11' 4"
Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Riviera Description

The Riviera is Jackson Kayak’s blend of easy and FUN! Designed for its simplicity, the Riviera is a great option for those looking for an easy to use, easy to store, and comfortable sit on top. The high back on the seat gives you the comfort and support you need to to enjoy your paddling adventures, and with very few moving parts, the Riviera is sure to provide fun for a lifetime. A small day hatch in the center provides dry storage for your lunch, sunblock, or other accessories you might need. A great “cottage boat” as well as the most popular rental boat on the market.

Riviera Reviews


Read and submit reviews for the Riviera.

Riviera Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit on Top / Open Cockpit
  • Seating Configuration: Solo
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Jackson Kayak
Riviera Reviews

Read reviews for the Riviera by Jackson Kayak as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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Fun Stable and sturdy Kayak!…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/7/2022

Fun Stable and sturdy Kayak! This kayak is pretty much unsinkable. I’ve run it in Lake Erie to Swift moving Creeks and it won’t flip! only thing it could use is a scupper hole or two….because it’s not the driest ride around. The front semi dry hatch is convenient for your cell phone etc.


Don’t let some greedy…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/3/2022

Don’t let some greedy outfitter give you this kayak. This kayak is garbage unless you want to bring a water bottle and some lunch and nothing else. Just can’t handle any type of fast water without filling the boat with water where it turns into a bathtub because there’s no scupper plugs. Has a spot in the front to put gear but no straps to tie anything down and no way to add them. I am 170 pounds and about 5 foot 10. This submarine couldn’t keep me and 50 pounds of gear above the water. I would hate to see it on the water with its max weight. Seat wasn’t bad so I will give it one star. I wouldn’t take this kayak if you gave it to me for free.


I own a company we float…

Submitted by: paddler872439 on 9/11/2020
I own a company we float these boats every day they take a beating even over weight. I've ran these boats for a long time and would not trade my 100 of them for anything else on the market.

This might be my favorite…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/2/2019

This might be my favorite SOT kayak if it had scupper holes, which it does not. That means you always have to carry a bilge pump and sponge. On very calm waters, it's not a problem. But on rivers with any waves (even sub-Class 1) you WILL get swamped, and that causes the boat to become unstable until you can get it emptied out. Other than that, here are the good points: 1) Very comfortable, which I didn't really expect with only a molded-in plastic seat, but... it was really comfortable. I can't explain it.
2) Tracks reasonably well.
3) Surfs reasonably well.
4) Handles waves well (I'm talking Lake Erie type waves) except for taking on water as I've already mentioned. 5) Maneuvers well enough. (Making a turning stroke at the crest of a wave seems to work best for not allowing much water inside.) 6) Not too heavy. I usually carry it in the bed of my little truck. 7) Super stable. If I didn't flip it on Lake Erie, it's not going to easily flip anywhere. 8) Comes in some cool colors.

I'm giving it five stars even though the lack of scupper holes bothers me a bit. Everything else is just so good. I like this boat a lot. Jackson done good. LOL


The canoe club that I belong…

Submitted by: TxCamellia on 9/7/2016
The canoe club that I belong to bought 3 Jackson Riviera kayaks. I took one home for my 10 year old nephew to try out. He has been in a canoe with me a few times but never in a kayak solo. I took him out to one of the area lakes and he loved it. The kayak tracked really and was able to maintain a steady speed. I also made him remount the kayak by himself and he was able to without out any problems.

We operate a small river…

Submitted by: paddler237025 on 8/11/2016
We operate a small river outfitter in Southwest Virginia, and our fleet of kayaks are primarily Jackson Riviera sit on tops. This kayak is perfect for our class I river. Since many of our guests are new to kayaking, they appreciate the stability and tracking that the riviera offers as well as the back rest. As owners, we appreciate their ability to “nest” on our kayak trailers and the durability that they provide - even during lowriver conditions where guests sometimes have to drag them a few feet. These are hard working kayaks that do not let us down. I gave this kayak a 9 instead of a 10 only because the square handles are more difficult to use than that of a comparable sit on top kayak - The old town twister - which has a more rounded handle. Our staff have to be very careful or they can get a twisted wrist when handling the Rivieras.

Our family rented 2 of these…

Submitted by: tcsspitts on 7/18/2016
Our family rented 2 of these and a canoe for a Sunday outing on the Great Miami River in Ohio. It is reasonably comfortable with a supportive backrest. A little padding would help it. It is a rental unit and has been through much hard use but is fun on flat water or slow rivers on hot days. It tracks well and was popular with my wife and I and our teenage daughters. Not for serious floats or a fishing platform but great for summer family paddles.

I love this kayak! It is…

Submitted by: paddler236764 on 5/14/2016
I love this kayak! It is perfect in size and is easy to move around in the water. It's easy storage and light weight. I enjoy the sit on top more than the sit in. I would love have one for my daughter.

This comfy Sit-on-Top kayak…

Submitted by: pdittmer on 5/14/2016
This comfy Sit-on-Top kayak is great for the first timer and the experienced alike. The molded in seat puts you in a position to take the stress off of your lower back and allows to you to get good power down to the water for a fun day on the water. Since it is sit-on-top, it is really unsinkable and adds that extra measure of security for those on the water. The storage is ample for a full day's worth of gear and the rigging will hold it all in place. If you happen to flip it or fall off, it is a simple matter to hop back on as it will not swamp and the handles allow you a few easy methods to pull back up on board.

This is a standard kayak…

Submitted by: sherrykay50 on 4/29/2016
This is a standard kayak found in liveries. It is a sturdy sit on top that fills with water constantly (including inside). I suppose one could say it is safe, although I did see a several capsizes in shallow water with deadfall. If there is a wind more than 5 mph, it tracks with difficulty. There are no bells or whistles, but it is pretty indestructable. It was comfortable even with only molded seats and footholds. The Riviera is probably best for flat water in lakes and shallow rivers.

My husband and I had a chance…

Submitted by: paddler236315 on 7/1/2015
My husband and I had a chance to use the Riviera by Jackson kayaks. The Riviera is a sit on top kayak. They track well, but that's about the only thing I liked. The yak is uncomfortable. The feet rests are built into the yak so there is no adjusting. For someone short it is impossible to have the right notch for your feet. You either stretch or draw up. There wasn't a drink holder, the yak is not self bailing, and there is very little storage. We floated a creek for 4 hours in the Riviera. I would only recommend these for shorter trips.

I bought a Riviera in March,…

Submitted by: paddler236127 on 2/3/2015
I bought a Riviera in March, 2014. I have used it probably 50 times since then. Great boat, really stable. Perfect boat for big and small rivers. Not the fastest boat by any stretch, but I'm not sure that sit-on-tops are ever particularly fast. I would not hesitate to recommend this boat to anybody. Easiest boat to paddle that I know of.

I love my Jackson Riviera…

Submitted by: Pbancer on 9/3/2014
I love my Jackson Riviera kayak. I was afraid it wouldn't be comfortable without a seat pad. However, whoever designed it did a great job. It gives more back support than most kayaks. I love that if I get caught in a tough spot, I don't have to worry about bailing water. It's very easy to maneuver.

"Not that one," I thought…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/1/2014
"Not that one," I thought when, at an Austin kayak rental, a large group of us were being paired with various craft. "That one looks cheap. And I want one with an actual seat!" But I was given the Jackson Riviera anyway -- and I'm so glad I was!

I'm 51 and fairly new to kayaking, overweight and none too confident in my ability to handle anything fancy. And for that reason, the Jackson Riviera is now topping my list as I decide on my first kayak to purchase.

Here's the good:
Despite only having a molded-in seat, the Riv was seriously comfortable. I spent 3 hours on the lake and could have gone longer. It was also easy to paddle and turn, fairly fast, and remarkably stable. Best of all (by my reckoning) it turned out to be a tough workhorse of a kayak -- no bells and whistles, just a solid boat.

Since then, I've done some research and found that it has a replaceable skid plate in back, so that you can drag it, and it's made in America--I watched a video that showed various workers making kayaks and talking about their commitment to "Make it like it's yours."

So why only an 8? If there's a kayak I would rank a 10, I haven't found it yet! Also, there are at least 2 things I would change about the Riviera. The biggest is, I would like to see more padeyes on the front half, for heaven's sake! In order to add more line, for safety and grabbability, I'll have to install some myself once I get my own Riv. (One of the benefits of a sit-on-top is that it's supposedly easy to get in and out of even in deep water, but line surely does help the process). The other is that I would like some self-draining scupper holes.

All in all, though, this is the kayak for me!


I purchased two Jackson…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/19/2013
I purchased two Jackson Rivieras last year for my wife and I. They have been amazing! They are great for lakes or rivers. They are very easy to maneuver and comfortable for all day trips. Being a sit-on-top they are heavier than sit-in kayaks. There is little on it that you have to mess with since it is all one form, making it easy to load up and hit the water.

We bought our first Riviera…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/14/2013
We bought our first Riviera in mid June 2013, bought number two & three Rivieras this week. We are total beginners, I have never liked the water or any kind of boats, I am older(57) overweight & don't particularly like exercising. What a difference this kayak has made in my life, I can't wait to get up so I can go to the river! I am eating better, feeling better, loving being outside. In the past month I have only missed about 6 days not being on the water due to a very rainy July. I can't say enough good things about my Riviera, my whole attitude is 100% better because of this kayak.

I just bought a Riviera…

Submitted by: paddler234962 on 5/17/2013
I just bought a Riviera today. I have 4 other kayaks and was looking for a 3rd typhoon(my favorite)but was told they don't make them anymore. This kayak looks similar so I thought I'd try it.

I have not gotten it in the water yet but was disappointed that when carried by the side handle the weight is not balanced.. the nose dives into the ground and it seams much heavier than the typhoon. On the plus side I like that it has a flat nose with handle on both ends. I can't wait to get it in the water and see how it handles.


I just purchased my second…

Submitted by: FolbotCaptain on 2/8/2012
I just purchased my second Jackson Riviera. The newest addition is the version made from crosslink. I highly recommend this sit on top. It's great for exploring small streams as it has a shallow draft. Its great on flat water lakes but with a length of 11'4" long don't try to keep up with longer touring kayaks. Its great on flowing streams. And it surfs great.
  • No scuppers - no problem. Just carry a bilge pump if you want the water out.
  • You can easily attach padeyes for thigh straps.
  • The built-in front and rear carry handles makes it easy to secure if storing outside or while on your rack.
  • The built in seat back in extremely comfortable.
  • And as it was designed for livery use, it's one tough boat.
If you are looking for one kayak to cover a range of uses, this is the kayak to buy.

Take this review with a grain…

Submitted by: Big_D on 2/6/2012
Take this review with a grain of salt because my paddling experience was so brief.
A friend brought a Riviera to a summer trip August of 2011. I thought it was an interesting looking boat and asked to borrow it. I took it for a short test paddle - about 90 minutes. I paddled upriver then came back down. In paddling upriver, I surfed it easily. Accidentally actually. At the first riffle, I had a hard time getting up against it and decided to portage. I stopped paddling to let the current take me back down and... I didn't go. The boat sat there and surfed in the tiniest little wave you ever saw just as long as I was willing to let it. That surprised me.

I did get it up stream and coming back down through the main current found that it was very easy to steer and control. It was a bit disconcerting with my 240# frame so close to the water surface, but I grew used to it quickly. As I got more bold, I found that the kayak responded well in bumpy or still water. At the end of the test, coming back into camp, I tried a few eddy turns. I've not paddled a kayak that took an eddy turn more easily - and I used to paddle a WaveSport Diesel. That surprised me - a lot.

I rate it well for how easy it is to paddle. I think novices could be trusted to take this boat out and have a good, safe time with it. I didn't rate it higher because there's no attachment points for thigh straps. I don't suppose with the molded in seat back that a back strap is necessary. Also, scuppers would have improved the rating.


Just purchased a Riviera for…

Submitted by: ba78101 on 9/14/2011
Just purchased a Riviera for the wife and she LOVES it as well as I. She is a total beginner with zero paddling experience and after a couple of slow river trips she cruises like a pro.

This is a fantastic shallow water/rock bottom river sled that still tracks extremely well in deep water and had a good glide as well. We are living out a major drought this year and water is limited so this boat shines even more the hull is almost bulletproof. She has bounced it off some serious granite boulders and it bounces well!

I myself like to drop in the molded cockpit and relax in it as well. I am six foot three and 250 lbs and it fits me as well as her five foot seven body. We have let other novice family members take it down river and they all love it because its stable, easy to control and just plain relaxing.

I too would like to see a drier seat with the addition of scuppers but not if its going to sacrifice any the durability the Riviera has to currently offer.

Final note: if you are considering kayaks for the family try out a Riviera first, comfortable, maintenance free, durable, stackable and priced right.


I really like the Riviera.…

Submitted by: paddler233691 on 7/9/2010
I really like the Riviera. It's very stable and the molded seat is very comfortable this past weekend I took it down a class 3 river it handled GREAT I only wish Jackson would of added self bailing scupper holes and made the cup holder deeper.

Picked this kayak up recently…

Submitted by: FolbotCaptain on 10/22/2009
Picked this kayak up recently to use on both lakes and rivers. I'm 6'2 - 220 pounds and it fits great. Just got done with a 2 hour paddle on a lake and for a sit on top it was extremely comfortable. A lot due to the built in seat and the position of the foot pegs. Construction is solid. Stability is top notch - very similar to my Ocean Kayaks.