12-19-2012Submitted by: cbamos
Reviews for Expression 15 Kayak by Perception
Based On: 11 Reviews
- Rating: 9 of 10 Bought my Expression 15 a year ago. I am 5'11" and around 225 lbs. I found the boat to be stable and enjoyable and have used it a great deal. During last winter's pool sessions, I decided the standard seat back was a problem with re-entries, rolling, etc. I found instructions on YouTube on how to convert to a back band. The kit is available from Austin Kayak, Topkayaker, and Amazon. The kit is around $50.
The instructional video is at:
or got to YouTube and search for: confluence watersports phase 3
You will need a long 7/8" socket or some other aid when working with the seat bolts. A piece of duct tape on the end of your finger will aid in getting the nut and washer back on during reassembly. The end result was essentially identical to the seat in a friend's Wilderness Tempest 170.
11-26-2012Submitted by: JPVC
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is an excellent "Good for many tasks boat". As the other reviews attest it is somewhat difficult to roll due to the higher backrest but not impossible, however the seat is very comfortable once adjusted properly.
I purchased the boat early this summer and have spent significant time in it in many conditions from class 3 whitewater to Lake Superior. I also did several overnight trips. Running whitewater was with a buddy and his Dagger cross over whitewater. I had no issues keeping up with him but you will need to lean to edge this boat to turn sharply. I live on a large flowage of the Wisconsin River so most of the seat time was on the flowage. Generally the boat tracks like a freight train with the skeg down and is beautifully maneuverable with it pulled up.
The general outfitting, hatches and deck lines are all well designed and very functional, skirts stay on well and seal to the coaming fine. The boat hides away a load of camping gear below decks and drives nicely with the added weight.
This is a great play boat if you'd like some extra speed, space and the ability to pull up the skeg and play in some foaming whitewater. For the price I couldn't find a better all around boat. The hull stiffness is a little on the "thin" side of things and the skeg mechanism seems like it may not hold up over time. I don't have any issues highly recommending this boat and would buy another one.
09-21-2012Submitted by: yakmann2
- Rating: 5 of 10 AN ok boat for rivers and surfing. Backrest SUCKS. Too high for rolling and the seat makes my legs go numb. The people at perception would not sell me the touring seat so I made my own. Overall an ok boat could be a whole lot better.
09-14-2012Submitted by: rfpssp
- Rating: 10 of 10 Just bought this kayak yesterday and spent it and today paddling around Great Sacandaga Lake (where we keep our "big boat"). It tracks very well, especially with the skeg down and especially in a cross wind. I was all set to buy the WS Tsunami 140 but when I "tested" the Expression 15 out on the floor of the retailer I liked the fit better and the skeg was a nice added feature at a final lower price that the Tsunami.
I'm 5'10" and around 200 lbs and have absolutely no problem with this boat. I like that the deck height is not as high as the Tsunami as my paddle stroke is somewhat shallow due to shoulder injuries. The seat? Absolutely a winner. Since this boat and WS boats are made my the same company the seating systems are very similar and I like the padding and variability of the entire system. Raising the thigh supports helps me "lock in" and really "wear the boat". I paddled consistently for over 3 hours and was not sore or having any numb spots. The gear carrying capacity seems ideal for an overnight or two (or three or more) and I plan to test that out next year.
I started practicing lean turns and although I'm still a novice at it I felt very secure in the cockpit. Excellent secondary stability and a great step up from my tried and trusty Pungo (that will be racked with its new "buddy" in the garage this winter).
Great boat and great service from the retailer. No complaints about the seat height at all. If I need to self-rescue I'm going in with a paddle float on the side or bringing it in closer to the shore so I can stand up. No way is this old dude paddling in early spring/late fall waters!
09-06-2012Submitted by: Bill
- Rating: 8 of 10 Recently bought the Expression 15. Like the handling and stability. Do not like the seat back due to the height when lowered. I wrote Customer Service but never got a response. I called and asked if I could put the seat that is in the Essence in the Expression. The guy I talked to did not seem to know much about the seats. He only said I could put a 3XP Backband in. He also said he did not know how to do this. Very poor customer service.
08-29-2012Submitted by: Jesse178
- Rating: 9 of 10 I am new to touring kayaks. I have been recreationally kayaking small rec boats for a few years and wanted to step it up a bit. I soda lot of research about this boat before purchasing and everything I found was the same thing, people complaining about the seat. Well I don't seem to have any issues with it. Never having to do a self rescue before I figured I should learn and it went very easy. After my 3rd attempt I got it down and can now do it every time, I see no issues with his boat. It tracks well, handles well in rough and calm water, not too heavy (I carry and load it on my Toyota 4runner alone).
I am very pleased with my purchase and recommend it to any beginner wanting a touring kayak (don't be scared of what everyone says about the seat back being to high).
07-03-2012Submitted by: axistr
- Rating: 1 of 10 I wished I had read "DDintruffs" review before I had bought this boat. I bought this boat 2 weeks ago and had put approximately 25 miles on the Black River in Northern New York without problem. My initial impression was this was an excellent boat. However, yesterday I took the boat out to Southwicks Beach on Lake Ontario. There was a pretty good chop with 2-3 foot swells. My purpose for the trip was to practice deep water self rescues and rolls. I took the boat out about 100 meters and dumped it. I've done stern entries on other boats with no problem, however the Expression was a whole different ball game. I popped up on the rear deck with no problem, then my dilemma. As I scooted forward, the seat back presented as a four inch high groin / thigh hurdle, even with the seat bottomed out. After approximately 25 attempts with only 3 successful entries, I was cursing the boat and the heavens. My groin had taken multiple shots, my thighs, knuckles, and other body parts were freely bleeding from catching the sharp edges of the seat back . Additionally, if you don't clear the seat, it folds forward and you find yourself sitting on the back of the seat, with no way to correct it without bailing out. I was exhausted and livid. I was thankful I hadn't tried this on the ocean or in a Florida / Georgia swamp, chum comes to mind.
All joking aside, this is a very serious design flaw and could have been fatal had I been much further out. I called Perception about this issue this a.m. and their rep indicated the "design was not intended for open water self rescue, it's more of a recreational boat". Perception does not advertise this boat as a "Recreational" boat. The rep stated that if I planned on open water rescue and rolls, I would need a back band set up. He gave me a part # 8023007, Phase 3 XP Back Band. They wouldn't comp me for the replacement. Perception needs to not advertise this boat as an "Ocean Touring Sea Kayak", until they retrofit their boats with the appropriate back bands..
Although I have enjoyed the boats overall performance, the seat issue is really scary. So for the time being I'll be sticking close to shore. This has not been a good start to my relationship with Perception.
06-26-2012Submitted by: Seth
- Rating: 9 of 10 I am the type of person that over thinks every big purchase like this. I was nervous buying a new model kayak that didn't have many reviews. But I am glad I did. I took this kayak out onto a lake with high winds and very rough water and it handled great. The seat is the most comfortable kayak seat ever produced. It is adjustable in so many ways and it fits perfect. The cockpit is small and can be difficult to get into but once you are in it feels great. The kayak handles waves great and tracks perfect. I did not see the need for the skeg while using the kayak although it did help while surfing waves because with out it the boat tries to pull a 180. The skeg does shake back and forth which can get annoying and I would have preferred a wire skeg so that it would be easier to let down quickly (necky does this).
I also purchased a Carolina 14 so I will compare the boat to that because they are similar and I can see someone debating between the two. I find the Expression overall a better looking kayak. It is much sleeker than the Carolina and has smoother lines. The front of the boat curves up much more than the Carolina 14. As far as other features, they have the same seat but the expression has a smaller cockpit and has different knee braces. One thing that I don't like about the Carolina is how the back of the kayak looks if you don't have a rudder. It does not look appealing because it has this ring with a hole in it (hard to explain). The Expression has a hole setup for a rudder If you would like to attach it but it looks SO MUCH NICER. It is a sharp end and looks just like the bow.
Overall I highly suggest buying this kayak. The only reason I gave it 9/10 instead of 10/10 is because of how the skeg is very flimsy.
05-07-2012Submitted by: DDintruff
- Rating: 5 of 10 The Expression 15 handles well in wind and waves. If handling was my only concern I would give it a 10. However, I'm confused about why they put a seat & back that one would expect to find in a recreational kayak. The high seat back just isn't safe on big water: it gets in the way when attempting a self rescue and makes a roll just about impossible. I wrote the manufacturers about obtaining a touring seat and back like they put in the Essence... but I never heard from them. So because of safety concerns and poor customer service, I'm reducing my rating to a 5, and will refrain from using my Expression on big water until I solve the safety issues presented by the high seat back.
- Rating: 9 of 10 Excellent kayak. Fast, stable for beginners, maneuvrable or very directive when skeg is down. Mine is equipped with the XTC rudder for the Bic sail. After 4 tries 4 to 5 hours each, I really enjoyed the comfort, the speed and its capability to surf even small waves. I do not rate it 10/10 because it is still weighting 25kg without the rudder that is not very easy to carry on and put it on the roof of the car. But excellent compact sea kayak
04-25-2012Submitted by: MF
- Rating: 8 of 10 I'm a complete novice so don't read too much into my review or rating, but since there have been numerous inquiries for a review on the new Expression and I've now got about 20 miles of paddling in one as my first boat I'll at least share my impressions.
I like it! No construction or quality issues found. Hatches and bulkheads are tightly sealed. Seat is quite comfy by my standards (though I've not been in it for more than 2 hours consecutive yet).
I'm a long-legged 6' 210#. I have the foot pegs at the end of their adjustment, sometimes pull them up one click if I want to be extra snug. I use it in wide-water rivers for fitness, day trips. All of my paddling has been unloaded so far.
I don't think I'm qualified enough to comment on stability & such. Will say that it has one trait that I haven't noticed before in that once it starts to turn, it wants to carve even more of a turn. (Put the skeg down and that behavior goes away). That tends to have me work a little extra hard sometimes to correct, and a tendency for me to over-correct. Would love to get others feedback on that - common to all boats or just a dim-witted paddler?
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