Perception Carolina 14 - Good first kayak? Any one has input on this kayak?

I’m getting into kayaking and I was looking at the Perception Carolina 14 as my first kayak. Just wanted to confirm I wasn’t making a bad choice? Also if anyone currently owns this kayak, how is your experience with iut?

For context, my paddling locations I’m interested in is will first be calm lakes with only paddlers, then I would eventually like to venture into the city’s river, which is still somewhat calm but does have motor boats and all that. I guess you can call it slow moving water?

Good boat unless you are on the small side. Big cockpit.

1 Like

Agree with string, good first kayak. A good learner kayak and a great kayak to keep in your fleet to let others use after you upgrade in a year or three or keep as a “beater boat” when you outgrow it.

Check out the used Carolina’s which you can get for 1/2 retail and a few were outfitted with a skeg also (though hard to find with a skeg).


Good boat. I have a 14.5 I had bought for my son. Took it down pine creek this spring, never really paddled it before. Spent 30 miles in it dodging rocks in a class 1-2 creek. Tracks well in the flats and the son pushed it up with me in my boat on lakes and larger rivers. Never seemed to weather cock. With the double keel you would have to be in some rotten stuff before you needed a skeg or rudder. Hatches are a bit small to pack it which it looks like they solved on the newer ones. Ours is a 2000. Primary stability is awesome you will have to work to dump it, secondary not so much. I tried to get it up on edge, almost went swimming.
Wife is paddling it now.
As was stated, if you are little, you might find it over roomy. I was comfy AT 6’ 236# son paddled it at I am guessing 6’ 180, wife is 5’9" (undisclosed) and paddles it well.
Dont know where you are but… Touring Kayak - Perception Carolina 16 - boats - by owner - marine...
Perception Carolina 16 Kayak - boats - by owner - marine sale
Kayak - boats - by owner - marine sale

There are one or two out there


Alright everyone, I appreciate the input! I will definitely go for it!

For the roominess, it would suit me well it seems atm I am 5"10" 225lbs, although I am currently loosing weight, kayak was to help with that faster and do a summer activity outside to, my eventual goal weight is around 170-180. I planned to check it out in person for sure as well before purchasing.

I definitely checked used guys… everyone is out of stock on the new kayaks until some time in June… so I didn’t want to wait but darn, around here there is NOTHING for sale I could find, even other brands 14 feets. I am in Ottawa Canada area.

I presume you are eventually hopng to paddle the Rideau canal system? Good boat for that. I have not been as far as Ottawa but have kayaked some of the western end with the Cataraqui Canoe and Kayak Club in Kingston and hope to make it back up there to do more of it once the borders reopen. Great bunch of paddlers, by the way.

Honestly, the canal Rideau I hadn’t really thought of it for my paddling. I was really more interested in going out in nature (For example, I want to try Lac Philippe in park de la gatineau for my first go) being in the middle of nature and trees you know. I’ll probably give it a shot though because why not it’s free once you have all your equipment and I love exploring! But the Rideau river on the other hand, I definitely wanted to try it out (It’s like next to the canal) and it’s more around nature than canal with the man made structures.

Perception makes a nice Kayak. I have owned 2 of their boats and really enjoyed them. My son paddles a Conduit 13 and loves it.
You will not regret your purchase.

1 Like

Never drove one, but when I’ve asked Carolina owners how they like the boat, most reply that it’s edgey. That could be positive, if you have a good sense of balance, which I don’t. My preference is Wilderness Systems, because all their boats share the same multi chine hull with excellent primary and secondary stability. Within the respective class each model has a relatively roomy cockpit and higher front deck, with good load capacity. The drawback is they tend to be slower to turn, because the hull design make the boat want to return to center when you edge, which is good for beginners. I think more confident experienced paddlers like boats that can be controlled with body motion, and rely on rolling skills to recover from the instability. I dred thinking of having to right my Tsunami if I ever roll it.

1 Like