what are the most severe lake, white water, and surf conditons that you would feel comfortable on a sit on top, namely the Perpection torrent (with thigh straps)
It’s you not the boat.
People paddle Torrents in up to Class IV whitewater. (Not my reccomendation though.) You could take a Torrent out though heavy surf. They are not very exciting as surf craft but a trained paddler could handle the boat in significantly rough water. But the same could be said for many boats. If you want to get started in whitewater and ocean conditions a Torrent would be fine, but take some classes or paddle first with some more experienced paddlers.
i know paddling is what you, the paddler, makes of it. however, my question was geared more towards the boat’s capabilities- not the paddler’s
I have a Perception Torrent that I paddle in Great Egg Harbor Inlet which is just south of Atlantic City, NJ. I have paddled the Torrent in 3-5 foot chop (short interval waves) with no problems at all. While it is not a fast kayak, it isn’t the slow barge it looks like. With thigh straps it is very stable and easy to climb back on to. Paddling the Torrent on a lake will nearly bore you to tears but in rough water it is great. The biggest wave I have ever been on in the Torrent was big enough tip me over backwards as I tried to paddle over the top of it. I can just remember being completely upside down before falling down into the water. High winds have a big impact on a Torrent and I will rarely paddle if the winds are much over 20 knots. I have never paddled it on a river so I have no idea how it would perform there. I was really surprised to see the Torrent discontinued by Perception. It is a kayak that I could never be convinced to sell no matter how much was offered. If you want to paddle in rough water they are a great kayak.
We have torrents and have used them in class four and less many times. They spin on a dime which may or may not be a good thing but hey we are here to tell about it. We have also used them to surf, which with our limited experience found it very fun and enjoyable… would not say it was boring by any means. We were recently at Cape Kiwanda in Oregon and the waves were from four to six feet.
The stability of boat, width vs. length can be a problem in white water and wind, but as in any thing skills develop and problems solved with practice, and determination.