In our buyer’s guide, we counted down five of the very best kayaks for 2018. That included kayaks for every situation, every skill level and every type of use. We are confident that if you check it out, you should be able to find something that matches your needs perfectly.
So where does the Native Watercraft Slayer Propel fit into the equation? Who is this for?
The answer is simple: someone who is serious about kayak fishing. This might not be the best traditional fishing kayak in terms of value and all-around appeal (for that, read about our top pick here). However, it is likely one of the best if not the best in terms of sheer performance, stability, technology, and all that other good stuff. It’s tough, fast and impressive and it’s the ideal premium choice for someone who wants to take their love of fishing to the next level.
This is a hard shell (traditional) kayak and SOK. That means that it will inevitably be slightly more prone to scratches and damage than an inflatable, but also usually means it will be faster and more powerful – we’ll get to that later in the review. And mitigating any (relative) vulnerability is the impact resistant stern rudder.
As well as being a very well made boat, the Native Watercraft Slayer also looks the part. It’s not attractive as such, but it looks cool thanks to its copperhead color scheme which is essentially a series of gradients between orange and gunmetal. There are lots of parts and it just looks like something a bit more powerful and premium than many of the basic boats you encounter.
You’ll notice lots of different places to store your items, and there’s also the very obvious inclusion of pedals which are very notable from a side profile. More on those in a moment.
The chair also looks very impressive when raised above the level of the boat, and gives you a great view as you ride. It’s comfortable and something you’ll feel happy sitting in for long stretches.
The dimensions are 156”x36”x18”. That’s a long narrow boat, perfect for top speeds and quick turns. It weighs 85lbs however, which is a little on the heavier side – something to consider if you plan on carrying it long distances.
There are lots of features here to like.
Firstly, this is a fishing kayak that has been built from the ground up as a fishing kayak. That means it has a rod holder and has all of the other useful features that you could want as a fisherman or woman. The rod is positioned for the right hand facing forward. Of course, that’s going to be a downside for lefties, but for everyone else, it’s very well positioned.
That includes plenty of storage, including a hard shell bow hatch with bungee. This will keep things tightly in place and you’ll find that your belongings will remain dry at all times as well – which is important!
One of my favorite features is also present and accounted for here: a cup holder! This means you can set out on the water with a cold beer, or perhaps a flask or mug of tea or coffee.
Of course, the main feature here is the inclusion of pedals. This means that you can enjoy forward propulsion even when hands-free, which is a perfect feature for anyone who intends on using their kayak for fishing. The pedals also work both forward and in reverse, which means you can easily get out of dead ends and avoid getting banked. It’s a great addition that makes life a lot easier. Although it’s not essential, it’s one of those things you’ll wonder how you did without! What’s more, is that you can reverse at almost the same speed!
Those pedals are great for maneuverability but they aren’t the main propulsion system when you want to go fast. Paddling is still an option here and you’ll get great traction to get you moving along the water incredibly quickly. It’s strong and heavy and that ensures that you can build up a lot of speed and not easily be moved off-course.
The drive can be left at home in order to paddle alone, but if you’re going to be using it mainly in creeks or small rivers, then consider that you can find more affordable options minus the peddles.
Note that although this is a SOK with a relatively high seat, it is incredibly stable. You’ll never feel any risk of toppling and it feels comfortable and stable to sit for long hours at a time.
What’s also great is that this is a very dry kayak – so you won’t get home with sodden clothes!
- Very fast
- Very stable
- Great design
- Peddle drive or paddle
- Good storage
- Rod holders and other thoughtful features
- Highly comfortable
- Quite a high seating position which may get a little cold
- Heavy – which may be a problem for carrying
So, while no kayak is perfect, the fact remains that this one comes darn close for someone who wants the most professional experience possible. It’s fast, sturdy, stable and it’s a really great ride. All in all, we highly recommend this to anyone who wants something that can grow with them and take on any challenge, any body of water and any adventure.
Fishing Apex.com Product Rating: (4/5)
Overall, this is a highly performant kayak that is capable of nipping along at a brisk pace. It has lots of great features for any fishermen or women and it is clearly incredibly well-made – that’s apparent as soon as you look at it.
There are very few downsides here. The only consideration is that for those that don’t need the peddles and drive, there are cheaper and better options around. This is a great ‘hands-free’ feature though that will really add to the quality of life while you’re out on the water.
And while storage is good, it’s not quite up there with our top pick.