The following is a review of the Prijon Excursion tandem kayak done by Matthew for the paddling.net site. The Excursion is a great boat that perhaps hasn’t gotten as much attention in the North American market as it should (Prijon is a German company, and their boats are quite popular with European paddlers.) It’s built of HTP, Prijon’s blow-molded plastic, making it extremely durable and ultimately recyclable. A Prijon Kodiak (a similar single kayak) was used by fellow Montanan Jon Turk to paddle from Japan to Alaska, one of the greatest paddling expeditions of all time. That’s one tough boat.
We’ve had our Prijon Excursion for about 7 years now and have paddled many, many miles in it: mountain lakes in Glacier Park, big rough water on Flathead Lake, long hot days on the Missouri river. It was our first kayak and took us from being total beginners to being seasoned paddlers. In many ways it is perfect; other kayaks may be prettier, or lighter, or a bit faster, but the Excursion makes us fall in love all over again whenever we slide into the cockpits. She’s tough as nails, holds an enormous amount of gear and when the water gets wild will get her occupants home in one piece.
This is a BIG boat, make no mistake… it’s 30 inches wide with lots of storage room both fore and aft. There’s the standard Prijon deck rigging and storage nets on the deck to hold stuff you need close at hand. The seats are pretty comfortable for several hours at a time, though because of the Excursion’s size, don’t expect a tight form-fitting cockpit (unless you are pretty big…) I’m 6’2 and 210 lbs and can get my thighs to make contact with the boat to provide some additional control, but really this is a boat that you are “in”, not one you “wear” like many touring singles.
Get it with the rudder. The Excursion is not a hard-tracking boat, and with two people paddling, the rudder really makes a huge difference, especially in dicey conditions like big following seas. On a related note, the Excursion handles much differently when paddled alone than as a tandem. It really wants to see some weight up front… I’ve paddled in the rear cockpit with many different size people along as “crew” and it seems happiest with a load of between 120-160 lbs.
In short, the Excursion is a stable, versatile platform for getting out on the water and exploring, be it on lakes, rivers or coastal waters. Double kayaks aren’t for everyone; paddling one takes practice and communication, give and take… a bit like marriage! If you have what it takes as a couple to master the delicate dance of tandem paddling, then the Excursion would be a great choice… it was for us.