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Reviews for Sound 9.5 Kayak by Perception Sport


Rated: 8.94/10 Based On: 16 Reviews

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09-03-2014
Submitted by: GJFSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought a pair of Sound 9.5 with Harmony Drifter 225 cm paddles through REI when they were on sale for under $399 on Memorial day weekend. Both products made in the USA.

I was looking for small stable boats for beginning paddlers as well as something to use on rivers in N WI where one might meet a few unavoidable rocks. These track fairly well on flat water. (I had a Wilderness Systems [a.k.a. Trinity Bay] Critter that tracked better than any short kayak I have tried since, but I sold that one because I was not comfortable in the hard seat.) The Perception Sport Sound doesn't swing wide or "washout" in the tail end like some other short kayaks do when making a sharp turn. This must have something to do with the blunt end design in the stern, which I think essentially takes 6" off of what is pretty much a 10' boat. This slightly squared off end also makes this boat fit in the back of a smaller pick-up truck nicely. I am a 5'5" 145 lb female with strong paddling skills, and find I can get this kayak up to a decent speed but it is a bit of work to maintain the speed. I have not had these in fast water yet. In moderate river current the Sound requires a bit more corrective steering. The 225 cm paddle seems a bit short for working over the height of the cockpit, however the coaming is shaped nicely downward for accommodating the paddle stroke as you pull toward your body. Others who have paddled this boat like the stability.

At this price point, the seat is better than most, although the seat back is not attached to the seat base (it is tethered by a strap). The seat back can pop completely out of the slot that holds it. I have not had this happen at all while paddling, but it can happen if you straddle the boat to enter the cockpit from the stern and bump into the top of the seat back. I have had the flotation foam blocks come loose from inside the stern; it was not easy to wedge back in. The 'free' paddles are pretty nice - oval shafts, 2-position, lightweight. These are good sturdy little boats and have so far proven great on short lake outings or shallow river water, are easy to carry, and fun to share.

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08-06-2014
Submitted by: CTMSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     We purchased the Perception Sport Sound 9.5 in order to have an extra kayak to take friends to the lake. This boat works great for flat water paddling. Comfortable seat, adequate storage area, good tracking and easy to maneuver. Would have given it a 10, but feel like the console in the bow is wasted space. A nice bungee system would have been more practical.
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07-13-2014
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I own two of these kayaks because they're very stable and reliable. Tracks like a dream and plenty of room. My 10 year old son can maneuver it around the water with ease. Perfect for day trips on lakes and slow rivers.
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07-03-2014
Submitted by: ScottSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Sound 9.5 is my first and so far only kayak purchase and I have been very pleased with it. It is easy to transport, paddle and maneuver. The molded seat and seat back make paddling easy and comfortable. The rod holders are a plus for some quick fishing on the lake or river. Now I need to buy another for my son to use.
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07-03-2014
Submitted by: Kathryn HelmersSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     At 38 pounds and 9'6", this kayak is easy to carry from truckbed to waterside wherever I go. I named it "Stubby" because it so short and therefore doesn't track all that well--but for the river paddling I do it's a great extra boat (I already have a Jackson Daytripper 10, roomier but heavier) for friends or for me solo when I can't park close to the put-in site.
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06-20-2014
Submitted by: John CSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I am a very tall guy, six four, I weigh 235. I am new to kayaking and looked around for a boat that was small enough to fit in my SUV yet big enough to hold my large frame. I bought this from REI on sale for about $360 with tax included. It came with a paddle. I took it out to a small reservoir lake in New Mexico for her maiden voyage.

The boat is very stable in waves but it does rock from side to side if you paddle too vigorously. It took me about an hour to get comfortable in it. I had enough leg room but I had to sit with my knees bent. There is no compartment to keep your gear dry so you have to add a watertight bag and tether it to the boat. I don't know if this boat will sink or not and I have not tried to get in to it after tipping over. I suppose I should practice that next time I'm out.

It paddled and steered pretty easily and was fairly stable. The best part of this is that it fit inside my Subaru Forester, at exactly nine and a half feet long, if fit nicely on the diagonal with the seat folded down. It's also light enough to carry from the parking lot to the lake without having to back the car close to the shore. It's a great boat for the price.

I read a lot of reviews before I bought it and I feel good with the purchase and would HIGHLY recommend this boat for any beginner. Easy to steer. Easy to paddle, she feels pretty stable. I watched a few videos on line before I took her out. Looking forward to my next trip out! I would not hesitate to recommend this boat, PLUS, it's MADE IN THE USA! Not China!

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08-26-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Since Mainstream was acquired by Confluence, which also acquired Perception, the Sound is now manufactured by Perception Sport and is known as a Perception Sound. It is not shown on Perception's website, but is now shown on Perception Sport's website. It appears that Perception & Perception Sport are different companies...very confusing.

Large cockpit is easy to enter & leave; high deck leaves room for feet & knees. There is no closed storage & has foam flotation under the stern deck. Plenty of open storage under the decks for day trips. Tracks well and turns easily. The Sound has a tri-hull, but looks almost flat; can be transported on a rack right-side up. The Sound is roto-molded high-density linear polyethylene, but is sure a lot lighter (38 lbs) then any others I've seen. It's not a fast boat, but is very stable. When paddling hard, you can hear the water coming off the squarish stern.

Only weak point is the folding seat back, it is not attached to the bottom & is held in place with straps but it can easily pop out from bottom. I've added shock cords to keep to pulled down tightly.

Have had this kayak for 4 years & find it the best for slow moving rivers.

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08-19-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     My first kayak, purchased three years ago. I am just now moving up to a bigger boat, but the Sound 9.5 has been the perfect starter boat. Tracks well, nice big entry way, and nice and light (able to easily lift it to top of SUV). I will be keeping this for my wife and kids to use, cannot say enough good about how it has served me to date.

Cons include a pretty uncomfortable seat, zero storage and a very useless tray. Great cost though makes those issues seem minimal.

Again, very happy with the Sound 9.5, it served me very well as my first kayak!

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07-17-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     Have reviewed these before. The good: handles nicely, tracks well for the size, easy to load.
Now the not so good: seat becomes uncomfortable after more than 20 minutes, one of mine the back brace pulled out of where it was attached, not easily accessible and have to work on this.
Overall: still a good boat for the price. Looking to upgrade the seats and setbacks.

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06-12-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Over all, my 12 year old daughter and I love these kayaks. Have had others that were longer and this size and must say that they track well for the size and has enough speed to keep up with friends that have longer kayaks without much difficulty.

The only thing we don't like is the seat, these are the low end kayaks so did not expect much. Will be upgrading the seats soon. I have a small car and these are easy to load and launch even for my daughter. Would recommended these to anyone that needs small, easy to load and launch kayaks for flat water. Will be using them a lot this summer.

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05-30-2012
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I rented one of these and another brand 12' kayak Memorial Day for me and my daughter, 10 years old. She started out in this boat. It was very stable for her and she was able to stay with me in the 12 ft boat. It rode over boat wakes very well and stayed dry. We switched and I paddled this boat for a while. Was able to get it up to a respectable speed that I was surprised by. It also tracked very straight for this short of a boat and did not feel like I was paddling a bath tub like others I have used before in this size range.

Now the only reason I did not give it a 10 were for the molded in seat that collects water (from where I was splashed a few times by my daughter) and remained wet. I guess a quick fix with a drill bit. The other was no place to hold your paddle, again a quick fix with a kit. The company that rented these had them on sale and am going to pick up 2 soon

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04-19-2010
Submitted by: SSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Overall, not bad. I've spent a lot of time on the water, a little in canoes, some rowing, but mostly in power boats. However, this was my first kayak and I was pleased. Primarily used on calm rivers watching wildlife, exploring and just screwing around.

The high points: Lightweight and easy to handle on land. Comfortable seat. Good length for maneuvering in tight spaces. Got the hang of it on my first time out. Only rough water I've encountered was boat wakes which were a non issue, even on my first trip. Was no problem for me at 6' and 215 lbs.

The lows: Not the fastest thing on the water. Not a terrible amount of storage, which really isn't an issue when all you need will fit in a small bag for the day, but wouldn't want to use for fishing or overnight trips.

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08-17-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is my first kayak and first time ever paddling one so I don't have anything to compare it to. It seems every bit as stable as my canoe. Tracks well and is fast enough for my purposes. Seat is really comfy. I can't wait to add a rod holder! I think this will make a great fishing yak.
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08-14-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I just purchased the Sound at Gander Mountain located in Sherman, TX. This is my first Kayak. I am 6' tall and weigh 230lbs and had no problem accessing and exiting this cockpit. The comfort level for me is outstanding. The three year warranty is very generous. I gave this a 10 on first impressions after comparing it to similar kayak's. Lake Crockett in the Caddo National Grasslands awaits me.

I will give my impressions later on the actual test run. If first impression can be trusted I expect my lake trip to be outstanding. By the way the salesman at Gander Mountain was extremely helpful and polite and made my visit there memorable, thanks Sam.

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07-22-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just got this yak about a week ago for $300 at Gander Mountain been out on it 3 times now and the only draw back I see is the leg room, but that was expected at 6'5" 215lbs. Otherwise it is very stable and has plenty of storage for camping needed to put on a rod holder and leg pads very light for easy transportation it works great on lakes and small rivers. Can't wait to go camping with it this week.
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06-11-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Since Mainstream was acquired by Confluence, which also acquired Perception, the Sound is now manufactured by Perception and is known as a Perception Sound. It is not shown on Perception's website. I just purchased a new one from Gander Mountain for 20% discount off the regular price. This kayak is a good deal at the regular price and a bargain at the discount price. There is a 3-year warranty.

At 1/3 the price (new for new) of my Hurricane Santee 116 Sport it's every bit as good, if not better in some areas. Ergonomics are very similar (cockpit opening is the same size), weight is about the same, but seat is more comfortable. There is no closed storage, but plenty of open storage under the decks for day trips. Tracks well and turns easier and is about 2 ft shorter. The Hurricane may be better on open water because of the long keel. The Sound has a tri-hull, but looks almost flat. When paddling hard, you can hear the water coming off the squarish stern. The Sound is roto-molded high-density linear polyethelene, but is sure a lot lighter (under 40 lbs) then any others I've seen. It flexes about as much as the Hurricane's Trylon, and probably won't hold up to white water kayaking. Good for slow moving rivers and small ponds and lakes.

There are no sharp edges as others have described, maybe now due to Perception manufacturing it.

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