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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Talk me out of a Jefe Grande

    You don't have much time.

    50/50 mix of low volume steepness and Idaho big water...

    I would get a Villain if there was a middle size. Also considered a Nomad 8.5, they are pretty cheap right now.

    I am currently in a Salto (yeah, it's old and unbreakable) and I don't think I could deal with the hard chines on a Burn. Hero is too short...and I am not buying a Fluid or other random brand that is not available in this region.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    a lot of people i paddle with like the Jefe's. I personally hated the regular version. thought it was like trying to move a tanker. Granted I was used to more edge.

    For what its worth I hear the Villain's paddle smaller then they are so you would probably be fine in the regular version (not the S)

    it seems like something with a touch of edge would be good. have you considered the Karnali? its like a longer more rounder Burn. Though Pyranha plastic can be iffy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Front Range, CO
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    586
    I've paddled a grande for the past 3 years. Here's some thoughts. First, if you are considering a grande, then you should also consider the Villain. They are essentially the same size. If you are buying new, then the warranties are about the same right now. I.e., 1 year crack = replacement, 2 year crack = $250-300 shell, 3 year crack = $450-500 shell (plus shipping on any).

    Pros for grande: friendly, keeps you upright on funky water, good volume distribution, good resurfacing, comfortable, solid outfitting. Cons: no edge = not super crisp in and out of eddies, more attention required for big water ferries, roll needs to be good -- finish it or you may flop back over.

    Pros for villain: more edge and flatter hull = lots of primary stability (more than jefe), bit better eddy turns and ferries, good warranty service, good bulkhead that protects ankles better than almost any other creeker (absorbs/slows impacts more). Cons: funny looking, outfitting is somewhat suspect but some people like it, cross-link is non-weldable and hasn't proved any more durable than linear (I'd get linear), price -- Jackson doesn't allow discounts.

    You might also like a burn or karnali as mentioned. If you are looking at the above boats, you should look at the large of either version. Obviously these boats paddle like a planing hull boat with the associated pros and cons. For me, even though they are fun to paddle, I don't like the warranty (1 year, $575 replacement shell, otherwise you may be SOL).

    Prijon Pure XL looks potentially promising and way more durable than the other boats (like your salto). More expensive, but will last longer (and they have a 5 year warranty). Only substantive review is on boof.com but they are arriving finally so people will start paddling them soon.

    All in all, the grande is a good, predictable boat. My biggest gripe is that the combination of lots of rocker and a very round hull profile up front makes them slightly unpredictable when crossing currents and makes snapping into eddies a bit more work. But plenty of people have run the Stikine and everything else in them so the design is clearly plenty functional.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    A Chamonix of the Mind
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    I am with Garuda, I used a Jefe Grande for three months or so and loved the outfitting for all day comfort. Most of the time I could get it to do what I wanted it to but sometimes it got squirrely on me, maybe because I never mastered the rocker factor. My roll isn't flawless so I have experienced the flop on the finish but that might be pilot error.
    "Buy the Fucking Plane Tickets!"
    -- Jack Tackle

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    By the way, the normal jefe is closer in size to your salto. The nomad 8.5 is also about that size, but a bit longer. If they made a nomad 8.9 with 85+ gallons, I'd probably have to try that out. So if you weigh 170ish or less and don't carry overnight stuff or lots of gear all the time, then the nomad or regular jefe could be okay. Plenty of people heavier than that paddle nomads, but I like the volume of the grande/villain at 190 + gear. Wavesport habitat 80 is another good option.

  6. #6
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    Argh, just deleted a bunch of shit.

    The size difference between the regular Villain and the Large is ridiculous.

    However, the warranty on the crosslink Villain is three years, no? Two years free replacement hull and the third year either free or prorated, depending on the nature of the destruction. At least this is what I was told today at the shop...which is supposedly one of the largest Jackson dealers around.

    Also, isn't the Salto the same size as the SMALLER 8.1 Nomad? The 8.5 is pretty big, and I know a lot of people have complained because they wish there was an 8.3, the same way I wish there was a medium Villain.

    In any case, the Salto is comparable to the Grande for lack of edges and a ridiculously round front and hull, so I think the transition would be reasonable...though the Grande is obviously much larger.

    Shit, too many choices and it's not realistic to get a legitimate demo of all the options.

  7. #7
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    yea the warranty is extra long now, though if you go linear you can weld it. So when you say normal you mean the S right? that is essentially their medium size for the villain ( like 150lb or so paddler) the regular villain is their big guy version.

  8. #8
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    Yeah, sorry, I meant the S and the regular. I wish there was a medium. Although, I was just comparing specs between the Large Villain and the Grande and they are remarkably similar, except the Villain is 2" longer. It just seems huge for some of the smaller creeks around here...but I guess none of my buds have a hard time in the Grande.

    The Villain is only $100 more and that seems a way better deal with the 3 year warranty than the Grande's warranty.

    decisions decisions, haven't bought a new creekboat since 2003.

  9. #9
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    Oct 2005
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    Idaho
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    I haven't paddled much in the last few years. But, my last good North Forkin' season was in a Nomad 8.5. I haven't tried any newer boats (like the last four years). I really like it. I'm about 210-220 with gear and it felt like just the right size.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2005
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    Is the plastic any better than the normal Jefe and did they fix the weakness where it can taco in a broach situation?

    If they didn't maybe you should reconsider. I went through 3 Jefe hulls in short time when I boated the mank in Colorado. I know Western Montana ain't as manktified so maybe your mileage will vary.

  11. #11
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    Oct 2005
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    Unabashed Nomad 8.5 fan here, but for the record I too would love to see a medium Villain. I am hoping to get in an XL Pure one of these days as well - have never found an Eskimo/Prijon creeker that I really liked, always admired their durability. Several buddies out here are still going strong in their Saltos after 5+ years of heavy abuse; I'd love to get that kind of life out of a creeker.
    No opinons on the Grande, only paddled the regular version. A buddy broke his out in Cali, but his was a demo so it's hard to make a judgement. Not incredibly popular boats around these parts, for whatever reason.

    I am about the same size as Conundrum (~210 w/gear). I boat shopped last year to replace my Nomad; (tried L Burn, Everest, L Karnali, Habitat, Mystic, regular Jefe) but ended up getting another one. There's a reason you see so many, and why Dagger hasn't updated the design much. Works well in a wide variety of conditions, very safe, auto-boofs like a champ.
    Last edited by MarsB; 04-28-2011 at 03:03 PM.
    Montani Semper Liberi

  12. #12
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    Mar 2007
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    but the villain s is essentially the medium size. the hero is for 115 to 190, the villain s is 100-180 same basic size. the villain is 155 to 230+, the super hero is 155-290


    compared to the LL boats jefe at 125-205 and the grande at 170+

    the weight ranges are the same as the pyranha burns more or less

  13. #13
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    Manufacturer weight ranges should be taken with a grain of salt. The Large Villain is a massive boat (8.8', 93 gallons). I couldn't imagine creeking out of it for a 155 pounder, that's big for me. There is a 13 gallon difference between it and the small, definitely room for an in-between model.
    Montani Semper Liberi

  14. #14
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    Mar 2007
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    yea i agree about that, i felt 5-10lbs too small for the normal Jefe at 140ish

    while they may vary , i think it still is a good comparison for expected paddler range rather than preference

  15. #15
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    If you look at a M and L Burn side by side, there is a logical size progression. With the two Villain sizes, not so much.

    That said...I am starting to lean hard towards the big Villain. I am going to get in one on the water soon.

  16. #16
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    May 2009
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    I paddle the Grande and love it for BC creeks. Very forgiving, easy to turn yet still has good speed and punching power. Hit a fair few rocks and still going strong. As someone mentioned a little twitchy in bigger water but great for creeks.

    Haven't paddled the Villain but all that I've heard about the crosslink plastic is that it's no stronger and you can't weld it.

    If I had to buy another boat today, I'd definitely check out the Pure XL (it didn't exist when I bought my Grande) or I'd get another Grande. I have paddled the regular Pure and it felt a fair bit smaller than my Grande (seemed to get pushed under where the Grande just skips over the top). I'd guess that the Pure XL will paddle fairly similarly to the Grande.

    I'm 165 lbs, 6'1" by the way.

  17. #17
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    May 2010
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    Innsbruck, Austria
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    Jefe's break too quick, I know 3 or 4 people who had them, all broke 'em within a year. Go with the Nomad 8.5, best creeker on the market, so fast, so stable, so manoeuvrable. Or if you fancy trying something new, check out the Zet Raptor. It's been winning loads of the 'extreme' races recently, so it must be fast...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    entrapped
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    Not sure how helpful this will be, but here was my experience with a Jefe 2004-2005 version (there wasn't a grande then.) And I don't know jack about the newer boats since I have been living in a no boat zone the past several years.

    Me 175 lbs.
    boated the shit out the Jefe sometimes fully loaded with gear and sometimes not...upper cherry, east fork kaweah, blah, blah, blah
    Boated a gus prior and salto before that...
    Jefe way outperformed the salto. Boofed better, resurface WAY better with good steerability (without the paddle), punched holes great and when it got a bit sticky the tail allows for steerability (without the paddle) and an extra boost out with the right english, I don't remember if there was much difference in hull speed, jefe felt bigger riding higher in the water and performed better overall in big water, Jefe didn't turn unexpectedly like the Salto when too much downward bow pressure was applied, jefe with the wicked nose rocker was almost impossible to piton and would motocross style (like manualing) over bumy shit, especially fun for slides with kickers, Jefe was excellent for delayed boofings and oviously brainlessly easy to boof otherwise, not so flat bottom made for soft landings yet still somewhat steerable on when planing, blah, blah, blah

    jefe was way slower than the Gus. When downstream ferrying the Gus kept an edge and railed much much much better then the jefe. Upstream ferrying the Gus obviously did better, but the Jefe was more then adequate. Gus was also more responsive to railing vs. not railing when crossing over angled waves with the intent to move sideways with the wave or slide over, respectively. I think the Salto might have been better at this also, but I can't remember for sure. The Jefe was adequate in this regard.

    One thing that was unique for me about the Jefe (and maybe it was just that I figured out how to do it in the jefe and hadn't before) was that the jefe responded well to steering (without the paddle) from the back half of the boat. I wasn't the only person who noticed / utilized this feature.

    I never had issue with stability in the Jefe. In fact it felt super stable to me, but of course not great primary stability; however, I never figured out why that would be a good thing in a creek boat.

    I did bust part of the seat once but no hull issues.

    have fun!
    No matter where you go, there you are. - BB

  19. #19
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    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post

    Talk me out of a Jefe Grande...
    No.

    my $0.02.
    Collectively enlightened since 2008.
    Eddie would go.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilM View Post
    Haven't paddled the Villain but all that I've heard about the crosslink plastic is that it's no stronger and you can't weld it.
    All the Jackson boats are available in both crosslink and linear. The linear versions are about $150 cheaper and only come with a one year warranty, while the crosslink boats come with a three year warranty. The owner of the local shop, a gigantic Jackson dealer, claims that he can count on one hand the number of broken crosslink Jacksons he has seen.

    This jives with my experience from the old crosslink Wavesport boats. My first creeker was a used Stubby that I beat the hell out, and then sold again. It was ridiculous how new the hull still looked after a few years. But you are right...you can't weld it. Damn I wish there was a newer and significantly larger Salto.

  21. #21
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    ^^weldability of a boat doesn't really need to be on the radar.

    Flexible internal patches are the only way to go for whitewater boats, especially creekers. Moving on...

    100% agree about the crosslink plastic - bomber - also had a Stubby way back when. Still see it out on the water from time to time...probably 10+ years old now.

    Still voting for the Jefe though...
    Collectively enlightened since 2008.
    Eddie would go.

  22. #22
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    Oct 2005
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    I'll second NlytendOne's point on weldibility. My girlfriend's been going strong for two seasons in an ancient Micro 240 with an internal neoprene patch under the seat. Granted, she is not dropping it eight feet to clapper rocks, but she does plow over a good bit of rocks in low water runs, and it has been good to go.

    Common wisdom (on BT, so take that with a grain...) is that the crosslink is not that much more durable than standard linear Jackson plastic. But if you are talking only $150 difference for an additional two years warranty then that seems worth it to me.
    Montani Semper Liberi

  23. #23
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    Mar 2007
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    1,656
    also the outfitting between the linear and the cross-link is slightly different

    the elite has the rail, and sweet cheeks where as the linear has a track with limited positions and just a fancy seat pad. everything else is the same.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    In your fridge, MT
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    371
    Jefe Grande is the best creek boat I have owned. Unfortunately, it is now broken. I was originally worried about the size but it ended up making me a better paddler (6ft 190lb).

    Now in a Nomad 8.5 and think that the hull fits me really well, but the outfitting licks donkey balls.

    My next boat will be a Villan. Jackson is taking over the scene like they did with playboats. If you don't get one now you will down the road.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    4
    i would only say this regarding such a large boat...make sure you are comfortable with its handling before you get it on something serious (and tight)...i had a megarocker and had fun in it on fun runs but had a really bad experience when i got it on a tighter creek run and found it was simply too big for me...i paddle a nomad 8.5 now and absolutely love it---good size, boofs great, good speed, excellent primary/sec stablility, predictable and forgiving...little biased towards dagger creekers but they are great boats...if you need a 90+ gallon boat d/t size and weight then you need it but if you dont i would say go smaller regardless of brand...

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