hi all…anyone paddling a Native hybrid kayak …test paddled one this past week and liked it …was wondering if anyone has one and how they’ve liked it over the long term and any shortcomings to it. also tested the pedal 12 …it goes fast for very little pedal speed but didn’t like the seat/pedal arrangment …very awkward. feet to high and seat was moving around.
Native Ultimate 14
I’ve rented the ultimate 14 solo a couple of times. Used it to carry my dog and gear. Mostly used it on slow moving river sections. Seats are real comfortable. Boat is very stable. My daughter (14) is a newbie paddler. She jumped in and was standing and paddling within minutes. It tracks well and is reasonably fast for the design. I think of it as the pick-up truck of kayaks, and am considering purchasing one as a second boat for dog and family friendly outings. Check out the website if you haven’t. Excellent videos and all sorts of additional skirts and add-ons from Native. Don’t know why anybody would want a canoe after paddling one of these.
Native pedal drive
Just learned the pedal drive seat can be raised off the floor with a new pad set for those that want to sit up higher and change pedal/leg angle. I bet the seat wasn’t properly locked in by the shop on your test drive model since all Ultimate seats have dual straps with qr buckles to keep them from sliding and also two clips in the hull to hold the seat down. Most likely the seat in the one you used was just placed in the boat?
While I mostly agree, after spending
10 hours in an Ultimate 12, there were a few things I didn’t care for. It becomes high centered easily on rocks and other obstructions and is difficult to get off center as, with the tunnel hull, one can move only forward or backward, its difficult to rock sideways. Also, the freeboard is rather low and can pose problems if in a broach situation. Native does sell spray skirts for the Ultimate, but don’t know how well they work. Flotation bags would be good if you think you may encounter fast water that could swamp the boat because of the low freeboard.
The boat is fine for lakes, the bay, and rivers without shallow obstructions. Its not a fast water boat. The one I paddled had a skeg that did not work. The skeg is moved by a plastic tube or rod running inside a cable type housing also made of plastic. Apparently, in 95 degree weather the inside piece gets soft and will not push the skeg down.
Its a decent boat, very good for its design purpose, providing a stable fishing platform, and usable for other purposes as well. Still, I’d rather have a Vagabond or other solo canoe.