Frontier 12 or Jackson Big Tuna?

I had an interesting exchange of Facebook messages with D.F. from Little Rock, Arkansas recently.  He was interested in the Frontier 12 and Jackson Big Tuna, but hadn’t had a chance to try out the Frontier.  I figure there may be others in a similar position, so I’m sharing our conversation.
 
D.F. from Little Rock, AR:

“I am fixing to purchase my first kayak. I want something with a larger weight capacity, with the ability of tandem seating or solo and something I can stand up in and fish. I am looking at your Frontier 12 and the Jackson Big Tuna. There are no dealers in my state for your product so I am not able to test out the Frontier. I will primarily be using the kayak on rivers like the Buffalo, Caddo, and Saline here in Arkansas. Can you tell me why your boat would be the better choice? Also, how would the Frontier handle paddling back upstream against the current?”

Blake @ NuCanoe:

“I am confident the Frontier will work really well for you. The Frontier does great in moving water, it is very maneuverable and easy to control. It will be fine to paddle upstream.

“Versus the Big Tuna, the Frontier has these advantages: 1) It will be much more maneuverable in moving water. The Frontier hull design (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LMyDltxvrc) provides a great balance between tracking and maneuverability. The Big Tuna, at 14′ and with a straighter hull design, will be much more difficult to manage in tight spaces, and moving water will tend to turn the boat. 2) The Frontier paddles better on flat water, especially with just one person in the boat. At a show last year, one person who paddled the Frontier and the Big Tuna the Frontier was “like nimble running back” and the Big Tuna was “like a big lineman”. 3) The Frontier provides more versatility as the seats work on a track system. You can position seats exactly where you want. In the Big Tuna, the seat positions are fixed. 4) You have more seating and accessorizing options the Frontier, and you more more control over what goes where.

“Good luck with the decision, and I hope you find a Frontier to try, because I am confident you will like it best!”

D.F. from Little Rock, AR:

“I wanted to let you know how it all turned out. After much research and a demo in the Frontier and one in the Big Tuna, I have to say that I hated the tuna and was really impressed with the Frontier. I am now the proud owner of a OD Green Frontier.”

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