Submitted: 02-10-2003 by LlamaKeeper
I am 6'2' about 235lbs. I have a 22” torso and a 35” inseam, and size 14EE feet. I primarily paddle whitewater; when buying a plastic rec kayak I was looking for a reasonably high performance and playful boat. The Saluda definitely fits the bill!
This boat, like all LiquidLogic boats (I own 2 other LL craft) is extremely well built. The plastic is very solid and the design is bomber. The stern hatch fits very well, and is as watertight as the hatch on a plastic boat gets. Through many a roll the hatch has stayed on and kept most of the water out. The rigging of the boat is very solid; I had no trouble practicing a self-rescue. The seat is extremely comfortable and I can paddle 6-8 hours without getting “boater’s butt”. The boat’s foot pegs are very solid and have more than adequate range of adjustment. I also like the large cockpit opening, I can easily stash my niece in my lap while we go puttering around the lake. My only complaint with the boat is the way that the seat back adjusts; it is a little tough to make the seat adjust comfortably for upright paddling. If I put my back against the seat I feel like I’m in an easy chair and not a kayak, leaning back on the seat when paddling aggressively easily rectifies this. I outfitted the boat with some heal pads and some minicell on the coaming for "thigh pads" to facilitate in rolling the boat.
As far as handling goes this boat is in a class all its own. I can easily out paddle all other paddlers in equivalent plastic boats. The boat turns like a dream when up on edge, and it tracks amazingly well due to the keel line skeg. I doubt you’ll find a boat that handles this well in its price range. The bow does have a tendency to submarine when it gets choppy or you paddle fast. I’ve found that a plastic milk jug filled with water and securely attached in the stern hatch trims the boat out very well.
Overall this is an excellent recreational boat, it is fast, agile, and very easy to paddle. I doubt you will find a boat of this caliber in its price range.