Prijon Kodiak vs. Perception Essence

-- Last Updated: Apr-16-10 5:56 PM EST --

I'm looking to buy a kayak and was wondering what the better deal was. I'm trying to decide between a 6 year old 17' Prijon Kodiak or a Brand new 16.5' Perception Essence. both are $800. I'm in minnesota so most paddling would be done on lakes or calm rivers. Any advice is appreciated!

*update- I'm 5'9" and 180lbs. I plan on hopefully using the kayak for overnight trips or longer ones depending on how much gear I can carry. I don't think the kodiak has a rudder(is there a place to buy one and install later?) but I think it was stored inside for most of it's life. I've never used a kayak with a skeg or a rudder so I don't know how either perform. Thanks for the feedback!

Things to think about
1. How large are you?

2. How much gear do you want to carry.

3. Does the Kodiak have a rudder?

4. Was the 6 year old boat stored indoors out of the sun?

Prijon Kodiak is an excellent boat for carrying camping gear and fits a bigger paddler, also will behave well in rough water. Kind of long for small rivers. I’ve never paddled the perception, but the 16.5 seems to be different kind of boat and it comes with a skeg, I would want to try it out before buying.

my vote…
.Perception Essence…kodiak is only a 1/2’ longer…kodiak is 9#'s heavier, that can be a plus or a negative depending on conditions…Kodiak is only 1.5" wider overall… and probably a tad more stable,not sure about width@ waterline or fully loaded…max cap for both are roughly the same. My only concern would be how do you fit in each respective cockpit? is there adequate, comfortable room for your feet? The Kodiak gets the nod for bigger hatches over the Essence. R U going to do any serious kayak camping trips? Do you want the day hatch up front or behind you ? Skeg or rudder? I vote the Kodiak’s keyhole-style cockpit the easier of the two to get in and out of. hope this helps. personally ,aside from hatch size, i’d pick the new Perception for $800 over a older boat for the same price.

If it had a rudder …
I would buy the Kodiak, I have paddled a Kodiak on long trips in Baja in rough conditions. I really like the boat for camping and going places. In high winds it performed a lot better with the rudder, and I usually don’t use one. Check to make sure the plastic is in good shape and the hatches are all present and tight and if it has a rudder the cables are all connected to peddles and all is working.

I’m a bit suspicious of the other boat new for $800. Make sure it is not a factory second or has an issue with damage, leaks, etc.

prijon kodiak and rudder…
all prijon kodiaks can have the rudder installed at any time - just contact your local dealer for either the kit or to have them do the installation…

rudders can be handy in certain seas or winds, but should not replace learning proper paddling technique or edging…


– Last Updated: Apr-16-10 11:49 PM EST –

I have a Kodiak and love it, but I'm 6'3", 205# with size 12 shoes. It's a big guy boat. It is made of a superior plastic than the Perception, but it does need a rudder. I’d go with the Perception if it has a rudder.

ps: Rudders run about $200, so take that into account.

Google John Turek and
Renata Chlumska. They both did expeditions–Renata for 11,000 miles–in Kodiaks I’ve owned two–love them

You can easily buy a rudder from wildwasser, the US retailer for Prijon. Google it.


skeg vs rudder
in a nutshell …skegs help a boat go straight …rudders help a boat go straight , turn , veer off, counter a wind. I should mention …if i had to choose between a new Essence and a new Kodiak, the Kodiak would get the nod. also most boats that have the basic “rudder-ready” necessities can be retro-fitted with one at a later time …multiple sites sell rudders to fit various boats. I retro-fitted a 1999 Prijon Seayak with a rudder kit from Colorado Kayak, all U need is the kit, it doesn’t have to be from a Prijon dealer or a Perception dealer. Rudder kits , typically will run you about $250+ .

Kodiak / essence
A new Essence for $800… might be “at cost”? I would ask more questions.

Most -if not all- of Perception’s Essence line can also accept a rudder in addition to the standard skeg.

The Kodiak may have a stiffer hull for more efficient paddling…I would check into that a bit further. As one of the other folks remarked… make sure there isn’t any obvious UV degradation.

My vote goes to the Kodiak
without a doubt. You can buy and install a rudder for it later.

I have both a Prijon and a couple of
preceptions. I like the Perception seats better than the Prijon seats.

I’m not sure how the dealer is selling a new Essence 16.5 for $800, but I wouldn’t pass it up.