The Product Pro-File

Published on mai 24th, 2023 | by Kayak Session https://www.kayaksession.com/img-current-issue/upload-your-video.png

The Product Pro-File | Jackson Kayaks Gnarvana

Welcome to « The Product Pro-File » at Kayak Session! This new section is all about helping paddlers learn more about the latest products on the paddlesports market. By chatting with designers and experts within the brands, we uncover the design and function behind these products. Explore the stories, craftsmanship, and innovative features that make these products stand out. Join us as we bring you exclusive insights to help you to make the right decisions for your paddling sessions.

We caught up World-Class Athlete Dane Jackson to ask a series of questions on the highly anticipated Gnarvana. This remarkable creek boat promises a unique experience on the water, pushing boundaries and instilling confidence in paddlers of all skill levels. Check it out as we uncover the new features of the Gnarvana and what sets it apart from Jacksons previous creeker – the Nirvana.

Dane Jackson – Click Here to find out more about Dane

From complete beginners to advanced kayaker who is the Gnarvana best suited for?

Anyone looking to push or feel confident in their kayaking will be happy in the Gnarvana, for beginners, it’s incredibly easy to roll and turn. For advanced kayakers, the agility and confidence in lift, allows you to boof bigger holes, get up onto your line and have maximum enjoyment wherever you may paddle it. 

What makes the Gnarvana different compared to the Nirvana and other Creek boats in the Jackson line?

The Gnarvana is truly unlike anything Jackson has made for a number of reasons. It has the most rocker we’ve ever used to give you more confidence. It’s our easiest  to control, most forgiving creek boat to date, all while floating high and being super fun to paddle. 

What were the key steps considered in the design/testing process?

The key steps in designing and testing were to one establish who this boat is for, what their goals might be on the water and determine what was needed to help them get there. « Confidence is a big one, whether rolling, boofing, exiting drops, we wanted to ensure the Gnarvana was confidence inspiring in all types of whitewater, regardless of skill level or whether you were right on line. » In the testing process we then honed in on the ability to drive the boat, carving in and out of eddies, weight, speed and manoeuvrability. 

| Alec Voorhees on the Stikine test big water capabilities in the Gnarvana | Photo courtesy of Jackson Kayaks

What was considered when designing the Bow of the Gnarvana?

The biggest thing that was considered is how can we make bow to ensure people feel confident about getting it up over waves, rocks, holes without extra planing surface. With the slightly wider bow it allows the boat to start lifting earlier than it would if the boat was narrower. The shape and design also eliminates the need for extra resin in deck lines which reduces weight and is a much drier ride with less opportunity for check shots or face shots. 

You said earlier on that confidence was the biggest goal Jackson aimed to achieve when designing the Gnarvana… can you elaborate?

Confidence- we feel confidence is required for people to want to get out on the water, if you are not confident you are more limited and may miss out on more opportunities to paddle. As far as design characteristics. Outside of that we also know we want to feel joy when boating and that also comes from feeling Nimble. So for us the happy combo was Confidence and Nimbleness.

Are there any environmentally friendly materials in the Gnarvana? Does this affect durability and weight if so?

All of the black plastic parts in our kayaks are thermaformed parts that we make in house from sheets of plastic, we mold the parts, tracks, seats u channels etc and then the scrap, and shavings we grind down, send back to out supplier, and they sell it back to us in sheets. We are constantly looking and evolving to find more ways to incorporate more environmentally friendly approaches into our kayaks and manufacturing process. 

Gnarvana Features
Newest features in the Gnarvana | Diagram courtesy of Kayak Session

Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?

Our goal is to always help people feel like any day on the water is the best day ever, so ensuring they are comfortable, can carry their kayak with ease, are dry if they want to be, and feel confident is key. In order for us to help people accomplish this, we know there are some core basics in design that we think hard about, to ensure the paddler doesn’t have to think about them when out on the water. This is true for all skill levels, and the Gnarvana’s ease of use allows me to push myself on some of the hardest whitewater, but its also the same boat I would put someone in who is nervous about running smaller whitewater. 

Check Out the Gnarvana on Jackson’s Website Here
Jackson Gnarvana Promo Video
Jackson Gnarvana Walkthrough Video

Check out below some technical info on the Gnarvana! Including the features, colours and much more.


  • High Rockered Profile
  • Carrying Strap for Easier Transportation
  • Jackson Kayak’s Bees Knees Thigh Hook System (Patented) for increased contact and control in the thigh brace area. LEARN MORE
  • Jackson Kayak’s Uni-Shock Bulkhead System (Patented) – the highest shock absorbing system on the market. LEARN MORE
  • Jackson Kayak’s Sure-Lock Backband System (Patented) – the lightest, most user-friendly system that can be adjusted anywhere LEARN MORE
  • Jackson Kayak’s Warranty Program. LEARN MORE
  • Available in three sizes – Small, Medium, and Large


Length: 8′ 6″ – 9′ 3″

Width: 26″ – 28.25″

Height: 13.25″ – 14.75″

Volume: 80 gal – 102 gal

Paddler Weight Range, Small: 100 – 170 lbs

Paddler Weight Range, Medium: 140 – 210 lbs

Paddler Weight Range, Large: 180 – 260 lbs

Total Weight :43 – 51 lbs

Cockpit Dimensions:
Small: 33.5″ x 19.25″
Medium: 34.5″ x 20.5″
Large: 35.5″ x 21.5″


  • Ice, Northern Lights, Red, GOAT
Dane Jackson | Lower Balls Falls | Photographer – Luke Pomeroy

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