. Ellen Jones
        March 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm

        Thanks for the answer. Maybe I should add that I’m in my early 60’s and I’d like to consider myself reasonably fit, but probably not an aggressive paddler. Does this tip the scale in favor of the Little Hero?

  14. Alisdair Duncan
    March 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Hi I live in the North of Scotland and cannot get a demo of the Villain. I’m a Jackson fan and have a 4 fun which I paddle 90% of the time, but do accept (reluctantly!) the need for a big boat. I currently have a Nomad 8.5; what would the key differences be between the Nomad and Villain? I also get tempted by the Super Hero as it’s shorter and has the flat hull, but for all I paddle a creeker it may as well be an out and out creek boat. I’m and experienced paddler (30 years now!) but still like to push in some solid grade 5. As I’ll be buying without trying, you advice is appreciated.
    PS the kids funs are brilliant!

    1. March 27, 2011 at 6:19 pm

      We’ve had lots of people switch from a large Nomad to a Villain. Most of them report that the Villain is a little faster, easier to drive, with much more room for gear and things like that. It’ll still boof great, and be nice and forgiving for ya 🙂 You’ll love it!
      hope that helps–maybe someone else (clay?) will chime-in?

    2. March 29, 2011 at 5:29 am

      The Villain is 2” longer and many gallons larger than the Nomad 8.5 – it’s got a bit more rocker and it’s carried more through the middle as well. You also get JK’s shock absorbing bulkhead and no-holes construction for no leakage! Best for paddlers over 180 lbs. The Villain S is for smaller folk.

      The Super-hero is shorter, lighter, and more stable. I would bet it would be perfect for the tight creeks of Scotland for sure since it’s so short and stable. Coming from a 4-Fun would be n easy switch since it’s also a planing hull and closer to that length. The new 2011 Super-hero has more continuous rocker for easier boofing and a lower, narrower knee area for comfort. Also has the shock absorbing bulkhead and no holes construction.

      Most places I suggest ‘full on creekers’ pick the Villain but in Scotland I may lean towards the shorter Super-hero due to the narrow chutes and low-volume lines you’ll be encountering.

      Hope this helps!

      Clay Wright

  15. Adam Binder
    March 30, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Right now I paddle the Punk Rocker and am looking to change boats. I’ve looked at the Villain S and am intriged. I way 145 lbs and am 5’7. will this boat feel too big for me?


    1. March 30, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      Hey Adam
      I am 140 pounds and I paddle the Villain S, i do not feel like its too big on me at all, in fact I feel perfect in this boat! I am also 5’4

  16. Alisdair Duncan
    March 31, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Thanks for the tips. I think the answer is get both boats! As a loyal and long standing Jackson customer you should allow me a “buy one get one free offer” to resolve the issue?:)
    I’m coming over to do some creeking in California in May and will pick one up then, probably a Superhero on the basis it will be easier to jump from my 4 fun.

  17. Charlie
    April 4, 2011 at 6:51 am

    So, at 190 I fall neatly in the “gray area”. I live in Montana so I do a lot of mank and can also jump into Idaho for big water. A lot of folks around here and some Wy/Co posse have expressed a desire for somthing like an 8’2″ 85 gallon Villian. Anything like this in the works for the future??!?. I feel like I know a lot of 180-195 pound guys who are always having the too big for a medium and too small for a large (in a lot of brands) dilema.

    1. April 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm

      At 190 you’ve tipped the scales and are PRIME for the Super-hero. I’m 175 and paddling all these boats for comparison and while I’m firmly in the Hero on my local runs the Super-hero paddled beautifully and the ‘fit’ was right on once I added a 200 Sweet Cheeks for a bit of ‘lift’. I’ll be ordering a Super-hero for my out West trip where I don’t know the runs as well and may need to carry more gear.
      I raced the Villain at Green Race and it went well too, but unless I had overnight gear I would choose the S at my weight, because it’s just so fun and sporty as well as lighter. At 190, in Montana, it’s still a good option although I would MUCH rather carry the Super-hero up Big Timber! The shorter length is much easier to head-carry if you are into that, and easier to swing around deadfalls etc as well.

      I like LITTLE creek boats and LOVE the Hero, but for Montana even at 5’9” 175lbs I would pick the Super-hero and a 200 sweet cheeks and never look back.
      Hope this helps –

      Clay Wright

  18. Tim Young
    April 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I’m trying to decide between the Villian and the Super Hero. I enjoy running tight creeks, but am getting into some bigger water IV and V runs as well. Which boat would be more versatile for what I run? I worry about being able to boof and throw around an 8’8″ boat. Is this unfounded? I’m currently in a Fluid Solo, size large. I’m 6’4″ and 200lbs without paddling gear. Recomendations?

    1. April 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      Good Question! I’ve just spent several days alternating back and forth from HEro to Super-hero to Villain S and here’s a quick overview:

      Villain to Hero design: The Villain’s longer length, rounder hull, and pronounced rocker make it a creek-boat with speed and carving and some sporty style. Reminds me of the Crossfire when it came out – boofs like a champ but drop an edge and it carves a tight turn with some speed carried through. The rounder hull keeps it tracking straight through the water but it’s forgiving enough to correct when the currents try to grab and spin it. The Hero is shorter with more subtle rocker and a wider, floatier hull. I love the short length for carrying and loading in the car as well as because it paddles more like a playboat … rides high on the surface and feels ‘loose’ when crossing eddylines or holes. If you playboat much, it’s the creek boat of choice for sure because it’s more similar to paddling a 6′ All-star or Rockstar .. just a LOT more forgiving and safe!

      So far I haven’t minded being in the Hero one bit. While the Villain carries it’s speed through curlers better I feel more likely to go exactly where I want in the Hero because it’s less directional and easier to maneuver like the playboats I’m used to. If you like tight creeks, either one is VERY good for that! If you like BIG WATER either one is good for that too! The question is whether you want a longer carvier boat that tracks through the water or a shorter, extra stable boat that floats across current differentials without spinning on them.
      Villain feels a bit larger than the Super-hero, both in how they paddle and ‘fit’ but at 200 your are in the sweet spot for either one. Choose Villain if you like paddling forwards through every drop and sweeping the bow around before you carve turns, choose Super-hero if you like to rudder and boof your way downstream then surf whatever comes your way.

      Raced them back to back yesterday down Sieve City and I think the Villain was only a few seconds faster on some runs – both the straight downriver and giant slalom courses.


  19. Charlie
    April 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks clay, still think I am going to stick with a villian rather than a super hero. My last two boats were a large mamba and a regular jefe. It just trips me out how much bigger the villian is.

  20. Charlie
    April 5, 2011 at 4:26 am

    Yeah!! Demoed both today and bought a brand spankin new Villian. I took em down parts of the albi gorge and can’t wait to boof em down kootenai. Should be running in the next few days. All I can say is the wright bros. seem to like the hero series. If you are used to a play boat I can see this. If you like a creeker get a Villian!!! Fyi at 190 I felt perfect in the large villian for those on the fence.

  21. Jay
    April 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Hey guys I’ve worn out my crossover kayak (I paddle it exclusively on whitewater, anyway). I got to demo a Villain and Super Hero in a pool, loved how they rolled, but I especially liked the Villain. The thing is, I weigh about 290, so I’m worried I might be a little too big for the Villain. I mean it floated a bit low in the water but seem ok in a pool. Though, I’m only looking to run class III stuff and under (Middle Ocoee or easier). What do you think?

    1. April 15, 2011 at 1:36 am

      Its fine! Its 91 gallons, so that is a big boat! If your only running up to class three i think it will be totally fine!

      Emily Jackson

  22. Charlie
    April 8, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Wow! After a few days in the full size Villian I am way stoked!!! The hull speed is unreal for how much rocker it has. This is a boat of paradox. Displacement hull yet edges well. Reminds me of how my Mamba edged but less catchy on eddy lines. Rockered yet super fast. I can’t believe how well this boat boofs for being 8’8″…. 93 gallons and does not feel to big at my weight. Way to go boys! This is the first Jackson desighn I have been blown away by. So, from a non sponsered joe shmoe I will say this: if you want a gigantic play boat get a hero or super hero. If you want NO edge get a Jefe, if you want rocker WITH controle that still acts like a creek boat get a Villian.
    Charlie (aka montuckyhuck)

  23. Bill
    April 20, 2011 at 4:04 am

    I am a little over 5’10” and 200 lbs with a 33 inseam and 10 1/2 foot. I usually paddle a 4-Fun, but I bought a Villian S last year to start running class 4 after watching how stable a similar sized buddy was in his. I love the boat and I have never felt oversized in it. It is a very forgiving boat and I will paddle it when I’m pushing my comfort zone. I have a 2008 Super Hero that has primarily sat for 2 years which I bought because I was not in the suggested Hero weight range, but I don’t find it particularly exciting to paddle. I did demo a new Hero on a class 3 run last week and I loved it right off the bat. I could see myself having more fun running familiar class 4 runs in it so I’d like to sell my Super Hero and get a new Hero. I paddled the new Super Hero in a pool, but I just felt more comfortable in the smaller boat. I paddle 1-2 times/week and I don’t see myself doing any overnighters for at least a few years so carrying a lot of extra gear is not an issue for me. I guess my advice is to demo the particular boats you are interested in in all the sizes you fit in, afterall the Hero and Villian S have as much volume as other makers large boats.

  24. Jody
    April 23, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Currently I paddle a 5 or 6 year old nomad 8.1 . Its about time for a new boat and feel like the Villain would be pretty sweet. I’m just not sure if i need the bigger model? I weigh around 185-190lbs.?? 5’10”. I want to be able to do multi-day self supported trips as well as day trips. On Cali class IV and V rivers. When I got the Nomad I prob. weighed 170-175lbs.?? So should I get the Villain S or the Villain? Thx.

    1. April 23, 2011 at 5:04 am

      Hey Jody –
      190 + overnighters in California = Villain.

      The Villain S would be great for single-day runs but 185/190 is getting big for that already once you add a camera, breakdown, and pin kit. Consider a 200 Sweet Cheeks to improve the ‘fit’ of this big boat and also to make it easier to edge into your turns. The stability is really high so I doubt you’ll feel ‘tippy’ from day 1 and an added benefit is that it softens the landings.

      Another options would be the 2011 Super-hero: under 8′ for head carries downhill, similar volume as the Villain to carry your extra gear with style, but more maneuverable and ‘smaller feeling’ than the longer, harder tracking and carving Villain. But for Cali there’s not much drawback to 8’8” anyway once on the river so I think you’ll be pleased with the Villain.

      Hope this helps and hit me back for anything else when you think of it.
      Clay Wright

  25. April 30, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Even a Team Member has to ask a few questions everynow and then. I am looking for s white water kayak for when my fishing is not to hot.

    I am


    I am looking heavily at the Villain purley for the capacity. But I would also like to do some play boating. So I need help decicding betwenn the Villain, and one of the Fun Series play boats but what size? What do you guys think I should do?

    1. Bear
      May 26, 2011 at 11:42 pm

      I am 310lbs and the superfun has outstanding play ability for me, not to bad on the rivers too.

  26. Colin Slack
    May 3, 2011 at 1:22 am

    I also am 6’1 and about 235 depending on PBR intake. I’m in western NC doing a lot of IV just breaking into V wondering how the Villain will float me. It has the same volume as the Mega Rocker but ya’ll have the weight limit as 230+lbs. This perplexes me. I am currently paddling the an 09 Superhero which I love but I’m wanting more hole punching and energetic speed into eddys, on boofs, etc.


    1. May 3, 2011 at 7:30 am

      Hey Colin –
      The Villain is close to the same size as the Mega-Rocker and 230 + is because that’s the largest Team member who’s paddled it we’ve got!

      According to the numbers it should handle your 235 just fine and I know our buddy Collin thinks it’s a better boat for him at 230 than the slightly smaller paddling Super-hero he paddled before it.

      Hope this helps, but demo if you can to find out for sure..

      Clay Wright

      1. Mark
        May 4, 2011 at 9:25 pm

        I think we met way back when Big Sur was running. I’m 51 years old, 5’9′ with a 30′ inseam, size 10 shoe size, and weight 172lbs. I sold my Wavesport Y and kept my WaveSport EZ last summer. I am thinking about buying a 2011 Hero for mostly boating IV runs with occasional Vs and occasional waterfalls, sub-30-feet (East Fork of

        Is the regular Hero the right size and boat for me?
        How will a Hero differ in performance from the Y, which took good care of me for years?




        1. May 5, 2011 at 6:01 am

          Hey Mark –
          your sizing is right on and the 172 is no problem for the Hero, and it’s a sporty little planing hull boat kinda like the Y for it’s day.

          The sizing for the Hero will make it a little boat for you, so if overnights are in your future you may want to consider a Super-hero (8′) and a Sweet Cheeks 200. In the Super-hero I felt almost impervious to holes .. like I just drifted over everything, but it did land a bit harder than the Hero if you boof it flat. I’ll be paddling the Hero more often most likely, but it’s great to have options. Give the Hero a try for sure and let me know what you think!


  27. Chuck
    May 3, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Hi Guys,

    Just a little curious —

    I’m a big Jackson fan (SuperFun, Dynamic Duo) and I had a SuperHero (latest model) that I paddled down the Grand. I liked the rapid surfacing of the SuperHero (strange but weird for an old-school paddler) but I did not find the transition quite the same from SuperFun to SuperHero. What I’ve found, maybe because I’ve been paddling for 31 years, is that my brain is still wired displacement-wise, and I find myself not liking the ‘stable until flipping’ perspective of boats like the SuperHero.

    The Villain looks like it doesn’t have that radical flip characteristic — much more of a displacement hull. Before the SuperHero, I used to paddle a Riot Big Gun, and that thing was a real disaster for an old-schooler. The SuperHero was so much better, but still had that ‘dry until wet’ characteristic.

    Does anyone even know what I’m talking about? Help me out or I’ll beat you with my cane!

  28. Patrick
    May 16, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Hi I’m just about to receive my Villain with custom color black and red… im super excited 😀 I was just slightly worried however because just checked and I am right at the bottom of the suggested weight range for the Villain and now thinking that maeby I should have gone for the Villain S. I haven’t weighed myself with my gear on and i was wondering if these weight recommendations are with or without gear. I’m about 5,11 and I was just wondering your thoughts on the issue.

    Cheers, Patrick

    1. May 17, 2011 at 3:48 am

      The weight ranges apply to your weight without gear, as we all wear about the same thing in cold / hot weather so why make everyone guess?

      Villain S goes up to about 180 comfortably, I raced a Villain in Green Race at 170 but felt it was a bit more boat than I would normally prefer.

      If you are on the lower end of the weight range you should try a sweet Cheeks 200 to lift your weight up a bit and make edging as well as the ‘fit’ a bit easier.

      The Villain is larger than the Nomad 8’5” and the Villain S is smaller.

      Hope this helps!
      Clay Wright
      Team JK

      1. Patrick
        May 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm

        Great thanks for the help appreciate it. Boat just arrived today! looking great! so pleased with it so much better than i expected 😀 I put the 200 ball sweet cheeks in and i thought i could do with a bit more hight so i put the 100 ball underneath it so i now effectively have a 300 ball sweet cheeks 😀

  29. Bailey Mills
    May 19, 2011 at 12:38 am

    I am not sure what i need. i want something to handle some bigger rivers and to creek. which would be better the hero or the villain

  30. Axel
    May 23, 2011 at 9:37 am

    one question to the villain s: Is it true, that in Germany the dealer’s do gave the villain & villain s
    only in Sl, not the elite material, but with the Elite seat and composite beam?
    My dealer is telling me that JK and the dealer’s in german speaking countries have made an agreement!

    1. May 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      In Germany, you have a “hybrid” option. Best of both worlds with outfitting. Your Villain will be SL with the SL welded seat track, upgraded seat brackets from 2010 for better support, an upgraded unishock bulkhead from 2010, a sweet cheeks, and a sure-lock backband with the newer bungee set-up from 2010 to keep it high and comfy. IT’s a great set-up. Enjoy!

  31. Bear
    May 26, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Team Jackson –
    I have paddled your 2007 super fun for the past few years and it has been great for light running and play. I now find myself in Alaska with very diffrent water then im use to, creeking! I wanted to know what boat you would suggest because as much as i love the superfun its not so great here. I am on the very large size for paddlers – 310lbs 6ft. Anything that has about the same cockpit size as the superfun?

    1. May 30, 2011 at 5:03 am

      Hey Bear –
      The largest boat we’ve made is the Mega-Rocker, but it is currently out of production and the Villain has replaced it. You may search around and find one somewhere since it’s a bit bigger, but the Villain is right up there in terms of sizing. Any other big guys want to chime in?

  32. Chris Thorne
    May 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Hi there! I’m looking into getting either a Hero or a Villain, I’ve tried the big villain and its too big but I’m not sure if I could get my feet into a Villain S. What is the biggest size of feet you can get in with boots?


    1. May 30, 2011 at 5:01 am

      What is your weight, inseam length, and shoe size?

  33. Spencer
    May 28, 2011 at 1:19 am

    This is kind of funny. The JK guys answering this seem to like the Hero way more than the Villian. It seems that all of the replys are “the villian is good, but check out the Hero cause that’s better”. Well here is one person who thinks the Villian is SICK! Best boat I have ever paddled and holds a line much better than the Hero. I spend zero time in a playboat so that could be part of it but the Villian remains manuverable while maintaining the feel of a real creeker. Just my two cents.

  34. Andrew
    May 31, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I am 152 pounds 5′ 8″. I want a BIG WATER confidence builder, but not a Grandpa boat, I want to be able to fery above narley stuff and not loose my bow down stream. I demo’d a Remix, but I couldn’t keep it going straight. I own a first edition Super Hero, and I think I am the only one around that can paddle it, but it is too directional for me sometimes when i dont’ want it to be. I have a Diesel 75, it’s nice for predictable big water, but when it gets super big, I can’t roll it.. On the North Fork, I jump back in my old Micro 240, because I can roll it with my eye lids..

    1. June 11, 2011 at 10:07 am

      152 / 5’8”?
      The 2011 Hero’s are designed to have the loosest bow of any creek boat on the water, as we found there are certain moves on the Gauley I can ace day after day in an All-star that challenge me in a creek boat (eg the Room of Doom at Pillow Rock, Dynamite Line ferry at Iron Ring). The wide flat platform of the Hero series really lets you sweep the bow around when you want to, even right against the grain of the current. It’s the opposite of a Grandpa boat… designed to match the spirit and liveliness of the Micro 230 / 240 series I spent so much time in 🙂
      The Villain i looser in the bow than most, and has a longer water line for extra speed. Our North Fork man Micah loves the Villain for the big water and if you know him he might answer the comparison even better than I can. I’m not sure if a 7’4” boat is right for the North Fork at high water, but I’ve really enjoyed the Hero on big water in California because even when you get tossed or surfed it’s a bit like a playboat – you are always just one stroke away from forwards again….so I felt more likely to make the 2nd move no matter how the first one goes.
      Demo a Hero – or even a Super-hero with a 200 Sweet Cheeks in it for comparison against a Villain S and see for yourself, but YES the Villain and especially the Hero’s are designed with LOOSE bows to make those ‘must make’ ferry moves with more confidence than ever.
      Hope this helps!
      Clay Wright

  35. Andy
    May 31, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Would loading the Villain S to 200-210# be a mistake? The S is a perfect fit for me at 5’10”, 175″, but like 6d and longer self-supports. Did 13d Alsek self-support a few years back in a T Canyon. Don’t think I’d do more than 1 trip per year, rest would be day paddles.

    1. June 1, 2011 at 5:44 am

      I’m not 100% sure … I felt like the Villain S was small when I had a drybag and camera in it so i can’t imagine cold overnighters in it. On the other hand plenty of folks overnighted out of Dancers and Mirages so it’s got to be better than those! Consider taking a demo out with what you plan to carry – or wait for a larger person’s response.



  36. Tindall
    June 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Are there any plans for a Villain XL? Or will you possibly make special order mega rockers? Some of us fat guys are working on breaking the last of the mega rockers and wondering if we will be forced to switch to an inferior brand.

    1. July 11, 2011 at 7:37 pm

      I haven’t heard of any, but the Villain is pretty big… There is a chance for another run of Mega-rockers if anyone could get a group together that was interested… I know we have the mold in storage but if there was enough interest we could probably break it back out for a limited run…

  37. jason
    June 30, 2011 at 3:35 am

    Purchasing a new creeker. Live in east tn and mainly hit the little and tellico, mainly class 3/4 stuff. I’m 6′ 200 pounds. Will the superhero do pretty much what I’m looking for? Thanks a lot.

    1. June 30, 2011 at 4:31 am

      Oh yes, Super-hero is perfect for the SEast. Good for low volume creeking as well as making the runs we do a lot more fun than in a bigger boat. Easier to carry too – put the backrest on your head and walk on up for a 2nd lap…


  38. Jon
    July 13, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    The Villain is has a weight range list up to 230+, how much can it hold? I weight 265, will it work for me?

    1. July 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm

      It’s the biggest boat currently made for whitewater besides a Rogue 10, and the Mega-Rocker which we don’t stock anymore.

      I know Valley Mill has a Mega Rocker for sale still, that’s just a bit bigger and I talked to several people at 250+ who were creeking it quite happily. The only other option I’ve heard of is the Mamba L, but I’m pretty sure a Villain is larger than that. Check boatertalk – there are several paddlers in the upper 200lb range who frequent that message board.
      Clay (170lbs)

  39. Nick
    July 15, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I paddle an 07 Fun and I am looking at adding either the Hero or the Villian S to my collection this fall. I am looking for something that I can paddle all day comfortably, boofs well, and is relatively easy to maneuver. I also want something that has good hull speed and can take me creeking and on big water. I was originally planning on getting the Villian S, do you think that’ll suit me well or should consider a Hero? I’m 6′ 1″ and 165lbs. Thanks

    1. July 18, 2011 at 7:37 pm

      Both the Hero and Villain S fit this bill – can be paddled all day, boof well, easy to maneuver, good hull speed. Both love tight creeks AND big water.

      What are the differences?

      The Villain S is faster, narrower, and a bit ‘carvier’. The Hero is even easier to maneuver, easier to carry / portage, lighter, surfs better, and is more stable.

      I typically send playboaters who creek to the Hero, as it seems to be my personal preference to paddle short, loose-feeling boats since I’m so used to that in my playboat.
      I suggest the Villain S more often to anyone just creekboating, who has more flatwater to paddle on their local run, or who like to ‘drive’ the boat (as in paddle forwards and carve turns down the creek / river).

      Villain likes to be ‘driven:’ it’s our full-on creeker for big water and tight big drops. It’s fast, carvy, and the bow always stays up.

      Hero is just easy and fun to paddle anywhere, from class 5 gnar to class 3 surfy play runs. It paddles more like a playboat and is more stable.

      Try both if you can! Your height won’t be much of an issue and 165 fits either boat well.

      Clay Wright
      Team JK

  40. marco
    July 24, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    I weigh in at around 270 lbs. In the specs it says the weight limit is 230 +, so would the villian be big enough to take me down class IV and V rapids or would I have to find something bigger.


  41. Gary
    July 25, 2011 at 3:00 am

    Hello Jackson! I’m a 1st time paddler, and VERY excited about Jackson Kayaks. I’m 6′ 245 lbs weightlifter, and am uncertain as to which boat will better suit me, between the Villian or Hero series.(Shoulder + Leg girth is a huge concern) It seems from your other emails that the Hero would be a better fit for me, but I would appreciate any input you have.Im in Northern California,so the Sac + Trinity Rivers are my local water ways. Thanks again, and keep up the great work!!!!!!

    1. July 26, 2011 at 4:17 am

      I’m having a hard time imagining someone 6′ with legs too big to fit into either the Super-hero or Villain, but I guess it’s possible.

      Our cockpits are the biggest in the industry, wide seats and really wide openings for the legs. At 245 the Villain may be a more ‘full-on’ creeker as it’s a couple gallons bigger and a bit longer to spread the load a bit, but i love the design of the Super-hero and they are very close in specs. If the cockpit IS too tight I can give you a few tips to make the knee area wider for entry and exit.

      I know your shoulders will fit just fine 🙂


  42. Brad
    July 27, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Currently, I’m in a Mega-Rocker. What would be the advantages of the large Villain?

    1. July 28, 2011 at 3:44 am

      Advantages of a Villain over a Mega-rocker….
      Carving is my #1 reason, the Villain just rails around a turn while the Rocker series had to be edged very carefully to make the boat keep it’s speed while carving.

      Speed: The continuous rocker feels more refined and predictable in most situations.. carries it’s speed through drops and across pools better than the Rocker series.

      Fit: The Villain has narrower knees and a tighter cockpit so you can get a better ‘grip’ on the boat without special paddling. I feel much more secure paddling the Villain at 5’9” 175lbs than I did in the Mega-rocker and mainly because I no longer feel like I might fall out!

      Hope this helps.

      Clay Wright

  43. Jeff
    July 29, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Beginner, 5’11”, 240lbs. Live in Western Pa on the Ohio River. Plan on doing some practicing and drills on the ohio River while I am learning and making frequent trips to the Yough as I gain experience. So my dilemma is how do I practice, enjoy the river I live on, and get ready for the Yough. Super Hero or Villian?

    1. July 31, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      Is the Ohio River flatwater or rapids?

      For rapids I feel the Super-hero might be the easiest boat to paddle ever made, yet it’s not quite as fast as the Villain, which is also really easy to paddle and slightly bigger.

      The Villain is our largest kayak and tracks a little better and is also really easy for beginners to learn whitewater in (because it’s designed for us to challenge the hardest whitewater we can). It’s 8’8” long and has a good bit of rocker for easy boofing and to ride up and over holes.

      Another option – if you are doing more flatwater paddling – would be the Rogue. This ”crossover” design is a longer boat that tracks much more than the rockered full whitewater boats so it’s much faster and better suited to paddling long distances or against the current. The cool part of the Rogue is that more than any other ”crossover” boat it’s also really capable in full whitewater conditions. I’ve paddled it on the class 5 Russel Fork and felt right at home boofing and ferrying and carving turns and that big bow really crushes the waves and plows through the holes. It’s not something you see everyday on the Ocoee but far more suited to whitewater than most people would expect.

      That’s my rundown of your best options – hope this helps!

  44. Jay
    August 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    I’m 5’10, 170lbs, 32″ inseam and size 10 shoe…….

    I’m trying to decide between getting a Villain or Hero (or Super Hero). I recently began kayaking and have used a hero and villain — liked them both. Eventually, I want to do more creeking. An instructor suggested actually starting with a large playboat to get skilled on techniques, etc. and then move up to creekboat. I’m not sure i want to go all the way down to a playboat, but was thinking the Hero might be a good boat to do some playing to hone skills, but also capable of doing more creaking as my skills improve. Thoughts?

    1. September 27, 2011 at 10:17 pm

      Dont go to Super-
      You would be great in the Hero as it will allow you to turn quick, and manuever easier then the villain, the villain is very easy to manuever but with the added length it might be slightly harder for you to control the bow at all times, the hero will allow you to control the bow and it will be a better getting into creeking boat. Keep in mind that some of our best athletes use the hero as their primary creek boat so you wont be lacking a creek boat should you decide to go for the hero over villain!
      Hope that helps!
      Emily Jackson

  45. Nick Sinderson
    August 31, 2011 at 4:33 am

    Your sale enticed me to buy a villain; same price as a Nomad with crosslink plastic and three warranty was a deal I couldn’t pass up.
    I can’t wait to get it on the river!,but before I do I have a couple of questions;
    I’ve been paddling a Nomad 8.5 and a Remix 69 lately and for both I had the seat far forward but I understand for the Villain the preferred seat position is middle back, is this right? and do I move the seat by loosening the hose clamps?
    Thank you,

    1. September 5, 2011 at 4:06 pm

      Yup – that’s exactly right. I like my Villain S a bit back, and the Villain a bit forwards but I’m just 175lbs. Seat screws under hip pads and hose clamp in front and rear of seat. Good luck! Hit me back if you have any problems.

      1. Nick Sinderson
        September 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm

        Thank you for the reply and info. I’ve was able to get 5 runs in this week and I have to say…Ya-hoo! 4 on the local class 4 creek and one on the local 4+ steep creek and the boat likes it steep! I’m 5’11” 185#’s and the seat was far back and still worked fine but with your info, I think I’ll move it a bit pass forward of center.
        I was also happy to find the webbing grab handle on the pillar foam as there is long portage on one of the runs and a steep 3/10 mile hike to the put-in for the other.
        Loving the boat! no need for a reply

  46. Michael
    September 4, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Ok so I see that you say the Villian is the biggest boat Jackson makes, but the max weight on the Villian is 235, and the max weight on the Super Hero is 290, so just a little confused. I’m 6′ tall, 265lb, size 11 feet, currently running a Dagger Animas. I’m in boise Id, doing class 3 and hope to get up to 4 someday, just playing around on the local rivers. What would you recomend for my size/skill level?

    1. September 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      The Max weight on the Villain is pretty conservative … I know several people your weight who love it.

      I would go with the Villain since you are used to a longer boat and in ID .. big water paddling. It’s a big faster going through stuff than the Super-hero and lends itself well to longer days. Super-hero is more forgiving and easier to turn and maneuver technical water but in ID that’s less of an issue.

      Sorry our stats say one thing but try the Villain and see for yourself!


  47. Michael
    September 5, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Thanks for the info. Hopefully next summer (second season)I will be in one or the other. Gonna head to Alpinglow, or the shop outside KWP and Demo em both.

  48. Jonathan
    September 8, 2011 at 3:00 am

    Just got a villain s SL and so far I love it! One question I have for Clay Wright is about the seat position. I’m 175-180 5’8” and had my seat in the middle at first. My stern kept swinging around on me and it was suggested that I move my seat forward to correct this. You seem to like the seat farther back in your villain s. What do you suggest?


    1. September 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm

      If your stern swings out, move the seat BACK. If the bow swings out, move it forwards again. I like my Villain S just one inch back from center with a rope / drybag / water bottle back there. I suggest you try that first since we are about the same weight. Inch and a half back if not much in the rear of the boat.

      Hope this helps!

      Clay Wright

      1. Dax
        March 5, 2012 at 11:41 pm

        How do you tell if your stern sweeps out vs your bow sweeping out? When I take a big hit I always get swung around backwards? Is the seat too far forward or backward?

        1. March 8, 2012 at 8:25 pm

          If your bow swing around when you are paddling you should probably move BACK in the boat… make sure to position the backband further back and not just the seat (as they are not connected).

          If your stern is sinking and backendering or just feels ‘edgy’ then move back forwards.

          Hope this helps!


      2. Jahn
        November 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm

        At 85kg with wet gear on and 5’9 what do u think clay out of the villains

        1. December 7, 2012 at 4:23 am

          Hey Jahn:

          AT 187 lbs you’ll be better served by the larger Villain, the Super-hero, or the Karma Medium than the Villain S if you want to do full on creeking.

          The Villain with a 200 Sweet Cheeks should suit you better than in the normal seat at your height, same with Super-hero. KArma Medium is a larger medium so normal seat height will be fine.


  49. Ray Allen
    September 18, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Hey gang, I own a JK Villain S and I am 5 foot 5 inches tall. Should I use a sweet cheeks 200 seat or is the 100 good enough? Thanks, Ray

  50. Al Johnson
    September 19, 2011 at 6:59 pm


    I am 5’9″ 187lbs. and considering a Villian as a creek boat to be used in Colorado set up as a C1. Besides the design hull features of the boat, I like the roomy cockpit and higher combing in the back of the cockpit as I need to sit on a 7.25″ height saddle to be comfortable.

    The last two years I have been paddling a H3:255 for everything. I have really liked the H3. Since moving from OC1 to C1, I have been paddling more challenging runs and want to use my new boat to paddle steeper creeks. I like my H3:255 because it feels very stable, but I need more volume in bigger drops, as I can really bury the H3 which slows momentum and can result in tricky resurfacing sometimes.

    So I am considering the Villian and Large Burn (H3:255 evolution). With that said, I would like to support a USA boat builder. Not being able to demo (C1) makes it hard to decide on which boat to get. I beleive the Burn would paddle similiar to my H3 (flat bottom and sharp edge), but with more volume.

    Could you give me your thoughts on the Villian handling characteristics compared to the large Burn? Also, I think I would want the large Villian considering my weight and that I want to use it as a C1. I am concerned that the large Villian seems really big, will it be hard to handle on smaller creeks?

    I know you are offering your boats with C1 outfitting. Any Dealers in Colorado with the C1 outfitting that I can see and set in? Is there a price difference for C1 outfitting? Is it possible to buy a boat with just the rail and pillers at a reduced cost, if I want to build my on C1 saddle? Thanks for your help, Al Johnson

    1. September 28, 2011 at 1:23 am

      The Villain is a larger boat but slightly less flat through the hull than the H-3 255. This may mean it’s a bit more ‘active’ side to side than the Burn but the secondary stability and carving should be impressive.

      Villain vs Burn – both get great reviews but I haven’t paddled the newer Burn so sorry, not much help there. Villain has no hole construction and continuous rocker and a slightly rounder hull with higher deck. I would bet Villain is a bit tippier but carves as aggressively, resurfaces faster and is much easier to boof. It’s a lot of continuous rocker so it won’t feel nearly as long.
      We have a new C-1 saddle but as for outfitting and price and reduced rate you’ll have to ask your dealer about that or check with customer service. Try ian@jacksonkayak dot com. Good Luck Al! Clay Wright

  51. Tim
    October 11, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Clay and EJ – I bought the Villain in August, after much consideration. It was pretty much between the Villain and the Super Hero, having ruled out the Burn, Nomad and Jefe. I read many reviews on the boat, from locals here in Colorado to pro paddlers across the world. I have owned many boats in my paddling life and I can say the Villain is truly a winner. Great job! I did paddle a Hero on the Numbers run and it paddles great but I really felt that with our manky creek runs in CO the edge of the Hero might get hung up on off-angle boofs. I was concened about the sizing…I am borderline, 5’8″, 185 lbs. I put my trust in your comments about raising the seat by using a 200 Happy Seat. Great advice. The boat is very comfortable. Carries gear and me with ease. It performs really well. The two things I really notice are the great stability, both primary and secondary, and the boat tracks great. My virgin run in the boat was during “Bailey Fest” on a class IV&V creek and then went to Gore Canyon. The test is over and now I’m hoping for a late fall season here in Colorado. Thanks for bring the great Jackson “no hole” design and cross-link plastic to a true creeker. Your creeker finally caught up with your play boats!!

    Tim Walker

  52. Conner Vorpahl
    October 31, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Hey, I am just starting to look into creek boats, I have a star and it’s great for playing on the ocoee but I am looking at getting something for bigger water. I’m about 130 lbs and I just cant decide whether the villain S or the hero would be the better boat! Any help would be appreciated!

    1. October 31, 2011 at 10:10 pm

      Hey Conner!

      Coming from playboating I would go for a Hero! You’ll need a sweet cheeks 200 unless you are kinda tall for 130 but I love this boat and bet you will too.

      The Villain S is also a sweet creekboat and I’ll usually suggest it for folks that don’t playboat more than they creek. But personally I LOVE my Hero and bet you will too.

      All the best – Clay

  53. Walter Willis
    November 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I’m looking into getting a IR Lucky Charm spray skirt for my villian S. I see you guys wearing IR skirts on the river and i was wondering if the XL size or XXL size skirt fits better on the rim of my Villian S

    1. November 17, 2011 at 1:09 am

      Hey Walter –
      You may want to try IR with this question as I really don’t recall what size I own and can’t find it written on the skirt (made it into a drydeck).

      I know my skirt from 2010 was a tighter fit than mine from 2011 so I would probably go to a shop and get the tightest one you can put on by yourself. They don’t get much easier to put on, I’m just not that familiar with all the various sizes I’ve tried on what boats – sorry!

      The bungie design is REALLY versatile …mine stretches to fit anything from a Rockstar M to a Villain.

      Good luck!
      Clay Wright

  54. Colin
    November 17, 2011 at 1:53 am

    Which size for me? I’m 169cm tall and weigh about 68kg, which size boat should I use? Is the villain a mid size boat or a large. I do like to paddle a bigger boat rather then a small one. I live and paddle in Norway so that might give some idea of the sort of paddling I need a boat for. Thanks for any help

    1. November 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm

      Most folks your size would be really happy with a Villain S. You’re a little lighter than EJ, about my size, and a little lighter than Nick. We all paddle the Villain S as our creek boat when we’re using them. It’s still a ton of volume to keep you floating, high, dry, and FAST! You’re pretty much exactly the center of the target weight range for the Villain S.

      IF you like much bigger boats, you could definitely paddle the full sized Villain, but you’d need to do some outfitting to make it fit you right. You’d probably want to sit up higher, add more knee foam, and more for the hip pads.

      Hope that helps! Enjoy!!!
      Stephen Wright

  55. Luke
    November 28, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Are the 2012 boats superlinear or crosslink plastic? I noticed there is only one choice now and was wondering what you guys switched to.


    1. November 29, 2011 at 7:11 am

      For whitewater we’ll be molding all super-linear boats for this season, though there are some models where we have ample stock of crosslink and will ride for next year – mainly recreational models.


  56. Beth from nz
    December 15, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I have been struggling to try and find a decent boat with a comfortable cockpit. As a female who is 5”6 and 160 pounds and female proportions (hips) I need to find a boat I can enter but also exit without a hoist. I am wanting to do class 2/3 river running with a start on some playboating. Will the Fun series suit me?

    1. December 16, 2011 at 4:11 am

      What’s your inseam length? You are tall for your weight but I would suggest the FUN first and hope you have a long torso. At 150 the Fun is perfect for your weight in a river running playboat. IF you must go to the longer boat, the 4-Fun is a MUCH bigger boat yet still plays well. You won’t be flatwater cartwheeling or stern squirting much but downriver, surfing, and cartwheeling – even loops are all good in this boat. Make sure and check the ‘trim’ of the Fun – have a friend see if you are sitting too far back and the boat is stern-down when sitting up in flatwater. You want a more ‘balanced’ boat where the parting line along the side of the boat (not the bow) is level with the water.

      Hit back with the inseam length of try one at your local dealer.


  57. Nick
    December 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    It looks like there are new handles on the new Villain. Are they still the webbing with a tube in the middle or has Jackson switched to hard handles? If so, what material are they made of and can I purchase them separately from the boat?

    1. December 20, 2011 at 5:12 pm

      The old handles were webbing with a plastic tube (for comfort) with a swedged steel cable running through them for structural strength. The new handles are rubber-coated (for comfort) solid metal handles. I’m sure that you could order them separately if you really wanted to replace them. They’re probably equal in actual strength but have a sleeker look for sure.

  58. George
    December 30, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I wanted to ask you if you could help me to decide between Villain M and Villain S. My weight is cca 190lbs, which is 10lbs above suggested maximal paddlers weight of Villain S and it fits right in the middle of Villain M’s range. BUT when I paddled them, I was feeling much better in S. In M I got that feeling like when edge is not enough dipped under water – primary stability was worse, feeling of the edge was kindda blurry and speed was worse too… True is that I was testing them on WW3-4, so in WW5 it might be different (precisely my target rivers are Europian WW5 – Norway, Corse, Austria etc.).

    Should I base my decision on experience from WW3-4, or should I rather trust the brand, cross my fingers and hope that on WW5 everything will be fine?


    1. December 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      I’d trust your feelings when you demoed the boats. It may be that you just prefer the feeling of a smaller boat. They boat have plenty of volume for you. The full-sized Villain will have the advantage of side to side forgiveness, and a little more stability in pushy water. The Villain S should feel a bit more nimble.

  59. shawn s
    January 21, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Dear Jackson Kayak,
    I’m a proud owner of a brand new 2010 villan. I put the small foot pads in my boat shaped the foam pads but with my river shoes on I’m still just a bit tight on my heals I wear a size 15. I was wondering if I can trim the bulkhead one side to the other all the way through? Would it mess with the structure of the foam? I was planning on taking a bit out at a time till it fit comfy, but might have to go all the way through and taper it back so I could get out on an exit. thanks a bunch

    1. January 22, 2012 at 1:25 am

      Great questions, you long-legged kayaking machine! I’d first try to cut out only the heel area of the center pillar out near where your feet are (near the bottom of the center wall)….This might help a bit. Also, depending on where you’re sitting, you might have good luck moving back a bit. I paddle my Villain S with the seat just 1 notch from the back-most position for performance…SO if you have some room to move back, that would give you more foot room. Seeing that your feet are so far forward, you may be able to paddle safely without the foot foam at all.

      Hope that helps!!!

      1. shawn s
        January 22, 2012 at 1:51 am

        Thanks again for your help and info. I wanted to ask if it was a good idea before I started trimming on the center beam bulk head. Yea I’m thinking about trimming from the bottom of the boat up about 3.5-4″ and about 3-4inches long in the center beam bulkhead. Im gonna mess around with the seat and try running without the foot pads in the summer ill prob put em in when I wear sandals. I think if I move the seat and get my heels in the bulkhead an inch or so ill be in good shape. Thanks

  60. Kirbz
    January 23, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    So does the new 2012 Villian S come with the sweet cheeks or is that an add? And did I hear that you’re only making super-linear boats this year? I thought the crosslink was supposed to be stronger, but I may be wrong… Thanks!


    1. January 24, 2012 at 12:43 am

      Great questions! The current Villain comes with the foam pad over the seat, but you can add a sweet cheeks extra at any time. The Rockstar still comes with a sweet cheeks 200. As to your 2nd question about plastics, it’s a fairly long answer, but here goes: Over the past 3-5 years, plastic manufacturers have invested lots of money into developing much better Superlinear options. At the same time, the availability of crosslinked plastic has become rarer and rarer AND the only colored x-link we can currently get isn’t the same awesome stuff that we started with in 2004. The newest crosslink just isn’t as good as it was, and the newest SL is better than it’s ever been. SO, we’re using a much stronger Superlinear than we’ve ever had before 2012 for all our whitewater boats–making them stronger, weldable, and recyclable!

      Hope that helps 🙂

  61. chris williams
    January 26, 2012 at 11:38 pm



    1. January 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm

      The Villain should work very well for you at your size. With more than 90 gallons to keep you on the surface, you should be good to go 🙂 You’ll still have your shredder while you learn to drive it make it take you everywhere you want to go ! ENJOY!

  62. Alan
    February 13, 2012 at 2:14 am

    I am a kayak beginner but familiar to whitewater and inflatable kayaks. Just bought a elite Villain L, because i got a good deal, but im starting to wonder if it is too big for me. Im between 5’10 and 5’11, 175 lbs, with a 34 inch waist around. I put foam in the hip pads and it fits me well in the hips, but i feel like my legs are spread too wide. I was going to consider putting foam in the thigh brace area, but i don’t want to outfit it if i am going to have to sell it or trade it. The thigh braces also contact my legs right above my knees, is this acceptable or will this cause me problems? I am also wondering if it is going to be harder to roll for someone my size than say the Villain S to the point where it will endanger me. (I have been borrowing a boat to practice rolling, because i dont want to buy the large size spray skirt the villain L requires if i am not going to keep it) My main question is: Did i buy a boat that is too big for me or with proper outfitting will i be able to enjoy this boat?

    1. February 13, 2012 at 11:57 am

      It will always be a big boat on you, but you should be able to outfit it and enjoy paddling it anywhere. Most of your issues will be fit, not performance. If you were buying new, I’d say that a Villain S would be a better size, but there are definitely people at your size and weight that paddle a full size Villain.

      First of all, I’d raise your seat with a sweet cheeks 200 or an inch of minicell foam. Then consider adding some foam to the outside of the knee area to bring your knees in a bit if they still feel too wide. Hope that helps–enjoy your boat!!!

  63. TC
    February 15, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    How is the Villain for bigger guys? I’m 6’4″, sitting right at 300 at the moment, but will be slimmed down to at least 280 by summer, and hopefully on down to around 250-260 range by the end of summer. Right now I’m paddling a XP10, but I’m wanting something a little quicker and more maneuverable.

    1. March 8, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      Hey TC:

      The Villain is our largest full-on whitewater boat and handles 250 really well, 300 it handles but I can’t say it’s ideal. Then again there are no bigger boats so folks at 300 say it’s ‘good’ all the time.

      The Villain will definitely be more sporty and maneuverable than your XP … and so is our Rogue 10 which is more in that same class of kayak.

      Other larger size boats are the Fluid Solo Large and Dagger Mamba Large… but I don’t think either of them handles big guys as well as our Villain.

      Good luck!

      Clay Wright

      1. TC
        March 22, 2012 at 6:57 pm

        Thanks for your reply. I think I’ll be demoing a Villain L here very soon at CanoeKY. I definitely want to stick with a Jackson boat. Love the hull and new outfitting on the Villain, good stuff!

  64. Matt
    February 16, 2012 at 3:44 am

    ok. It’s time for me to purchase a ww kayak.
    I am big guy. bout 285 lbs. From what i’ve read, the Villian would be able to float me. I’ve sat in the Villain and Super Hero and the Villain was more comfortable.
    Am I good to go ahead and purchase the Villian??
    Thanks for the input!

    1. February 16, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      The Villain and the Super Hero are right up your alley for sure!
      You would be happy in each but if you found one more comfortable go with that one! At your weight it will be perfect!

  65. Alp can
    February 21, 2012 at 2:29 am

    I am a proud owner of a superstar, 4fun and a proud previous owner of a villain ! I am 6″4′ and weigh 190, the large villain is too wide for me, too much of a boat for my size .. But I have loved that boat! Today I took a villain S out to demo on chattooga , I know I am too long and too heavy for the boat , took the shoes off, moved the seat several times , it is just a little short ! But I love how that boat paddles, fast, ferries well , boofs well, it is the best boat I have ever paddled !! But I need 2-3 more inches of length in the boat , without changing the width, the issue I have with the large is the width, I am so lose in the boat even I build the biggest hip pads possible ! do you have plans to make a medium size villain? it would be a great river runner creeker for so many people like me ! I am going to paddle the S , and see what else I can do to fit better .. I am hooked to that boat ..

    1. March 8, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      In between sizes? Welcome to the club… the more sizes we make the more people have harder choices to make 🙂

      As for your size, at 190 the Villain sounds perfect. What you need is to ‘shrink’ the perceptible size of the Villain.. and i’m an expert at that.

      Sit up higher. A Sweet Cheeks 200 will lift you up into the thigh braces better and give you much better ‘grip’ on the boat. The added benefit is that your center of gravity will be higher making each subtle shift of your weight more effective, essentially narrowing the feel of the boat.

      I sit up higher in almost all my boats and currently creek in a Super-hero with 4 hip pad shims each side, foam knee chocks, and a Sweet Cheeks 200 ON TOP of the foam pad it came with! I also raced the Villain for Green Race and figured out how much the seat hight makes a big difference after paddling it stock – and hating it – on my first run. Added the Sweet Cheeks 200 on top and voila… instantly changed how the boat handled and paddled to a much ‘narrower’ feeling.

      Not saying this is what you are asking for, but I know your challenge and have ‘risen’ to it many a time…. give it a shot and let us know how it goes!

      Clay Wright 5’9” / 170 lbs.

  66. chris williams
    February 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I just brought a villain L what are some companys names that make a spray skirt for the villain im new to the sport .

    chris williams

  67. Neal
    March 25, 2012 at 4:15 am

    What was the first year the Villian was produced?

    1. March 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm


  68. Scott
    March 26, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    I’m a proud owner of a 4Fun and have been paddling smaller river park and play and a little local down river stuff (Weber River, N. Utah). I’m looking at getting into creeking and bigger water runs out in CA (Kaweah, Kern, Toulomne) and i’m curious about which boat you would suggest. I was told the Super Hero was a little short and edgey and I’d want the extra length and the Villain is the way to go. What are your thoughts? I’m 6’3″ about 215 lbs.

    1. March 29, 2012 at 6:13 am

      Super Hero edgy? Try it and I think you’ll disagree. Great boat and uber forgiving even compared to a Villain. Perfect compliment to the 4-Fun.


  69. Russell
    March 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    I have the opportunity to buy a villain for a good price but I,m 63 kg and 176cm tall. Would this boat be too big for me? Should I wait to find a villain s?

    1. March 29, 2012 at 5:44 am

      YES! If you are under 140 lbs I would wait to find a villain S for sure. I weight 77 kg (170 lbs) and paddle the Villain S over the Villain for sure.

      I would gladly pay extra for the smaller size and I know you will too.


  70. Chris
    April 26, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Hey Team JK:

    I own a 4-Fun for river-running/-playing (which I like a lot) but now looking into creek boats for higher volume rivers…

    I am 185 cm (6 ft. 3/4 inch.), 74 kg (163 lbs) plus gear, inseam 89 cm (35 inches). So, any thoughts on Villain vs. Villain S vs. Hero vs. Super Hero? Thanks!


  71. Michael Vanderkolk
    April 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Looking to upgrade and want to figure out the right boat for me?
    I currently paddle a percieption blaze 7.3 and loved the boat for the last 10 years, but as I got into some pushier/bigger water I find myself swimming on occasion and it is killing my confidence. I was out my boat 4x on the zambezi and 1x some higher water on the arkansas, and stupid one on the ocoee. You probably know what I mean by confidence killer. I am 6 ft tall, 265. Not big into creeking, and I will occansionally catch a standing wave on the way through, but not one of those guys that wait in line to get on them. I like higher water, class 3-4 stuff. I saw a good deal online on a “new” mega rocker, but also interested in the super hero, but reading posts on the villian as well, is a bit confusing on what to purchase. I am looking for something that will high brace nicely too, cause that saves my butt from getting my head more times than not.
    Thanks for the info. Love what you guys are about.

    1. July 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      Hey Michael
      for a standing wave, go with the Super Hero! It surfs easier and is perfect for you. The villain is also great but it won’t surf as well!

      All will work great in big water but i would go Super Hero as its easier to maneuver in big water!

      I hope this helps! Otherwise the mega rocker is good but not as good as our new boats!


  72. Todd
    May 4, 2012 at 1:58 am

    I am thinking about picking up a Villian at the Cheat Fest in WV this weekend. I am a slender 6ft 180 lbs. I was told when in between wieghts to go with the bigger boat. Is this correct? Am I gonna be the skinny guy in the fatboy boat? I want a boat I can learn with and take anywhere on creeks or high water. This is my second year paddling. I borrowed a fluid Solo Med my first year and went out about 10 times. I really want to get out every weekend in 2012. Are there going to be any reps at the Cheat Fest?

    1. May 8, 2012 at 7:11 am

      Hey Todd –

      At your weight I would suggest Villain S or maybe Zen 75 but the Super-hero and Villain are certainly on the table too.

      I’m shorter – 5’9” and 170-175lbs and paddle the Villain S and Hero mostly but when the water gets high I love the new Zen 75 or Super-hero.

      The Villain is a great boat and will fit your weight fine if you fit the knee area etc. If you are just learning I would suggest the Super-hero for creeking, as it’s as easy to boof but also more stable and spinny… less speed but much easier to drive.

      The Zen 75 is a river-runner that creeks well too, fast and surfy this boat will let you learn some surfing tricks but also carves like crazy and carries it’s speed well. It’s a bit like a creek version of a slalom boat … very fast and easy to turn or spin. Touch harder to boof.

      SO what boat is best?
      For Cheat, Tygart, Lower Gauley, New: Zen 75.
      For Top Yough, Big Sandy, Deckers, Red Creek: Super Hero
      For Blackwater, MEadow, high water Upper Yough – Villain.

      Any of these will run any of these runs but you get the idea… big water Zen, Medium vol creeking Villain, low volume creeking Super Hero.


      There are lots of options and no, I’m pretty sure we aren’t sending anyone to Cheat fest as everyone is on the road boating already .. unless EJ gets the weekend free most of us are West right now… though I sure wish I could. Have a blast!


      1. Todd Hunter
        May 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm

        Thanks for the boat advice! So it seems that although the Villian S would fit me better, if I could only go with one boat right now the Villian or the Super Hero would be the better pick because those boats can pretty much go anywhere. I would be at the top of the wieght range for the villain S which might not be suitable for the Runs that you mentioned above. I like to think I am a fast learner and pretty athletic. I have been going boating every Sat and Sun would boat more but have to work. I want to get up to the runs you mentioned Asap!

        With that being said still recomend the Villain S? I actually already paid for a villain through Andy at Riversport. He couldn’t get my earth color so I have been demoing one. Andy is ok with me switching my order to a Villian S or Hero/Super Hero. I feel like I am going to need more than one boat. If I could only get one right now stick with the villain or drop down to the Villain S.

      2. Todd Hunter
        May 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm

        One more question? How the heck did you get 4 foam inserts into the hip pads and still get them to velcro to the boat?

        1. May 12, 2012 at 5:11 pm

          Hey Todd!

          Easy! I’ve been pumping iron for year to build up the strength to DOMINATE that foam into the shape I want…

          No, actually it just helps to get the foam wet and start with just 3 shims per side before adding the 4th as they pack out.

          Wet foam slides easier so you can really push it out to the corners of the pads then grip and pull the backside neoprene tight together before sticking the velcro parts together.

          In my Super-star – once I’m at 5 shims per side I glue the shims together, let them pack out for a few weeks, add another, then GLUE the neoprene together across the last shim so it’s closer together and the velcro works again.

          Hope this helps!

  73. Oscar
    May 26, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Hey JK team,
    I am a bigginer paddler (can paddle grade 3) and I live in new Zealand. Here Jackson boats are very expensive costing $2300 but I really want one. I wiegh any where from 195 to 200 and I have a chance to buy a villain S. Would I sink this boat? Haha. Could I buy this or should I go all out and buy a new full sized villain?

    1. May 30, 2012 at 6:43 am

      Go full size and don’t look back! Clay

  74. Evan
    May 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Hello, I’m checking out the Villans and Heros for a new creek boat. I’ve been creeking in a Fluid Detox. 5’7″, 180 lbs in street cloths, so I’m in between sizes. I’m an advanced paddler, looking to start doing some overnight trips in big water as well. What’s your take for me between the Villan and Hero, and what sizes? Thanks.

  75. Jim Taylor
    May 28, 2012 at 3:53 am

    Ive bought a Villan S at Gauleyfest last year, and have been been very satisfied with the comfort and the way the boat performs and punches holes (great speed) However, I recently bought a pair of canyoneering 5.10 shoes for kayaking (size 11) and noticed my feet felt very tight againts the bulkhead and bow with the canyoneering shoes. I tried doing a wet exit, and one of my feet got hung up in the boat. I also noticed my balance was affected while wearing the shoes. Maybe it caused my legs or feet to take a slightly different position. I tried moving the seat back, but when I did, it seems like the stern was grabby (almost like being in my old playboat) I weigh 170 lbs, and am 6’0″. I read the earlier post about cutting some of the foam out in the bulkhead for the heels. Do you recomend that? Or do you know of a smaller pair of river shoes that would fit better? Thanx

    1. May 30, 2012 at 6:46 am

      IT’s easy to cut a heel wedge just use a round tip knife and don’t touch the hull! Cut up and around…. about 3” tall where your shoes rest.

      Those are big shoes, the water tennies might be best if you still have issues..


      1. Jim Taylor
        May 31, 2012 at 1:50 am

        Clay, thanks for the advice. One more question… someone made a comment earlier here about pushing thier seat pretty far back and sitting up as high as possible for maximum control. Doesnt pushing the seat back cause the weight distribution to go towards the stern causing a balance problem? If the weight limit on the villan S is 180 lbs, then i should have around 10 lbs to play with (not including wet gear) So if I feel off balance when I push the seat back, is it because I’m close to the weight limit with my gear, or just used to paddling with the seat more forward? Thanks again

  76. Isaiah
    May 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I’m a huge boater and looking to finally buy a good creek boat. I’ve been paddling a mon-star for a few years and it has allowed me enter a freestyling world I thought was out of reach! Bravo! I’m just curious about how you think the villain will perform with my size/weight (6’4″, 290 lbs). Would the Hero be a better choice? I’m torn, but my main concern is that my size might hamper performance.



    1. June 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      Villain is our largest model and due to the length it handles larger paddlers even better than the Super-hero.

      Not sure it’s as big as the Mon-star in fit but still should make a better river runner / creek boat!

      While you are over the weight range I’m not sure of any bigger options in the market. Some to ask about would be the Solo L and older Mamba L.


      1. Tim
        June 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm


        I’m 6’3″ and was 274 with a 35″ inseam. Floats my weight well with the seat 1/2″ rear of center. Use the thin foam with the small plates on the Unishock and all is well. I wear 12 1/2 shoes but buy the ones with the smaller soles and fits without a problem.

        Hope this helps, Tim

  77. jeff
    July 7, 2012 at 8:51 am

    I’m 6’2″ 200lbs and I’m trying to decide between the villian and the super hero. I’m still a beginner only running class 3 so far, but I want to progress and start creeking. I live in east Tennessee. Which would you recommend for me given the rivers in this area? Also, which is easier to roll?

    1. July 7, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      At 200 and in TN I would go with the Super-hero just because it’s got extra stability and is easier to turn on the low volume runs like the Tellico or Little River. The Villain is a bit faster in flatwater, nice for long days on the Obed, but requires a bit more skill to keep going straight compared the Super-hero even though both will handle most anything and are very forgiving.

      As for easier to roll some say one, some say the other. For me the Super-hero is less likely to flip but then requires a bit more ‘oomph’ to get started but has an REALLY easy finish… even when floating on it’s side it wants to come up. The Villain starts easier but requires just a hint more finish. Hard to say really… both are so easy compared to most brands it’s tough to compare.

      Hope this helps Jeff!


      1. jeff
        July 8, 2012 at 10:42 pm

        Thanks clay. I’ll demo one. The boat I have been paddling is the karnali L. Would you mind comparing the super hero and the Gillian to the karnali…if you are familiar with it. Also what about surfing ability? Thanks!

  78. Mikey
    July 8, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I am 5’9″ 185 lbs and have an opportunity to pick up a Villain. As a beginner is this boat too big, or am I going to be able to hone the skills with it? Thanks for the help!

    1. July 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      You may be able to paddle it well and it will fit you no problem but I would consider a Sweet Cheeks 200 for it as it’s going to feel rally ‘big’ in the knees given your height (same as mine). I’ve races one several times and did well but prefer the Villain S since I’m 165. At 185 it’s a good paddling big boat but not too big.

      Hope this helps!

  79. Clay D
    July 21, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Hey Eric, Clay and the Jackson family,

    I’m 200lbs and 6’1” without gear. right now im paddling a varun large and also have a fluid solo L exp.

    Love both boats, but I want to get into a smaller creeker for single day use. I demo’d the villian s elite on a 4- and had a wonderfull paddle. I fit in the boat snug, but not uncomfortable which was great.

    i was really thinking about picking up a villian S, but I’m concerned about the overloading. But, I already have a big ass creekboat and want to keep my next boat small. Am I going to run into trouble in the big holes, with lack of volume/overloading? How about a villian medium? haha

    Clay D

    1. July 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Hey Clay
      The Villain would be a great boat for you but it is going to be a big boat, as it is a bigger boat. The villain s is not something i would recommend at your weight UNLESS you really want that little creeker feel….

      You wouldn’t be able to load it up much at your weight already. You are going to run into trouble with speed over holes, but you won’t get stuck in many as the boat will be lower in the water so you should carry your weight out easy!

      Hope that helps
      Emily Jackson

  80. millard
    July 23, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Looking at Super Hero vs L Villain. I currently paddle the 2010 SH but have to replace it. I travel full-time so all whitewater is in play nationwide up to Class IV. I have demoed a new SH liked it and plan to demo a Villain this week. I am getting ready to purchase a Super Fun to learn basic surf and easy tricks. Since Traveling I could be on big water one day and a creeky run the next. I would love opinions on SH vs LVas an all round option. I’m 5’11 230 sz11. Thanks and cheers

  81. Alan
    August 11, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Hi guys!

    Two things, I’m 50 and have been boating since last July. I’m jumping from a Burn to a Villain because I seem to wear out the Pyranhas in a matter of months, which is weird..I am out 2-3 times a week mostly in class IV Colorado creeks but I’m not abusive. Will the Villain wear out and crack in 4 months if I’m paddling this much? I may have to take up ping pong or a less expensive sport….. I’m very new to this kayaking thing so any advice is appreciated. Secondly, I hear that the Villain is getting new edges for 2013 and I wonder if I should wait for the new version. How much of an edge upgrade is the Villain getting? Thanks!

    1. August 11, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      We have a 3 year pro-rated warranty and some shiny new plastic, so your boats should last a long time on Colorado Class IV! We’re doing a new creek boat for 2013–the KARMA, which is based on a hybrid Zen/Villain concept. It should be available in Medium and Large. It will be a bit faster, carvier, longer, and more forgiving than the Villain. BUT you’d be really happy in either.

  82. scott
    August 27, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Hey,Im 6ft & 220lbs & looking to buy a kayak for a local low volume river,something that will paddle well on flat water & lakes but be able to handle class 3-4 white water once my skill grow,so an allrounder.Im thinking about a Villain or Rogue 10.Which boat will be faster on flat water?I want a boat that i can develope my white water skills in as im new to white water.I have a Coosa for fishing & want to complement you guys on a stable well thought out fishing yak. Its awsum.
    Thanks guys

    1. September 12, 2012 at 10:37 pm

      Rogue will be faster in whitewater, but at your weight you may have an easier time learning in the Villain. It won’t be much slower but it will make you more comfortable…

      Thanks for the compliments

      Emily Jackson

  83. Heather
    August 30, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Hello. I interested in a small villain. However I am kind of small 5’6 125. Some people have told me the villain would be too big for me. What do you think? Thank you!

    1. September 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      I think that you’d be very happy with the way a Villain S paddles at your size. Your issues will be with fit, rather than paddling. You will probably want to raise your seat with a sweet cheeks 200 or with some mini-cell foam. You could also consider chocking in the knee area a bit with some more foam. I’m about 145 and have always felt as though the villain S was the perfect size for me. It should be “floatier” on you–making it easier to turn and keep upright, and making it a little faster.

      FWIW, I like the feel of the boat best with the seat to the rear of center–it makes it easier to keep the bow behind the stern.

  84. Parker
    September 14, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I’m looking at the 2012 Villain I am 5’10 200lbs and I’m wondering which size would be the best for me. I live in Colorado and paddle everything from class IV/V rivers at high and low water to class V creeks and I want a boat the is good for everything. I am leaning toward the Large but wanted the experts advice.

    1. September 17, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      you definitely want a full sized Villain. It’s the right size for you for sure. You could certainly paddle the Villain S, but it would likely feel less stable and forgiving that you want.

  85. John H
    October 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Hi I am on my second Villain- I love the boat I love the way they boof, I upgraded my previous linear to the elite version because it is lighter. Please can you tell me; is that the only difference between the elite and the linear? do you still make the elite versions? and do they have a slightly different shape around the cockpit to the linear?



    1. October 2, 2012 at 3:36 am

      They should all be the same shape, but we’ve gotten better at getting the plastic weights to where we want them 🙂 We now no longer offer 2 different plastic types, just a new high-performance superlinear that’s better than any we’ve had before.
      Enjoy your new boat!!!

  86. Aaron
    October 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm


    You’d think that after reading through this thread I’d feel more sure about the the fit of a Villain vs Villain S…but I don’t. I weight in between 160-170, am 6’1″ tall, and have a 31″ inseam. I just bought a Villain L on a great deal a couple weeks ago, and have paddled it several times. Even after adding abundant extra padding at the hips, I still have room. Also, it feels like my knees/thighs are out too wide and without enough support. Should I have held out for the Villain S? Is it worth trying to trade for it, or am I just being finicky?

    Thanks for the thread!

    1. October 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      Hey Aaron –

      I’m about your weight and chose the Villain S every time but I’m much shorter – yet I see you have a similar inseam length… so perhaps the S or new Karma would suit your needs much better. I can paddle the Villain and some of our Team Members like Eric Bartyl paddle it exclusively despite being lighter and shorter than you are… different strokes for different folks. Not sure I would sell the Villain if I owned it, get a sweet cheeks 200, add foam ”knee chocks” under the thigh braces, consider trying a Happy Seat under your knees of you lie that feeling in the boat. Good luck! Clay

      1. Aaron
        October 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm

        Hey Clay–

        Thanks for the response. I took the Villain out for the second time, on the White Salmon, last weekend after having beefed up my hip pad situation. It helped, and I otherwise love the boat, but I still feel like I should be snugger in it. I’ll try your advice and put in knee chocks.

        Thanks again.


  87. JT
    November 5, 2012 at 3:15 am

    What would be a good Jackson boat for practicing attainments?
    I seem to have a really hard time with them in my SuperHero, but found them a bit easier in a Villain I borrowed recently. I’ve also got a Rogue 10, but haven’t tried attainments in that.

    1. November 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      The Zen or the Karma would be your best bet for attainments!!
      EMily Jackson

    2. November 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      The rogue would work too but it will be harder for turning…

  88. Richard
    November 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I’m looking at a Villian S for a beginner. I’m 175 pounds and 6 ft. It looks like I’m on the upper end of the sizing. Would you reccomend this size.

  89. Drake
    November 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I was wondering what the specs on the Rocker model were; not the Punk or the Mega, just the standard. Thanks

    1. December 7, 2012 at 4:05 am

      The Rocker is 8′ long and fits about 145 to 190, not sure on volume but that’s an ignorant way to judge a boat’s size anyway. It’s a very high volume boat for it’s size, I bet 80 gallons, but most of the volume is in the deck so it’s still a Medium size boat just a very tall decked one. Initial stability is ok, the secondary is very strong.


  90. Michael Metzbower
    January 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Are the 2013 Villain S kayaks made of the ‘O’ resin plastic, and in dealer shops now? Or is there a way to tell if a 2012 model is made of SL, Elite or O resin plastic? The lighter weight and lack of structural holes in the deck have me leaning towards the Villain S over a few other boats. Thanks!

    1. March 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      Hey Michael, we stick to specific color schemes each year, so if the boat is Fire and Ice, Limon, or Orange you know it would be a 2013, and the dealers can tell you also which year the kayak is by the date they received it
      Emily Jackson

  91. Todd
    January 31, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Questions about adding sweet cheeks to a villain:

    1: Do you recomend taking out the foam seat before putting the sweet cheeks in?

    2: If you recomend taking the foam seat out. How do you get the plastic rivets out?

    3: Do you recomend a sweet cheeks 100 or 200? ( could depend on if the foam seat is in or out)

    I am 6ft 180lbs. I have had my Villain for 1 year now and its an awesome boat. I can smash any rapid it is fast and stable.

    1. March 7, 2013 at 3:53 am

      Hey Todd –
      How high do you want to sit?

      I add a sweet cheeks 200 on top of the foam pad in a Villain or Super-hero or Karma L but I’m 165 lbs, 5’9” and like to sit high.

      I add a 100 sweet cheeks on top of the pad in my Karma Md, Villain S, or Hero.

      Plastic rivets just pull out with some muscle or you can ”push” the button in and do it that way with equally sometimes not perfect results,,, use glue if you want it back in or buy new plastic rivets.

      At 6′ you won’t need to sit as high as I do, so borrow a 100 and use on top of the foam pad and if you want more buy a 200 and try sliding most beans out the front or back of the seat, then remove foam pad if you want a little lower (you can always glue it back in with Weldwood contact cement).

      Hope this helps!
      Clay Wright

  92. mickeyg
    February 7, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    What to get? I’m 5’8″ and about 175lb w/a 30″ inseam. I’ve been boating for about 6 years now, primarily in eastern TN. Creek wise, I most often hit the Little River (Sinks to Elbow), Upper Tremont, and am just starting to get comfortable on Big Creek in the GSMNP. My goal is to get on West Prong of the Little Pigeon this season and the Green River this summer. Currently, I’ve got a Habitat 80 creek boat that I like but find challenging to manuever at times and was thinking either the Hero, Villian S or the Karma M would be a good option. I’d like something that has good boofing (I often miss my stroke on the Sinks) and maneuvers well. Any guidance would be appreciated.

    1. February 13, 2013 at 1:10 am

      I’d go for the Karma M. You’re the perfect size for it and I find it to be very easy to turn, extremely forgiving side to side, and boofs like a champ. Should be perfect for those southeast runs you mentioned!!! I’d think that you’d be on the upper end of the weight ranges for the Hero and Villain S to perform as you want. Go for the Karma…you’ll love it!!!

  93. randy
    March 18, 2013 at 2:38 am

    will the villain handle 315lbs? I sat in the karma L but it was a little tight… I saw the villain had a little larger cockpit. Thanks

  94. Steve
    March 26, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    I’ve seen many posts regarding seat position. Many refer to moving the seat “one notch forward or backward of center”. My question is what is considered a notch, as the seat in SuperHero slides forward or back smoothly with no notches?

    1. March 27, 2013 at 3:22 am

      The newer outfitting system has holes that a bolt/wingnut holds the seat down with. This makes for set positions. With the elite outfitting of the past, which had a composite beam on the hull, there were no “notches”, but those seats had the same amount of adjustability…you’ll just need to mark the middle ending positions on the hull, then adjust accordingly. I often just figure out where I like my backband and bulkhead to hold my body, then move the seat under me until it feels best. It’s actually the backband and bulkhead that really hold you forward/to back.
      Hope that helps!!!

  95. Todd
    April 12, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Is it true that if you are on the light end of the wieght requirements moving your seat back will back keeping your bow from spinning? I am on the lightend and have always tried to cram into the front of my vilain and Rock Star. I am trying to understand the physics and thinking of moving the seat from the front of the keyhole to the back of it.

    Thanks Guys,

    1. April 12, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Whether you’re on the lighter side (like I am in most JK boats) or not, the physics will work the same. In a river runner or creek boat, moving back lifts the bow and makes it easier to turn, and keep the lighter bow from spinning out unintentionally. I find that it also makes it carve better from the hip area. The downside is if you’re heavy in the boat or start to feel the stern grab (which you shouldn’t in a Villain S). I’ve paddled pretty much every JK creek boat/river runner with my seat 1 notch from all the way back for years–just seems to give the best balance of loose bow/easier boofing, carving, and forgiveness.

      FWIW, with playboats, I still paddle with the seats all the way forward to balance out my cartwheels.
      Hope that helps!!! Enjoy!

  96. Chris
    April 22, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    I’m just starting out in ww kayaking and need your recommmendation. I’m interested in class IV/V kayaking, weigh 215-220lbs, and am 6’4″ with a 34-36 inseam. Not very interested in playboating, just river running. The Villain seems to fit the bill without going into a Karma L. Jackson kayaks come highly recommended in my raft guide circles!

    Thank you!

    1. May 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      Hey Chris!

      at 215 and 36” inseam you can choose Villain or Karma Lg. Both will work fine, my preference is the Karma for the surfability of the planing hull and the extra speed. Villain is a great boat for your size and needs but if both are the same price I would choose the Karma Lg for sure. Super-hero is another option – great short and forgiving little creeker similar to the Pyranha Nano or ancient Micro 250.


  97. Matt
    May 8, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Hey guys I’m a long time playboater (love my Rockstar!) and am interested in getting into creeking here in the southeast. I’m 5’10” and 155lbs, and am considering either the Villan S or Hero. I’ve never paddled anything but playboats before so I’m not very knowledgeable in creekboat arena. Any suggestions??? Thanks in advance.


  98. kyle
    July 29, 2013 at 4:27 am

    I’m curious as to why you list the Villain top weight at “230+” when you don’t list other creeker/river runners with a “+”?

    I am just starting out, and borrowed a friend’s large Villain to learn in, and it seems to handle me fine at 6’4″ 265 lbs. Can you please give me an explanation of why I should not buy a Villain (and instead get a Karma or SuperHero) because I am over the suggested weight profile?

    Thank you.

    1. July 30, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      I think that the Villain should do fine at your size. The Specs are just a suggestion. No one on our team weighs more than 230ish lbs, so it’s hard for us to gauge exactly how boats will paddle at that size. The Karma is a slightly larger boat, so it might be EVEN better at your size. The Karma is also just a bit more stable and easy to turn.

  99. Craig Bradshaw
    July 31, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Im trying to get into c-1 boating and am wondering if a villain would do well with your c-1 conversion kit. Im going to be doing some easier to moderate creeking with it. Any suggestions?

    1. August 3, 2013 at 3:33 am

      Hey Craig!
      The Villain will convert no problem but you may consider either the wider, flatter Zen 75 as it’s pretty ”c-1 friendly” or the in between Karma L. These planing hull boats will be just a bit more stable when flat. Personal preference, just something to consider.


  100. EJ Johnson
    August 20, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I recently bought your Villian S. I’m a little worried I may be too large for it. My height is 5-11 and I’m 185 lbs. Do you think this is a dangerous boat size for me to white water river run? I feel pretty snug inside the cockpit but it’s not too uncomfortable. I actually like the fit. I noticed your spec on the web page suggest ideal weight range of 100-180. Would you recommend I try it or would it be too dangerous. Would I have trouble with my combat roll and balance in the boat?

    Thank you for any advice.


    1. August 20, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      Hey EJ –

      185 is on the high side of preferable but not ”unsafe” or anything like that in a Villain S. It just won’t be as fast or forgiving as it would be if you were 160. I paddled it at 170 lbs and loved it so you aren’t that far off from ideal, but just at the top end. Hope his helps! go paddle it!


  101. George Pendleton
    October 28, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    hi, im thinking of buying a second hand villain but not quite sure about the weight range, i come in at about 145 pounds and im 5 foot 11, would the villain be alright or should i consider waiting for a villain s to come about

    1. October 29, 2013 at 2:25 am

      You could paddle a large villain, but it’ll definitely be big on you. You’re pretty much EXACTLY the right size for the Villain S, Karma M, or Hero.
      Hope that helps!!!

  102. Oscar
    November 8, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Hey guys, I got my self a large villain and I’m loving it but I sometimes feel a little short in it. ( my strokes aren’t as strong as they could be). I’m 5’11 and 200 lbs. just wondering if there’s anything I can do to help with this?
    Cheers, Oscar

    1. November 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      Glad you like your Villain! It’s a great boat. You have a few option to make it fit a little tighter: I’d consider sitting up a hair higher by using either a sweet cheeks 200, or adding a little bit of foam to get you higher. That will give you more leverage on your strokes and reach around the knee area and deck of the boat. You can also add some small foam wedges to the knee area (inside and ouside where your knees go)….some weldwood contact cement will glue that stuff right to the foam pad, or you can peel the foam pad up and glue more foam in between it and the side of the boat.

  103. Niels
    November 20, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I’m 1,80m tall (5.9″[?]), weight 80kg (176lbs)[without equipment].
    My background is something like this: I used to use a Fluid Solo S and it was quite ok while I was using it on rivers around class IV. But since we were running a lot more class V whitewater recently (had great waterlevels in Austria and Norway this summer) it feels like I want to have a bigger boat. Feels like I reached the limit of my low volume kayak, because getting beaten up by huge norwegian stoppers and diving like a submarine behind waterfalls may look funny, but it’s not quite what running these rapids should be like 😉 I borrowed a Mamba from friends and it was better than my own boat, but still not quite the kayak I’m looking for.
    Since I’m owning a 2012 Rockstar and absolutely love it for playboating and riverunning, I’m thinking of getting a Villain, but I’m not sure if the Villain S or the normal one would fit me better.
    I was thinking about a Hero too, but it’s pretty much the same length as the Fluid (with a lot more Volume of course)and I think I want my next boat to be more of a “real” creeker.
    Greets from Germany

    1. November 22, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Man, I’d consider the Karma M…you’re pretty much ideal in the weight range and it should be a great upgrade from your current boat. Much more confidence inspiring with a ton more volume and speed to deal with those holes. It also just LOVES to plane over holes and backwash–it carries more speed over those things and any creek boat I’ve ever paddled. You could go with either Villain, but I think that the Karma is just a better boat. Enjoy!!!

  104. Chad Zander
    May 1, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    I just bought a Villain and love the comfort. What would you call the size of the cockpit? I need to buy a new skirt for it! M? LG? XL? what would fit it best?

    1. July 4, 2019 at 4:50 am

      Hey Chad – Villain S or Villain? Skirts are not sized the same for every brand, so while you may buy a medium Jackson Kayak boat it might take an XL skirt because the manufacturers started with skirts for Dancers. Villain cockpit is a LARGE Creekboat size like Large Nirvana. Villain S is more like Nirvana M. Clay

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