Jackson Kayak’s Kraken 13.5 Ambushes OR

The Kraken’s little brother the 13.5 pulled off a surprising Outdoor Retailer demo day debut. A couple feet shorter and nimbler as a result, it is every inch a Kraken.

Jackson Kayak’s Kraken 13.5 Ambushes OR
By Paul Lebowitz

A kraken is a crafty sea beast infamous for surprise attacks. Its namesake from Jackson Kayak lived up to the legend, pulling off a perfect ambush on the Outdoor Retailer trade show.

RELATED: Don’t Underestimate the Jackson Kraken 13.5


Originally announced at the ICAST trade show last month but not shown, the elusive new Kraken 13.5 was not expected to make it to Salt Lake. Yet there it was at demo day, a predatory gift from Neptune.

A little review: the Kraken 13.5 is built for big water like its bigger 2014 predecessor, just a little shorter, more maneuverable and lighter. In person, it was just as described. It doesn’t lose any features. In fact it gains a couple: wider footwells and a new high seating position (the original is more of a go-far cruiser, ‘standable’ if you’re nimble enough, but most will prefer to operate in sit-down mode).

The Kraken 13.5 seat is adjustable fore and aft, helpful for trimming the ride. Unlike the longer original, it features a second, elevated seating position and widened footwells.

The bow hatch is a little smaller, as is the tankwell. The nose is blunter and not quite as far out there. That’s it, the 13.5 is every inch a Kraken.

How does it ride? Confidently, with plenty of swagger from the extensive secondary stability. It had me wishing for a surf zone to really wring it out.

The Kraken 13.5’s workspace is nearly identical to that of the original.

For more, read our original 13.5 debut story complete with quotes from Jim Sammons of The Kayak Fishing Show.