Prodigy XS

Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Prodigy XS Description

A welcomed addition to the Prodigy family of kayaks.

This modest sized, light-weight, recreational boat makes it the perfect choice for smaller paddlers seeking feature rich options at an affordable price. With a focus on comfort, the Prodigy XS incorporates the Zone EXP Back Band with a Zone Seat Pad plus Zone Knee Pads for even more comfort and control!

Prodigy XS Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit Inside
  • Seating Configuration: Solo
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Smaller Adult/Child
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Smaller Adult/Child
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Additional Attributes

  • Zone EXP Back Band and Zone Seat Pad
  • Zone Knee/Thigh Pads
  • Keepers Foot Brace System
  • Bow Bungee Deck Rigging
  • Molded Thru Handles

Prodigy XS Reviews

Read reviews for the Prodigy XS 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 one of these…

Submitted by: paddler1720711 on 9/13/2021

I bought one of these yesterday used on Facebook for myself. I am a 50 yr old woman, 5’0”,112 lbs and although in good shape fitness wise I have some back and arm (tendinitis in wrists and elbows) problems and was having trouble with the weight of my Pungo 120 when I wanted to go kayaking without my husband as i couldn’t manage it on and off the car and struggled getting it in and out of the water. I researched small lightweight kayaks and based on reviews here bought this one. Oh my goodness what fun this is! It goes through the water so easily and is super fast! Effortless to paddle. Super responsive to any little body weight shift etc so feel it’s helping with my technique because I have to work with it being so responsive. It tracks well when moving along but will veer to one side with any little body weight shift. Not as stable as my Pungo but never felt I would tip in. It’s very tight on leg room so anyone much taller than me would struggle to fit but it’s fine for me. And it is so light! I can easily get it on top of my car and off again and can lift it with one arm down to the water. I live in the city near a canal and am so excited by how easy it will be to get it down there for evening paddles after work. I paddled for 2 hours on a lake this afternoon with some wind and current and didn’t feel like I worked hard at all. Love this kayak!!


As a small person (5'), this…

Submitted by: WatchCat on 10/28/2020
As a small person (5'), this boat meets 90% of my needs. It is extremely light weight, which makes loading and unloading--and carrying to and from the dock--a breeze. It is very easy to control--great primary and secondary stability. It does not have deck storage access, but I'm using a Seattle Sports mesh deck bag, which is plenty big enough for my essentials. You cannot beat the price. So, the remaining 10% is divided between the seat back and tracking. The seat back seems like it really would be good for a kid, but I cannot get it to stay on my actual back. I'm looking to replace the seat for this reason. The kayak does not track straight. I've considered adding a removable skeg, but I really don't want to reduce my ability to slide over branches, or beach the boat without tipping over. If I'm paddling consistently, it moves nicely forward in a straight line, but as soon as I pause to look at a bird, or take a sip of some tasty beverage, my 360-degree tour of my chosen water body commences. I'm willing to live with it for now, but if this was a deal breaker for you (or your kid), you may want to know about it.

We bought this kayak when our…

Submitted by: Kayakcacher on 9/14/2020
We bought this kayak when our daughter was 4. She's 13 now and finally outgrown it. It has been an absolutely superb kayak for her, building her confidence and skills. We highly recommend this kayak to anyone looking for a child's kayak.

PERFECT for my 6 year old…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/28/2018

PERFECT for my 6 year old and 8 year old sons who are around 48" tall (6 year old is large for his age)!

Would still be good for a child 36"-40" tall.

These are FAST boats (because they weigh only 26 lbs) with very good initial stability (haven't tried secondary stability yet).

I also bought Bending Branches kids paddles (200cm) which have a small diameter paddle handle for kid's hands.

An online retailer in Texas sells a package (kayak, paddle, vest, skirt and paddle cord) for $499 shipped. The Bending Branches paddles that come with the package are 200cm-- probably could use 210cm, but we can make it work.

Since my sons are large for their age, I figure we can get 4 years or so (may 5) out of these.

Wish I bought these sooner.

Highly recommend.


Both of my daughters started…

Submitted by: jljacoby on 6/5/2018

Both of my daughters started in Perception XSs. They are quick, easily maneuverable, and seem to be fairly stable. They are light enough for 7-10 y.o.s to move around and to help load, etc. They are narrow enough that the kids can use appropriately sized paddles without banging their fingers on the sides. Real, adjustble footpegs are a huge plus

There are two minor disadvantages: the seats are not fully adjustable, and they are not comfortable for more than an hour or two (which might be all a 7 y.o. can handle anyway). Second is that one your kid will be paddling this, and then the "next day" they won't fit in the cockpit...


I took this kayak out for the…

Submitted by: paddler237120 on 9/15/2016
I took this kayak out for the first spin, and I really enjoyed the ride.
First, the deduction is for the seat. I find it short and it doesn't have any back support. I put my life jacket behind the seat and that helped.

I am 5'2 and 125 pounds. I am excited about this kayak because I can handle this by myself. It is super light. I can get it up on my shoulder and carry it to the water easily. With the seats down, I can even get it into the back of my car with only a foot or two sticking out the truck.

Inside the kayak are two foam supports, one behind the seat and on between your legs. At first, I was a little put off by the foam between my legs. However, it's not too by. It ends up being something against which to brace my legs. The adjustable foot pegs are nice.

The kayak doesn't have much space inside, but that's fine. I will mostly be taking it out for one to two hour rides. It has bungees in front.

It is a beautiful, sleek kayak. It tracks well and turns quickly. This will be a great craft for a petite gal looking to have fun on the water.


Just picked up my Prodigy XS…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/24/2016
Just picked up my Prodigy XS last evening. It looks a mess. Not much like the picture. It looks like someone had a spaz attack with a spray painter. I didn't receive any type of manual that tells me how to adjust the seat or any other details I might want to know. I hope it is great when I get it to the water, because from looking at it I am a little worried about the craftsmanship that went into making it. I am ranking it a 4 for now.

This is a GREAT children's…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/9/2015
This is a GREAT children's kayak with a secret -- it's also a super-lightweight fun-to-paddle kayak for petite adults (most likely women). At just 26 lb., this boat is a cartopper's dream. But the real surprise is the design. Unlike so many other recreational and children's kayaks, this one is actually *shaped* like a real kayak, so your child (or you) won't be fighting to keep a fat bathtub on course. At 10' long, it's no ocean craft, but it's not meant to be. This boat is all about fun. The deck is appropriately low at 10.5", so your young paddler can actually apply a knee brace, and at just 23" wide, s/he won't need to do gymnastics to reach the paddle to the water. The light weight means less inertia in the water, maximizing the potential for fun without frustration for smaller children. And at the end of the day, older kids can carry it to the car themselves. If you're under 5'2" or so (depending on leg length) and not massively overweight, you might fit into this fun little boat. It's given me many happy hours on the lake, saving my "grown-up" kayaks for the sea.

One point deduction is for some small issues: drain plug that can block the water from coming out unless pegged open with a twig, poor placement of rear carry handle at a wide point on the boat (making the boat bump the child's thigh), [NB: This kayak is an upgrade of the Acadia Scout model, with the addition of basic deck rigging (foredeck only), Slide-Lock footbraces that can be adjusted on the fly, and basic knee and seat padding. Like later editions of the Scout, it has a backband to encourage proper paddling position and provide comfortable support.]
Warning: If your kids (or you) get to test-paddle this boat, you'll have to buy it!


This is a great kayak perfect…

Submitted by: deweese3 on 9/1/2015
This is a great kayak perfect for smaller people and kids. You have to weigh less than 150 pounds and be able to fit into a cockpit that is only 18" wide and 28" long. Map this out on a floor and see if this works for you as it can be a tight fit. If you have long legs, this kayak is probably not for you no matter what your weight due to both the small cockpit and the fact that the ballast is pushed right up to the front of the cockpit - thereby forcing you to keep your legs apart all the time. The ballast can be removed, but it does seem to help avoid that tippy feeling.

This tight cockpit is what makes the kayak so great for small people - you finally know what it's like to become "one" with a kayak. This kayak has great features - a very comfortable, somewhat adjustable seat that basically supports your back (and does so well), easily adjustable foot pedals even while in the kayak on the water, front and rear bungee straps for dry sacks, and nice carrying handles with built-in holes which can also be used to lock the kayak with a thin locking cable. The ballast can be annoying until you get used to it and it's odd that Perception didn't put in at least one small cargo area, but the bungees work great with dry sacks. Due to the tight fit, there is no cup holder and the only good place for a water bottle is in the front of the cockpit, but you can get creative with the bungee straps or buy a cockpit cup holder, which will fit. There is no room to store your paddle in the cockpit when you shove off as your own body will take up all the room, but you can buy a cockpit paddle clip, use the bungee straps with some practice, or just hold onto your paddle carefully.

Even with these limitations, I rank this kayak a 10 because it is a full 10 feet long and, thus, tracks well. The best thing though is it weighs only 26 pounds due to its aerodynamic shape! Your kayaking friends will be envious at how light it is. Even better, in 2015 it costs $405 (everywhere - don't bother shopping around) and, as you may already know, kayaks that light weight usually cost much, much more.

I only weigh 112 pounds and I can lift this myself, push it in the bed of my 8 foot truckbed at an angle, wrap two basic bungee cords around the end, and I'm good to go with the tailgate down (the kayak sticks out only about 5 inches)! You can probably get more creative and fit it in an 8 foot bed with the back end completely closed. It's also easy to put onto any roof kayak rack.

I have tested this kayak out on slow to medium moving rivers (no rapids) and small to large lakes and am in love with it. I've endured wakes from motor boats and jet skiers as well as strong head winds plus choppy water with lake waves as high as the kayak sitting in the water and I have felt secure at all times.

In this kayak, I can finally keep up with other paddlers who can paddle standard kayaks due to the paddlers' heavier weight. People who are not small do not think about how a kayak that is 50 pounds is almost 50% of my weight (this is true too for biking!). For them to understand, they would need to feel what it's like to paddle a kayak weighing almost 100 pounds. I can also finally paddle upstream as this kayak is so light! I find it tracks well, even in strong winds, though it does sometimes move side to side, but nothing worse than I've seen and felt other kayaks do. It does have a nice keel, which helps the tracking.

This is a well-built kayak and I wish I could meet whomever from Perception decided to make this as I could kiss him/her! On top of all of this, it comes in a great choice of colors.

If you are a smaller person and love to kayak, but get tired of killing yourself trying to carry and keep up using a typical kayak that is too heavy for you, you will love this kayak. You really don't have to give up any features with it at all so it is worth every penny. Enjoy!


I bought two of these for my…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/12/2015
I bought two of these for my 8 and 11 year old boys. They have been a great addition to our fleet of boats. We tried other small recreational for the kids but they are too wide and clunky for there size. It's really not fun to paddle a kayak that does not fit you correctly! Perception has made a great product for kids and smaller adults.

The XS is 10 feet with a 23 inch beam. These specs combined with the design of the boat makes it a very fast and highly responsive boat. Within moments of paddling this kayak, both of my boys were not only able to maneuver the boat with complete ease but they were keeping up with my 17' Necky Looksha Elite no problem. So if you are looking for a terrific kayak for kids look no further. This is a great fit!


Got the Prodigy XS for my 9…

Submitted by: dalogic13 on 9/18/2014
Got the Prodigy XS for my 9 yr old boy. Tracks nice on the flat... And we creek, class 1. Superb quality. Highly recommend for smaller paddlers.

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