Zen Medium

8' 6"
Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Zen Medium Description

The 2015 Zen bridges the gap between river runner and creek boat and offers a new tier in speed and performance. The sidewalls are higher than the previous model giving it much improved stability. The added volume and bow rocker keep you higher on the surface. The Zen has held onto its fast, light maneuverability but now allows you to fly up and over rocks, holes and waves better than ever. Whether you are looking for a forgiving, easy to roll all around kayak while just getting started or wanting a sporty river runner that surfs as well as it creeks, the 2015 Zen is for you. This new 2015 hull design will make the Zen a forgiving kayak for those rolling, bracing and running whitewater for the first time. Making it not only an awesome instructional kayak but a top creek racer as well. The end result will be a Zen that is fast, stable and more versatile than ever on rivers and creeks. Available in three sizes, the Zen S, M, L.

Zen Medium Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit Inside
  • Seating Configuration: Solo
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult
  • Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult
  • Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Additional Attributes

  • Uni-shock Bulkhead system
  • Fast and Forgiving Planing Hull
  • Sure-Lock Back Band System
  • Improved Bow Rocker
  • Higher parting Line for added stability
  • Drain Plug
  • Go Pro Ready
  • JK Nalgene Bottle
  • 4 Grab Handles and Security Bar
  •  Composite Reinforced Hull Support System

Jackson Kayak
Zen Medium Reviews

Read reviews for the Zen Medium 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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I started whitewater…

Submitted by: River_Whiskey on 11/25/2019

I started whitewater kayaking last summer after sea kayaking for a couple of years. My initial experience with WW kayaks was frustrating as I was learning. They spin so easily and it is difficult to get them up to any speed. Finally I took a WW clinic and the instructor suggested a Zen. So the Zen was the boat where I started to learn to paddle WW.

It was a revelation to use the Zen after I had tried some other models. It tracks a bit more readily than other boats that I tried and it feels more stable in wave trains. It eddy turns and peels out very naturally, so I was able to learn to S turn in a Zen very easily. Ferrying was a skill that I had to work at a bit, but once I discovered that the Zen would slide across the current with the correct angle, I was able to get the hang of it. I can't say that I compared every skill with different Kayaks, in truth I learned a lot of the skills for the first time in a Zen. Before I hads tried the Zen, I was very uncomfortable in WW.

I learned to roll in both the Zen and my Tsunami 165. The Zen takes less energy to roll than the larger sea boat, but is also easier to flip. If you roll both boats 10 times in a short period of time, the Zen will leave you fairly comfortable and the Tsunami will probably make you a bit tired. I struggle with my roll in fast current, but in flat water both boats are very consistent to roll.

The bottom line is that I think the Zen is a great boat for learning and its stability makes it a good choice for big water. I like the handling and I can say that it helped me get more comfortable in WW. I love this boat and am considering buying one.

I wish that they had incorporated a stern hatch or a day hatch, or both. The stern is a large volume that you need to fill with inflatable bags, it would be great to be able to use that space like you can in a sea kayak. If they had a hatch, I would probably be rating this boat five stars.

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