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Keowee Description

The Keowee is a kayak brought to you by Perception. Read Keowee reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other kayak recommendations below or explore all kayaks to find the perfect one for you!

Keowee Reviews

Read reviews for the Keowee by Perception as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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'Yak Attack! I am what one…

Submitted by: paddler550907 on 9/4/2019

'Yak Attack! I am what one would call a quiet adventurer. I like to be away from the noise and hubbub that some people are drawn to. I bought my Keowee used for $70 (2 paddles came with and a free second Keowee that had a hole melted in it's hull). BEST investment ever! I tricked it out for fishing by installing a rod holder for the net and a mount for my Ramrod holder. This kayak is so versatile! I have used it for a beginning kayak for youngsters to paddle around shore with, to my 250+ pound hubby using it to kayak down the rivers. This kayak is very light at 38 pounds, which makes it extremely portable. I love that the seat back folds forward to allow storage. We have packed a little grill, roll-up table, and food in this 'yak for lunch on the river. There is even a second little seat for taking a wee one along for an adventure! It is a shame they are no longer in production. I have a variety in my fleet, but this little Keowee is a definite favorite! ~ Deana


I have an Old Keowee 2 kayak…

Submitted by: paddler236006 on 9/22/2014
I have an Old Keowee 2 kayak that fish from (with front seat removed for room to carry equipment). I take it out in pretty rough water on Lake Coeur d'Alene and other lakes around Spokane. It is SO, SO stable and other than getting a little water inside sometimes from waves (caused by wind and other large boats), it stays pretty dry inside. ALSO scraped (and repaired) a small hole on the bottom rear from dragging it on to my pickup. I WISH Perception would make them again. OR, I could find another one used. BEST PURCHASE I EVER MADE!

Size doesn't matter... not in…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/4/2013
Size doesn't matter... not in my Keowee anyway! I am new to kayaking... always loved the water but was afraid due to my sizable. I'm just over 5 ft tall and weigh 220 lbs. I feel safe in this kayak and love it! Been out 1/2 dozen times. Mostly small lakes / reservoir. Did try a small river and felt safe. No excessive topping or,rocking even with jet skis and small boats going by.

We bought two speckled white…

Submitted by: paddler234635 on 7/3/2012
We bought two speckled white Keowees when the kids were little, thinking they'd be impossible to tip over. They were great boats for us over the years. We really liked the reflective strips down the sides, though we rarely used them at night. Last month they were stolen from the hillside above our beach. The kayaks that didn't get taken were longer, thinner, more expensive boats, but heavier. I am in shock.

I bought my Keowee in '92 in…

Submitted by: paddler234301 on 9/26/2011
I bought my Keowee in '92 in Annapolis. I've used it constantly since, last time was last weekend in New Mexico reservoir fishing. Tough, stable, fairly light, very forgiving. Ideal first kayak.

Bought this Keowee for $90.…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/7/2011
Bought this Keowee for $90. It's a great boat for what it is, a rec easy-to-paddle kayak. My girlfriend had it for about a year or so and my family have enjoyed the kayak. From my aunt who can't swim to my little 9 year old cousin, it's very fun and easy to paddle. However... it tracks okay and is a bit slow but like I and many others have said, it's a great Rec kayak.

Great Kayak for what it is,…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 2/16/2011
Great Kayak for what it is, which is a beginners boat. My girlfriend was testing her feet to see if she liked kayak and immediately fell in love with it. We mainly did lakes and the bay with it.

Pros: Light, fairly cheap and very easy to maneuver or roll.
Cons: It's a little short so it'll be slower than your 10'+ kayaks. it doesn't track too well so I'd stay out of rougher waters (however, I find it fun to maneuver it around in rougher water).
Overall, it was worth the money.


We had a pair of these…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/15/2010
We had a pair of these Keowees for some seven years and enjoyed the immensely, kayaking coastal waters, lakes, swamps and rivers in RI and CT. They are extremely stable, maneuverable, durable, and light too. By By Canoe! It's fun, fun, fun from here on.

Well...Got a pup and riding on back didn't last long as fast she grew. Got a Twin Otter 14' for me and the growing pooch. "Wait for me!" soon became a common noise in the distance. Herein lies one down-side to the Keowee: It just isn't as fast as the longer kayaks. It's simply one of those facts of life for a displacement vessel. So, my wife gets a new and longer Perception America 13' 4". The other down-side is it tracks poorly in general and worse in windy and tidal conditions.

Actually, I wish we hadn't parted with them. They would be perfect to get our grandchildren into kayaking and they are much better for small rivers/streams.
I highly recommend the Keowee for what it is and especially for beginners.


Great for what it is, easy to…

Submitted by: paddler233113 on 5/11/2009
Great for what it is, easy to steer, maneuverable in tight spaces. It gets to top speed in a couple of strokes. Top speed is none too fast, but that won't matter if you are alone or with similar boats.

I no longer own one, but paddled it recently for the first time in years. I wanted to see if I could roll it, and yes!


Git out I've had this little…

Submitted by: paddler232840 on 8/25/2008
Git out I've had this little boat for over seventeen years, and have inspired dozens of friends to follow suit. We now have a crew of over ten weekly explores in the back woods of western mass. Up to classIV water, light surf, weekend trips, etc... I rigged an electric trolling motor and also built a luggage rack that holds a double milk crate for gear/dog depending on the weather so much more to say but gotta hit the river and try out a new boat fer a friend. Enjoy! P-tex fixes holes nicely if your nutty enough to get one

I've had my Keowee for about…

Submitted by: paddler232354 on 10/5/2007
I've had my Keowee for about 15 years now. I've used it in rivers and lakes in Upstate NY, Pennsylvania and Tidewater Virginia. Easy to paddle, super stable, fishes well although a little small for all the gear. I love. I might get a bigger boat for Ocean use but I'll always keep this one around!

Keowee Update - I just…

Submitted by: paddler232236 on 8/7/2007
Keowee Update - I just celebrated my 10th year of ownership of my little yak. It's become like an old friend to me as we have spent many hours and miles together. The bottom is getting quite scratched up but the rest is still looking pretty good. I have always kept it out of the sun when not using it and have always kept a cockpit cover on it to keep any critters out when stored. In ten years of use I still have never flipped it. I usually go out with a "mini-skirt" that keeps my legs protected from the sun but still allows some cooling air to get into the cockpit. I do occasionally rent larger and more expensive kayaks but I still haven't been convinced to buy one. Sliding back into my Keowee is like putting on an old pair of jeans - comfortable. I'm a day tripper only and this yak has taken me everywhere I wanted to go and I can carry it one handed down to the waters edge for launching just about anywhere. Certainly not the boat for everyone; but I sure have gotten my money's worth out of it and it's still going strong after 10 years!!

Even after 7 years of…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/6/2004
Even after 7 years of ownership, I still love this kayak. At 6'1, 235lbs this is still the most comfortable kayak I have yet paddled and I am always hiting the demo days in my area thinking that mabey I will find something I like better - but it hasn't happened yet. This little bugger has taken me everywhere from lakes to rivers and has never made me feel "over my head". Sure it's not super fast and it sort of waddles along but not so much that it really ever bothered me much. It's light, easy to load on the roof, stable and comfortable. It fits my motto of "keep it simple stupid" perfectly and I think thats why I continue to use it so often.

I bought this boat used and…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/26/2003
I bought this boat used and can't beat it for the price. It's a little dented from being dark green and left on top of a camper too long in the sun, but still outperforms my new Old Town Otter. I got rolled under by a log in the Red River Gorge, Slade Ky. yesterday. I haven't learned to eskimo roll yet, but the skirt didn't pop till I pulled the grab handle. I was pretty cold and wet for the remaining 7 miles of the paddle. It's all fun!

Keowee polypro..mine's bright…

Submitted by: paddler229475 on 9/24/2001
Keowee polypro..mine's bright yellow. It was my first boat. (fond memories) I got it for Christmas when I was 13 I think. And so for 5 long teenage years, that boat has stuck by me. It was a mutual decision on my parents' and my part, they wanted to see if I was really interested in kayaking before they bought me a 1000 dollar boat. Great choice. Yes, it waddles like a duck, tracks crappily compared to a longer touring boats, and can't keep up with the smaller frolicking whitewaters, but this boat has taken me from my Lake, to the Nantahala River, to surfing waves in Gulf Shores. I love my "drunken banana" as me and my friends call it, it will always be my first.

Experienced canoe paddler,…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/19/2001
Experienced canoe paddler, kayking novice. Maybe it's just because I don't know any better, but I love this boat. Sure, it tracks poorly, but so what? It's solid, stable, and it handles waves with aplomb. I can paddle it all day long, and I can beat it up with impunity, which I certainly won't do with my canoe (Bell NorthStar). It takes what I dish out and comes back for more.

My wife has poor balance, and she, too, finds the Keowee a pleasure to paddle. Makes her feel safe, and she has a thing about drowning. Great boat, highly recommended for newbies. Experts will have to seek the opinions of other experts.


I'm 200 lbs, 5'7",…

Submitted by: paddler229050 on 1/4/2001
I'm 200 lbs, 5'7", bought the boat to survey (for work) under docks and other waterside structures. It's now become my favorite boat period. . .take it paddling most evenings after work for an hour or so in San Francisco Bay. In the summer winds it will surf downwind beautifully. . .have been up to my armpits in foam and the boat runs out from under the wave really well. It tracks well on flatwater. Also tried Class II+ rivers. I'm not competent, but the boat did a lot better than an open canoe in the circumstances. Yes I flipped in the whitewater. More than once. Also I had a wave pop the spray skirt (in the river, never on the bay) and half filled the boat, so I've added velcro to the spray skirt and cockpit rim. It's only slow compared to other boats. . .I got around Alameda in 5 hours elapsed time (14 miles) but was tired. It's a great platform for photographing sailboat races.

I've bought three Keowees…

Submitted by: paddler228561 on 11/30/2000
I've bought three Keowees over the years. I really haven't paddled them too extensively though. They are good for playing around in quiet waters and they have good primary stability but it's pretty easy for an adult to tip one with just a slight lean. So learn to brace before you lean one. The first boat I paddled was a Keowee.

Bought a used Keowee last…

Submitted by: paddler228802 on 8/2/2000
Bought a used Keowee last month for my 10 year old. She loves it as she was able to paddle effectively right from the start. She also feels very comfortable in it due to its great stability. I also used it 3 times for fishing with good results, rather than using my waders. As a used boat I saved some $ and the best part is it appears to be better made than Perceptions current Swifty model.

I originally bought two…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/26/2000
I originally bought two keowees for my kids to use, because they were extremely stable. It was an excellent choice. They managed to capsize them once by very great and deliberate effort! I now keep them availabe for friends to use, and can assure beginners that they are extrememly stable and safe. They are not, however, great boats for more experienced paddlers. We call them our "duck boats" because the tracking is so poor they appear to waddle up the river. Still, they get you there with comparatively little effort, and are great fun to play in. It's a great starter boat, and chances are, you can't beat the price.

I learned to kayak in this…

Submitted by: paddler228538 on 4/16/2000
I learned to kayak in this boat, have paddled many others, and had opportunity to buy a different, "better" boat. I refuse to give up this boat! It doesn't track like a longer, sleeker boat might, but it is adequate if you are just out for nature enjoyment and relaxing paddling. It's large cockpit makes it VERY comfortable, since, when relaxing or just floating, you can put your legs out over the top and really stretch out. For long distance touring, I wouldn't recommend it - too much effort. It is also very lightweight and I can handle it myself putting it on the rack on top of my Explorer.

It is so handy and easy to…

Submitted by: paddler228301 on 9/23/1999
It is so handy and easy to paddle that when I think of paddling, it is always the first one of my boats that comes to mind. I've had it for years and I have taken it a few places that I should not have (like the gulf of mexico), but I have never felt that it couldn't do the job. One thing that makes it more comfortable here in the south is a mini skirt from wilderness systems to prevent sunburn on the legs and still permit air flow in the boat to keep cool.

The Keowee is an excellent…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/21/1999
The Keowee is an excellent beginner boat. Had mine for 3 years and has been enjoyed by 5 year olds to 6 foot, 250 pound adults. Great for ponds, lakes, and up to easy class II rivers.

I've done everything but live…

Submitted by: paddler228289 on 9/20/1999
I've done everything but live aboard my Keowee kayak. Surf waves in angry Lake Michigan, negotiate busy rivers in Wisconsin and Illinois, nap in it at shoreline, wine sunsets in inland lakes, use as great dingy with my Catalina 22 sailboat when island-hopping Door County. Never tips over, always pleases from creeks to oceans, all 4 seasons, fits inside my Explorer.

I rented the Keowee just to…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/7/1999
I rented the Keowee just to try it out. I worked way too hard to get the thing to move, and it tracks about as well as the average inner tube. Worse, I kept bashing my elbows on the sides of this chubby little bugger. After two hours of paddling with my elbows in the air, I had to have Advil for breakfast the next day. Paddle it before you buy one!

Hello, I just want to say…

Submitted by: paddler228083 on 5/3/1999
Hello, I just want to say that I bought my Keowee so many years ago I can't remember, I had some canoe experience but never Kayaked, so I went out and bought this neat little craft. Now at 6'1 -250lbs, I'm no lightweight but I love adventure. I have taken this kayak all over and it has NEVER let me down, short and w i d e it is almost impossible to "flip" and very forgiving.

If you have never kayaked before and want to teach yourself and have a boat that you won't outgrow you can't beat it for the money. Buy one! Have fun! =)


What a great beginners kayak!…

Submitted by: paddler228073 on 4/22/1999
What a great beginners kayak! For the flatwater kayaker (like me) it is terrific. Nimble, light weight, and durable. I am hooked on kayaking now and it is due to this wonderful little craft.

I have taken the Keowee in…

Submitted by: paddler228062 on 4/14/1999
I have taken the Keowee in everything from the ocean to class 4 rapids (not reccomended) I have found it to be an excellent beginners kayak. The only downside is the large cockpit which makes the boat very comfortable but prevents eskimo rolls.

This is a terrific BEGINNER…

Submitted by: paddler227971 on 12/3/1998
This is a terrific BEGINNER boat. It's stable, fun and you get a good feel for the concept of kayaking. But it isn't long and you want a bigger boat with a rudder and then in glass and then kevlar. But as a way to get people hooked, this boat is great.