Submitted: 04-10-2008 by Big_D
I loved the Perception Axxess, but could never get one used that was in decent enough shape. When the Approach was released, I borrowed one from a friend. We were camping on the New River together, and he offered to let me take his for a fifteen minute test drive. Two hours later, I returned his now well scuffed Approach knowing that I had to have one.
My purpose is for fishing. I had a Wave Sport Diesel, which is a far better whitewater boat, but not a good boat for fishing. I sold the Diesel and bought an Approach. I put on a single rod holder, some deck rigging, and bought a nylon skirt. That's all the modifications needed. I feel like I have complete control of this kayak in the Class III or lower waters that I fish.
I can surf, others with skill can surf better. I can turn well. I have only wet exited twice in it, and both times were user error not a problem with the boat. It is roll-able, I just don't have a solid roll.
It does go nose down under power. I'd like an adjustable seat, but the footpegs being adjustable from the seat is a nice feature. I'd prefer a better backband, but the one that comes with it is OK.
The dry hatch is what I call a "mostly" dry hatch. Mine leaks around the bottom of the bulkhead. I could reseal it, but it's not a big deal to me. I use dry bags in the hatch anyway. It's nice when it doesn't fill with water and I don't have to mess with stern flotation.
I'm about 245#, which is the upper limit for this boat. I weighed less last year and it did better when I weighed 230#. Again, user error - not the boat's fault that I like pizza.
I rarely use the drop down skeg, but it does make a big difference, especially when attaining. It's a slow, slow kayak, but I mostly float downriver through the slow stretches seeking fish so I don't really care about paddling speed.
Control through rough water is terrific. A skirt is a necessity, but also a preference for me so not a big deal. The boat's responsiveness is allowing me to step up my paddling skills from the sloppy recreational kayaking skills I've been using. Eddy turns are far easier, ferrying is well controlled and nearly effortless, and it is roll-able to someone with that particular skill. Something that you don't see in a recreational kayak.
That said, I consider this to be an aggressive recreational kayak and not a true whitewater boat. But that's what I want, so for my needs and my skills, this boat and I see eye to eye.