Nirvana The Nirvana creek boat brings speed, stability, and maneuverability to any class of whitewater, inspiring confidence like never before. High bow rocker keeps you dry while flying over waves and holes, making the Medium Nirvana a sub-9’ racing machine. However, unlike many racing kayaks, the Nirvana is accessible— both responsive and forgiving— such that it feels at home on everything from beginner whitewater to the most demanding Class-V rapids. If you want a performance inspiring river-running/creek boat that’ll knock rapids down a class, than the Nirvana is the boat for you! Available in two sizes.

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Nirvana - Product Description

Product Features

  • 1  - Race Inspired Hull

    A creeking boat designed to get you through rapids quickly and in control. If you just want a river running/creek boat that has a high end speed in the rapids, but don’t plan on racing, the Nirvana won’t disappoint!
  • 2  -  Boat Armor Outfitting

    A new composite re-inforced hull track system is the backbone of this unique whole-hull integrity system.
  • 3  -  Uni-Shock Bulkhead System

    This shock-absorbing system not only might save your ankles from a rocky impact but also lets us drill ZERO holes in the boat for an absolutely dry ride.
  • 4  - Sure-Lock Backband System

    This instantly adjustable system is operated right from your kayak and uses only rope and plastic cleats: no metal parts to rust, corrode, fall-out or break - ever! Should you break a rope you are a simple square knot away from continuing in comfort and replacement is possible in any hardware shop.
  • 5  - Carrying Strap Attached to Bulk Head for Easier Carrying

    This unique webbing loop rides just over the bulkhead so you can hang on while portaging to add next level control and take some of the weight off your shoulders.
  • 6  - Ropes to attach throw rope for easy access

    Plenty of tie-down points for your pin-kit, rope, breakdown etc.
  • 7  - Go- Pro Ready - GoPro  - GoPro

    Comes with a screwed in mount for your Go Pro that you can unscrew and stick wherever you like for a different point of view.
  • 8  - Nalgene Bottle - Nalgene  - Nalgene

    USA Made, BPA Free and with a JK logo - this is one water bottle designed for years of hard use, just like your Jackson Kayak!
  • 9  - Thermoformed U Channel

    Thermoformed U Channel with Composite Reinforcement for added Hull Support.

Comments on “Nirvana”

  1. Sandy Northwood
    October 30, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    It’d be great to know more of the specs. What sizes does the Nirvana come in? Cockpit size & volume of each?

  2. Jessica
    January 30, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Will you be coming out with a small for us smaller paddlers and if so when!?

  3. Bill
    March 6, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    I have been paddling for three years. In that time, I’ve had four boats. I winnowed them down a few months ago to a single kayak and I’m very happy with my choice. I paddle a Karma RG on class 2 & 3 water; mostly river running. I love this boat and will never sell it; however, I am ready to add another kayak to the fleet. I have narrowed my choices to the Nirvana or the Zen. Which of these two boats are the most forgiving and the most stable? I normally paddle the Lower Green, the Tuck and the Nanty although I do occasionally paddle other southeast WW. I’m 5’10” / 185 pounds not kitted up. What size Zen and Nirvana?

    1. Chris M
      March 27, 2018 at 7:37 pm

      Zen – Large – 89 Gallons
      Nirvana – Medium – 86.3 Gallons
      Having paddled both boats, I think that a role remains for both in the Jackson line-up. The Zen has greater primary (boat flat) stability, so I’d give it the edge on stability, but not by much. It (the Zen) is also a ferrying machine, I have never paddled a boat which was so happy to just zoom across a river or across currents. The Nirvana will, I think, and has been for me, a little easier to turn on edge, and a slight bit easier to roll being an inch narrower with a slightly smaller planing surface underneath the seat. I think both boats will make you happy, and both are a great match for what you’re looking for, I think the Zen’s sharper rails will help you progress your river-running style, and I thought it felt more similar to the Karma Unlimited/RG than the Nirvana.

    2. Jay
      April 8, 2018 at 6:16 pm

      The Zen will be a better choice for you.

  4. Mack
    April 4, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Got a wild hair to trade my medium Zen on a Medium Nirvana. The Zen was great, fun and forgiving. The Nirvana is great, even MORE fun and forgiving. The 8 extra gallons of air and the rocker make the Nivarna FAST and NIMBLE. It’s amazing that they built a boat for Dane to win races in that is also a good fit for a new paddler or a senior paddler like me to enjoy his nerdy club boating.

    1. Craig Phillips
      January 3, 2019 at 3:21 pm

      Hey Mack, just wanted to see how you are liking your Nirvana vs. the Zen now that you have had sometime in your boat?

      1. Mack
        July 24, 2019 at 8:15 pm

        Nirvana update after a year and some: It’s so fun to zip around in my Nirvana I’ve lost interest in playboating (getting a little elderly for that young man sport anyway). Jackson seems to be always tweaking and improving their boats, but I don’t see how they could improve the Nirvana. Some may think the length may be an issue, but if that’s what makes it so fast and nimble with the rocker, it’s ok by me.

    2. Spin
      July 16, 2019 at 9:43 am

      Hey Mack, I am thinking of doing the same thing as you. I have been paddling the 2016 Med Zen since it came out from big volume water to creeks – up to class V- drops. In general, I love most things about it. Things I don’t like… the rocker on the noise is not enough when dropping off big ledges into bigger holes – it tends to dive too much for me (skill is always an issue too). It is easy to get knocked of course by big waves. I am 5’8″ at 175 pounds. The Lg Zen is way too big for me – but I am at the top end of the Md Zen. So I think that is part of the issue I have with the boat. So thinking that the Md Nirvana will be a better boat for my size. So do you find that there is more rocker on the nose of the Nirvana than the Zen? Is it “kicked” up more? What are some of the fine point differences you have noticed so far? Thanks.

      1. August 8, 2019 at 10:28 am

        Hey Spin!

        The Nirvana has WAY more bow rocker and is a larger size than the Zen Md but has the same fit – nothing as cavernous as the Zen Lg. I chose the Zen Lg a lot at 175 but am 100% perfect in Nirvana Md. Sadly I don’t paddle the Zen anymore even though I loved the carving… the Nirvana is just a better all-around creek boat for my size and weight (170 5’9”) than the larger Zen Lg or smaller Zen Md. Clay

  5. Gwen
    April 12, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    As asked (but not answered) above, when will a small Nirvana be available?

    1. August 30, 2018 at 4:50 pm

      Hey Gwen –

      Unfortunately no Small was made of the Nirvana! :-(((( So sorry, Zen S is our smallest creeker as the Nirvana Md range fits down to 135 no problem. Add a seat pad if you feel too small for it, good luck! Clay

  6. Jordan
    April 26, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Will Jackson be coming out with a small Nirvana?

  7. May 3, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    Letting ya’ll know that I will be piloting a Kraken from the headwarters of the Mississippi in Itasca,MN to the Gulf via the Atchafalaya. I don’t know if it’s been done on one of your boats or not so FYI.

    1. July 22, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      good luck Shawn! Post your success when you have it! Clay

  8. Kieran
    May 17, 2018 at 8:30 am

    I am an intermediate paddler paddling Grade 2, 3, 3+ looking to upgrade my creeker a large Pyranha Karnali. I paddled the large Zen 2015 and loved the the stability and the way it handled paddling upstream in rapids as well as overall breaking in and out of eddies, rolling etc. Love the look of the new medium Nirvana – sat in one and liked it – no option yet to demo one unfortunately. My question is what would you recommend the Large Zen or the Medium Nirvana for running Grade 2 to 3+ rivers working and playing the features i.e. not looking for a racing boat. I am 6’2″, size 12 shoe, 34″ inseam weighing in at 205 lbs. Weight ranges of both boats seem to suit. The large Nirvana might be a bit long for some of the low volume technical rivers here in Ireland. I use a Monstar for playboating and static sessions (too big I know but the only playboat I fit comfortably in). Anxious to progress my paddling but both primary and secondary stability important – twitchy boats and I do not mix well. I did try a large Antix – loved how the boat handled but the fit was uncomfortable for a long river run so had to drop it off the list. Any thoughts or advice greatly appreciated. Kieran (working my way through your books EJ and really finding them helpful)

    1. July 22, 2018 at 2:52 pm

      Hey Kieran! If the length of the Nirvana Lg is a bit much, try the Medium for a run before you go for the Zen just to make sure. We had some Team at 200 lbs running Cali overnights and Stikine last season! It will be tippier than the Zen LG. The Zen LG might be just your perfect boat already, though. I’m curious about your comfort issue in the boats though, as I wonder if something could be changed to help you fit (bulkhead foam, remove seat pad, put seat further back but sit forwards.. etc). I find the Nirvana is right at home on small creeks but I do like the stability of the Zen series and how high they ride in the shallows.

      1. Kieran Molloy
        August 27, 2018 at 5:50 pm

        Cheers Clay
        Thanks for replying to my questions. I broke my boat in Wales last week so have to get a new boat sorted now. I have an option to try a nearly new large nirvana. I still think the large zen is the boat but a spin in the nirvana will answer this once and for all. I will spend a bit of time adjusting the outfitting to see if I can sort out the comfort issues. Problem is at the hips so I will play around with the seat position and adjust the foam and see if I can resolve the problem. Thanks again for coming back to me. K

        1. August 30, 2018 at 4:26 pm

          Good luck! Consider adding a seat pad if the knees feel high, taking it out altogether if they feel too low. I often use 2-3 seat pads or a sweet cheeks 200 in some boats. Good Luck! Clay

          1. Kieran Molloy
            September 17, 2018 at 1:07 pm

            Hi Clay,
            Just to let you know I bought the large Nirvana. A bit of tweaking necessary on the outfitting but loving how it handles. I used it in the International Liffey descent at the weekend. Water levels were very low as we have had a very dry summer so it was a bit of a slog but the Nirvana worked very well for me. Off to Wales at the end of October so it will get a real whitewater test then if we don’t get any rain here between now and then. Final questions for you – I am using a pair of 30l peak airbags in the stern and they don’t fill it. Can you recommend what I should be using and also if there are any recommended bags to go in the bow below the foot pads. Lesson learned from breaking my boat buoyancy is important. Also any idea what size spraydeck the large Nirvana takes – looking to buy an IR bungee deck but not sure what size to get and don’t see it on the site. Thanks again for all the help.

          2. September 19, 2018 at 8:35 am

            Hey Kieran – glad it’s working! As for airbags, no idea what the largest are – NRS makes some designed for no-pillar boats that look wider, and there are a few brands listed here. We make the Creek Float which is the only option I’ve used lately and it does well for me – just enough room in the stern for your rope / dry bag and hand paddles in most medium boats.
            As for the bow – I use wine bags as it’s pretty cheap and they are fun to drain out. I’m not sure if they hold up to a real serious swim, so likely the commercial ones are best, but if you do drink box wine (or like to recycle and know someone who drinks it) you just pop off the plate, slide one or two back there and pop it back on.
            On spraydeck – I found this: So if you want a tight fit it’s XL and for easier to apply XXL. Good Luck!! Clay

  9. gabriel hernandez murillo
    June 21, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Cuanto es el precio del kayak

    1. July 22, 2018 at 2:07 pm

      I think that depends where you live, sorry, your importer / currency can change things a good bit. We don’t sell online but there are many US online retailers that do – check NOC, CKS, or check in with to see what they recommend for your country. Good Luck! Clay

  10. Dennis
    July 5, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    What is the weight range for the large Nirvana and Zen? I am 280 lbs and been paddling the Large ZEN and Large Karma and Mon star since they came out. I know I am too heavy for the Zen since the tail catches somewhat.

    1. July 22, 2018 at 1:43 pm

      The Nirvana Large is a larger boat in many aspects – length and volume – and these will likely float and paddle better for you than the Zen Lg as well as simply being more forgiving overall.

      I’ve heard a lot of 250 lb men are quite happy with it. Good Luck! Clay

  11. Alan P.
    July 7, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    How do you know the max weights on these boats?

    1. July 22, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      Check the ”suggested weight range” area of the specs for our best advice. Some paddlers prefer larger / smaller boats than others so keep in mind there is a lot of personal preference involved. And where you want to paddle it is a factor. On easier water, a smaller boat can be the most fun.. on harder water a larger boat will float a bit higher and keep the edges higher. Good luck! Clay

  12. Chad
    August 2, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    I am a little over 6’5” and 230lbs. Trying to find a new boat to take on class 2and up water. Any suggestions? Looking for a little comfort for the bad knees and hips

    1. August 3, 2018 at 8:37 am

      The Traverse 10 would suit you if you plan to go longer distances, or the Nirvana L in the ”creek” market. We also offer several playboats – the Super-fun and Mon-star for larger people. What type of boating? Clay

  13. Greg Moore
    August 13, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    What’s the purpose of the lines etched lengthwise into the hull of the Nirvana?

    1. September 19, 2018 at 8:37 am

      Hey Greg – Those lines add some structural integrity to the tall, flat sidewall so it’s more resistant to side pins or dents. Good question! Clay

  14. Harry Fettes
    August 18, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Got a Nirvana medium about 1 month ago and loving it. I’ve never been into the competitive side of Kayaking but approaching 58 I needed a spur to this years training plan so have issued an over 40s challenge for next year’s river Garry (grade 3+) boater X. The whitewater speed of the Nirvana is obvious but about 50% of the 800m course is flat. What tips do you have to reduce the flat water time. I’m 5’11” 90kg and moderately strong/fit. The format is 4 or 5 heats of 6 paddlers.

    1. September 19, 2018 at 8:51 am

      Hey Harry!
      As for speed in flats, the only way I know to improve that is to add a skeg or fin to the boat, to reduce the back n forth motion as you paddle… like an SUP. `As for improving YOUR ability to move the boat – that’s easier to work on! Focus on the quality of your forward stroke – reaching way out and turning your torso for power rather than pulling just with your arms. Use the water on every stroke – don’t fight your neighbors unless its a 2-boat battle. A longer paddle can be helpful (I use a 204 for some races, usually use a 197) but making every stroke count more for the energy it takes is your goal. In a boater X – its all about getting out front, so practice your start a ton…. sprinting when they say ”go” or sliding a ramp. You want to get ahead early and stay there with your water reading ability. Also – even if you get in the back, don’t give up! There is a good chance others will tangle on the gates (if the course designers are smart anyway) and you might be able to pass the crowd that’s fighting it out. Good Luck!! Clay

  15. Scott
    August 19, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    Loving the LG Nirvana. Such a fun boat. I’m curious if there is a way to get the latest model of a Super Hero. I live in Ut where the local rivers are narrow rocky. Some to bug for my 4 fun and some to small for the Nirvana. He superhero was great. Is it an option?

  16. Jason
    September 1, 2018 at 5:24 am

    I am a new paddler and recently purchased a large Jackson Nirvana. I began the sport this season with the purchase of a competitors boat, similar to the antix. I quickly realized that boat was too squirrelly for me to handle as a beginner in class III wave trains.

    After a very short demo in the Nirvana on those same wave trains, the stability and control had me sold. The large was recommended to me, but I only weigh 175 naked, so just about in what I believe to be the minimum end of the paddler weight range for the large. Am I correct in my assessment? Did I do the right thing buying the large or should I have good with the medium?

    1. September 19, 2018 at 8:40 am

      Hey Jason –
      Personally I love my Medium and wouldn’t go bigger but its about what YOU prefer not me. Do you like your boat? That’s all that matters! All the best, Clay

  17. Miles
    September 1, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Hey I’m 5’10” and weigh about I 170 pounds I’m looking for a good creek boat but also a boat that’s a great for getting me into some big water. This boat sounds like it’s to big for me any suggestions?

    1. September 19, 2018 at 8:44 am

      Hey Miles –
      Nirvana is great at your size – as that’s my size too! Perfect I would say, actually. Big water – that’s it’s forte. It skims across the water when you drive it, so paddle into drops before the moves you need to make rather than drift in to get the most out of this model. It loves to be kept moving, just a little bit of forward speed and it’s a dream. It will drift fine, too, but shines when moving forwards. Enjoy! Clay

  18. Donyena
    November 4, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Hi Clay
    I´m 183 pounds and 5´11¨ and I´m thinking about getting a Nirvana, but I´m not sure about an M or an L…..I´m a 3-3+ kayaker, with some eventually 4 rapids. I have a Waka Tuna and I use it for big water like Futaleufu and I like it very much….somewhere I read that the Nirvana M is for people who weights up to 165 pounds max….is that true?, I know that is up to me in wich size I feel I fit better or I feel more comfortable but as always, I´m in the mid place between the M and L sizes and that´s really annoying!!! :-). Could you please help me and tell me pros and cons if I get the M or the L size?…..thanks a lot!!!!!

  19. Craig
    January 1, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Hi Clay, I have just cracked my 8 year old superhero and am looking for a replacement. Mostly paddle grade 3-4 creeks and rivers in far north Queensland Australia. As I have started to paddle steeper and more technical creeks I have found the hero harder to drive through the tighter spots. I am only 5’8″ but weigh 200lbs+ gear and am torn between the Nirvana Med for length or large for volume. Can you give some guidance please. I haven’t seen a Nirvana in the wild here to try. Cheers Craig

    1. January 6, 2019 at 12:31 am

      Hey Craig!
      Nirvana is very different from Superhero but a really great design that’s fast and easy to drive. You’ll be considering the L version – but don’t let the length fool you too much, it’s actually really easy to steer and likely narrower than the Super-hero you are paddling. Consider saving the seat pad from your current boat to lift you up in this one, as I believe the stock seat might be lower. I know Alec Vorhees loved the medium at 200 lbs but then swapped to Lg this year, and at 5’7” and 185 Joe Gudger prefers the Large because he just likes the way it floats and paddles better. I’m 175 and love the medium but honestly I haven’t paddled the L at all yet – maybe I’ll try it but I feel pretty happy with the M. Clay

    2. Corey Boux
      August 29, 2019 at 2:18 am

      200 lbs go for large Nirvana. I’m 190 ish and have both sizes . I did paddle the medium on the Stikine a couple seasons ago with fall gear ( down jacket warm sleeping bag ) and felt alright but do prefer the dryer ride of the large on medium volume creeks in BC ( 20-60 cms ) there is some things I do like about the medium better ( over all length and quicker edge to edge ) but find the large is better suited for my weight .

      1. September 3, 2019 at 1:18 pm

        Thanks Corey!

  20. John
    January 7, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    Is there my way to lower the seat in the medium

    1. January 8, 2019 at 12:29 am

      Sure – pull the seat pad out, it’s just plastic pop rivots holding it in.
      Personally, I double the pad – the boat is uber stable and I like the cushy foam under me when paddling rocky rivers.


  21. Jim
    January 28, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    There are smaller folks in the world of paddling who really need a legit creeker.
    Make a small Nirvana, guys!
    Come on.

    1. February 2, 2019 at 11:34 am

      OK Jim – that sounds like a great idea! We’ll get right on that asap.


  22. February 10, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Hi miles
    I am 5’-11” at 245lbs and this summer will be my 2nd season of white water kayak …, I just mastered my rolls in pool kayaking classes. Looking to buy a new kayak ?
    I am kayaking in Jackson karma now, but it hurst my foot and foot pad doesn’t go

    1. February 15, 2019 at 11:15 am

      Hey Sam –
      The pad is designed to be trimmed off on to fit taller people, it’s an easy job if you release the cinch-lock, stick the lock into the hole it goes through, then trim 1/2” off the outside of the foam circle (not the flat part) and then try it again. On mine – because it gets demo’d a lot – I’ll cut a zig-zag pattern around the edge so the outside is softer… and it will fit more users without sliding around. Re-install it onto the elastic cord and re-cinch lock it tight so it won’t flush out in a swim. Hope this solves your problem! Clay

      1. Sam kh
        February 21, 2019 at 12:04 am

        Hi clay,,,,… do you think I should buy a Nirvana or Karma ?..
        I practice on karma now, but on some rolls, I need to reach and adjust my cockpit/my hip to complete a failed roll for 2nd time. I am 5’11” at 245lbs. And losing lbs. which Jackson should I get?
        I look for a lighter kayak but stable kayak as well. Kind of confused now

  23. Bill Dykes
    February 12, 2019 at 12:41 am

    I bought a Nirvana at the NOC in January 2018. I’m in my mid-60s. I’ve paddled it on a lot on 2s and 3s and love it. I’m a competent paddler, but not class 4 capable and I’m too old to get there. Without a doubt, the Nirvana has made me a better paddler. I had a heart attack in November. I have only one goal for my cardiac rehab. To get back in my Nirvana and on the water. That’s it. Once I can do that, I can do anything.

    1. Sam kh
      February 21, 2019 at 12:00 am

      I am 61 and a beginner…, really concerned/shaking on rapids…, I need an stable yet lighter kayak because I need to carry my kayak 2 blocks before reaching water.
      Just learned how to roll.
      What do you recommend for me?

  24. jason carey
    March 19, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Nirvana M vs L? I am 5’9 185 lbs. Class 4 water is where I like to be. I want every advantage from a boat and don’t need any additional challenges. What performances differences can I expect between a M and an L at my advanced weight and age?

    1. March 20, 2019 at 9:41 am

      Hey Jason!
      At 185 I would guess the Medium for sure – I’m 175 and love it for everything, would overnight out of it no problem. The L is popular with a few Team members for it’s floatier feeling but most prefer the shorter, lighter Medium/Lg platform at your size. Not sure about your age though.. you might need sponsons…:-) I haven’t paddled the Lg because the Md fits so perfectly, but try one if you like! Clay

  25. Chuck
    April 6, 2019 at 1:09 am

    Hey Clay looking for the best Jackson boat for big volume Grand Canyon water. Zen or Nirvana or something more slicey? Is the Nirvana too much volume to deal with huge huge waves?

    1. April 8, 2019 at 11:05 am

      Hey Chuck – I love the Nirvana and it handles big waves GREAT! Way better than the thicker, lower rockered boats of old. I feel it rides OVER waves the Zen might go Under. Personally I would take something you love paddling – if you paddle a Fun normally on Ocoee / Gauley take that. If you have raft support, you won’t be taking more than lunch and water bottle occasionally. I’ve paddled a squirt boat, playboat, and river runner and I playboat so much normally it’s my #1 choice. BUT – the squirt was perfect when I paddled it often. There are so many downstream trick waves on the canyon – if you can wave wheel or kick flip or macho move that makes the whole river a playground! If these aren’t your tricks, then there are 2 good surf waves a day – many that will surf a Nirvana. The ”take a long boat to surf the waves” days are so over… so honestly it’s huge water where you will roll sometimes but no boofing, no hard eddies, no real need for speed if you can read current. Take the boat you love to paddle most days in. If the whole group are in the same style of boats, you will want to stop at the same places. Have a blast! Clay

  26. Fuego
    May 5, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    please guy make a small Nirvana!!!!!

  27. Justin Smith
    May 28, 2019 at 11:38 am

    I’m 6’1” 205 lbs. I had a chance to borrow a friends large Nirvana and it felt a fair bit larger than my large Zen, perhaps too large. Well I cracked the Zen creeking this weekend and was thinking of buying a Nirvana. Do you think the medium would be too small for me? I like the size of my large zen but want a more agile boat.

    1. May 31, 2019 at 3:11 pm

      Hey Justin! Alec Voorhees used the Medium at 200 and for Stikine, Royal, etc and loved it until the LG one came out. Now he uses the Lg on most stuff but the Md on racing. Reach out on his FB or Instagram page? Joe Gudger from Ocoee loves the Lg even at 186 and 5’7” but I know those on deeper and less agrressive ww like the Medium better – it sits lower and tracks more but that’s perfect on Chattanooga or New or bigger runs where shallow water moves are less frequent. Anyone else want to chime in? Clay

      1. Corey Boux
        August 29, 2019 at 2:35 am

        Yeah I’m 190-195 ( 90 kg ) 5’10 , 39 years old and paddle both sizes . Most days I paddle the large because it’s easier to keep the bow dry and on top . I paddle the large with the seat one notch back of center and the medium either all the way back or second notch from back to help keep the bow up but the tail gets a little grabby when all the way back but fun to stern pivot and play with the edges and carving off the tail ( just have to be more precise ) . I find if your on the heavy side for the med it’s also better to take the seat pad out . In 2017 I did paddle a loaded med Nirvana on the Stikine and felt it was fine for bigger water but find on steeper drops the added volume and higher water profile ( adding rocker ) makes the large easier to paddle for most things . I’m mostly Whistler / Squamish based and am usually paddling medium high volume creeks 20-60 cms . ( Cheakamus, Ashlu , Callaghan , Soo )

        1. September 3, 2019 at 1:17 pm

          Hey Corey! Great to see your name pop up – it’s been too long. I really appreciate your expert opinion on this boat size issue as it’s a guess for me at 170lbs. Stoked you’re still loving the kayaking like I am – still haven’t run Tatlow or Manquam or Stikine – haven’t even been to Skook in like 10 years but really need to get back over to your side of Canada some day. Hope you are well and will always remember following your super-fun lines on all those laps on Callahan .


  28. Lisa Benaron
    June 25, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    Hey Clay, I am 5’2, 128 pounds. I have a small Jackson Zen that I love. Got a last minute invite to do the Grand Canyon putting in on July 3. The outfitter has a Nirvana M and a Jackson Villian S. I have a Sweet Cheeks 200 that I can bring with me. Hate it when my thighs are a million miles from the thigh braces. Any thoughts about which of these to take down the Canyon? Looks like max flow is around 17,000. This will be my 3rd trip. Did it in a Crossfire in 1996, and a RPM in 2004. Appreciate your advice.

    1. July 4, 2019 at 3:42 am

      Hey Lisa! At your size I might go Villain S. While I LOVE the Nirvana I remember the Villain S being a bit smaller and having a more snug ”fit” which might be more comfortable on such a long trip. With the 200 you can paddle the Nirvana and it’s a great boat design for big water, but the knees may feel further away than the S. Do they have any other Jackson Kayak models? I would highly recommend a Zen S or M, 2-Fun or Funrunner as well. Enjoy the Canyon – it’s magic! Clay

  29. Trenton Holenbeck
    July 19, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    I paddled a Small Karma for 1 season down mostly class III/IV+. And a Medium Nirvana for two years down the same rivers along with the Grand Canyon. For a total of about 130-150 days on the water over the 3 years. After a ton of time in both boats, I still wish there was a Small Nirvana. If that boat was made, I’d buy two to make sure I always had a spare.

    I love Jackson. I love the Nirvana even more. I just want a Small version. Pls. Pls. Pls.

    1. August 9, 2019 at 1:25 pm

      Hey Trenton! I so wish we had a Nirvana S too! We had one planned for market but got an unexpected setback and were not able to finish up with that size – huge bummer since the boat is such a hit!

      We are working hard to make sure we have a Small in our next design. It’s our lowest selling size in creekers but we all see now that this one would have been a big hit. Sorry Trenton! We hate to disappoint our smaller paddlers – or bigger paddlers – or any paddlers. We feel this one too. Clay

  30. Ed Ford
    August 14, 2019 at 10:53 pm


    Details for a C1 in medium. 150 to 175 pounds. What about a demo?

    Ed Ford

    1. August 24, 2019 at 12:24 pm

      Hey Ed – Dane has one for C-1 and though it’s a narrower boat than most he still likes the handling. We don’t stock C-1 outfitting in the boats so finding a demo might mean messaging Dane, SEth Chappell, or maybe Tad Dennis to see where they are these days. Consider posting on FB – I’m pretty sure there’s a C-1 page somewhere on there but I’m not a member. Clay

  31. Ben
    August 18, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Greetings folks. I am a proficient class 3 paddler weighing in at 245 lbs. I and have been paddling a Pyranha Burn XL; which is a 90 gallon boat with edges but no rocker. I am stepping up to some class 3+ and 4 creeks (in NC/TN) and feel like I need a real creeker. I am considering the Nirvana L or the Machno L. Any experience with these for a bigger boater?

    1. August 24, 2019 at 12:10 pm

      Hey Ben! We’ve had a ton of good feedback from boaters around 250 about the Nirvana Lg. The ”fit” isn’t nearly as ”huge” as a Karma Lg but the boat paddles really well in that weight range. We have several 200 lb guys in the Medium who take the LG just for overnighters… I don’t have experience with the Machno L to compare, sorry about that. In my experience both these boats will be easier to paddle than your Burn XL as far as keeping the bow up or carving into eddies so I hope you can find one to try! Clay

  32. Eweda
    September 4, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Hi, I am 6.2 ft, 100kg (220lbs) and chose size 11 . Does Nirvana medium fit me? Thanks

    1. September 5, 2019 at 12:43 am

      Yes, Eweda, the Medium will fit fine but at 220 lbs I suggest the Lg instead, as it should feel faster and more forgiving at that weight range. Clay

  33. Robert Brown
    September 8, 2019 at 10:29 am

    Hello JK! I have been a kayak angler for years and after a recent trip to the Ocoee, have been kicking around the idea of getting a whitewater boat. I have a river I fish that as some class II areas. I am 5’10” and around 230 pounds so my question is what would be a go boat for a beginner? I have been looking at the Zen and Nirvana but to be honest, I don’t know much about them. I am also a little concerned about cockpit space since I have bad knees. Thanks in advance for your advice.

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