Perception Torrent WW SOT

I bought a used one after borrowing one last year and really liked the easy entry to WW. However, lack of any back support drove me nuts in the long flats. Anyone suggest something in the way of a back band? I’m hesitant to go with a full seat and back set up for most SOT’s, as I don’t want an entanglement hazard in a flip.


Here ya go
I use the top one on my OK Sprinter. Very comfortable.

And, its on sale!!

Different strap eyes
I installed the black plastic strap eyes on a Torrent for seat and thigh straps and broke two in whitewater before switching to stainless steel (available through sailing suppliers and some boat dealers).

The only downside to
using a secure SS/bronze padeye is that the boat itself becomes the weakest link. The plastic ones on my Torrents have held up so far (one is about 8 years old) and I use the thigh straps to lug the boats around. I’d much rather break a padeye than rip a hole in the boat.

I have done an 8.5 mile trip on moving water without needing the back rest (I do have one very basic one that I don’t like), but I am thinking about getting a comfy seat back for slower trips. Let me know what you decide on and how you like it. The simple backband just rubs too much as I rotate mytorso back and forth.

After paddling a 14 foot SOT, I call the Torrents my Sit-and-Spin boats. One sweep gets you a full 360 on moving water. Getting them to track takes a little practice and every time I stop paddling they always do a nice 180 degree turn so I can see where I was. Anything over about 5 miles on flatwater becomes work, especially if you are out with the long boaters.


Oh yeah.
Being a rec paddler, though one is 14’, that was the first thing I noticed. One back sweep, and Woooshh! Looking the other direction and then back again. But after about 10 minutes in the boat, I was keeping it straight pretty easily.

How long’s your paddle? I use a 230cm in my Stingray 14 and America, but I was using a 200cm that day in the Torrent. I think a longer paddle would make a good stroke very difficult in that boat.

I need to install some pad eyes to strap dry bags bow and stern. Haven’t picked any up yet. I was thinking about the S/S ones, which I’ve seen online. But you’ve got me thinking about the eyelet versus the boat damage. For simple tie downs, that may not be a concern, but then again, plastic is probably plenty strong for that anyway.

Mine already has some brass padeyes for thigh straps. I thought they were factory, but having bought it used, I could be wrong. One reason I was thinking of a back band is they only attach forward of the paddler (for which I can utilize pre-existing padeyes), rather than forward and from behind (for which I’d need to install an additional set). As far as what you installed, I’m not use to SOT’s and not having internal access. There are a few options out there for that. Which topside-only mounting options are considered strongest?

You raise a good point about torso rotation interference. Otoh, I don’t feel like I’d be leaning on the backband much when actually paddling, more like just when sitting idle. One major difference I noted when paddling with a new group in WW versus the rec paddling we do around here, is the WW people don’t seem to paddle in the flats, just float until the next rapid. I’m use to paddling 4-6 hours straight and taking breaks on the banks, because our current here in the MW doesn’t move us that much w/o paddling. :frowning:

I plan on taking this into some C2-3’s and eventually, more than that. Any worries about the back band getting you caught up on the wrong side of head up?


PS: When I get one, I’ll let you know what I think.


I’ve paddled the Torrents with a 230cm and a paddle that extends from 220 to 235cm. The 220cm end is about as short as I want on the Torrent, but I generally use a low or medium angle stroke and have a fairly long torso. Most folks would be good with a 210cm, but at 200cm you’d have to have a higher stroke, I’d guess.

I quickly had to unlearn using big power strokes. The Torrents seems to like shorter, more consistent strokes. I have also tried the high angle strokes to get it moving, but hitting the wall comes quick as the bow wake will tell you (noisy as heck).

I have one that is about 4 years old and an Andes edition that is more like 8 years old and they both came with the plastic padeyes. A previous owner added the seat back and two additional plastic padeyes to the newer boat. Those are almost centered between the padeyes for the thigh braces. You can probably reach that area (with SS hardware) through the center hatch, but if you put padeyes at the front or back you’ll probably want to use rivets. I bought some from captdick that are very secure on my fishing kayak. And they are anodized aluminum (and they look good).

Bought the rivet gun at Lowes.

I’m probably going to rig up the older boat with at least four padeyes on the back deck to run shock cord for holding my stuff, but I’m gonna make it easy to remove the shock cord as it could cause problems on class II/III. I don’t think a seat or back band would be a problem in WW, but I also wouldn’t go out without a good knife on my vest.

I don’t lean against the backband as I paddle, but there is still some friction and frequent contact that can get annoying when you only have one layer of clothing. Just loosening it up would have helped I guess. Sliding it down and sitting on it might have been the best thing to do.

The Torrent is very forgiving (wide and bulbous) and I think a beginner would do fine up to class II. Beyond class II, I think you probably need to be pretty comfortable in the boat and have some actual whitewater skills, especially if you plan on doing anything other than running downriver. It can be rolled (so I hear), but a combat roll in a Torrent is pretty unlikely. Ditching and recovering is more likely and in class III rapids you really want to limit your swim time.

And the serious whitewater guys will probably shame you into buying a “real” whitewater boat if you really get into it. In the meantime, the Torrent is a hoot and I have taken it out on flatwater a few times just to watch the guys in sea kayaks drool at the maneuverability. Maybe this year I’ll learn to roll the thing on flatwater just to see their dropped jaws.


Because of my long torso, it is hard
in most WW kayaks to install a backband that will stay high enough for proper support. So on my old Dagger Animas, I removed the backband and brought the rear wall forward, widening it a bit, so that I could lean back against it comfortably when cruising the flats. When the rapids pick up, I sit up so that my back does not contact the support. This has worked pretty well, better than the backbands I have installed in that or other kayaks.

Now, I have never studied a Perception Torrent, so my impression of its interior is based on speculation. But I wonder if a piece of minicell could be glued or otherwise attached behind where you sit so that you could sit back on it while cruising easy. The minicell should be triangular in cross section, with the surface for your back being about 30 to 40 degrees from vertical. The minicell should be about as wide as the trench in the SOT, with the bottom of the minicell carved for a good fit.

For stability and for the glue to have the best chance of working, maybe the triangular cross section should be expanded to a trapezoid with a base at least a foot long. The minicell should not be any higher than necessary or it may interfere with how the SOT lies on the racks. I do not think it will pose a risk of entangling you or the boat. This is based on old experience with huge float blocks protruding upward from Blue Hole OCAs.

For glues there are high quality contact cements, or perhaps the new West flexible epoxy. Another possibility is to use existing connectors and straps, or even to run straps down through the drain holes, though they might snag things or get abraded away down there. (Would be easier if I were actually looking at a Torrent to think this out.)

I ran it on the New River over Labor Day
from Thurmond to Cunnard, C-2’s and Surprise Rapid, a C-3. That’s my only seat time in a Torrent, and I’ll be doing it again in April. I swam twice, but didn’t have actual thigh braces, just cambuckle straps rigged at the last minute. They held enough for me to make it through Surprise people side up.

My boat has the factory thigh straps, which seem very good, and the upgraded foot pegs installed as well. The guy from whom I borrowed the Torrent has two of them, says he can roll it no problem, and has run C-5’s in it, I think taking it through the New River Gorge. He says it’s the paddler, not the boat. I don’t know about that yet, but I like the feel of it. I won’t be taking it through the Gorge myself in April, instead jumping in a raft that day.


That’s an interesting idea . . .
But I think maybe a little more complicated and permanent than I’m interested in.

Here’s the Torrent, if you want.

The photo shows padeyes behind the seat, but I don’t think mine has those. May be a new edition.


It looks like you have four good
connection points behind the seat position, the back ends of the thigh straps, and what look like gear attachment connectors farther back. This doesn’t make the design problem easy, but it at least opens a lot of possibilities. If you don’t want to add tension to the thigh straps, you might be able to get a cross strap mounted between the thigh strap holes. You would need to use a fabric that does not stretch much when wet, such as polypropylene (sp?) or maybe polyester, but NOT Nylon. Or, it could be polyester rope. Under that tensioned strap could be a slab of minicell carved at the front into a sloping backrest. The back end of the slab could be anchored by another rope or strap across the gear connectors. Usually tight straps or ropes will dig into minicell enough to stop it from sliding, but of course you could carve slots, and if the straps or ropes cut the minicell too much, you could put something around each rope/strap to keep it from cutting in.

Minicell slabs are available in up to 4" thickness, or you can double 3" which is available more widely. I thing a single slab of 3", divided and doubled, would be more than enough. The sides of the thing can be chamfered, and maybe you could put small storage pockets in the result. Let me know if it is not clear what I am talking about.

I think I recall your being fairly tall. How has the leg room been in that thing?

How’d you know I’m tall? Yeah, 6’2"
I don’t think we’ve met, have we?

I didn’t notice any problem with leg room. Of course, with nothing enclosing above your legs, knees can be bent to any angle. My legs certainly weren’t straight, but they weren’t cramped at all.

I understand what you mean about the minicell. Just not sure I want to go to all that much effort. Sound’s like a great idea, I’m just not that ambitious. ;~)

Thanks for the suggestions, though.


The large bulky
backrest might be comfy, but I’ll pass as well. I occasionally lay all the way back on the back deck just to stretch or get a better look at the sky. Don’t want anything more than a drybag on the back deck.

I’m 6’1" with a long torso and shorter legs and I have the footpegs all the way forward (not actually locked in a notch) to allow me to lay my legs flat. If no one else will be paddling this kayak, you might consider removing the pegs altogether. You’ll know soon enough if it’s a problem.


I like my legs bent slightly.
I think that would also be required for the thigh straps to hold well, would it not?

I have long legs, and I don’t think I even put the foot pegs all of the way forward. Again, I want my knees bent slightly. Same thing in my SINKs. Flat, and my feet go numb after a long time.


ideally you can get the pegs in a place where you can do both.

When I’m just floating along, I pull my toes back towards me and push my heel forward under the pegs to lay my legs flat. Not exactly flat, as the molded seat and leg area keeps you from getting in a sitting-on-the-floor position. But flat enough that the thigh straps slide off to the side. I find that pretty comfortable when I’m not paddling all that much. And the molded shape will hopefully keep your feet from going numb.

In whitewater, I pull the straps back over, put the ball of my foot on the footpeg, and pull my heel back towards me enough to lock in good at my feet, legs, and butt. Bringing myknees together a little locks in better and gets them out of the way of my medium angle stroke a little more.

Another fun thing is that the scuppers are huge on the Torrents, so on a nice hot day you can cool off by finding a way to flood your boat. Find a little ledge and let the water pour in and watch it quickly drain right back out. Fun!


Very cool photo’s
The real thigh straps will help a good bit as you won’t be locked into that splayed out position as much. From the shots, the paddle does look a bit short to me, but if it feels right to you, then stick with it.

So the guy has actually done combat rolls? I’m impressed.

I’ll stick with the easy water, but I might eventually try a class III here or there.


May not be anytime soon, and I reserve
the right to rethink it a time or two, but I’d like to work up to taking this down the Gorge of the New, not just the C-2’s and Surprise C-3 in the upper section.

May have to just bite the bullet and learn a roll, but I’m still not sure I can overcome the feeling of being trapped under water. Which is why I wanted the SOT in the first place. I think I can overcome it in the SOT, and maybe build up to a SINK later, even if I can’t effectively roll the SOT every time.


I know exactly what you’re describing
about the foot position. I figured that out in no time. Of course, I HAD to to keep the jerry-rigged cambuckle straps over my knees at the time! lol.


Oh yeah, the paddle length.
One thing to remember, at my height, my arms are long. 6’2" from fingertip to fingertip stretched out. So that gives me a little better reach than someone with less height. I had a 230cm with me, and the guy I borrowed the Torrent from told me to use his paddle, which was 200, to have of a vertical stroke (he’s an inch or two taller than I). I was completely comfortable with it. In fact, I might find a 215 for general paddling in my recreational SINKs. . . .


If you learn to roll
the Torrent, I have a feeling any little WW boat will be a breeze. :wink:

Nice chatting with ya,


200 or 205
High paddle angle is good for you. It builds character.

Actually, there’s more to it than that. I don’t like using a low angle or longer paddle (which forces a lower angle) in a whitewater boat because then I feel like I’m sweeping with every stroke. I much prefer a high angle close to the boat. It is a preference thing, but I would recommend 200 or 205, or even as short as 197 for your paddle length.

I’m about your size - a little taller and with long gorilla arms. I’ve paddled the same Torrent you have, plus some rentals. Nice boat.

  • Big D