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Perception Sundance 12

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Perception Sundance 12 recreational kayak

Fine choice for a first-time or all-around solid recreational kayak.


  • Durable
  • Stable
  • Comfortable


  • On the sluggish side
  • Only fair tracking

Have had the Perception Sundance 12 Kayak for years and have been happy with it overall. The Sundance 12 is a roomy sit-in recreational kayak that will accommodate a larger range of users. The cockpit has a very large opening that will suit bigger/taller paddlers and makes entry and exit easier. 

Adjustable foot braces help customize the fit while on the water.  The seat is pretty comfortable with an adjustable (inflatable) lumbar support cushion built in.  This kayak is very stable, making it a good choice for newbies or bigger users.

The trade-off for some of that stability, which is achieved by giving the kayak a wider base, is a reduction in speed and tracking.  This kayak handles well at more leisurely speeds, but if you try to paddle fast to build up a quick pace the boat will begin to shift either right or left with each stroke.  The wide base makes the boat prone to turning more easily, so hard paddle strokes for the sake of speed end up coaxing the boat to turn unintentionally, just a bit, with each stroke. 

It does not track straight all that well when  you try to travel fast through the water.  Keep this in mind as you examine your intended uses for such a kayak.  I've been out paddling with a friend several times, and his kayak is a bit narrower and as a result slices through the water more quickly and is easier to keep in a straight line of travel.

The build quality is very good on this kayak.  It's been through the paces with me, scraped along oyster bars, dragged along pavement, and has held up admirably.  The storage hatch in the rear is not completely waterproof, so you might want to take along a dry sack to store more delicate items in.  It doesn't get extremely wet, but it does not stay bone dry either.

In the end, this is a good starter kayak or big paddler option, or just a good all around kayak — as long as speed isn't your main need. If more stability at the expense of top speed is a trade-off you are willing to make, this one is easy to recommend after 7 years of faithful service.

Source: bought it new

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Price Historic Range: $549.00
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