Curtis Stolaas April 6, 2015 0

Jackson Coosa HD Kayak Review

The Jackson Coosa HD is a new boat this year 2015.  Wanting to create a yak that was smaller than the hefty Big Rig yet retaining some of it’s stability.  We all love the quick and nimble Coosa for it’s light weight and spin-around maneuverability, but small boats often suffer when larger paddlers use them.  Where the standard River Coosa excels with paddler weights around 180lbs, above that range standing in the kayak becomes a little uneasy.  With practice it can be done but sudden shifts of weight can send you overboard.  Prior to the Coosa HD, a paddler over 180lbs that wanted to stand easily to fish were forced to the Big Rig and Big Tuna.  The Big Tuna being a tandem/Solo boat and Big Rig a big flat heavy boat designed for all day standing.  Hands down, the Big Rig is the goto boat for fly fishing, bass flipping, salt flats and more.  However it is very heavy and very slow.  It excels in the lake but lacks in the quick currents of rivers.

Here is where the Coosa HD was designed to fit in, the go between. A little wider, a little heavier, a little flatter, all give the HD that more stable feeling a heavier paddler needs without jumping up to the almighty alheavy Big Rig. However, if you are 250lbs+ the HD will still feel like the standard and these anglers will find it much more comfortable with a Big Rig or Big Tuna.

The HD bow to stern has these features:

  • Bow concave hatch for paddle quick-hold
  • Bow and Stearn hinged hatches
  • Rod Tip Protectors
  • Recessed GearTracs on Port/Starboard gunwales
  • Bungy cord everywhere for tie-down points
  • Floor mats for reduced through-hull noise
  • Removable Center console to clear up cockpit area
  • Line management inside center console
  • Drybag in center console
  • New Elete Seat with stowaway storage underneath
  • 4 seat locations for front/back and high/low positions
  • 3 GearTracs around rear storage area for anchor points on gear, poles etc
  • Adjustable bungy anchors in rear tracks
  • Camera pole mount
  • Drag chain chute
  • Mounting point for PowerPole system


Quick water with the Coosa HD is handled pretty well.  Paddling upstream is a little difficult as the boat is less nimble than its river running brother but is capable of spinning quickly when paddling down stream which is needed when traversing rapids.  Standing in the HD is quite enjoyable.  Even if you just want to stretch your legs you won’t feel that uneasy feeling you get in a boat to small for you.  However, its not the Big Rig, you wouldn’t want to fight a fish standing up as quick movements could still send you overboard.

With the added stability you can easily access the front hatch from your knees without loss of control, and accessing gear behind you is easily done as well.  As your confidence grows you can easily step into this yak from the shoreline by just holding onto the seat.


Overall, this new kayak is a winner.  A great balance for middle weight paddlers and a blast to ride in the quick rivers.

For more detail watch our video review of this yak, and come by and demo it in person at Leaf in Creek outfitters!


Leaf in Creek Outfitters – 256-886-LEAF –


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