Experience with Perception Essence

-- Last Updated: Apr-17-11 9:38 PM EST --

I am about to purchase a Perception Essence 16.5. I have had a poly Carolina for a few years but seem to have out grown it. Has anyone purchased an Essence in the last year? I paddled it on calm water and liked it but if anyone can give me any other information, I would appreciate it. Anything I should be aware of; how does it handle in wind and choppy water; pros and cons discovered; is it suitable for an intermediate paddler or will I get bored with it? I have been thinking about the Wilderness System Tempest lately but have never paddled it.

Go for the tempest170
WS Tempest is a great kayak. I was dead set on buying one last month. I just got a better deal on a 17 ft Valley sea kayak.

I had looked at the essence and found it less comfortable than the tempest. I could not open the day hatch on the essence inthe showroom. I’ve owned a few perception kayaks… stable and boring is their design mantra! Wilderness System kayaks are far superior

Great take you anywhere boats, both personal skill and paddling location. I don’t know the Essence, but if you are having buyer blues before you plunk down the money for the Essence you should probably pay attention to that. Try out a few more boats.

a note about the tempest
The Tempest 165 and 170 are great boats, but there’s a big difference between the two. If you’re shorter than 6’ and under 170 pounds, I’d lean towards the 165. I’m bigger than that, and even I prefer the 165, unless I’m carrying a lot of gear.

However, check the hatches for leaks. The plastic boats, and older fiberglass boats, sometimes have poorly-fitting hatch covers which can be a real liability.

tempest advice
Philip, thanks for the reply and advice. Celia, great point and couldn’t agree more. Nate, thanks for the advice on the 165 vs 170. I am 5’9" 170. Looking at test paddling a Tempest in Kansas City next weekend.

Perception Essence
looks to be a slightly tweaked Tempest… slightly different outfitting and the Essence has a bit more room in width & cockpit size, buy whichever you fit in best.

It’s been a while …
since I paddled the Essence, but IIRC, yes, it is similar to the Tempest, but has less rocker and therefore is a little more hard tracking. Both are good boats, but one stands out for me because it has slightly more personality.