Perception Airalite

I looked at one of these today. Not quite a SOT but not bad. Had anyone tried one of these yet? Looks fast, but I can’t try one out at this dealer.


– Last Updated: Jul-12-04 6:44 PM EST –

surely ARE SOTs. Take a look at the Scapa -we discussed it on our yakfishing site 6-7 months ago, and most of us liked it, tho' we DID wonder about its fishing prowess. It's more of a speed machine we thought; I guess we were right -here's what the Bic website has to say about it:

"The easy-ride speed machine

Futuristic lines, narrow prow and fluid hull lines, the SCAPA is designed for excellent glide. The sensations you get befit its race design, with the safety of the Sit-on-top system. Designed for sea and speed, this is a sport boat aimed at fast distance paddling and fitness. It's ideal for learning sea kayak because of its docile character allowing you to carry a child passenger in complete safety (extra seat fitted as standard). Even in the most difficult sea conditions, the SCAPA runs straight and true with its smooth glide and reassuring stability. The auto-emptying rear stowage area behind the seat allows you to carry water, equipment bag, under water gear etc. The elastic straps fitted along each side are designed to hold your baggage. A cover net offers a second stowage area forward of the cockpit."

They're 14'5"L X 25.9"W X 46.3 pounds -not too shabby at all.

So you might take a small dog or kid, according to them, tho' I wouldn't, and it's an SOT, and it looks to be a pretty sleek design and at 36" beam, it ain't fat so it should go...

There seems to be a few places that carry them -you ought to see about trying to get a demo.

ANd maybe, before you know it, you'll have a boat yhou can easily tote and -of cours,

Paddle On!

-Frank in Miami

perception airalite
The airalite name refers to the material, and according to Perception reps at the last Outdoor Retailer’s show, they plan to make several of their boats from this stuff. I can only vouch for the Eddyline boats made from the same material. It rocks! Stiff like fiberglass, tough like plastic, and light. Whatever the model was you were cheking out, I guarantee the Airalite version is way lighter, and performs way better than the plastic version. Rumor also has it that many other manufacturers will be making craft from this same material soon (probably unveiling at ORS in August).

Thanks again!
There are a couple models of the Bics. Unfortunately they seem to be sooooo new I’m only finding two dealers in the USA. I will probably use this mostly in the back bays which can get a little choppy and with some boat wake I’m looking at allllll the SOT’s

There is NOT much difference between a 12 Perception Sundance poly yak vs Airalite. Four pounds to be exact. Is that worth the extra 400.00 that they charge for the Airalite version. Not in my book.

I have a Sonoma 13.5 by Perception. It is

fast. Tracks straight. Light, I can load

it myself. Which I bought it for! You see,

can’t lift the 50 lbs. of dog food out of

my car. It is pretty too! Lime green and white.

Great Women’s Yak
I feel your pain on the weight issue! I’m new at this and was going for a sit-on till I found out I couldn’t handle it on my SUV. Testing a Sundance tomorrow (yellow and white). How long have you had yours and where do you use it?

I am new to this also. I bought it from a

retailer who has since gone out of business.

Can’t ask him any of my questions. Anyway,

I paddle at a lake and have done some sheltered

ocean kayaking. I’m not an experinced kayaker,

so for me calm water only. I guess until I get

bored! ;o) Not likely to happen soon! Bought

it last year, 2003.

Stiffness will give you speed,

– Last Updated: Jul-17-04 12:51 AM EST –

Molding accuracy will give superior performance. (assuming the design is good). Superior abrasion and uv resistance will give many paddler's boats longer lives. That's why folks might buy it.

Airlite does not have the impact resistance of polyethelene though, so watch our for those rock gardens if you are paddling in dynamic places.

Stiffness and speed
OK, I know next to nothing about boat design. But if stiffness equals speed (seems logical), why does my Feathercraft (very flexible) move along at nearly an identical speed to boats of the same length and width? In the rough stuff it’s generally faster that comparable hardshells.

I have some elements of agreement

– Last Updated: Jul-17-04 3:13 AM EST –

as far as conditions go, but let's face it. look at the top boats paddled by the best racers in the world. Look at boats paddled to victory in the biggest, full on, ocean conditions in the world. Think they are stiff? Think that the people who invest their lives in racing are using inferior equipment? Think olympic athletes are? These folks have some serious resources to perfect their equipment with.

So where are the folders at Molokai, at the arctic sea kayaking race, or at the world class open ocean paddling race of your choosing?

Paddling with our buddies is fun, and no doubt has its moments, but for 99.9% of us, is no basis upon which to formulate anecdotes which enable us to leap over the cutting edge boat design. So, until I start seeing flexible boats winning top class paddling races, stiff = speedier in my book.

Could Greg barton in a Khatsalano beat me in any boat I could stay upright in? Of course, but that has nothing to do with the boat.

I wonder…
how a folder of racing design and dimensions would stack up against the hardshell racing designs you refer to in your post? My guess, as I presume yours would be, is that the stiffer hardshells would be faster in most conditions.

Thanks for writing back. I went for the sit-on-top today instead. Since the concern here was the beach and playing with the crabs and fish and the dog of course, I think this will better suit the bill. However, I did join a canoe club and I’m not sure how far behind I’ll get left with this thing. I may have to get another Airalite type next year to keep at home. Have fun with that pretty boat;o)

If it is otherwise
some folks who get paid to know are very wrong. Me I’m just a paddler like you (more or less I would not know and do not need to)