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Old 06-01-2010   #1
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 475
Elite or SL Villain?

Villain S recommendation: I don't especially want the sweet cheeks and the SL is cheaper and repairable. So what do others think is the best choice, Elite or SL? Crosslink is great and better warranty. Still, would like to hear experienced opinions.

No risk, no reward. It is not that we have to, it is that we get to. Preparation and education are essential to self-confidence and success. - KV
"If there is no risk there is no adventure."- Bill Briggs
Ken Vanatta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2010   #2
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 507

Hey Ken,
Just bought the SL version. I like the outfitting in it better, does not shift around. Plus the seat is super easy to move. Just one wing-nut to remove right in front and can adjust forward or backward even in an eddy. Plus $150.00 bucks cheaper and can be welded if broken. Loving the boat. The SL also comes in the cool multi colors. Have a great season. Atom...

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Old 06-02-2010   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
I got the elite crosslink because I wanted the longer warranty and thought it was worth the extra cash for that alone. I also wanted to test out the durability of the crosslink first hand. I've been going through at least one if not two creekboats a season for the last several years so the reported durability of the crosslink and the extra warranty feel worth it in my position.

I also like the sweet cheeks outfitting. Most comfy seat I have sat in, and it helps me a lot with some perstering leg numbness issues.

As for repairing... I wrestled with this decision too. I've become pretty handy with a plastic welder and can keep a cracked linear boat floating for a while. In the end I figured that even if I couldn't weld a crosslink boat, I could use a heap of gorilla tape, drill the ends of a crack, and try to patch on some structural support to keep the crack from propagating until I got a warranty. I'm hoping a good warranty and good durability gets me away from the weekly garage welding sessions during the boating season.

So... if you don't break boats too often, want to save a few bucks, or don't really want the sweet cheeks, go for the linear.

If you break boats a lot, really want the extra warranty, are willing to spend a few extra bucks up front for the warranty, and like the extra outfitting, go for the elite crosslink.

The linear has a one year warranty with zero replacement cost and the crosslink has a two year warranty with zero replacement cost. If I find that I break the crosslink within a year, the second year of warranty might not be worth the extra cash, and I'd consider going to the linear.
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Old 06-02-2010   #4
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 475
Thanks, guys. I feel the permanent seat pad in the SL is more desirable to me. We've removed the sweet cheeks from all our other JKs. One leaks already and suspect others eventally will. Plus I would rather sit low and not bother pushing all the beads up front each time. However, as said, it's easily removed.

The SL's seat positions is prbably adequate. The Elite would allow for in-between positions. Although, the boat is long and volume enough to probably not be too sensiive to micro adjustments for me. I have found play boats and even my Diesel 65 needing micro adjustments to perfectly dial them in for my body structure.

The warranty and stiffer hull is the real attraction of the Elite. However, out of all the boats I've owned I have never broken one. Yet! Thus the cheaper and repairable SL may be worth the savings.

Bottomline though, is that both are expensive and I hope to be able to work a deal on one or the other first anyway. Meanwhile, already sold my Habitat, daughter put claim to my Punk Rocker, now wife wants a Punk Rocker, too, while I'm left with my old reliable Diesel. As Bohdi said, "Just waitin' for my set." I'm next.
No risk, no reward. It is not that we have to, it is that we get to. Preparation and education are essential to self-confidence and success. - KV
"If there is no risk there is no adventure."- Bill Briggs
Ken Vanatta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2010   #5
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 166
Ken, I went ahead and purchased the crosslink.

First, I have never had much luck or longetivity with repairs on linear boats.... the reality is that once they bust apart, they are usually out of service within the year.

Secondly, I paddled a crosslink Y for years, and put it through some serious abuse... including solo decents and multiple drags down two miles of rock infested trails. The plastic was unfazed by anything I threw at it.

My impression of this boat in general: Taking some getting use to with the displacement hull. I do not know how long its been since I had so little primary stabilty [I must admit I am rather overweight for the S; the version I purchased]. On the other hand, the secondary is unreal, and the thing rolls with a hiccup; it is like coming full circle for a old timer like me.

Overall, I would say I have found my last kayak, and as perfect a boat as the Y was when it was released.
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