Perception Sundance 14'

I had a question about the Perception Sundance 14’. I have rented this kayak at a local outfitter a couple of times this summer. I have paddled it on the Little Miami river here in western Ohio where I live. It is a calm river with lots of nice straight runs and tight curves… I have had trouble with this Yak tracking straight. My wife has mentioned the same thing about the same kayak. Is this a common trait of this particular kayak or is it because I am paddling in a river? The rental place has three of them and on one trip my wife and I both paddled two different kayaks. Same models. Same thing. My wife and I are new to paddling kayaks, but I have paddled other kayaks on lakes (Wideness Systems Pungo 12, Old Town twin Otter, Mad River Canoe synergy 12) and they seem to track better. The reason I ask is because the outfitter is getting ready to sell off his old stock from this year and I was considering buying the Perception Sundance 14’ from them, but if this yak is not going to track well then I wont even consider it. These kayaks have been used for one season on the river. I looked the kayak over and the bottom looks like what I would consider normal wear and tear for a season of paddling. They are asking $325 for this kayak. Should I consider this kayak or should I stay away from rentals? Thanks for any advice that anyone has to add.

P.S. I don’t know if it matters, but I am 6’1" and weigh 278 lb.


No experience

– Last Updated: Sep-03-07 4:17 PM EST –

I have no experience with that model but when I was looking, I wanted a boat that tracked well. If it doesn't, then you will be putting alot of energy into corrections. Then again, you can always buy a rudder system. But that adds over $200 to the cost. I say keep looking. By the way, I bought a Tsunami 140 and it tracks beautifully.

I’m a bit heavier and am paddling a Sundance 12. It works fine. You may want to check that your weight is centered in the boat.

BTW, our paddling club, Southern Ohio Floaters Association (SOFA) is heading for the Little Miami the weekend of 15 Sept. You can find details at I betcha they are staying at the same livery you have been working with.

The livery is Riversedge Outfitters. I was there this weekend with my family and we had a great time. We have really enjoyed paddling that stretch of the river that they have to offer. This weekend the river was really low though, but a good time was had by all. The next time I will have to try shifting my weight forward some. Thanks and anymore help from anyone would be greatly appreciated.


River’s Edge
Yep, that’s the one. We stayed there on last year’s trip. Its a well-kept place, and I enjoyed the river.

The price on that Sundance 14 sounds good to me. You ought to give it another try. Maybe you were just sitting crooked or needed to sit up straighter. Or, maybe you are over-stroking one side. Give it a try, being careful to pull equally on both sides. Shoot, if the 12 works for me, the 14 ought to give you plenty of “float”.

i love my sundance

– Last Updated: Sep-04-07 11:05 AM EST –

i have the sundance 14 and after a full year of regular paddling, and also more time in more "advanced" kayaks, i still love it and i'd highly recommend it to people who knows what they're getting themselves into.

as to your question about tracking, i don't know what to tell you, my tracks well and i haven't noticed that much of a difference with other kayaks i've paddled.

since the other ones you've tried didn't give you any problem, my guess is your stroke is probably ok, which points to something structually off with the kayak? also, was it windy on the day you tried the sundance? that would definately cause tracking problems, but that happens to all kayaks without skeg/rudders.

the price is fantastic, but only you can tell whether that's worth having to fight the kayak whenever you paddle it.

edit: i should say the sundance is great if you have little kids. for a child up to 4 or 5 yrs. old, the kid can sit up front very comfortably without interfering with your stroke. an older child can fit, sort of, if they lay on their back and rest their head on you.

sundance kayak
I have several kayaks with a sundance being one of them. Its my favorite kayak for fishing and I have no trouble keeping it going straight. However I will say that this kayak has a flatter bottom than many others which will degrade its tracking if your stroke is wide. It can float in some pretty shallow water though.

Go for it…

– Last Updated: Sep-04-07 5:08 PM EST –

We use our tandem Sundance II (15’) (aka “the war canoe”) on flat water regularly and on windy days the boat weather-cocks a bit. Given the wide, flat bottom and the high volume of the boat, this is not surprising. If we are traveling to a destination, we’ll drop the rudder down, but most of the time we just compensate by paddling harder on one side or the other.

I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a poly boat used. Just check out the one you are getting for any visible dents or warping. Check the seat, the foot pegs for damage and the hatch for a good fit. Getting the boat from an outfitter will probably set you up for future discounts on gear and lessons which is never a bad thing. If it means spending more time on the water, go for it.

Thanks everyone
Thanks everyone on the wealth of information. What a great web page and bunch of people to gather information from. I have not made a decision yet mainly because I need to save some more greenbacks, but you folks really have helped a lot.