06-24-2009Submitted by: vetbridge
Reviews for Saluda Kayak by Liquidlogic Kayaks
Based On: 18 Reviews
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have paddled a Liquid Logic Saluda for the past 4 years, while my girlfriend paddles her Tryon. The Saluda is a good all around boat. I am 6 ft, 200 pounds and I have tried a few other boats without finding one I like as much.
10-25-2007Submitted by: CMR
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have had this boat for 3+ years. I have made somewhere around 200 trips in it weekends, overnights, summer, winter and anything in between. I mainly fish out of mine with my bro and dad. The only thing I have found with mine in the past 3+ years is you have to set yourself up if you need to make a quick turn in a rapid. It is smooth on flat water and does fine in the rapids you just have to know how your boat handles and know how to set yourself up to make the turns. The seat is O.K. I did a 24 mile on the Buffalo and for the most part did fine. But like any boat no mater what the seat is, your butt gets sore and tired. Overall great boat would (and will) buy another when this one wears out.
06-25-2007Submitted by: ELM
- Rating: 6 of 10 Bye, bye Saluda.
I owned this boat for approximately a year. I was dissatisfied with it for a number of reasons. The back support was mediocre, but more than that, the dimensions just didn't fit. The cockpit was way too wide for me. I found that I banged my elbows often. It required making uncomfortable adjustments to compensate. Even though I took it out for a test run before purchase, I didn't realize this would be a problem. The dry storage is huge as is the cockpit. I bought something, lighter, sleeker and faster. The man who bought my Saluda loves it. Overall it is a decent boat, just not for me!
10-10-2006Submitted by: cart10
- Rating: 9 of 10 I'm still a newbie, so it's difficult for me to speak to the Saluda's tracking ability. Hard to tell if it's my lack of experience, the current, or the kayak. Either way - when I needed it to go somewhere, it did. I did have to do some corrections in steering (in current), but again, that could be me. Have had it on flat water and slow moving rivers. I find the seat to be very comfortable. Went 4 hrs - no issues at all! Am having a blast!
06-01-2006Submitted by: Caleb
- Rating: 9 of 10 The Saluda quite a boat. This thing out-handles and is faster than the OT Dirago. I can fit my sleeping bag, tent, full bag, and some food into the ginormous storage compartment that stays DRY. The large cockpit fits me much better than the Current Designs Kestrel and the Old Town Dirago. (I'm 6'2 200lb)
I think they must have fixed the uncomfortable seat problem many on here talked about, because I have gone 18 miles in a day and been comfy all day.
The only complaint I have is that in a stiff breeze, the Saluda wants to make like a weather vein and point into the wind. Its a bit unruly in stiff winds. Also if you will be hitting waves bigger than 1.5 feet, get a spray skirt!
All my buddies who own Diragos claim their next yak will be a LL Saluda!
08-24-2005Submitted by: pequeajim
- Rating: 10 of 10 I am very new to kayaking so I do not have an extensive history to compare this boat to, but for my expectations to be met, I wanted a easy to paddle, stable boat and this fits the bill. The wide cockpit is a plus for my 6'-2", 240 lb frame and the seat is fine for my purposes.
I'm very happy with the boat and look forward to many years of paddling. In fact, my wife who owns one loves hers too, although I might end up shortening the seat back strap to give her a little more support.
08-02-2005Submitted by: rider604
- Rating: 7 of 10 I own a Saluda I bought used. In short:
It tracks decent in flat water, but needs constant correcting in wind or current.
It does not handle waves over 1-1.5 ft, making you work HARD for any forward progress, as it plunges down waves and wants to twitch right or left.
Rear hatch IS watertight, I flipped the boat 4 times practicing self rescue and compartment stayed dry.
Cockpit is HUGE, making for very easy entry, but it also scoops up HUGE amount water if you were to capsize.
It's a VERY stable boat.
Now to my only major complaint about it- the seat back. It's awful and causes me lower back pain within an hour or less. Other than that it's a good easy-to-handle, very maneuverable boat for recreational flat-water use, not more. Probably better than most 10-12 ft plastic rec boats, but I’d take a long hard look at Wilderness Systems Pungo 120, and some sit-on-tops (Tarpon 120, Ocean Kayak Scrambler and Mars) before buying a Saluda.
Oh, and I paddled a Necky Santa Cruise before buying the Saluda, and I liked the Saluda better, felt more maneuverable and more stable, for roughly same speed. Though the Necky felt like it would be better in waves.
09-29-2004Submitted by: hawksnest
- Rating: 6 of 10 The back rest gave me back pain for a day or two after paddling for just an hour, bought it new in July 2004, sold it in Aug. 2004, bought a CD Breeze, back pain went away. The seat is terrible. My wife had a Sapphire, and had the same problem, it went too. 2nd Breeze cured her back. Otherwise the boat seemed fine for a rec boat, but when you can't sit comfortably for very long, it's not very usable. The high tech seat was used as a selling point when we bought the boats, and when we confronted the sales person about the uncomfortable seats, they said they had never actually paddled one.
09-29-2004Submitted by: AndyLee
- Rating: 6 of 10 I agree that the seat can be uncomfortable, I traced the problem to not enough adjustability in the back band, so I shortened the adjusting strap and brought the seat back firmer against the small of my back and was much more comfortable. Others have questioned the built in keel, which is recessed, and as far as I can tell no more grabby on river rocks and ledges than any other plastic bottom. As for turning, the Saluda does require more effort than other boats in her class, namely the Necky Santa Cruz which will turn on a dime with a quick flick of the paddle. The Saluda is a pig on flat water if you're in a hurry. Her nose dives and she sends up a bow wake that is quite hard to push against. Another concern is the high coming, I have to hold my paddle hands higher to keep from bumping. There are better boats in this class and in this price range, but the one I most prefer is the aforementioned Necky Santa Cruz, and no, I have no connection with Necky, I just admire their boats.
06-14-2004Submitted by: h2oGuRl
- Rating: 10 of 10 Just returned from my first kayaking trip this weekend. My friend and I rented the LL Saluda and LL Sapphire. We headed up to two lakes and switched up our boats mid-weekend. The Sapphire performed poorly, but being the first kayak I'd been in I didn't realize this until I tried the Saluda. It Rocks! The Saluda is quick and requires very light paddling compared to the shorter, wider Sapphire. I would recommend the Saluda to any n00bies out there. It gave me confidence and allowed me to focus on the scenery instead of fighting currents. I didn't experience tipping with the Saluda, either. I can't believe how fast this boat will go with just a little effort. I kept having to stop and wait for my friend to catch me in the Sapphire!!! Try it...you'll love it.
05-26-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 8 of 10 I am new to kayaking although I have rented several kayaks in the past. Compared to anything else I have tried I really like my Saluda. It seems to have a good balance of both primary and secondary stability. Although I have tried other kayaks that seem more stable at first, the minute you hit a wave you topple over. Not so with the Saluda. You can really lean over with this puppy and not flip over. I also find it very roomy and easy to get in and out (I am a big guy, 250 lbs).
I have not found the seats as comfortable as say the Wilderness Systems kayaks. However, I recently fixed that problem by adding some removal padding (it looks like a little Thermarest).
Bottom line is I am going to purchase a second Saluda for my wife.
02-10-2003Submitted by: LlamaKeeper
- Rating: 9 of 10 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.
07-01-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 6 of 10 I bought used Saluda very cheap from a person who had it for 2 months. Boat is OK for flat water and tracks good. I used it once on a choppy bay and it performed poorly with the waves and chop. The foam block is a nuisance not found on other recreational kayaks, which makes me wonder what's wrong with the Saluda's design. I'm reluctant to remove the block as it seems it will affect its safety.
06-17-2002Submitted by: Brad
- Rating: 10 of 10 I love this Kayak. I have used it for several weekend camping trips with no problems. I can get everything but the cooler and camp chair in this puppy. The Keel keeps her running straight and doesn't interfere with shallow water runs. I have read the other reviews and would like to counter some of the points made. 1. Take the rear hatch cover off during transport if you are worried about it blowing away. Ps Mine has a strap that attaches to the hatch cover. 2. The seat is the most comfortable that you will ever sit in. All this talk about adjusting it. How often do you have to adjust it? Set it and forget it.
The Saluda will rip into a corner if you put her up on edge and handles the waves just fine. The footpegs are primo and I for one like the foam in between my feet. No different than a WW kayak. Besides unless you have Shaq like feet there is plenty of room to move around. I paddle mine in hiking boots and have yet to feel cramped. Anyway If you are looking for a camping, fishing, fooling around boat, get the Saluda.
06-11-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 8 of 10 My wife and I made the trip last week to look at and demo the Liquidlogic kayaks. The store we visited also sold Old Town and Perception. At first glance, the Liquidlogic Saluda, Tryon, and Sapphire all had a nice streamlined shape complemented with a high quality exterior finish. Simple deck rigging was on the front and rear in an “X” pattern- not the normal multi-strap type. The carry straps were cheap looking and seemed like they would eventually tear off. The hull is designed with a full length “extruded” keel. I’m sure this would enhance the boat’s tracking, but my first thought was how it would handle shallow water and rocks. The saleswoman couldn’t answer this question and didn’t know how punctures were repaired if needed.
Climbing in was easy for my 5’-11” - 212 lbs. thanks to the nice 43”cockpit opening. The rear storage compartment was well designed, roomy, and within comfortable reach from the seat.
The seat base is stationary and comfortable with a molded beverage holder. All three models have a two way adjustable backrest. Its height can be set to three positions by removing a steel pin from vertical rows of holes in the seat post and backrest. The highest setting could be compared to the Old Town seat (just under my shoulder blades), the lowest would probably be just above the hip. Although the backrest wouldn’t need adjusted all the time, I found getting the support pin’s retainer ( key-ring style) hard to get off without fingernails. After I got it off, lining all of the horizontal holes up to get the main pin back through the new location was somewhat difficult too. Tilt is changed by a plastic “notched” strap and latch located beside your left hip.
The feature I disliked the most about these kayaks is a rigid foam block they install between your legs. This three inch wide vertical block goes from the top to bottom of the hull interior and extends from the front edge of the cockpit toward the bow for at least a foot. The dealer told me that this is placed there for hull rigidity and should not be removed. If that’s the case, they should build more stiffness into their molds, not this way. After the first ride, I know what I’d do with it….
I can’t give you a performance review because the demo was a washout. A major “hurricane-like” storm hit just when we got to the lake. I hung around for a while watching tree branches snap and rain go from left to right. Testing under these conditions would have been tough. While I was helping them hold their tarp down, I asked another salesman how he would compare the Saluda to my wife’s Old Town Loon 111. His response was that he thought the performance would be improved, but not a huge step up. After an hour with no storm letup, we left for a long (wet) trip home without a test ride.
Summation: The cost of this kayak is too high for me. I priced the Saluda at two different stores. This dealer picked his boats up factory direct. His cost was $699 without a paddle. Another store wanted $100 more. I can purchase an Old Town Loon 111 with a Bending Branches 230 cm paddle locally for $530 out the door. My wife and I both like that idea better. For now, I have decided against a Liquidlogic until they drop their prices, remove the foam block, and make some minor accessory changes.
06-03-2002Submitted by: DJL
- Rating: 9 of 10 I had been looking for a rec kayak but have some whitewater experience that has made me reluctant to buy any of the super stable boats (e.g., Loon 138 or Pungo). I want it all, just like many paddlers but want a stable boat that turns well, has good rigging, has a bulkhead.... etc. etc. I've paddled both the Tryon (which I now own) and the Saluda. The Saluda is a really stable boat for me at 6' + and 220. It doesn't turn quite as well as my Tryon but if you want more speed and aren't so concerned with quick turns.. Give the Saluda a try. The rear "dry" compartment is 98% dry under even extreme conditions but don't put your newspaper back there. The size of the rear compartment and the well designed (and secured) hatch cover are very effective, even upside down. Trust me on this. Lean this boat and watch it turn faster than other rec kayaks in it's class. The adjustable back rest has a nylon strap that is too long for the intended purpose. I added a "biener" with a few twists to take up the slack on the starbord side of the seat. Now the seat adjusts very well. The Saluda is even more effortless to paddle than the Tyon but not as maneuverable in tight quarters.
12-03-2001Submitted by: rnsparky
- Rating: 7 of 10 Been looking to buy a rec kayak and have been paddling various new models. Rented the Saluda over the weekend and paddled on 2 lakes. Price of boat is on the high end of most rec kayaks, and questionable if this first year model is worth it.
The positives - The boat has a large cockpit, high quality foot braces, high cost seat, and paddles great as it tracks and glides extremely well and turns easily.
The negatives - The very sharp bow entry cuts the water, maybe too well, as even in mild chop the bow has no bouyancy and gets buried under any sort of wave. This boat is not chop or wave friendly! The adjustable seat back needs to be reworked and made larger [more area] to provide more back support. The rear hatch fits poorly and is a pain to firmly fit on the boat, and it is not attached to a deck cord or bungee which means it is guaranteed to get lost on the water or the highway.
Would like to see Liguidlogic come out with a 12.5 to 13 footer with a more upswept bow suitable for more choppy conditions.
11-08-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 8 of 10 Just bought one of these from the new kayak manufacurer and had it out this weekend for several hours. The boat is very comfortable and high quality [exect the rigging straps look cheap]. Tracks pretty good with its keel line, quick turns are somewhat tuff.
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