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Reviews for Avatar 15.5 Kayak by Perception


Rated: 9/10 Based On: 8 Reviews

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07-11-2009
Submitted by: EliSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Well the Avatar is a great kayak it goes through the water quite well and it's really fun to use in choppy waves. I have had my Avatar for like a year.
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10-01-2007
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     HDPE Avatar 15.5 we've used the Avatar for one year on rivers, reservoirs, the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays and Atlantic ocean in various conditions.

Perhaps I should leave this review to my girlfriend since she now paddles my Avatar way more than I do, but here it is: The Avatar 15.5 is a great low volume greenland style sea kayak. It does what is was designed to do supremely well. The fit is great for a smaller or shorter paddler and the seat very comfortable. Anyone with size 10 or bigger feet though better get another boat. On flat water paddling the avatar is almost effortless - it accelerates quickly, is rock solid at amazing lean angles and turns on a dime with the skeg up or down. My gf complained about the skeg up tracking the 1st several she used the boat on the reservoir, but eventually got the hang of it.

Strangely enough she never complained about the tracking out on the Chesapeake during the same period, but perhaps that's because the avatar comes into its own as conditions get rougher. The boat almost makes 4ft waves, 30knot winds, and confused surf at an inlet seem boring. The only problem is that waves splashing over the low volume bow can make the ride a little wetter than in some other boats. The payoff for being wet is a boat that slices through waves instead of pitching up and down and a boat that feels rock solid regardless of how angry or confused the waves get or where they hit from. Yaw is easily controlled by the skeg and the primary and secondary stability makes rolling seem like an unnecessary skill. The avatar is a capable but not stellar surfer that prefers to sit in place but can be enticed to run down a wave face or two. There's a slight tendency to weathercock with the skeg up and to leecock with it all the way down -- you can't ask for better balance.

The Avatar is great for playing on rivers lakes or in the ocean and for day and weekend trips. It is fast, extremely efficient, maneuverable, and even stable enough to do long lens photography in. Beginners may mistakenly find the boat a little cramped and tippy but will quickly grow into it and intermediate paddlers will love the way the boat inspires confidence while begging you to play and extend your abilities.

What the Avatar doesn't do well is carry a lot of gear for longer trips. The skeg box takes up valuable real-estate in the stern and the narrow racey upturned greenland bow limits what you can shove up there. But then the avatar is not designed to be high volume gear hauler. The HDPE seems softer than the plastic used in our Dagger and Perception whitewater boats and no where near as stiff or scratch resistant as the SLPE used in the Prijon Barracuda, Excursion, or Seayak we've owned or paddled.

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08-29-2007
Submitted by: AMSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have been trying many different kayaks and finally, I bought Perception Avatar 15.5 a couple of months ago. I have been taking it out for almost twice a week.

The boat has a little problem in tracking (which could have been my paddling that needs improvements), but once I put the skeg down, it run straight as if I drew a line with a straight edge. It is very easy to turn, especially without the skeg. It is quite a fast boat. Great secondary stability, I can do edging and leaning easily (till the water almost over the gunwhale). I am 5' 4", 145 lbs, the boat (low volume) is perfect for a small paddler like me. I was once out in a shallow river with some beaver dams(not suppose to go there with a sea kayak), and I paddle fast and over a beaver dam with a 4 feet drop on the other side... boy that was fun. The boat is fast and nimble enough to do that.

Anyway, I love the boat, it performs just like what they have said in their web site and I will keep it for a long time. I give 9 out of 10 cause it has a bit of difficulties running straight without a skeg, although it could have been my paddling problem.

I just want to add a thing to help our fellow kayaker "RP" (Sept. 2005 review)
I had the same problem with the skeg on my Avatar 15.5 - It won't comes down. I flip the boat and open up 1 screw on the skeg, pour water on the skeg housing until almost full, pull the skeg up and down a few times to let some sand and dirt out in the water, drain the water to get all dirt out. Then pull the bungee cord out, tie another notch next to the original one, make sure the new notch is tight, then cut off the original notch, put everything back in, put the screw back in, and done.
This way I made the bungee cord a bit shorter and it will give a bit more spring effect when you try to put the skeg down. It works great on my boat. Good luck.

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09-05-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     We have the small and larger version of this boat. My wife has some difficulty reaching high enough to paddle over the high bow on hers; she is 5'2". I am 6'2" and wish it had better clearance for my feet. Does anyone have a remedy to aid the dropping of the skeg? We have to manually pull each others down. The wire does not seem to slide through its routing very easily. Lubricant doesn’t seem to help. Now for the good...these boats handle great, turn fast, glide fast and serve our needs of big water or river trips.
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11-07-2004
Submitted by: HW
Rating: 7 of 10

     I like the length and weight of this boat--I am 5'3" and can haul it pretty well by myself. However, it is virtually impossible to keep the boat going straight without the skeg. Additionally, the boat rides so low in the water that waves constantly splash over the bow. I also find that the rear hatch is too shallow for much gear, and even have trouble getting my sleeping bag to fit in that hatch. Practical for carriability and maneuverability, but a bummer to pack.
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09-15-2003
Submitted by: Kathleen
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought the Avatar recently--was a real toss up between the Sonoma and the Avatar, but I wanted the skeg for the strong winds of the delta and Monterey Bay. I love it! I think it would feel tippy to new kayakers, but if it's a second boat, just trust it and its secondary stability is dynamite. Gives me the speed I want plus a reasonable amount of space for packing gear. Check it out!
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09-05-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought a poly perception avatar 15.5 about a month ago after trying about 10 other poly boats and really like the boat. I wanted a light weight,skeg touring boat with good speed and fit. The avatar 15.5 fit the bill. I've had it on flat water, Lake Erie in some waves, and the Ohio. I found myself catching the wakes of motor boats and can tell it is going to surf. Can't wait to take it to the ocean. What impresses me most about the boat is its maneuverability. Since I'm a 5'2, 140 lb woman who car tops alone, the weight and length of the boat was important to me. At 55 lbs and 15.7", my avatar is easy to handle both in and out of the water. My only complaint is that the screw that holds the hatch in the back came off. I can fix that. It's a fun boat.
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07-14-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Been kayaking for quite some time... just picked up a new Perception Avatar 15.5. Comes with a skeg, standard. Very nice kayak. It turns very well, has plenty of storage for a day trip, or even longer trips, yet is still short enough to handle. It is everything it was advertised to be and more. I am VERY pleased with this product.
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