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Submitted: 06-14-2010 by Mikayak

I'm new to kayaks and after trying this one I bought it from Paddle Shack in Ottawa. I had only tried the 17 foot version of this kayak and one from Boreal Designs. As luck would have it there was someone there who owned one that was heading out and I got the chance to chat a bit. I decided on the Perception Essence 17 but the store only had a 16.5 version, I had originally sat in that one when setting up the try out so I took it. Now I had no lessons to begin with and my first time out was the try out which lasted about 5 minutes max on 2 kayaks. I took this thing out on the lake and loved it.

I haven't tried rolling yet (because I wanted to work on basic paddling first) and I can honestly say it tracks very straight with the skeg down. Keep in mind I'm nearing 50 years old and although I paddled canoes, this thing is a bit different.

Found the seat comfortable and the side adjustment (strap?) is easy enough to reach for the foot pegs and the skeg control is recessed on the outside of the boat and is easy to operate and you do see a difference. I keep it down when going straight and bring it up when I need to maneuver after I tried a few hard turns with both

I purposely went into wakes of big boats to get a feel of it and I'm happy. I don't think I will be outgrowing this craft soon but even with my newbie skills I was happy with the speed.

I may change my mind after a few more outings but I can't see that happening in the near future. So for now I give it a 9.5

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