Reviews Sea Kayaking

Venture Kayaks Jura MV Performance Sea Touring Kayak Review

Whether you’re a first-time kayaker or a seasoned hand on the sea, the Jura is sure to bring a smile to your face.

The Jura is a stable, forgiving sea kayak that is at home on everything from coastal tours to short expeditions. Designed to introduce beginning paddlers to kayak touring and then grow with them as their skills develop, the Jura’s neutral hull tracks straight, yet is nimble on edge.

This high-performance kayak comes standard with Venture’s innovative new under-stern Skudder® system that functions as both a skeg and a rudder, depending on conditions.

RRP: £999
More info: www.venturekayaks.com

Specifications:

Length: 490cm
Width: 56cm
Volume: 214 litres
Day Hatch: 16l litres
Bow Hatch: 24 litres
Stern Hatch: 21 litres
Weight: 27kgs

Features:

• Semi-flat mid hull with a slight V & moderate rocker. Gives stability, manoeuvrability, great tracking and control in all conditions.
• Long waterline for effortless cruising.
• Full volume bow to give lift in waves, to give you a drier ride.
• Slim stern to lock stern in to a wave and help the bow lift when surfing.
• Moderate high volume to carry all your gear with ease.
• Low cockpit back for easier rolling.
• Skudder®: Venture’s new revolutionary steerable skeg system. Available only on Venture kayaks.
• P&H performance seat, with Connect seat liner and floating adjustable backrest to give a greater level of support and control
• Fully adjustable footrest system, that is quick and easy to adjust to fit a range of paddler sizes.
• Paddle park -keeps the paddle close at hand while fishing, bird watching or taking photos
• Deck elastics to store map and spare paddles for easy access.
• Full perimeter lines for safety
• Ergonomic cockpit position with high knee position -So you can paddle all day in comfort.
• Three large hatches, including the much loved day hatch behind the cockpit, so you can store all your gear for longer trips.
• Security bar & paddle recess behind the cockpit for easier entry and exit.

Paddler Verdict

We think it’s unfair to think of the Jura as an entry-level sea kayak because it’s so much more than that. It is certainly an excellent craft to for learning and developing sea paddling skills but it is also a capable kayak that we’d certainly be happy to explore rocky coastline, undertake longer trips and do the odd crossing in. So is it a sea-going horse for all courses? Nearly. Of course, if you’re into multi-day trips in serious seas, or playing in the caves and gaps of the coast with the surf pounding then there are specialists boats that will suit you better. But if you enjoy paddling on the ocean and want a boat that’s fun to paddle and capable in a pretty wide remit of uses and conditions then the Jura MV should certainly be on your list to try.

Of late we’ve been very impressed with the boats coming out of the Venture Kayaks design work shop and when we saw a prototype of the new Jura performance sea kayak at the Kanumesse trade show at the back end of last year we knew it was a boat that we had to test. Roll forwards a few months and we finally took possession of one of the first Jura MVs off the production line.  Fitted with the revolutionary Skudder® system the Jura is also capable of taking the new P&H Flat Earth Code sail system, so how could we resist? We asked the team at Venture to fit one to our test boat and they kindly obliged…  All that was left after that was to get it out on the water and shoot the breeze!

First Impressions

Before we talk about the sail lets take a good look at the Jura itself. Venture set out to produce a boat that was capable on the sea and would be an ideal vessel to introduce first-time sea paddlers to the delights of paddling on the ocean but also has enough performance to put a grin on even the saltiest of salty sea dogs. That’s a tall order.
As we mentioned in the intro Venture have produced some great recreational touring kayaks but on first sighting, it’s clear that the Jura has drawn much influence from the experience and pedigree of Venture’s sister brand P&H Sea Kayaks. With its sleek lines, asymmetric hull and long waterline, it’s an easy boat on the eye. It’s fully laden with sea kayak features, with bow, stern and day hatch providing plenty of stowage for longer, multi-day trips. The outfitting is really nice and very comfortable and the padded seat and ratchet style back band really let you get a good, positive connection with the craft.

On the Water

Right from the first stroke the Jura gave us notice that it was a boat that wants you to have a good time. It is very well mannered. Providing a stable and forgiving platform that sets you at your ease and inspires confidence. This was even more apparent when we started to use the sail, despite a gusty day and inexperience of sailing from some of our testers nobody fell in. The neutral hull tacks really well, even without the use of Skudder® or skeg, and it’s really easy to keep in a straight line. Give it some edge though and it responds with some very positive and agile performance. It was quick to get up to forward speed and once there was easy to tap along eating up some miles. The deck-lines are well situated and useful and we liked he addition of a handy paddle-park. We filled our test boat with our camping gear and kit and the large bow and stern bulkheads swallowed it with ease. We were really glad to see the very useful day hatch too, as the ability to access kit from it on the water, and quickly during brew stops, is a real boon. With a well-packed and trimmed load the Jura MV retained its forgiving nature and positive handling.

The Skudder®

We’ve reviewed Venture’s Skudder® system before, but as the Jura comes fitted with it as standard we think it’s important to take another look. This innovative system blends the positives of both a skeg and a rudder to come up with a piece of kit that, in our opinion, is way beyond the sum of its parts. The Skudder® really does add to the on the water experience. In fact, it’s rather fantastic and gives you the very best of both worlds. You can use it like a skeg by dropping it only halfway and it locks the stern into place and increases the boats already excellent tracking. But drop it all the way and it becomes a full under-stern rudder, which means that you don’t have to waste any energy on steering and can concentrate on a super-smooth forwards stroke to power you along on the sea all day! It’s really well done and simple and easily accessed for maintenance. Another plus is that when you don’t need either the Skudder® sits up in its slot completely protected.

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