Perception Expression 11.5
Appealing to both kayak novices and experienced paddlers, the Perception Expression 11.5 unites stability, tracking, maneuverability and speed with flexibility in calm inshore, offshore or inland waters.
Being a sleek craft designed to offer safe kayak touring experience, the Perception Expression 11.5 with its light weight, versatile performance and integrated comfort remains the go-to boat for kayaking enthusiasts. The sporty feel and forgiving hull continue to attract paddlers out on the water, awarding their effort with versatility in various water conditions.
Size and Weight
With a length of 11’7″ (353 cm), width of 25.7″ (65 cm), deck profile of 14.5″ (37 cm), and at a weight of only 44 lbs (20 kg), the Expression 11.5 is surprisingly portable and easy to manage. Its somewhat short length for a touring kayak makes the Expression 11 easy to store or transport without needing to buy additional gear.
Perception optimized the kayak’s weight and load distribution, making it ultra-light, yet capable of bearing a maximum load of 250 lbs (114 kg). This allows you to go on a weekend camping and paddling trip with your friends and not compromising on the gear you bring. However, the Expression 11.5 is better suited for people of average built because not exceeding 80 percent of the maximum load-bearing capacity is essential for reliable performance on the water.
Perception makes their kayaks from a proprietary High-Density Polyethylene material using the company-specific, one-piece rotational molding technology. The process involves pouring beads of polyethylene into the mold, which gets heated up and slowly rotated so that the material fills up every nook and cranny. After the mold cools down, you get a one-piece, leak-proof construction that is extremely rugged and durable.
The Perception Expression 11.5 comes with a set of toggle handles at the bow and stern. The front deck is rigged with bungees to secure the gear you need access to throughout the day, while the cockpit rim design is spray skirt ready and spacious enough for easy entry and exit for smaller to average-sized paddlers. It may be tight and more restrictive to bigger people.
On the other hand, the adjustable footrests underneath the front deck offer generous comfort for taller people, but you need to set their lock-down position before launching the kayak.
The Perception Expression 11.5 comes with adjustable thigh pads and ergonomic seat with thick padding that provides comfort and body support for many hours of paddling. The backrest can be adjusted in all four directions at various angles, while the base seat includes leg-lifters for better leg positioning in tune with your activities. There have been, however, some remarks on the backrest height. Namely, it obstructs the spray skirt because it is a bit higher than the deck, which some people solved it by replacing it with a cushy back band or lower backrest.
The rear deck is also rigged with more bungees and a reflective deck safety line for better visibility on the water. The Expression 11.5 comes with a bulkhead for added buoyancy and watertight storage compartment. The access to this section is through an oval-shaped hatch covered with a neoprene lid that keeps your things dry and secure.
Another handy feature of this kayak is the retractable skeg controlled from the cockpit. You need to be mindful of sand, weed, or small rocks when you pull up the skeg because you don’t want any of it to enter the pocket. In some cases, it can prevent the skeg from deploying entirely or adequately.
Performance is a strong point of the Expression 11.5. Its streamlined V-shaped hull with less rocker allows flexibility in different water and weather environments because such a body generally has a higher draft.
This sleek, arrow-shaped kayak with the bow and stern tips almost finishing into a dot, gives us the right idea of how fast this kayak can be. With steady, synchronized paddling the kayak develops pretty high speed, considering its beam width and length ratio, and drastically slows down after you stop paddling.
The Expression 11.5 offers excellent stability with its 25.7″ beamwidth, but more important is the low seating that keeps the paddlers centered. The added flotation from the bulkhead is another factor why it is difficult to capsize this kayak after you get used to its construction and behavior on the water.
Apart from the speed, most of the kayakers love the Expression’s maneuverability. It is capable of turning in a sharp radius, and the kayak’s responsiveness is admirable. The 11.5-foot length allows better agility, and if using the skeg simultaneously, the kayak can efficiently cruise rougher waters, rapids up to class II and during moderate wind.
The Perception Expression 11.5 tracks remarkably well in calm sheltered water. This may change if you enter more choppy, open-lake water, but if the skeg is deployed, nothing can stand in this kayak’s way.
Perception kayaks are warranted against material or manufacturing defects in the hull and deck for five years from the date of the original purchase of the kayak. Parts, accessories, and outfitting are warranted for one year.
To learn more about Perception Kayaks’ warranty terms and conditions, click here.
Perception Kayaks | Introducing the Expression Series
Perception Expression 11.5
Perception Expression 11 walk-through
Perception Expression Kayak | Review | Adventure Kayak | Rapid Media
Specification: Perception Expression 11.5