Perception Essence vs WS Zyphr

I am looking to get my first sea kayak and was looking at both of these. I have been able to look at and sit in the essence but have not been able to find a zyphr to try on. I have done a little research on both but would like some additional input. It looks to me that they are pretty similar in how they would handle, but any information anyone has would be greatly appreciated.

I know some of you will probably want to know what I plan on doing, but I would rather just hear what the boats are capable of and then decide on my own which one meets my interests/needs the best.

Thanks in advance for your help.

You probably have already seen these, but in case you haven’t, a review of the essense is in issue 13 of Ocean Paddler

Which can be read on-line.

The June issue of Sea Kayaker (Black cover) has a review of the 16’ Zephyr. This review mirrors my impressions.

I have owned a 16’ Zephyr for 5 months. I bought it for several reasons that were important to me. 1) It fit me comfortably, which most kayaks don’t 2) It was easy for me to handle (straight and turns), wet exit, reenter, and I was able to maintain a decent cruising speed (for me) during several hours of testing 3) The design criterion indicated that I might be able to advance my skills without outgrowing it.

Hope this helps with your decision.

they’re very different.

I worked on both boats in getting them ‘right’ before production. E is quite a bit better tracking tripper or cruiser and the Z is a sportboat, turns way better BUT doesn’t track well. this is a 2 sided coin… tracking vs maneuverable.

The E is longer both LOA and WL, the Z has more rocker and flat decks (less gear)

The E has more initial stability and a more gradual 2ndary while the Z is pretty edgy BUT clunks into a solid 2ndary. different!

The E is rudder ready the Z is no rudders allowed.