7 out of 10

Perception Whiplash

This is an older design but you still see a lot of them around. It was one of Perceptions first attempts at a planing hull. Many beginners might think of purchasing, as they are relatively cheap and a forgiving design.

At the time I am writing this I am a kayaking beginner with about 10 Class II-III runs in a kayak under my belt. I canoed similar rivers for 12 years before switching to a kayak for whitewater. I also have a lot of pool roll sessions under my belt. I tend to err on the side of caution and developed a roll on both sides before starting to run rivers in a kayak. I also have about 25 park& play trips to an easy Class II surfing wave with a good eddy line.

I am 5'9" 150lbs Size 10 feet 31" inseam

Comfort: 10
The Whiplash is probably the most comfortable boat I have sat in. I tried about 15 different boats of all brands of river running boats and playboats for fit. Of course it is probably a bigger persons boat but I have is outfitted tight. I have both long and short thigh braces for it and prefer the long (tighter fit). Absolutely no problem with foot room in this thing. I added Hipsnaps to it to fill in all the space at the side. (32 inch waist). Footpegs are easy to adjust and due to the high volume bow will fit paddlers with longer legs. Also has a Padz neoprene seat cushion and the stock foam back band. I tried outfitting with a PD Designs backband but found I liked the simple foam backband that comes with the boat more. The foam backband doesn't move around when getting in and lets you in and out of the boat much easier.

River Running: 9
This thing has a semi-planing hull which in this case means a flat bottom with very soft chines. Edges do not catch as easily as full planing designs but is edgier than displacement (Sleek & Dancer). Also has lot of volume in the bow and cockpit (60 gallons total). Has a wide flat low volume stern that you need to be aware of when making eddy turns. It took me a couple to figure out that you just need to lean into the turn and it will not try to flip you and it will carve right in where you want it. It has tons of rocker of to keep the ends out of the water. When running drops up to 5 feet it seems to keep fairly level front to back. Lean forward and paddle to prevent a stern squirt (even if you don't it's stable on tail-end). Punches through holes well yet will stay in them easily with a side surf. Overall very forgiving with a slight awareness of edges.

Surfing: 9
This thing front surfs well. It has plenty of hull speed for a play-boat and the semi-planing hull is stable on a wave. If you bury the bow this thing shines. It is very stable and the rocker volume combo keeps you on the wave. It is fairly easy to do 180s and 360s in a hole. Back surfing is a little more grabby but still very stable. Side-surfs are stable and the edges don't catch easily when flat.

Rolling: 8
Not quite as easy as a displacement hull but still easy. Can get away with some slightly sloppy technique on the river. Very easy on downstream side but need to focus on upstream.

Advanced moves: 4?
This in an older design and can't keep up with the newer boats for most moves. This is a great boat for learning stern squirts in. It can be cartwheeled in a hole but not flatwheeled. Carving is much crisper and looser in newer designs than with this semiplaning hull. Stern squirts much easier than an X and is stable on end. Bow stalls? You've got to be kidding this is not the boat. Same for blunts, flatwater moves etc. It is nice for catching the waves that the shorter boats can't though. Can stay on waves some of the newest high tech boats can't reach, let alone stay on.

Overall Average 7.50
This is a great beginner boat for those who plan on buying a newer playboat a year or so down the road. Yet still good as a river runner with some play. Also good as an advanced big water boat. Can run some creeks but have to keep aware of the tail.
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