Slayer 14.5 Compared to Ultimate 14.5

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Manning
Supporter 2009 - 2013
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Slayer 14.5 Compared to Ultimate 14.5

Post by Manning » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:24 pm

After paddling a Native Ultimate 14.5 for two years I recently switched to a Native Slayer 14.5. I took the new kayak on its maiden fishing trip on Tuesday. Here are my initial impressions compared to the Ultimate.

• First thing I have to say is that the Slayer feels somewhat heavier than the Ultimate. I carry my kayak on the top of my SUV. I found loading it to be harder and a bit more awkward.
• The seat in the Slayer is similar in construction to the seat in the Ultimate, but of a slightly different design. As good as the Ultimate seat is the Slayer is just a little bit better. Didn’t feel like it was pressing on the kidneys at the end of the day like the Ultimate.
• The second thing I liked better about the seat is the molded in high / low position option. With the Ultimate I used a homemade seat riser. This was just one more thing that I had to carry and fool with. Also, with the Slayer seat in the high position there definitely is more storage area under the seat.
• The Slayer upper seating position is even higher than the Ultimate seat with the riser. It felt very comfortable, but has two very minor drawbacks. First, sitting in the upper position on the Slayer makes the boat feel just slightly more unstable than sitting in the high position in the Ultimate. Second, the additional height also impacts your paddle stroke. I use a 240cm paddle and found that it still felt like I was reaching down just slightly to reach the water.
• The Ultimate has the best foot rests I have ever seen in a kayak. Why they did not use these in the Slayer I don’t know. The Slayer has movable foot “pegs”. They are fine, it is just that I got spoiled with the full size foot rests in the Ultimate.
• As to speed I would have to give just a very slight edge to the Ultimate. I could be totally wrong about this one since it had been a month since I last used the Ultimate, but my perception was that it was just a tad slower. This may be due to seat height and impact on paddle stroke. I have not try paddling the boat with the seat in the lower position yet.
• The Slayer seemed to track and maneuver as well if not better than the Ultimate. I had almost no wind on Tuesday so I don’t know how they compare in the wind.
• The Slayer was just a quiet through the water as the Ultimate. There was not noticeable hull slap.
• Standing and fishing in the Slayer was quite a bit better than the Ultimate. It was very easy to get out of the seat and into the standing position. The next thing you notice is how much you love the flat cockpit floor in the Slayer. The flat standing area is much more comfortable and felt like you had the freedom to move around just a little more. You also immediately notice that you are standing higher than you do in the Ultimate. In the Ultimate your feet are just slightly below the water level and in the Slayer you are standing slightly above the water line. It may only be a difference of a few inches, but you can feel it. Now hear is the strange part. Even though you feel like you are standing higher in the Slayer it still feels slightly more stable than the Ultimate in the standing position. Don’t really know why this is, but that was my perception. It may just be that you have more options on how to position your feet, but I found myself thinking less about balancing than I did in the Ultimate.
• The Slayer has lots of storage space as dose the Ultimate. Not sure one has the advantage over the other. Both make it way too easy to carry more junk than you actually need.
• The Slayer seemed to be just a little dryer ride. Not that my butt ever got wet in the Ultimate, but I always ended up with an inch or so of water in the foot wells on the Ultimate by the end of the day. In the Slayer I just pulled out one of the scupper plugs and way went any accumulated water.
• The “tag along” wheel on the back of the Slayer is also definitely a plus. It just takes a little getting used to. When I first moved the fully loaded kayak at the launch using this wheel it reminded me of the first time as a kid that I tried to maneuver a fully loaded wheelbarrow. Make sure you have your balance before you take off.

In summary I after one trip fishing in the Slayer I am very happy with the new boat. I have loved my Ultimate very much and I think I am going to love this boat even more.
Being out on the water in the kayak is the prize. Catching fish is the bonus.

Steve

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DoubleM
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Re: Slayer 14.5 Compared to Ultimate 14.5

Post by DoubleM » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:15 pm

Are you just rubbing it in or what? :cool:
How about the front tankwell? Looks kinda constrictive, Miss the openness of the ultimate?
And there's no going tandem in the bad boy. :?
Mark .aka. Man of Purpose. Original Chincy Jones

Ultimate 14.5 sand & blue Indian River Outdoorsman.

The jig is up and weedless.

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Manning
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Re: Slayer 14.5 Compared to Ultimate 14.5

Post by Manning » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:33 pm

One additional comment on t he Slayer. It handles very well in the surf. This morning when we were coming in to the beach from tarpon fishing there were some nice little waves breaking over a sandbar about 100 feet from the beach. I took all my fishing gear and stored it in my truck. I then took the kayak back out and played in the waves for about 45 minutes. The Slayer handled great in the waves. I think the broad flat bottom helped a lot. It would track straight and never snapped left or right like the Ultimate did.

While I was out there I intentionally flipped it to practice a deep water reentry. I completed this very easily. The boat was easy to flip back over and I was able to get back in without a problem.

I continue to really like this boat.
Being out on the water in the kayak is the prize. Catching fish is the bonus.

Steve

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1okbyme2
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Re: Slayer 14.5 Compared to Ultimate 14.5

Post by 1okbyme2 » Sun May 05, 2013 8:54 pm

Nice posts concerning your new Slayer, Manning. I've been in a Native Magic 12 for about 3 years now & was considering going the canoe route. I think a sot is still the best way to go after reading your reviews. The slayer looks like a very good boat.
"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot" Joni Mitchell

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yohan1973
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Re: Slayer 14.5 Compared to Ultimate 14.5

Post by yohan1973 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:00 pm

I'm looking at either the Jackson Cuda or the slayer as my next yak. I'm leaning more toward the Slayer after reading this. I just can't get over how freaking heavy all of these newer kayaks are...
Stanley Steemer, carpet cleaner.

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Manning
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Re: Slayer 14.5 Compared to Ultimate 14.5

Post by Manning » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:35 pm

After having the slayer for about 6 months now I am very satisfied with it. The only negative I have is that it is heavier than my old Native.
Being out on the water in the kayak is the prize. Catching fish is the bonus.

Steve

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