Perception Sport Rhythm 11 Kayak

Perception Sport Rhythm 11 Kayak Review

The Perception Sport Rhythm 11 is technically the wife’s boat but I have paddled it many times. This is the second paddling season we have owned the Perception Sport and Future Beach Fusion . Both purchased at Dick’s Sporting Goods. The Perception was purchased for $400 while the Fusion was purchased for $219. In my opinion both boats are great all purpose beginners boats for the recreational kayaker.  The Perception Sport is built more solid and with a factory bulkhead is a safer boat.

Stability and paddling

The stability of the Perception Sport makes it a very easy boat to paddle for beginners. We have taken the boat on rivers, inland lakes and Lake Erie and have not rolled it once.  In fact I think you would need to purposefully try to roll this boat or do something really stupid (stand) to flip it.  On Lake Erie we have been out with waves up to a foot or so with speed boat wakes coming in larger (you know who you are). There was no need to turn the boat into the wakes to keep from rolling.  But be warned, larger waves, wakes and river rapids will splash over the bow and you will get wet in these conditions.  One could add a spray skirt if this is a big issue. Paddling the Perception Sport Rhythm is also easy as the boat tracks well for inexperienced kayakers. My 8 year old nephew was able to navigate the boat fine after a minute or two of trial and error.  We have not had the boat out in strong winds but in moderately windy conditions the kayak still stayed true to course. The Perception Sport is an efficient kayak that glides easily through the water.

Perception Sport Rhythm 11 in the water.
Perception Sport Rhythm 11 in the water.


I am 180 pounds, six feet tall, and wear a size 10.5 shoe and the cockpit has ample room. The cockpit opening is large making it easy for novice kayakers to board. The seat folds forward and everyone who boards the boat for the first time has a bit of trouble with that. I find it easiest to board in front of the seat and push it back with my butt. There are adjustable foot pegs allowing for a wide range heights to fit comfortably in the boat. The foot pegs slide within a track and adjust relatively easily when you are on-board making a customized fit simple. The seat is constructed of closed cell foam and I find it comfortable for a recreational kayak. The seat back has straps to adjust how far forward or back it sits allowing for some custom fit. The seat back can be raised and lowered for additional comfort. There are also closed cell foam thigh pads for added comfort.  This seat is definitely more comfortable that the Future Beach Fusion.

Rhythm Kayak seat


This Perception Sport Rhythm kayak has a rear bulkhead and deck hatch that creates a watertight rear storage area. As a lightweight backpacker I can easily fit a weekend with of camping gear. If you are a car camper it will be a bit more tight but doable. The water tight bulkhead also serves as flotation if you should swamp your boat.  This is an extra safety factor not found in many recreational kayaks. The deck also has a set of bungee cords for lightweight deck top storage of maps and other light gear. I clip my paddle leash to them.  This is another piece of gear I strongly recommend to anyone kayaking in deep bodies of water.  Paddles do sink, do not learn this from experience.

Missing items

There were really only two complaints I have with the Perception Rhythm kayak. Both are minor but at the same time would be inexpensive to include. The first is a drain. Maybe they think with the bulkhead it is not required but it does make it so much easier to get that last bit of water out. I added one for less than $5. The other nice to have option is a water bottle holder. Again, not a big deal but including it would really round out this package.


  • Size: 11’1″ x 28.5″
  • Weight: 47 lbs
  • Capacity: 275 lbs
  • Cockpit size: 38″ x 21″


I would have no problem recommending this boat to a first time kayak buyer looking to get into recreational kayaking. A seasoned kayaker will do well choosing the Rhythm as well. The boat is built solid, efficient in the water and tracks well. The dry storage and bulkhead are a huge added benefit in purchasing this boat. – Jeff Disclosure: The Perception Sport Rhythm 11 kayak was purchased with my own funds. I received no compensation or other incentives to write this review. The opinions are my own. Update:  This post has been lingering for awhile.  The time between writing and posting this article the Perception Sport website has disappeared and now points to Perception Kayaks and the Rhythm is not listed in products.

Perception Sport Rhythm 11 Kayak
Perception Sport Rhythm 11 Kayak Review
Rhythm kayak deck bungees
The deck bungees with a mini-biner attaching my paddle
Perception Rhythm Seat
The seat folds up which is common on kayaks but can sometimes prove difficult for first timers.
Rhythm bulkhead
The black foam bulkhead can be seen under the deck.

Here you can see the adjustments on the seat that allow you to customize the fit.

DIY kayak drain
Here is the drain plug I added to the kayak.

4 thoughts on “Perception Sport Rhythm 11 Kayak Review”

  1. Hi Jeff. If it won’t cause a marriage malfunction, I’d like to know your wife’s physical specs. As an old, 5′ short, 120 lb. female, finding a good fit can be frustrating. Which boat does your wife prefer?

    1. My wife uses the Perception almost exclusively and is a bit taller, around 5’8″. Is the problem the placement of the foot pegs and leg bracing or not being able to get enough draft on the boat?

  2. Thanks for this review, I’m looking at buying a couple of the Perception Rhythm kayaks which are still available from Dicks/Field and Stream. Not sure why Perception doesn’t list them anymore II noticed that too) but who knows what marketing departments are doing these days… Based on my research/shopping around and your terrific review, this sounds like a really good choice for us. Thanks again!

    1. Thank you for visiting and commenting. After 5 years we are still enjoying this boat. This was a solid purchase for us and I would continue to recommend it to others..

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