perception dancer

im buying a perception dancer it has been stored indoors and has everything to go with it . my question is this a good beginner kayak for class 2-3 rapids .or will i be bummed . im getting it for 100 bucks .


Absolutely do not buy that boat…
…if it’s in as good a shape as you say for $100, send me the contact info instead.

Seriously. a good boat. Old school in that it is a long dart. Punches holes good. easy to roll. Many of the manufacturers are once again remaking longish boats.

You aren’t going to do much play in it.

You’ll want to outfit it better.

If the boat is in good shape and you aren’t too big for it, get it.

You got a good deal if you fit in the

I know two paddlers that use them on class I & II all the time. Chuck_IL has been using one for 10 or 15 years.

I have no idea about the Dancer on class III.

I’d say go for it.
I’ve paddled with ‘ChuckIL’ and he handles his Perception Dancer in moving water quite nicely. There’s a contingent of folks here who will tell you that if your kayak is bigger than a musky lure that it is way too long to do any kind of whitewater, but I say they are full of it. Sure, those boats are good for playing, but if people can paddle 14- and 15-foot solo canoes in such conditions, I see no reason “it can’t be done” in an old school kayak. If you want to eventually cram yourself into a fishing lure when doing whitewater, join the crowd, but in the meantime, you sure can’t beat the price for what was ONCE considered a pretty good whitewater boat.

what do you mean by outfit it better

how would you compare to a tahiti

…is the customization that most of us ww boaters do. more comfortable, adjustable backbands, padding where the boat rubs, foam where the thigh contact the cockpit area, padding around the hips–or less padding.

Typically when we get a new ww boat, even if it’s brand new, is grab the weldwood glue a bunch of minicell foam and start customizing the boat.

If you have any ww boaters living near you, they are generally very happy to help you.

I do the same thing with my sea kayaks: grab the weldwood and foam and start customizing it.

It seems to be more of a tradition with WW paddlers than sea kayakers though.

Perception Dancer
Dancers were running Class IV and V water when many of the folks on this forum were in short pants, or not yet born.

Just make sure you sit in the Dancer. The original Dancer, like most boats of its vintage, had rather small cockpits. The Dancer was reincarnated as the Dancer Pro which had a larger cockpit, and I believe an adjustable bulkhead rather than footpegs.

You may need to pad the boat out some with some minicell hip pads. Boats back then did not have adjustable outfitting as they do now.

more questions
well i appreciate your advice im new to this and me and my boys are learning together so any advice is welcome .so if its really in good shape its not a bad deal? what should i look for as far as condition of the comes with paddle, spray skirt, life jacket, helmet, flotation bags. no leaks, has been stored indoors

For a couple of hundred more you should be able to get a used WW boat that is better for beginners and is more modern in design. Even in its era the Dancer was not a great boat. Even if it was stored inside there is a chance the plastic has deteriorated. Check that carefully.

thanks it makes me feel better your advice .im a beginner so as i said any advice is welcome . where do you get the minicell ?

You can get preshaped minicell hip pads or you can buy sheets of minicell and shape your own. Even the preshaped ones may require some contouring to fit your hips.

Look for it in places like the Nantahala Oudoor Center outfitter store or Northwest River Supply, Rutabaga, etc.

You can shape it with sandpaper, Stanley Surform tools, or Red Devil “Dragonskin”. Do it outside though, because you will make a lot of fine obnoxious dust that carries static electricity and clings to everything it gets close to, including you.

Glue it in with contact cement. DAP Weldwood contact cement is the popular choice.

so good deal?
so do you think it is going to be a good first kayak for someone? who doesnt have much money to spend .it does come fully equiped

cracks around the seat. …
…see if you can demo it first in a lake. that may help you determine if there are any cracks that are going to let water in, although i’m betting you cold fix them with duck tape.

it sounds like a pretty good deal.

the usual with the skirt: rips, tears, etc.

Providing it fits you and the plastic has not degraded from prolonged UV exposure. Sit in it and make sure it is not too tight. It should feel snug.

Sometimes severe UV degradation is easy to spot. The plastic looks “carmalized”. If it looks OK I would press down a bit on the hull bottom, the front deck, the rear deck, and the cockpit coaming. The plastic should give a little and spring back. If it cracks while you are doing this, the seller might be miffed, but in that event, it was of no use to anyone. As a boat, that is. Might make a good planter.

And yes, if you want to wait and shop around, and are willing to spend three times as much, you might find something better. But the Dancer, if sound, would be a fine introductory WW boat.

thanks all
thanks for the advice now im not ignorant anymore .i feel like i can be an informed buyer .in all this forum has helped me alot .thanks let you all know how it turns out .

flashlight test
I had a Dancer XT 20-something years ago and ran a lot of whitewater with it. It worked well for me. I would be careful about buying one that old though. One test I always do with used boats is shine a flashlight inside and inspect the outside. Look for light coming through cracks, deep scratches, or other worn spots.

small cockpit–> wet exit
before you buy, take it out on the water with a friend standing nearby in 3-4 feet of water. Capsize it (without the skirt or with the skirt partially on) and make sure you can do a clean wet exit.

Dancer cockpits are small. There is a Dancer XS whose cockpit is really small. Whitewater skirts are meant to fit pretty tight on the cockpit rim (coaming) and you want to be sure you can rip that off and pry yourself out of the boat while you’re upside down and the current is having its way w. you.

You didn’t give your height/weight so it’s hard to tell.

Those old style river runners are cool and mucho fun to learn with. Keep wishing they’d bring them back w. modern outfitting and a little slimmer.

XT was an awful boat, not near as
good as the regular Dancer. I traded my XT on a Corsica, and the improvement was startling.

Glad you enjoyed your XT, but there it is.