Discover the Joy of Paddling with the Riviera Kayak

If you’re a fan of exploring serene bodies of water, then the Jackson Riviera kayak is a must-have. In this article, we’ll delve into the key features and specifications of this remarkable watercraft, as well as share our personal experiences and tips for transporting it. So, let’s dive in and discover why the Jackson Riviera is a fantastic choice for both beginners and intermediate paddlers.

Introducing the Jackson Riviera Kayak: A Delight for Weekend Adventurers

Picture yourself effortlessly gliding across calm lakes and gentle rivers, soaking in the tranquility of nature. The Jackson Riviera kayak was specifically designed to enhance your paddling experience and make it hassle-free. Crafted to be simple and enjoyable, this sit-on-top kayak is an ideal companion for leisurely outings.

The Riviera is well-suited for beginners and intermediates who appreciate the simplicity of paddling in small lakes and slow rivers. It even handles class I and class II whitewater with ease, making it a popular choice for river guiding outfitters on more relaxed rivers.


Unveiling the Impressive Specifications

Let’s take a closer look at the specifications and features that set the Jackson Riviera apart from the competition:

Jackson Riviera Specs

  • Size: 11’4″
  • Width: 29″
  • Weight: 58 lbs
  • Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Colors: Colors vary by year made.

Sit-on-Top Design: Effortless Access and Comfortable Paddling

The Riviera boasts a sit-on-top design, ensuring easy access to the kayak and providing a comfortable and stable platform for paddling. This feature is especially advantageous for beginners and those who prefer a more relaxed paddling experience. Getting in and out of the water is a breeze with this user-friendly design.

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Durable and Low-Maintenance Construction

The Jackson Riviera is constructed with high-density polyethylene using the rotomolding technique, making it incredibly durable and resilient. You can trust this kayak to endure various excursions without much maintenance. Plus, it features a skid plate on the hull’s bottom, adding an extra layer of protection when dragging the kayak on land.

Convenient Features for Hassle-Free Paddling

Designed with minimalism in mind, the Riviera comes equipped with practical features that make your paddling adventure all the more enjoyable. The front and back handles provide easy maneuverability, allowing two people to effortlessly transport the kayak. Additionally, two handles on the sides near the seat offer further convenience.


The open back platform behind the seat provides a perfect spot to secure a small dry gear bag or cooler. Hooks for bungees offer additional storage options, and a compartment near the front of the kayak can safely stow a small dry bag with essentials like food and water.

To further enhance comfort, the Riviera features a molded seat with a high back, allowing you to lean back and relax during your paddling expeditions. Moreover, the three molded footrest areas offer flexibility in adjusting your foot positioning for optimal comfort.

Unleash the Riviera’s Performance Potential

The Jackson Riviera excels in navigating slow rivers, class I and II rapids, and small lakes. It effortlessly handles these water conditions, providing stability and reasonable tracking for the kayak’s intended use. However, it’s important to note that the Riviera is not suitable for venturing into larger bodies of water or ocean kayaking far off the coast.

For those planning a kayaking adventure on class I or class II rapids, it’s worth noting that the Riviera lacks scupper holes. This means that you may need to carry a bilge pump or find the shore to remove water from the kayak. Windy days on the lake may also result in some water inside the kayak, but this can be easily managed by sitting on towels. It’s recommended to kayak in fair weather conditions for the best experience.

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Immerse Yourself in the Riviera Experience: Watch Our Review!

Curious to see the Riviera in action? Check out our comprehensive Jackson Riviera kayak review on YouTube, where we showcase its performance on the water, demonstrate how to carry and transport it, and even provide an overview of the paddles we use.

Jackson: The Trusted Name in Kayaks

When it comes to kayaking, Jackson is a leading brand renowned for its exceptional quality and performance. We have personally used their boats for a long time, and they have never failed to impress us with their reliability and functionality.

Our Enthralling Riviera Kayaking Experience

During the summer of 2022, we had the pleasure of renting two Jackson Riviera kayaks to float along the Mountain Fork River in southeast Oklahoma. The outstanding performance of these kayaks inspired us to purchase them for our weekend road trips once we returned home.

Being familiar with sea kayaks and whitewater kayaks from Jackson, we were excited to try out their sit-on-top model. The experience exceeded our expectations. We fell in love with the simplicity and ease of use that these kayaks provide. With just the boats, paddles, and life jackets, we were ready to embark on our water adventures.

Our usual kayaking destinations include smaller lakes in Oklahoma and the South, as well as slower rivers featuring class I and occasional class II whitewater. The Jackson Riviera flawlessly accommodates our preferred types of excursions.

For our typical one-to-four-hour float trips, the Riviera offers ample space, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable journey. While the kayak weighs 58 pounds, making it challenging for me to carry alone, my husband effortlessly handles it. He has no problem lifting and securing the boats alone on our truck rack. Since we always kayak together for safety, the weight is not a significant concern.

Paddle Into Excitement: Our Preferred Paddles

When it comes to paddles, we opt for the Werner Camano Straight 2-Piece Paddle and the Bending Branches Slice, both of which offer excellent performance and ease of transport. These models feature adjustable feather angles and are perfectly suited for recreational kayaking.

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Seamless Kayak Transportation Made Easy

Transporting the Jackson Riviera is a breeze. It fits snugly in most truck beds, securely strapped down for worry-free travel. Additionally, we have a practical utility/kayak rack for our truck, which enables us to carry our kayaks while also pulling our Aliner Camper. Although the utility rack requires strapping down the boats, it provides added convenience and ensures a smooth transportation experience.

Witness the Riviera Magic: Watch Our Video

For an immersive experience with the Jackson Riviera kayaks, don’t miss our captivating Jackson Riviera gear review on YouTube. This video showcases the kayaks in action on a serene lake, giving you a firsthand glimpse of their performance. Additionally, we provide a detailed look at the paddles we use and offer insights into our kayak transportation methods.

Final Thoughts: Unlock the Joy of Kayaking with the Riviera

In conclusion, if you’re seeking a kayak that combines simplicity, fun, and affordability, the Jackson Riviera is an excellent choice. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to visit your local kayak shop and consult with experts who can guide you in selecting the ideal kayak for your specific needs. It’s always beneficial to have the opportunity to sit in the kayaks before making a decision.

For the best deals, keep an eye out for holiday and end-of-season sales at your local kayaking gear shop. You may be able to score an incredible deal on a Jackson Riviera, just like we did.

Thank you for joining us on this kayaking journey. We hope you find as much joy and fulfillment on the water as we do.

Ashlee & Pablo

Get More Paddling Adventures

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girl with hands up enjoying kayaking at the lake
top photo: man and dog kayaking; bottom photo: girl with hands up enjoying kayaking at the lake