Sizing Your Zen 3.0

Left to right bow deck line-up:
Yellow JK Zen 3.0 Large
Lime JK Zen 3.0 Medium
Sky Blue JK Zen 3.0 Small

The J.A.W. is now stocked up with all three sizes of the new Jackson Kayak Zen 3.0 ready for demo action in the Appalachian Highlands of Northeast TN, Western NC and Southwest VA! But which size to choose? If you can’t do a demo, this can help.

As you can see there is a good range for overlap in the weight factor for those paddlers in the in-between size ranges.  Every kayak model has different design characteristics to consider for paddlers trying to figure out what size boat would fit them best.  I typically recommend paddlers in those in-between size ranges to err toward the larger size model when helping them pick the best fitting kayak for river running and creeking.  However, I have already found fitting paddlers into the new Z3 is an exception to the typical with the increased volume and width of this new design.

For example a 6’-0” tall person in the 200-210lbs range fits much better into the Medium Z3 than the Large Z3.  The float and trim look proper and performance is on point with this fitting.

I’ve also help fit two smaller paddlers into the Small Zen 3.0 at 5’-3” in height and weight ranges from 125-140lbs and they both fit and floated like a glove.  I tend to believe if a person was in the 150-160lb and not much taller than 5’-9” range he/she would want to lean toward the Small Z3 size also.

I can also tell you I fit and float great in the Large Z3 at 240lbs, 6’-4” in height with a 36” inseam and size 12 shoes.  This model is ergonomic with room to spare for me which is a nice and rare thing for me fitting into kayaks as a big guy!

Another important factor while fitting into the new Zen 3.0 is the seat position (as with many other kayak models).  Getting your knees in place at the highest point in the knee pads really helps to make the boats more comfortable with the lower/wider deck profile.  If the seat position is set too far toward the stern from getting your knees in this optima place you may experience feeling pinched/cramped.  It is easy to adjust the seat position by removing the one wing nut and sliding the seat where you will get lined up for the best seating position.  Make sure you take a moment to check that when hoping in for your first demo of the Z3.

Zen 3.0

Jackson Kayak


Everything you’ve always loved about the Zen, made even better! Whether you’re just learning to stay upright, running a beautiful river with your friends, or looking for your next creek boat, the Zen 3.0 will give you the confidence to enjoy your adventure.

Due to an increased rocker profile, the Zen 3.0 stays on top of the water like never before. It’s a dry, confidence-inspiring bow with plenty of volume to help keep you in control in crashing waves or steeper rapids. Increased rocker and slightly shorter length also makes it easy to turn and keep online, even when skipping out across backwash or dealing with cross-currents.

This hull is a great combination of zippy, fast, surfing fun with more stability and forgiveness than ever you’ve ever imagined. This boat will keep you upright like no other, but is still easy to carve around and put it on edge when you want to. The Zen 3.0 is also higher floating, with increased leg room.

From the mellowest floats, to the hardest whitewater on earth, the Zen 3.0 is going to be your new favorite river creek boat! Visit your local dealer or finance and buy dealer direct from our website. MSRP: $1399

Find a Dealer

I hope these tips will help you in figuring out which Zen 3.0 size will work best for you.  I also will always encourage you to try out a demo or two to get the full experience in sizes before you decide on your purchase.  Your local JK dealer can hook you up with a Z3 demo or if you are nearby my area in the southeast the J.A.W. is here to help with free demos also!

Check our more photos of the new demo boats on the JAW Facebook Page:

For more JK Zen 3.0 info check out:

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