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Prism Description

The Prism is a kayak brought to you by Perception. Read Prism 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!

Prism Reviews

Read reviews for the Prism 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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I bought 2 16' Prism ocean…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/25/2019

I bought 2 16' Prism ocean kayaks almost 25 years ago. They been used in lakes, rivers and the gulf and have always been fantastic. Been at my river property outside for at least 18 years. Getting ready to go fishing in bays and gulf so had to replace the hatch seals. Love these kayaks!


As a longtime kayak…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/9/2018

As a longtime kayak fisherman from both a Hobie Revolution SOT and a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 135 SIK I wanted something in between. I got the well kept 19 year old Prism used and fell in love with paddling again. The ease of a SOT, the glide and tracking of a traditional. It tracks arrow straight, has a quiet hull, its unaffected by wind and it begs for acceleration. Its a dry ride with the scupper plugs in and works well for fishing if you travel light. No tankwell, but the 2 huge hatches allow large items to be stowed below. I fish the Hobie the most but the Prism is my favorite all around kayak. Fun to just paddle, fun to fish!


Awesome canoe for a solo…

Submitted by: Redbone311 on 6/19/2018

Awesome canoe for a solo person. I've used it to go canoe camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, general fish, general recreation, exercise, down river racing, and exploring. Great long glide for each stroke. Fast, very maneuverable considering the speed type of design. Great secondary stability. And even a great looking boat in the lightweight kevlar layup or better. I've gotten all sorts of admiring words from strangers. Many of which are not even fellow canoe people.


Have 5 kayaks and this is a…

Submitted by: Flyfishpaddlerbuck on 11/9/2015
Have 5 kayaks and this is a favorite for tooling around SW Florida bays and Everglades. Is a SOT, low to the water, and tracks easily. With 14 foot of length and moderately slim profile, the water displacement is reduced so glides fairly easily with firm strokes for a good day on the water.If doing surf be sure to dry bag your gear in the fore and aft hatches as they are not watertight. I can't wait to get this boat on the water each time out. If you like a smooth slick ride this one is a 10.
Love it.

This is my first very own…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/7/2014
This is my first very own kayak so of course I'm thrilled not to be renting anymore!! No more worrying about getting it back on time! My time is my own now, and this is turning out to be an excellent choice for me.

It's very maneuverable and very fast! It makes me look far more experienced than I am. The forward and aft dry storage compartments are really handy and have to say the aft compartment is close enough behind me that it's accessible without even turning around. Somebody thought this kayak through and did a great job!

I'd recommend Aquaterras Prism 100-fold over whatever I've been renting all these years, and complete this review with a rating of 10.


I have had the older version…

Submitted by: paddler235047 on 6/17/2013
I have had the older version Aquaterra Prism Kayak for about 4 years and find that it moves really fast. I never tried surfing waves with it, just paddling about 3x a week. I have tried other Kayaks and find it compares to the scupper pro in terms of speed. Of course, I don't do heavy loads.... its just me and the sea. On the open ocean, the Prism cuts thru the chops and provides good stability.

I have always wanted to get…

Submitted by: cfor9131 on 3/21/2012
I have always wanted to get into this sport. I have borrowed craft from friends or rented for outing and used Zodiac's in the military. I knew it would be a great workout since I am getting older and don't feel like running all the time. So I found an agreeable price on a Prism on craigslist and without really researching I took the plunge. I love it. I inspected the kayak at the purchase but missed a breach at the back of the craft. Took it out into the intercoastal in Fort Lauderdale, where I fortunately ran into another guy paddling. I was really enjoying the speed, tracking and ease in handling for about thirty minutes and then the guy accompanying me let me know I was sinking. Luckily someone close by had left their retractable dock down and I managed to save the Prism. I paddled back to where I set off after dumping all the water. What took thirty to get out paddling with my new friend took five to get back, as I rounded a corner I looked back and saw this guy 3-4 hundred meters back paddling like hell.

I made the repair myself, first bondo, then a heavy duty rubberized contact adhesive inside and out flowed by a spray on rubber paint inside and out. The process took me about four days to let everything cure correctly and I have been using it 4 to 5 times a week for the last 2 months. I stuffed the cargo wells full of styrofoam and spread great stuff to seal the gaps. I left the space under the hatch open for wet bags, and gear, installed two rod holders and a light, as I am only able to go in the afternoon and usually do 10 to 12 miles each time. So I am in the dark for most of the trip. I have tested if it's sinkable and am proud to say it will not sink any more, might not be fun to paddle, but it will not sink. I have it rigged for fishing and cruising.

Performance wise, after reading the letters before mine. I have limited knowledge but I do have some, I like sitting on top, I like the fact that I can get in and out easily, take off from the beach like surfboard, and it handles chop well I think. I am taking off from Victoria station and usually fishing at 17th st bridge, and actually going out of Port Everglades. The ships and speed boats deliver a lot of chop and once you round the curve at Port Everglades, the surf in the channel (especially with all the wind we have been getting) is easily 6 feet or more. It's a rush, but I find the Prism really preforms well and I am enjoying immensely.


I've had a Prism for several…

Submitted by: kozmikarl on 6/23/2010
I've had a Prism for several years and put it on the car at least as often as any of my other 6 boats. It's swell for swimming, diving, poking about ponds, anything that involves getting in and out, or off and back on. You can lie back and sleep on it. It's basically a dock you can take where you want, with adjustable footpegs and gargantuan hatches. It's no wonder so many people enjoy it. What I don't get is saying it's fast. It's fast compared to a real dock. It's molasses compared to a real kayak. That isn't criticism, it's physics. There's a lot of wettable surface under there, some of it quite rough.

This is a fine SOT with thoughtful features, those footpegs for instance, and robust midship carry handles, but what it's designed to do doesn't include going fast. Anyone burning up the water on a Prism must have one heck of a forward stroke.


I bought my Prism over 10…

Submitted by: paddler233618 on 6/2/2010
I bought my Prism over 10 years ago. I was pretty heavy then, over 300lbs. I free dive from it and kept dipping the hatches when I scooted up to get gear in and out. I sunk it twice and barely saved it had it not been for my buddy.

What I did was take Plastic Lawn edging. About 3 1/2 inches wide. I cut and wrapped it around the hatch lip. I then pop riveted it to the lip every few inches. I then sealed it with poly butylene caulking. The hatch then fits on the top of the lawn edging and I only use one of the seals that I glued to the extension. The only drawback is it make putting my longer seargun in but it won't take a long gun anyway.

It is a very fast boat and great in the wind. I dive with mostly Scupper Pros and they can't keep up.

I am now 230-240lbs. and I love it. I just mounted a fishfinder on it today. I have a Drifter by Ocean Kayaks and it is a Tugboat. Its hard to paddle because it is so wide. But when I seldom scuba that's what I use. I want to find another Prism used.


Just bought this kayak from…

Submitted by: paddler233343 on 9/1/2009
Just bought this kayak from Play It Again Sports for $250 about three weeks ago, and I must say, I love it. This is my first kayak I have bought, but have ridden many Ocean kayaks, Cobras and Malibu's, and they don't hold a candle to this kayak. So far, I have only used it in the ocean, and launched it off the beach every time. Waves have been anywhere from 2 - 6 ft facing.

I originally bought it as an all-around vessel that I could do a little small-wave surfing in, but mostly fishing and cruising. I have found that it tracks extremely well, even in choppy ocean water. There is no hull slap. Turning isn't very difficult. A light quick back paddle and a hard front paddle on the other side gets it going around quite nicely. The boat is very stable, and I have never tipped it outside of the break. I raced a friend who has a 3 person aluminum fishing boat (Colby is the brand, I think) with a 5 HP outboard in choppy water with 1ft swells. I kept up with him. This kayak is fast!

The problems with it: the fore and aft hatches leak a lot in the surf. It is best to get through the surf quickly if you plan on spending time out in open water. If you want to stay in the surf, emptying out the water every 30 min or so isn't a bad idea. The check valves in the auto-bailing system are useless. I removed mine and the bailing system works better now. Lastly, when riding over a breaking wave, it is hard to get the bow over the top of the wave. I know that this is due to the length of the boat, and it is not really best for this type of activity.

For you surfers out there, this is definitely not the best rig. It works well in small surf, but anything bigger than 2 ft puts the bow right into the water, and that's the end of the ride. However, I do not consider myself an experienced kayak surfer, and I have gotten a few good rides out of some 3ft breakers in this rig. It might be technique...


I now own 2 of the Aquaterra…

Submitted by: paddler232961 on 12/4/2008
I now own 2 of the Aquaterra Prisms. For one, I just paid $100 including seat and paddle and the other I paid $250 for including the seat and a nice Hobie paddle. These can still be rented at many kayak shops. They were only $600 new so used they are even a better deal!

Prisms are 14 feet long and are set up for a rudder but it is not needed. These sit low in the water, maybe a few inches from the edge of the boat to the water and turn easily. I like this because I also had a Cobra Tourer and my wrists would sometimes hit the sides of the boat when I paddled which stunk, although could've been my lame technique.

The Prism weights 62 pounds so it is about 10 pounds heavier than the Tourer. A dolly can be used to transport it as 60 pounds of dead weight is tough to carry by yourself, even overhead for any length of travel. I am 5'10", 200 pounds and the Prism is perfect. I bought the 2nd one from a guy who was 6'2" and he said it was great for him also. He actually took off the foot pegs because his legs were so long. The $100 Prism is older and only has 2 scupper holes, the other has 4. These can easily be plugged for use in bays or lakes because the draining feature they offer is not needed. When in the ocean the scupper holes allow a certain amount of water to enter the boat from the bottom creating a sort of equilibrium, about 2 inches of water or so. When/if water comes in over the side it just joins with the water already in the foot area and stays at the same equal level. Pretty neat huh.

This is a sit on top model so no hassle with the spray skirt and stuffing your body into the boat. Also if you fall out there is no tricky technique needed to right yourself. You can see examples of this on youtube if interested. With the sit on top Prism you just flop back on top of the kayak laying on your belly across the seating area. When stable just roll over onto your back, then twist around so you are back in. It is that easy. Practice this in some shallow water just to make sure you can do it, especially if you are not in shape. You will get wet for sure when in the ocean but if you fall out you want to be confident you can get back in, otherwise it might be a long swim next to your kayak back to shore.

There are 2 hatches in this kayak both of which press down onto weatherstrip molding and stay down using straps sort of like a book bag with the same type of plastic clasp. These hatches are not waterproof (no hatch is) but do keep 99% of the water out. If you are going for an overnight trip use a plastic bag for your sleeping bag, clothes, etc., and you will be fine. The Prism also has a molded cup holder right in front of the seat which is nice. The Tourer has a round hatch large enough for a wallet, keys, cell, but when I use the Prism I just place all this in a plastic bag and put it in the pack behind the seat.

The Prism is a great Kayak especially for the value. I sold my Tourer for $1000 and bought 2 Prisms for $350. You might not find them so cheap in your area but every now and then they pop up, especially during the winter.


Not sure if Perception and…

Submitted by: paddler232946 on 11/18/2008
Not sure if Perception and Aquaterra are the same, but the Prism I have is an Aquaterra (in purple of all colors) and rides smooth, fast and stable. I am comparing it to the Cobra Tourer which is the #2 top of the line for Cobra at 15 feet, 2 hatches and a well behind the rider. I had 2 with rudders and at 15 feet they just seemed slower but still stable even in the ocean.

The Aquaterra Prism is just a foot shorter and no well behind me but I am not a diver so don't miss it. I also like the foot rails of the Prism with the adjustable pegs to rest your toes on. Don't have a rudder on this and don't need it either it seems as it turns very easily. I agree also that it is fast as heck; almost feel like I am cheating too!

Feels a bit lower in the water than the Cobra Tourer. I plug the scupper holes when in the bay using the simple plugs sold at West Marine. Also the little kayak dolly that has the scupper poles makes for an easy trip to the sand. You can roll it right into the water and also place it under the boat and roll it right back out so no sand sticks to the bottom of the boat! $70 for those dollys but worth it.

BUT best feature for me is that the Prism at 14 feet fits inside my E350 Ford Van. I have it all the way up between the seats and then up a bit in the back pinned just inside the door edge but it fits! No more lifting the Cobra Tourer on and off the surf racks on top of the van! The Aquaterra Prism is great. Good like finding a used one but when you do keep it for life!


I have had this boat for…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/2/2006
I have had this boat for several years now. It is a fine SOT,, very stable and the best one in my fleet to put newbies on. It is not the fastest boat and is a bit big for me(width), that is also what makes it so comfortable for some slightly larger new paddlers.The bottom line is they feel safe and secure on this boat. Tracking is good with rudder deployed in winds I tend to boat in most conditions, and love a chance to play in chop with an SOT. Yes it is typically a wet ride, but then again I am playing with water, so I expect to get I may trade out other boats this one I will keep.

I have enjoyed this fine old…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/30/2005
I have enjoyed this fine old boat for a while. It is a solid performer and does a great job. My only issue is the hatches are a bit leaky, but is really only an issue in large seas or the surf zone. Neither of these areas are probably where many Prism owners would be using their boats anyhow. (Just me)

I'm 6'5" and 220 lbs and I fit pretty well once I removed the adjust foot pegs. Seat and foot wells are always a wet, but I have gotten used to that with a SOT boat.

They are pretty quick for a SOT, but not fast enough to keep up with a typical sit inside. About the same speed as a Tarpon, a bit slower then a Scooper Pro.


It's been a great boat! Mine…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/16/2005
It's been a great boat! Mine is the old Aquaterra Prism and I use it for fishing and snorkeling around south Florida. I have been offshore catching dolphin and on the flats chasing bones or in the Glades bass fishing. It is the most maintenance free boat I own (I have 5 types of boats). I have had it almost 15 years and still use often.

I'm surprised that people…

Submitted by: paddler230707 on 7/27/2004
I'm surprised that people love this boat! It doesn't turn at all, and the bow pearls under the smallest waves. Speed is ok (Pungo 14 much faster). I am 180 pounds and the seat is always wet! It is stable and does track well, unless the wind is at your back.

I use it strickly in the Gulf…

Submitted by: paddler230528 on 4/26/2004
I use it strickly in the Gulf of Mexico in all kinds of weather and sea's. It handles wonderfully in all conditions.

LOVE this boat! It IS fast,…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 1/6/2003
LOVE this boat! It IS fast, make no mistake, (I’m 6’4’, 260 lbs.) and I’m SURPRISED that no one has mentioned how SMOOTHE this boat is! There is NO HULL SLAP, and it seems to GLIDE FOREVER! Mine has no rudder, still, it is VERY maneuverable, and tracks wonderfully. It is so easy to paddle, is fast, and again, glides so freely, that I feel like I’m CHEATING, not really getting a work-out! Is sturdy, but easy to handle; I carry it like a briefcase! It’s quite stable, and is a BLAST in 8-10’ swells. I’m not much on whitewater in ANY boat, so I can’t comment on that, but FREQUENTLY paddle from Ventura Harbor to PAST the Ventura Pier and back, hugging the curved coastline on the way, and taking a straight path, some 3 or more miles out on the way back, and this boat, WITHOUT rudder, is the preferred ride (oh, I only have SIX SOT kayaks!) No one should whine about getting "wet" in high or choppy seas. At my size & weight, I get wet in six different makes of SOT's, so it's probably the norm. The 13 y/o stepson LOVES this boat, the FIRST KAYAK he ever tried, and HE TOO has a BLAST in what I’d call, "rough seas," so don’t tell ME (or the boy) that it’s not stable! I’d give it a TWELVE OUT OF TEN, but the drop-down menu for the rating wouldn’t let me!

I bought my prism about 8…

Submitted by: paddler229688 on 5/13/2002
I bought my prism about 8 months ago and have really enjoyed it. I’ve had it out on lakes, rivers, and the ocean. It’s very stable and tracks really well. On calm rivers and lakes it’s an excellent touring and fishing boat and provides a dry ride with the drain holes plugged. Out on the ocean it doesn’t do so well. The same wide flat bottom that makes it super stable on flat water makes it easy to flip if you get caught broadside by a wave. Fortunately climbing back on is really easy. I don’t think the hatches do a very good job of keeping water out of the boat in the surf. I’m always draining a lot out of mine back on the shore. This is a great beginner boat for flat water, but I recommend getting something else if you plan on spending much time on the ocean.

It is an excellent…

Submitted by: paddler229165 on 4/1/2001
It is an excellent sit-on-top. I have used it for several years on the nothern coast of Puerto Rico and the Island of Culebra. Very stable-great tracking. Over long open ocean trips you will need back support, also rubber seal eventually deteriorated and needed replacement. Overall a great kayak.

Excellant fishing platform,…

Submitted by: paddler229146 on 3/16/2001
Excellant fishing platform, tracks well, handles rough water well, a fairly dry ride, and very stable.

Great, stable fishing boat,…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/11/2000
Great, stable fishing boat, loads of storage. Being a heavier paddler, I needed a clip on seat for added paddling support. Have not used it enough yet to give a complete review... But I like what I have experienced so far.

The prism is an excellent…

Submitted by: paddler228111 on 6/7/1999
The prism is an excellent playboat. It's extremely stable when under way or while just sitting. I've used mine for the past 4 or 5 years w/o problem. It's a great platform for fishing, swimming, and short to medium length paddles, but not the fastest under way. It's also excellent for playing in the waves as entry is easy, and bailing out the craft is quickly accomplished.

A preferred boat for longer…

Submitted by: paddler228021 on 3/18/1999
A preferred boat for longer paddles (including open ocean and sailing (ruddered boat). Stable, comfortable, easily driven, manueverable, tracks well, good in heavier seas, carries a reasonable load.