I was a long time recreational kayaker who recently wanted to make…
I was a long time recreational kayaker who recently wanted to make the switch to more aggressive whitewater kayaking. I did my research and settled on the supersonic. I couldn't have been more happy. Having never been in a whitewater kayak I found the supersonic a perfect choice to learn in. In only a few times out on the water I found myself rolling with ease. The outfitting system was a little basic but with added hip pads and a little ingenuity with adding a homemade back strap I've found the supersonic to be quite comfortable, not an easy task with my 6'2" height and 210 pounds. I am looking forward to many years use with the supersonic. I was a little confused when I saw that perception has discontinued this boat.
Folks I’ve paddled a lot of boats (14) on a lot of…
Folks I’ve paddled a lot of boats (14) on a lot of water, the Supersonic, is an all around good performer. It has great speed, not quite as fast as an old T–CANYON, but fast. I’ve paddled the bottom moose at 3 ft and it was a ball, & fish creek at 7 feet with total reliability. Plays (spins, blast) if you want a river runner, this is the toy, it is forgiving - comfortable (I didn’t want to go into the lack of a back band --but Perception should be giving us all a discount for having to regress to a block of foam.). To me, its performance and characteristics are like a cross between a MATRIX and a WAVE SPORT Y ----- buy a Supersonic you won’t be sorry.
I agree that Perception has cheaped out on the outfiting of this…
I agree that Perception has cheaped out on the outfiting of this boat. The Block O' Foam backrest leaves much to be desired. The foot pegs do have a tendency to grab a foot makeing a wet exit a little tough it you get caught. That said, the boat is a blast to paddle for bigger folks. It's slicey enough, stable when needed and easy to roll. I like it, and the addition of some extras will make it a great boat. Surpizingly, the Madness that this boat superceeded has all the bells and whistles. I think Perception is cheaping out, and showing the result of the contraction in the whitewater manufactures.
Let's see, does one measure a boat against the manufacturer's claims or…
Let's see, does one measure a boat against the manufacturer's claims or simply the perception of intended use? Perception's web site states, among other things, that "...we've nudged the design and outfitting into the new millenium." Skimpy cloth grab loops, block-o-foam backrest, and a slice of foam seat with stick'um too weak to even hold onto the backing paper is new millenium? It's a wonder their tongues don't jump out of their mouths and run screaming down the street when they talk crap like this. So, having determined that the credibility of the manufacturer's information is zilch, let's compare to the assumption of usage. This kayak is a welcome throwback to when whitewater boats were fast steeds capapble of galloping down a frothy river carrying a paddler larger than an organ grinder's monkey and even some gear to support a multiday canyon trip. It predates the concept of boat-as-tupperware tutu for frustrated ballerinas. The accommodations are commodious. No need to scrunch up into the lotus position just to paddle. It moves out pretty good (not in a class with the old 11' boats), and will readily punch through eddy lines and holes. It surfs and rolls with ease. And, it's quite stable and forgiving by whitewater standards. It'll competently spin, draw, lean and otherwise cavort to enable you to place the kayak exactly where you want it. But, it does actually float, so don't expect to slice the ends through molten tar. Getting back to the outfitting, which is an improvement over Noah's gopherwood, it's not that big a deal. Even with boats that are better equipped, a lot of us wind up ripping out the mediocre orginal stuff and refit with the real good stuff. I recommmend this kayak if you think a kayak is for paddling.
As context, I'm a middle-aged guy, 6ft, 180 lbs - a tough…
As context, I'm a middle-aged guy, 6ft, 180 lbs - a tough to fit "between size" for many ww lines. I'm a novice at whitewater, focussed on river running on Class II-III water. Other boats I've used include Dagger RPM and GTX.
The Supersonic was a perfect size for me and exactly what I was looking for --a great learning platform -forgiving, stable, yet easy to roll. (My roll has improved an order of magnitude in just a few sessions in this boat.) At the same time, I don't expect to outgrow this boat as my skills improve. I talked to expert paddlers at four different kayak schools who teach in the Sonics and use it on their own time as a creeker/big water ride. Overall,it compares very closely with the Dagger GT series. The GTs carve better and have more play potential ( sharper edges - full planing hull.) The Sonics seem to have greater hull speed, maybe a bit more rocker, more stable crossing eddy lines and are easier to roll.
The biggest negative for the Supersonic compared to the GT is outfitting. Presumably to keep costs low, Percpetion only offers this model with thier old-fashioned outfitting. Fixed thighbarce, glue-in/ grind-down foam hip pads, foam backrest and footpegs (which I actually like -- can stretch my legs out on the flat sections.) One strange thing is the total silence surrounding this boat -- you can find dozens of on-line reviews of the GT line, but none on the Sonics. I can't be the only guy who bought one! Chime in, folks!