Nice test of Salt...
My cooperation with Seabird Designs is over - our opinions about quality, customers and service differ too much.
The three training kayaks I designed for Seabird: Salt 51, 55 and 59 was reviwed in Danish Danska Kano&Kajakk this spring (more correct: I designed 51 and 55 as light-weight touring/training kayaks. Salt 59 was done before I was involved as "Touring" and needed just a little visual tweaking to be included).
The testest is in Danish only, so those not familiar with that might use Google Translate to get the gist of it (the short version is that the testperson, a danish experienced paddler, loved the 51; light, fast, comfortable, highly maneuvered and good-looking, liked the 55; also fast and maneuverable, but she felt that the width/stability took a little from the tight paddle catch of the 51, and found that her weight was not enough to keep the 59 down on the design waterline and thus lacked a little of the control).
The kayaks reviewed were Salt 51 in Pro-version (carbon) with weight 11 kg, Salt 55 in Advantage-version (carbon/kevlar) at 14 kg and Salt 59 in Club-version (extra reinforced fiberglass) at 17 kg.
The Estonian magazine "KANUUKAJAK" made another kind of test with, among some other kayaks, the Wave 6.4 and Salt 51 (this one translated to English). They looked at, not so much the kayaks inherent qualities, but how the kayaks performed with paddlers of different skills and strength. Nobody was very surpriced that the elite paddler got more speed out of all types of kayaks than the average paddler with the fastest kayaks. To use your technique and strength efficiently you must feel safe and comfortabke in your kayak.
Some figures were interesting. Raigo Põder, Estonian elite paddler, was able to reach 19,7 km/t in Wave 6.4 and 18,7 km/t in Salt 51! That is actually more than I dared to suggest when writing the presentation texts for Seabird Designs.