Item reviewed: Native Ultimate 12 Seat Riser
Number of trips used: 3-5 trips
How it performed:
I’ve now fished out of my Native Ultimate 12 with the seat riser installed a few times. Predictably, the boat felt slightly tippier with the seat riser in place, but this lasted only briefly and things felt normal after just a few minutes.
I was initially worried that the seat would feel unsecured since it’s normally locked under the slider inserts when the riser is not present, but those fears were unfounded. The riser slides lengthwise into a groove on the bottom of the seat pan and the groove disallows any sliding to take place. It also raises the seat high enough that the top of the seat pan fits snugly against the bottom of the gunwales of the ‘yak. The seat riser is made of a high-density foam material and looks just like a big block of foam. This block is solid though, so even with a person in the seat, it doesn’t sink down into the foam. With the seat straps tightened to the proper fit, the First Class seat is nice and stable.
For me, paddling from this heightened stance is easier as I don’t feel like I have to reach up and then down to paddle. That’s how I feel when I’m sitting on the bottom of the Ultimate. So it’s more comfortable in that way.
One thing I’ve always liked about the Ultimate, even without the seat riser, is that your legs are slightly under your buttocks instead of level with the buttocks and straight out in front like they are when sitting in some other kayaks. With the seat riser, the legs are even lower than the buttocks which results in a more natural sitting feeling.
Of course sitting higher gives anglers a sight advantage and casting is a little easier as well, so those are other obvious pluses.
What I found to be another big plus was the space that is created in the grooves that run down both sides of the bottom of the boat. The seat riser sits between those grooves, so there is storage space created in those grooves. This turned out to be a big help to me because I was also trying out a Stick-It anchor pin for the first time. The anchor pin is 5-feet long and I really had no way to store it without the seat riser in place. It slides into either of those grooves nicely and stays out of the way until needed.
I like the seat riser a great deal and will probably very rarely fish without it from now on. Many of the homemade seat-raising projects I’ve seen do add more storage room than the factory one, but they raise the seat higher still, which has its pros but also has its cons. This riser also seems to distribute the angler’s weight better and puts that weight on the bottom of the boat rather than on the top rails. The factory seat riser is expensive at $69.00, but overall it’s worth it to me to have the convenience of just sliding it in or out without having to remove nuts or bolts as some homemade risers require. That, along with the clean “OEM” look, plus the tight fitting makes this accessory a 5-fish limit in my book.
Overall Rating: 9 out of 10