This is the third Slayer 13 Propel I have bought and just got it yesterday. The drive has a serious issue. The pedals are harder to turn out of the water than the other two are in the water. The drive makes at least three times the noise of either of the first two. I hear the gears grinding while it turns. Possibly shipped without grease?
I have contacted the distributor and explained the issue as well as sent serial numbers. It appears my drive will either have to be repaired or replaced. I have not had issues with any of my other propel drives so this will be my first warranty claim. I hope it is handled quickly as how this is handled and how long it takes will determine whether or not I purchase or recommend another Native product. It's very disappointing to pay good money and wait for a new kayak to arrive only to find it has a serious defect making it unusable. I expect to have the drive fixed or replaced at no cost to me as it's brand new and I expect it to happen in a very short time.
UPDATE: Native is sending me out a new drive. Now that's stellar customer service!!! I don't think I'll ever buy any other brand than Native. Any company can send out a lemon but it's how they make it right that matters and having them send a new drive is as good as it gets.
UPDATE 2 09/20/17: I received the replacement drive yesterday and it is much easier peddling however it makes a horrible metallic clacking sound in reverse so I am not keeping it. I took the original drive's lower unit off and loosened the tension screw. This made it much easier to pedal but it still makes a strange metallic clatter sound when peddled in reverse. I know this is not normal because I have two 2015 models that were both smooth and quite from day one and have remained so for the past two years. I was shocked to get a defective drive on a new kayak but even more so that the replacement drive makes more noise than the original. Now that I have the tension screw adjusted to where it's easier to pedal I'll give it a while to see if it wears in as the Native rep recommended. For the price they sell for, they should be smooth and relatively quite when new. I can't say that I'm please at all with my latest propel purchase. These drives should be thoroughly tested before they ever leave the factory.