Perception Stikine - for bigger guys?


A response in another thread I posted prompted me to ask this question.

I weigh about 240 and just got a Stikine - Perception’s old literature suggests a weight limit of about 240, and some of the reviews on the boat on this site suggest it’s a good boat for bigger guys. However, I’ve noticed it’s a little less stable than I thought it would be and concerned that I might be oversized for this boat. If anyone can relate any personal experiences with this boat, especially those in the same weight range as me, that would be great! If I need to get a bigger boat I wanna unload this Stikine before I get too attached :slight_smile: Thanks in advance…

Have you tried any other boats? The RPM Max is an old standard for bigger guys and is very common.

Big guy boat
I just picked up a perception prodigy rated at 275 pounds. I am 6" tall and weigh 258 pounds this boat is great. I also own a swifty Islander rated at 300 pounds both are very stable.

weight capacity
If you think your yak is a little overloaded, you might can find a Perception Sierra.

A friend of mine has one and loves it. Plenty of room for fishing and camping gear.

It has a 400 lb. capacity. Not too expensive either.

My friend is a big guy.

I probably should have specified that the Stikine is a river runner/creek boat, not a rec boat like the sierra and the prodigy… not everyone would know that since it’s been long gone. I do appreciate the responses though! The RPM max would be nice - it’s pretty much the same as the Stikine with about 25lb more load rating. That was awful nice of Dagger to discontinue those too.

One that was recommended was the Pyranha H3:255. It’s a whole foot shorter than the stikine and can hold 280lb!

I’m not even sure that the stikine isn’t right for me… I guess I really need to try some other boats. Kinda hard to do here in southwestern Ohio though…

I am 6’3" 200 lbs.
I like my Perception America 11.

And it looks like others do too.

Hope this helps.

Big WW boats
The Stikine is listed as a 78 gallon volume, which is pretty big for a WW boat. I know you’re not looking to buy something new, but you might want to try demoing some other big boats just for comparison.

Jackson Mega Rocker

Jackson SuperFun

Dagger Mamba 8.5

Wave Sport Diesel 75

Liquid Logic Hoss

Pyranha Burn L

Pyranha h:3 255

Pyranha Stretch L/XL

re: big ww boats
I haven’t totally ruled out a new boat. You’re right though, the stinkine is pretty damn big, so the weight limit of 240 is kind of surprising. Well, I’m not a boat designer I guess :slight_smile:

The Stikine is big volume because it is a creek boat – it is meant for going over drops. Unless you get a longer boat I doubt you will find one that sits higher in the water.

When entering a cross-current you always want to edge a ww boat. Apply a twist to raise the upstream edge of the boat. Do a search on ww techniques “ferrying” and “peel out” where this is critical.

demos in SW Ohio
You should contact Whitewater Warehouse in Dayton. They have 30-40 demos available for several manufacturers - Wavesport, Dagger, Pyranha, Jackson, Prijon, Liquid Lodgic, etc. They also sell new and used. or 937-222-7020.


This is the biggest , most stable white water kayak I have ever tried - at 6’2" and about 275-280 ( can sometimes be + or - 20 or 30 lbs) I fit comfortably -as a matter of fact, it is the only DECKED kayak I’ve ever been able to ride in comfortably for several hours a day - back band gives good support - plenty of leg and knee room ( a rarity) a little bit short on toe room for somebody with size 12 feet like me - but then what white water boat isn’t?

With its 25 in beam and flat bottom, it’s one of the most stable kayaks I’ve ever used - way more fun than my dancer XT - albeit a bit slower - but about 100 x more comfortable!!! White water boats can be difficult for a beginner and are probably a poor choice to learn on ( especially without lessons). If you are uncomfortable in it, I might buy it from you - email me ( Try going to a wider and more stable recreational kayak - Perception America is imho the perfect beginners boat - tracks, maneuvers, super stable - huge cockpit for ease of entry - you might take a look at one!

Weight rating
The 240 may be the recommended upper limit for seriuous creeking, where you want lots of reserve bouyancy. It’ll probably handle more for basic river-running.

Saw a used Stikine at NOC recently
and it did NOT look like a creek boat. It looked more like a big water boat, and in fact the Stikine is the MOTHER of all big water gorge runs. I believe it was National Geographic that showed a bunch of experts, all but one paddling Stikines, running the Stikine with one overnight stop.

But the one guy who did NOT paddle a Stikine that trip told me that the Stikine wasn’t designed according to some marriage of minds between river runners and designers. He said that the Stikine was put together by Perception according to their own thinking, and was not considered, by the Stikine Gorge participants, to be the be all and end all of big water design.

That said, I thought the Stikine looked MUCH better than the Overflow and Overflow X, both of which had very mushy handling. The modern challengers to the old Stikine design would include the Burn, the Jackson Mega Rocker, and the DragoRossi Critical Mass. These are better in big water than the Stikine, and much better as creek boats.

thank you!
Thanks for the feedback guys. I would like to reiterate that I am not a rank beginner on a kayak - I’ve put a lot of flatwater and class 1 time in on a perception rec boat (montour, which is much like the Acadia and the Dagger Blackwater.) That is an incredibly stable boat and I was comparing stability of the stinkine relative to the montour. My second time out on the lake for practice felt much, much better, and I will be doing that again a couple times before I take it on moving water. I am also tentativly going to go to a roll lesson up in Dayton two weeks from Thursday. Just went up to Whitewater Warehouse and got a Snap Dragon skirt for it…

I’m gonna keep it for now.

One thing I have found is that there are vastly varying opinions on what the intended purpose of the Stikine is - but those who have actually paddled it have had nothing but good things to say. I just wanted a nice transition between an 11’ rec boat and a true creeker, and I think this should do me just fine…

I know someone who has one
He isn’t as big as you but isn’t a tiny guy. He mostly uses it for flatwater, big wind/waves, and duck hunting. He can get a ton of decoys in it.

Liquid Logic Hoss!
Just got helluva deal on a Liquid Logic Hoss (max 240lb) which is a decent river running/surfing boat. I was going to wait till next season but I wasn’t going to beat that deal for a new ww boat. I’m 5’11 @ 230lb (40in waist) and it fits great. We’ll see how the sprayskirt I ordered fits. It seems of all the normally available sizes (NRS,snapdragon,etc), the largest standard size goes up to 40in. I’m sure it will be a bombproof seal, but we’ll see if forces my innards out of bothends :stuck_out_tongue:


Getting easier
OK, just wanted to update all on my progress and maybe seek out a little advice. I spent a little more time last night on a lake in the Stikine. I have really found it to be a really stable boat now - when I’m sitting still, or paddling. But if I’m moving and I take the paddle out of the water, the boat of course has a tendency to quickly turn to one side. It almost seems that the wake behind me catches up and destabilizes the boat a lot.

For instance, if I am cruising along and stop paddling, the boat turns to the left, and when the wake starts grabbing the back of the boat I start getting the wobbles. Now if the boat turns to the left, and I quickly plant the paddle on the right, things stabilize and the turn stops instantly. I am assuming this is all the way it should be?

I apologize to those WW boaters out there who may read this and think it’s all pretty obvious… but for someone who has been pampered by a rec boat for the last 2-3 years that takes a LOT of effort to flip, this is all pretty new territory. I’m not sure how all of this is going to translate when I hit the rivers, but I’m pretty sure the bottom line is that if I take my paddle out of the water (which I could do w/o worry in the rec boat) that all bets are off :slight_smile:

Oh yeah, taking a rolling lesson a week from tomorrow!

It is normal for a whitewater boat to start turning as soon as you stop telling it to go straight.

To help with the wobbles, lean into the turn a bit.

to be honest I think much of my problem too is too much leaning back. When the boat starts turning and I get off the center axis, goodbye stability…

update - it’s for sale
Just an FYI to anyone who was following this thread, I have decided to sell the Stikine. There is a classified ad listed here.

Might look into another creek boat sometime in the future, but I think for now I am going to focus on flatwater.