First Kayak - help

Hello all, I need some advice. I’m purchasing my first kayak (I’ve kayaked before and just rented - probably an intermediate paddler) and have found two that are in my price range: Prijon Hurricane ($150) and a Perception Arc ($350). Both come with a paddle and skirt. I plan to use it on both flat water and ww. I’ve read that the Arc is “grabby” and unstable…anyone have experience with either of these?



Go see these folks
Southwest Paddle Sports, in Spring Texas (near you)

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– Last Updated: Nov-08-10 10:59 AM EST –

I looked at your profile first, and you have clicked off every paddling environment. Aside from the problem that your size and weight matter in making a good answer, it is nearly impossible to find a boat that'll be really apt for everything from whitewater to ocean touring. There are hybrids, but they will be quite slow if you intend to paddle with a group of people in 12 ft plus touring kayaks. And the touring kayaks aren't going to get you down whitewater well, or even safely if you are talking about stuff like pushy class 2 and up.

That said, for the kind of money you are talking it's hard to go wrong as long as you understand the limitations of the boat. My best boat for creek crawls or something I can take into a pool session and beat the hell out of is an old school white water boat that I paid $75 for. But this boat would never serve as my only boat because it can't do the bigger water day trips that are the reason we got into paddling in the first place.

So I looked up the boats you listed, and while they look like neat boats both are intended for limited use. The Prijon Hurricane is purely a whitewater boat - here's a description I found of its intended use:
"The Hurricane revolutionized whitewater play boating when it was introduced in 1993. It remains an ideal boat for paddlers who want to experience a new dimension of river running. Whether running difficult rapids, doing acrobatic play or big time surfing, the Hurricane Rodeo delivers classic performance. The Hurricane Rodeo comes stock with an extra comfortable ergonomic rodeo seat and a rigid stern pillar."

The other boat you mention is more of a general purpose boat, but both of these boats lack some critical safety items for paddling offshore like perimeter rigging. The Perception boat being called "grabby" would likely be about its behavior in moving water.

Neither of these boats will be easy to make go straight in wind until you get your paddling down.

I'd suggest that you split your question - look around for a used boat for whitewater. WW paddlers go thru boats like candy - if you are around WW at all you are around used boats. Then go for a little more boat for the rest of your paddling - something with two sealed bulkheads and perimeter rigging. You may be within reach of a local paddling club who has members selling off their old boats right now.