Perception Kayaks Prodigy II 14.5 – Crossover kayak
Continuing with our theme of hybrid design reviews we’ve been checking out the new (ish) Perception Kayaks Europe Prodigy. Falling between sit on top and sit in kayak it’s a tandem boat that acts as a bridge concept between traditional kayaks and sit ons. Now don’t get us wrong, we’re still Sitons.com at heart but sometimes it’s good to broaden horizons and check out what else is on offer – after all, who knows what you’ll discover.
With a Scooter Gemini duo at our disposal we thought we knew what to expect with the Prodigy – after all a tandem is a tandem, right? All is not quite as it seems though at first glance – there’s more to the Prodigy than you’d think.
The supplied Zone DLX seats are simply top drawer. Having persevered with a number of so so sit on top kayak seats in the past it was refreshing to rest our laurels on something so comfy. And with a multitude of adjustments it’s pretty impossible to not be comfortable when paddling the Prodigy.
Ample foam padding is extremely friendly to your glutes and the ability to raise the section beneath your thighs ensures paddlers won’t be suffering cramp. The back rest, which you can lower and raise, supports the lumber section of your back and ensures kayakers are perched in as efficient a paddling position as possible.
Inside the cockpit there’s ample leg room and personal belonging space. Due to the Prodigy being semi-closed there’s a good deal of stowage – more than many sit on tops. The rolled gunnels of the Prodigy ensure, for the most part, everything remains dry with moisture deflected – as long as you don’t paddle in heavy chop/waves (more on this point in a sec).
ON THE WATER
The Prodigy is quick across the brine! Even when propelled in single paddler mode it tracks with superior grace, style and displays amazing glide. According to Perception the Prodigy’s hull shape is based on the brand’s popular Kiwi 3 shape – with slight modifications. The Kiwi 3 is a pure bred tourer and you can feel this when paddling the Prodigy. It certainly works in a similar fashion, of that you can be sure.
We touched on this above but what the Prodigy isn’t designed for is open water touring where you’ll encounter bigger swell, chop and waves. This boat is on the larger side and pretty heavy – although that weight equates to durability. Capsize or swamp it and you’ll certainly have a job on your hands dragging it to land for emptying. If you’ve got the Prodigy fully laden with gear then it’ll be a complete disaster.
That said, in the correct environment, Perception’s Prodigy is a real winner of a boat. If you’re a sit on top paddler who fancies some inland touring or adventure kayaking with a friend or family member then it’s certainly a worthy choice. The brand’s Zone DLX seats are the best kayak thrones we’ve ever tried – we’d like to see this type of thing across sit on tops. With the ability to transport more gear than your regular SOT ride and cover distance in a more efficient manner than most it’d make a great partner boat for your existing sled. Storage and transport of a kayak this big, when not on the water, needs to be taken in to consideration. If you’re looking for new paddling sensations, however, while still retaining the peace of mind of not being sat in an enclosed cockpit then the Perception Prodigy could be one for you.
Perception Prodigy II DETAILS
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