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The Tryon was an excellent choice. My father's only complaint is the sidewall height. For me, it's a perfect boat. Perfect width, perfect shape, perfect keel. The seat could be a little better (2005 model), but can't they all? They glide through the water easily, and handle incredible, even in the class IV we took them out on.
From time to time, I think about buying an open kayak - I am happy LiquidLogic makes the Manta Ray for when I am ready.
My sole complaint would be that the seat is not comfortable for me after any time at all on the water. Possibly it's the angle or lack of sufficient padding, but after much seat time I tend to develop leg stiffness and numbness in my feet. The newer Tryons have a different style seat. I contacted Liquidlogic about the possibility of fitting one of the new style seats into my boat, but that is not possible. Their customer service folks are top notch by the way, getting back to me almost immediately and going the extra mile to offer other helpful suggestions.
I can work around the seat issue, though, and all in all am extremely pleased with my boat. If you decide to try one, I'll bet you will be, too.
Pro's: 1) Beautiful looks, 2) great fit and finish, 3) reassuring initial stability, 4) comparatively high sides in the cockpit area [gives beginners confidence that they won't flood the cockpit if paddling without a spray skirt], 5) very comfortable and easy-to-adjust seat, and 6) reasonable maneuverability.
Cons: 1) Limited glide as compared to the Necky Santa Cruze, 2) relatively flat bottomed-design feels less responsive to leans than a boat with sharper-edged chines and more rocker [again, the Santa Cruze], 3) doesn't track as well a boat with a drop-down skeg [once more, the Santa Cruze], 4)is nowhere near as secure-feeling in chop than a boat with a more flared/raised prow [one more time, the Santa Cruze], and 5) the high cockpit sides you loved on day 1 become an encumbrance by about day 4.
Thinking that maybe I was just too big for the Tryon, I also tried the larger Saluda. Frankly, it seemed to have much the same set of drawbacks as the Tryon, but in giant economy size. No question, the Tryon is an appealing boat on the showroom floor. But, if you believe that beauty is (or should be) as beauty does, I would encourage you to look further. I think you can do better for less money.
It might not be a perfect marriage between a short cruiser, little fishing boat, and class II or III whitewater boat, but it's close. With the Liquidlogic skirt, I hit a couple of two foot standing waves today and the water rolled right off the skirt and my face. I've heard that the loon big skirts and others tend to collapse, so far, I think the Logic folks have solved this one for this very roomy cockpit. As mentioned in my other review of the Saluda, the seat adjustment system is a great idea but needs some fine tuning. The height adjustment works great. The forward or backward lean requires something to take-up the slack in the adjustment webbing. I used a biener with about 4 twists. Works great now. The seat moves forward and backward but isn't the easiest thing to do on my boat. With my 220 pounds, I think it is better for me to be just a little to the rear of the mid adjustment position. My wife who's 110 can be a little further forward. Move too far foward and the nose of the boat submarines a little too much. I like to ride low and punch through the rapids and that's what the Tryon does well. If you want to stay on top of it all, try the Saluda. If you want to get into it a little, the Tryon is for you if you're my size.
I was planning on buying a used high volume whitewater boat. Now, I think I'll stick with the Tryon for quite a while. A friend of mine just bought a 14' Wilderness Systems boat two weeks ago and he paddled a Liquidlogic today on some class I and II and is buying one ASAP.
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