Jackson Riviera Kayak Review: Everything You Need to Know

This is an excellent boat for beginners or intermediate boaters who enjoy paddling small lakes and slow rivers. Paddlers can even take this boat down class I and class II whitewater – it is a popular kayak for river guiding outfitters on slower rivers. 

Our Experience

In the summer of 2022, we purchased two Jackson Riviera kayaks after renting them floating on the Mountain Fork River in southeast Oklahoma. We thought the boats performed so well on the float trip that we decided to get some for our weekend road trips once we got home. 

In the past, I had used sea kayaks and whitewater kayaks from Jackson, but never a sit-on-top model. Both my husband and I like our sit-on-top boats. We appreciate how easy they are to use. All we need is our boats, paddles, and life jackets, and we are on the water! 

We typically kayak smaller lakes in Oklahoma and the South or slower rivers with class I and (rarely) class II whitewater. The Riviera is perfect for these types of adventures. A typical float trip for us lasts one to four hours, and the Riviera offers plenty of space for this type of paddle.

Weighing 58 pounds, the boat is hard for me to carry. I need my husband’s help. But he has no problem moving the boats alone or getting them on top of the truck rack. We always kayak together for safety reasons, so it’s not a problem that I can’t lift the boat by myself.

For paddles, I use a Werner Camano Straight 2-Piece Paddle, and Pablo uses the Bending Branches Slice.   Both are easy to transport on road trips because the shaft comes apart in the middle.

Paddles We Use

To transport the kayaks, they fit in the back of most truck beds strapped down. We also have a utility/kayak rack for the truck that allows us to take our kayaks and pull our Aliner Camper. With the utility rack, you still need to strap down the boats. 

How We Transport Kayaks

Find out more about the the paddles we use and how we transport the kayaks on weekend road trips!

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