Submitted: 05-18-2009 by jimyaker
The Torrent is a great intro whitewater boat, especially for big guys. I think Dagger is taking over this model in 2009, but I have two of the Perception models. The older is a lime green Andes Edition and the newer one is the basic yellow that looks exactly like the current models.
The Torrent and the discontinued Pegasus are somewhat similar, but the Dagger does track better. After I got used to paddling the Torrent in a straight line, I prefer it to the Pegasus on moving water. It's also great fun to paddler around with rec boaters with a kayak this maneuverable just to see their jaws dropping when you start to spin on a dime. One hard stroke can make a full 360.
The Torrent becomes a lot of fun on fast class I and class II rapids. How it stays upright, I don't always know, but it's a very forgiving design which also makes it a great loaner boat for that new guy that wants to try some easy whitewater. Just hand him a paddle and enjoy watching his expressions.
For a relatively new paddler in class I through III, I think the Torrent is a great learner boat. You get the feel for paddling rapids, learn what to look for, and generally get a lot of experience without having to roll or spend time dumping water out of your boat, or worrying with your sprayskirt, etc. You just hop on and paddle.
If you want to progress into more serious whitewater or learn the playboating tricks, you'll need a smaller ww kayak, but for river running and some fun surfing, the Torrent is a blast.
I've taken out two guys that were experienced with 17 and 18 foot sea kayaks and they just loved zipping around on the Torrent -- all smiles.
The rigging and storage is very minimal and you really don't want to add much if you are doing anything over class I. For the purpose they were designed for, these are the ideal SOT whitewater boat and I hope they continue to make them for when mine wear out.