Boat Review: Jackson Rogue 10 Kayak

Paddling Buyer’s Guide

When I hear someone described as a rogue I conjure up an image of a trail-worn cowboy. If he wants to roam the dusty streets looking for trouble or spend weeks in the canyons under the desert stars it’s up to him. Jackson Kayak may have had the same image in mind with the Jackson Rogue 10.

Jackson Rogue 10 Specs
Length: 10’1”
Width: 28”
Cockpit: 34.75” × 20.25”
Weight: 48 lbs
Capacity: 160-285 lbs
MSRP: $1,099

Jackson Kayak’s Rogue 10 is rough and ready

The cowboy image kind of fits. Just as the rough-and-tough cowboy does things by his own rules, so does the Rogue. If you are looking to venture out on easy flatwater day tours or multi-day river-cruising trips, the Jackson Rogue 10 could be your trusty companion.

Comfortable, no-nonsense outfitting

Within the first few strokes two things immediately become apparent—the Rogue is comfortable and stable. Like all Jackson kayaks, they’ve kitted out the Rogue with the no-nonsense sure-lock backband system. This simple rope and cleat system allows you to quickly and easily snug up, or loosen, your backband to get the perfect fit. I’m a minimalist and I like that there are fewer moving parts to worry about breaking. It gives me peace of mind on longer trips.

The Rogue 10 also has my vote for most comfortable foot options. A quick lever squeeze allows you to adjust the foot pegs giving a solid platform to push against when the water gets rough but are out of the way so when you want to stretch your legs you can. To keep with the cowboy analogy, these are the stirrups of the boat. Adjust your hip pads and add in Jackson’s Sweet Cheeks beanbag cushions to prevent saddle sores and you’ve got the boat that I’d choose if I wanted to ride some serious miles.

The Jackson Rogue 10 also comes with deck rigging for items you want close while you float and a large, easy-to-open-and-close dry hatch for any other gear you are bringing along.

Jackson Kayak Rogue 10 | Feature Photo: Rapid Staff

Rolling with the Rogue

During some bigger water testing (and rolling) a small amount of water did find its way into the compartment. We couldn’t figure out if it was the hatch cover, bulkhead or skeg box. No matter, packing non-waterproof items in a dry bag is always a good idea. And speaking of the skeg, we did manage to snap it off. To be fair, we can’t say if this has anything to do with the design or if we forgot to raise it before hitting the rapids. The latter is a definite possibility and something you need to be mindful of in any crossover. It looks to be a five-minute fix to install a replacement.

Flipping over is actually hard to do in the Rogue because it is so stable. It bulldozes through the rough stuff without much worry about catching edges. It rides high above all but the biggest boils and swirly eddy lines. If you are already a hard charging whitewater fan you’ll find you need to be more aggressive to get more responsiveness out of the Jackson Rogue 10.

[ Read more: The 7 Best Whitewater Kayak Festivals ]

Ride off into the sunset with the Rogue 10

The Jackson Rogue 10 can be run down some pretty serious whitewater but is probably best suited for the class I to class III+ rivers of the world. If you are looking for a boat that can handle day trips on a lake or multi-day rivers with some moderate whitewater you may just want to ride a Rogue off into the summer sunset.

Looking to Jackson for a more whitewatery crossover? We’ve heard there is something in the works that has the hull speed of their Karma and Zen but with more room and storage.


This article first appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of Rapid Magazine.

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