note to kayak manufacturers,paddlers

please consider re-introducing some ‘retro’ kayaks. this weekend we had all 5 kids in 'yaks on a long scavenger hunt planting seeds on compass and navigation skills…I grabbed an old Perception Chinook off the rack simply because it was the closest boat. After an hour in it I wondered how this boat would fair in a laminate/kevlar/hybrid. The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea of a super light Chinook…it had many positives not to mention the love engendered by paddling way too many miles in it.

I could have ‘addressed’ this to Perception but maybe its not only the Chinook that needs reconsideration.

Pacific Water Sports
Just go find a PWS Sea Otter 500. It is what inspired the Chinook. Lee Moyer designs, all.

Perception is NOT interested in re-introducing the Chinook. believe me. :wink:


made a mistake, in my book, in getting rid of the Jive, Jive8’10" and the Rip. These were very good dual purpose river runners AND surf boats. Given that the Spyder seems like a “vapor” boat (I have yet to see one, except two years ago at Santa Cruz), they don’t have a decent surfer in their line-up.

Kudos to Riot for bringing the Boogie back!


The Chinook was an early commonly-available sea kayak. I saw one recently and it appeared to have much more volume than the current crop of sea kayaks.

What makes the Chinook any better than the many other kayaks available today? How is it better than the Shadow or Eclipse?

In my opinion, the current trend towards shorter boats and boats with less volume has been an important recent (relatively) change in the industry. These boats are much more fun to paddle and are better suited to the type of trips (day trips) that are typically done. People have finally found out they don’t need boats that can carry a lot of stuff.

There are more boats available now to fit people of different sizes than when the Chinook was available.

the volume difference isn’t all that much, over many new school boats. the bow is very pointy and holds very little, in terms of gear. it does have a severe swedeform hull with alot of space behind the seat, but the stern is quite short. the boat is a bear in reverse and tracks like a demon. it has a very long waterline and is OK for speed and quite stable.

I did a number of multi-day trips including a 8-day trip in Costa Rica in one, sold quite a few and had them in the ‘rental fleet’ for a bunch of years.

There are 2 models, as well. the original ‘Chinook’ and the ‘Chinook NW’. The NW was updated and has a bit more volume in the bow.

There are a bunch of boats i would choose before the Chinook and a few I would choose after!


Chinook was a great boat
in it’s time. It was the first sea kayak that I bought and I have many fond memories of that boat. Big super safe boat and in contrast to a canoe it was an amazing thing to paddle in the wind.

Someone brought an old Perception Spectra into the local shop on consignment, all faded green, saging deck, decals curling up and faded, with a rudder and a rainbow sailing rig. It really brings back memories. Those were fun boats.

and that WAS a canoe. designed by David Yost.

Totally symetric, smooth canoe lines, nice rocker profile. that was a fun boat to paddle, especially in current and surf. the cockpit outfitting, depth and width were HUGE tho. the Spectrum-S was more fun. they needed front bulkhead/ compartments to be safe tho, a giant float bag was the best you could do (ala Mariner-style)