03-19-2013Submitted by: kg
Reviews for Swifty 9.5 Kayak by Perception Sport
Based On: 113 Reviews
- Rating: 9 of 10 I've had my Swifty now for a couple of years. I love it's stability and being a smaller female, it's easy to load on top of my car. I don't like how slow it is and in windy conditions it's even slower! But other than that it's been a great little kayak that I will miss! I've upgraded to something a bit longer and faster, but this is a really great beginner kayak, especially on rivers or creeks with a current. I could even go against the current, but I wouldn't recommend it for longer distances.
11-14-2012Submitted by: Kevin
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought my Swifty in March of this year and absolutely love it. It handles great and is easy to maneuver. The only feature I don't like is the seat & back rest. Very uncomfortable, especially on long trips. I was on the water for 3 hrs yesterday, and woke up sore & stiff this morning.
11-06-2012Submitted by: weschap65
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is a fun little recreation kayak that tracks like it's on rails. It turns quickly and is very stable. My kids have learned to kayak with this boat. Being under 10' long and fairly wide it is certainly no speed demon, but this to be expected. I did knock off a point due to oil canning in wind chop (more than I would have expected).
10-25-2012Submitted by: mbeitzel
- Rating: 10 of 10 My wife and I recently purchased two Swifty 9.5's. Neither my wife or I have kayaked before. We both agree that the Swifty is an incredibly easy boat to operate. It tracks well and is very stable. The Weight (39 lbs) adds to the enjoyment, it is easy to load and launch.
We would recommend the boat to anyone who is interested in beginning to kayak. We are looking forward to exploring the waterways of southwest Florida in our boats.
07-05-2012Submitted by: CC4036
- Rating: 9 of 10 After some research, my brother in law and I purchased the Swifty from Dick's. It was on sale at a good price plus a discount on paddles as well. Although it felt like a marathon making the purchase. Sales person said this is the best selling, probably the price. I did notice that several of the Swifty's had the dent it the hull, attempted to force it back out to no avail. I'm not sure what the deal is with that, but we bought ones that were dent free.
I'm a relative rookie at kayaking so we took them out to a nearby desert lake. They are easy to transport and very stable when entering. The lake had a slight breeze and some chop. We stayed mainly near the shoreline and only hit a bit of powerboat and jetski wake. Handled this no problem. We paddled for about 3 hours, no drifting with a current here. Seat was great never felt un-comfortable. It also tracked very straight.
The Swifty was sluggish at times. Into a wind was noticeable, but, what Kayak doesn't have a problem with this. I would say "sluggish" wouldn't be much of an issue on a flowing stream or river. I'm not into speed, so I do not care. This is a great fitness yak, as you can work as hard, or leisurely, as you want. I'm a tweener. I did notice very minor yawing as I paddled, but this was my technique more than anything. Once I made adjustments, no problem. It handled and manuevered as advertised for a smaller kayak. Turned when and where I wanted it.
What you get in the Swifty in this price range would be very hard to match. Don't expect a Beamer, but this is a solid Toyota.
06-18-2012Submitted by: damianmcva
Next week going to the lower Salt to try the Swifty out on a fairly easy "river."
- Rating: 10 of 10 Read all the helpful reviews several times and decided on this boat. We are sailors and wanted a kayak that would fit on deck and was lightweight. We bought two from Dicks and were on the water the next day. As the reviews stated, the boat was very stable even when power boats flew by. I stopped on a beach twice to adjust the seat backrest more upright. Getting in and out will require a little getting used to especially at a dock. My wife, who came up with the idea to buy them, loved it from the moment she paddled off from the beach and can't wait to go out again. Great boat!
06-14-2012Submitted by: kathyshepherd
- Rating: 8 of 10 This is the first boat I owned. I am 5'2" tall and 114 lbs. I live in southeast Georgia and mainly use the boat in rivers, creeks lakes and ponds here and in Florida. I have borrowed other kayaks for two years to paddle class I rivers and decided this boat was the right weight and length for me. I saved up my cash and bought two! One for me and one for my son who is 12. I was looking for something similar to the old Victory Blast kayaks and this came close.
What I like:
- at 9.5' and 39 lbs I can load this boat alone on top of my Toyota RAV.
- The open cockpit means I can easily carry it down to the river, placing one hand on each side of the seat. A boat with a seat molded into the stern does not allow for easy carrying so I did not entertain boats that were built like that.
- I also like that the boat has open spaces in the bow and stern. This allows for easy storage of tents, sleeping bags, a stove, and anything else you need for overnight trips.
- The dual channel hull tracks very well and it is very stable, neither my son nor I have yet tipped them.
- I also like all the rigging that is on the boat - the bungee deck rigging and paddle keeper are expertly installed.
- The Carrier handles make carrying the boat and dragging it over ledges on low water days easier.
What I don't like:
So if Wilderness Systems reads this - combine the stiff seat of the Victory Blast with the cushion seat of the Swifty I think you would have a super seat firm enough to give back support and cushy enough to prevent butt fatigue. Also make the boat easy to clean like the Blast too! It looks kind of cool to have a muddy boat though...it means I've been active!
- The external hull has a rough texture and does not clean well. Partly the tie-dye color having white in it is an issue but even with a scrub brush the mud sticks to the smooth colored parts too.
- The seat is not sturdy enough. I have seen reviews that recommend placing your floatation device behind it to give it more support but it is also a good idea to WEAR your floatation device, especially on multiple day trips - the seat gets old.
- My son and I are both short and so the foot braces are of no use to us.
A better seat and easy to clean hull I'd give it 10 stars. Thanks! and Hope this helps!
06-10-2012Submitted by: Barry
- Rating: 9 of 10 I'll start out by saying i am new to kayaking, so my high rating on this kayak may be more based on just being happy with my first kayak (an affordable entry priced kayak) as opposed to how well it stacks up to other manufacturers kayaks in same price range. I had a few friends who strongly recommended the Swifty as my first kayak, after reviewing for hours on here amongst several different ones i finally decided on the Swifty.
I bought the Swifty 9.5 at the end of May 2012 from Dicks and just finally got the time to get out on the river. I absolutely loved this kayak! I put in about 6 hours or so today, in calm waters along with some very mild rapids. Paired with my Quest Chute paddle, i had no problems at all maneuvering or stopping on a dime. For my first time, im very pleased with how easy it was to just jump in and go with this kayak. I love the width for the added stability, i never even got close to rolling it but did rock it around a little bit just to test its stability...all checked out well. Also, i really like how light the Swifty is, picking it up and loading on the car was a breeze as well as getting from car to the river. My buddy and I partnered up and carried his kayak to rivers edge first, then came back for the Swifty. He commented more than once on how light the Swifty was and that he liked that aspect. I would say his kayak probably weighed about 5 more pounds than the Swifty but that 5 pounds was a big difference.
Maybe the only drawback i can see, is what lots of others say...the seat is quite mediocre for sure. It does its job but im sure there are some aftermarket seats that will improve the comfort.
-Price point($279) -weight -colors to choose from (i went with orange/red) -stability
03-28-2012Submitted by: Matthew
-Seat leaves a little to be desired, i will get an aftermarket seat down the road at some point
- Rating: 10 of 10 My friend and I have purchased 2 of these from Dicks. They do turn with enough wind and are not the fastest however I am 6 foot 5in 270 lbs and can fit no problem in this thing. I suggest 2 things. Get a soft foam mat and put it on the floor under your heels and a thick foam pad behind the back seat cover. Those 2 things make this boat very comfy.
03-19-2012Submitted by: Her Kayak
- Rating: 7 of 10 I'll start by saying I bought this at Dick's the week before Xmas, as I had to pick out one of their kayaks for my Xmas present. All of the Swiftys there had mega scrapes, cuts, and very big dents in the bottom of the boats. Some were missing handles!!!! I would assume Dick's is responsible for this, but according to the Perception Sport website, Dick's is the only place that carries them. Pffft.
Months later (today) I took her out for her maiden voyage to see what it was like. I did sit in her at Dick's, but come to find out, my size 11 feet can't fit straight up and down in the boat. How do men with bigger feet than mine buy this kayak! I was told this was a big problem by a kayak expert. I've read all these reviews and didn't see anything about people's feet not fitting. I have to bend my toes against the roof in order to stretch my legs. This is without shoes, too. Maybe you're not supposed to be able to put your feet up and down in a kayak? Well that's weird. I've been in many where I could.
Aside from the scrapes and indents and my feet not fitting, the seat is pretty comfortable (including the adjustments I had to make and the homemade cushion I made out of a life preserver I stuffed behind the back rest). The colors are pretty, I felt safe, I could get in and out with ease, it was very stable, and I thought it tracked pretty well. People complained about that, but, well, ummm, if you paddle unequally, you WILL zigzag. Sillies. I thought I was going at a pretty good rate, too. I would think to get the full use of the channels on the bottom of the boat that the bottom of the boat would need to be FLAT, but the very LARGE indent has not come out. A woman at Gander Mountain told me to leave it in the sun and it will pop out, but that hasn't happened. She said it's from being on the shelf for so long. Sooo, with the scrapes and dents, I got an old boat from Dick's for $329. I was told it will be a good starter boat, but alas, I'm a teacher and buying multiple kayaks is NOT in my budget.
12-29-2011Submitted by: sbank03
-no room for lots of gear or coolers
-no cup holder
-my feet are too large to fit
- Rating: 7 of 10 The Swifty is a good beginner kayak. I paddle it on nothing more than Class II.
Very easy to transport due to small size and light weight. I can get it fully inside my Subaru Forester if I lay the seats flat, or just toss it on the roof & tie down. It fits a lot of body types. Has room for a day's worth of stuff. Tough & durable construction, and the fore & aft bungees on the deck are handy for lightweight things.
takes on water more easily than the Heritage Featherlight 9.5, a similar boat I prefer over the Swifty. My friend who is a slim 6'4" cannot get into the Swifty without bending his knees uncomfortably, and his weight unbalances the lines of the boat- he's not a heavy guy, just tall.
You will outgrow the Swifty quickly, but it is a good boat to have for a quick trip on a local lake or slow river. I have introduced a few friends to kayaking with my Swiftys.
08-24-2011Submitted by: gcavill
- Rating: 10 of 10 I can't say enough about the Swifty. I purchased two of them 10+ years ago and have put hundreds of miles on each of them. I have rigged the decks with stretch cord and fishing rod holders and fish regularly from them. I have taught dozens of people on them and will never get rid of them. You couldn't find a better recreational kayak.
08-14-2011Submitted by: Amillerphoto
- Rating: 10 of 10 Bought two Swifty 9.5's after research for hidd quality, stable recreational kayak, both live up to expectations. Brought one down class 2 rapids today, handled well turns on a dime, and the drain plug is a valuable asset on this kayak. (researched the 11' perception rhythm and it did NOT have a drain plug ... All in all, the Swifty was cheaper and If a more favored all around kayak! Very happy
08-10-2011Submitted by: rick
- Rating: 3 of 10 I bought this boat two years ago at Dick's and after 2 years the seat pegs are already popping through the bottom. I'm a big guy at 6 ft 1 and 250lbs but I'm in the range for this boat. crappy design. On a good note, I bought a field and stream spray skirt for it and raged class 3 rapids with no prob
07-18-2011Submitted by: Carolyn
- Rating: 9 of 10 The Swifty is a great kayak! My husband and I each bought a Swifty based mainly on the reviews on this site. We are older (56 and 65) and new at kayaking. After trying other Perceptions and an Old Town, we decided we wanted a lightweight kayak that we could easily transport and I could carry without assistance. Since most of our paddling will be on lakes and slow moving rivers, we didn't feel the need for anything expensive or fancy.
The boat is stable and easy to maneuver. It is stable, tracks well for a short, wider kayak, and has a huge cockpit. I bought cheap clip-on cup holders for water, and besides the paddle, is the only accessory we need. We can get both kayaks into our Toyota Highlander, and secure them and the rear hatch with bungee cords, which is fine for local trips. With the front seat laid back, I can fit one inside and close the hatch.
The only reason I rate this kayak a 9 out of 10 is because the seat is adjusted with a strap, which tends to want to very slowly slip backward. I don't know how long it's going to hold up. One tip...the salesman sold me a paddle that was too short. IMO 230cm is the minimum length to comfortably paddle this kayak, due to its width, and is what I use now.
07-13-2011Submitted by: Ted
- Rating: 10 of 10 We own 3 Swifty 9.5's and one Prodigy. After paddling both styles of our Perception kayaks, I must admit that the Swifty is my favorite. I have paddled in an Acadia by Perception, and an Old Town Loon as well, and still, I like the Swifty's stability in multiple types of water conditions. Great inexpensive kayak.
07-06-2011Submitted by: Crystal
- Rating: 9 of 10 I just bought a Swifty 9.5 kayak second hand and I really like it. Having not gone kayaking at all before purchasing it, it was very easy to pick up. Though I have to admit, being a big girl, I wish the seat was a little bigger.
Though I've only gone out on the water twice, it seems quite stable. the first time I was out, it was on very calm water. The second time I was out, it was on choppy water... between the storm that was rolling in and the motor boats buzzing across the lake, I didn't have any problems keeping it balanced.
I recommend this kayak to any beginner kayaker. It's really fun, small and light enough for me to carry with barely any upper body strength, and wonderful exercise.
03-14-2011Submitted by: kayakinut
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is a great beginner kayak. It tracks adequate and is so much fun to go with a friend with not much kayaking experience. I am purely a recreational kayakinut and own two of these Swifty kayaks. Living in Florida, it is great exercise and with a friend... it is great entertainment for morning - afternoon from March to November. Living in Florida is Great!
03-10-2011Submitted by: eriecanalboatcompany
- Rating: 4 of 10 I'm not sure how to rate this "kayak" its great for those with no experience paddling, but leave no room for improvement. It's a fat, short kayak. Almost all review say how well it maneuvers, but i haven't been in a 9'kayak that doesn't turn on a dime. It's stability come from a flat bottom, which also helps it turn faster. You expend as much effort keeping going straight as paddling it forward. If you're looking for a kayak to grow and improve you strokes or your a fitness paddler, buy a kayak you won't out grow in one hour of paddling. Sorry to those Swifty lovers, it's just a basic thing that floats. Challenge yourself!
03-07-2011Submitted by: ROBBY
- Rating: 9 of 10 AWESOME KAYAK, my dad bought me this kayak about 4 years ago and I have loved it ever since. It does well fishing and just riding down the river for fun. We took a week trip down the Muskegon river and my kayak handled it just fine. My Perception kayak has seen all 5 great lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. I weigh about 200 pound and am 6.2 and it works great, I just bought a new kayak but I still love my old one. If you are thinking about buying this DO IT.
06-03-2010Submitted by: Hawk_308
- Rating: 8 of 10 I bought a Swifty after teaching my fiancees 12 year old son how to paddle my tarpon 160i the weekend before. It was very reasonably priced and decided to give it a try after checking reviews here. I bought it home and he loved it. A main concern was being a sit in was his ability to board it since he has physical limitations do to having a brain tumor at 3 years old.
We decided to try it out the largest of the local lakes here. It was very easy to get him in the seat so that was a big plus. The kayak handled very well for him the 4 hours he spent in it, we couldn't talk him out of it even after the wind really picked up putting serious chop on the water. He finally tired out and decided to set on the shore for a while so I decided to try it out.
It has less primary stability then my Tarpon but more then the Captiva I first learned on years ago. The secondary stability is great, I could tilt it in a turn until it would start to fill with water without worrying about a flip. The tracking was better then I thought it would have been on a 10 foot kayak but still very responsive. Of course it was noticeably slower then my Tarpon but for what it is I thought it did great. It was a lot of fun on the large waves on the lake, so much so my fiancee didn't think I was going to give it back. I might buy me one just to use in the smaller waters and to play on and of course my fiancee needs a kayak.
I only have 2 complaints with it:
The finish is way off on it,the cockpit hole wasn't cut or molded square and needs about 3/4 of an inch shaved off and just some basic finishing on some rough edges here and there.
The other is that a boat that seems a great option for kids the foot peg rail is a bit short it seems, but I guess the kids don't care.
We are looking forward to a lot of fun trips together with it. PS: I'm 5'11 220 lbs and my Fiancees son is around a 100 lbs now for reference.
05-13-2010Submitted by: Dave
- Rating: 7 of 10 Purchased one of these little yaks, and I have to say I'm pretty impressed. I've read all the reviews on it, and here are some actual facts. Good beginner kayak, Stable, Moderately Slow, Turns on a dime, Basic, Inexpensive, heavy construction, Good value for money. Options are impressive speed and tracking for length. Also would be nice if it had a storage hatch. I guess that's how they keep the price point soo low. If you want a inexpensive, basic beginner yak, This is the one.
04-12-2010Submitted by: Steve
- Rating: 8 of 10 Before buying the 9.5' Swifty I read a lot of mixed reviews that leaned toward the positive side for novice users. I have to say I really like it.
I am a novice kayaker but a 30 year boating veteran. I bought two of these for my wife and I. We went out for a couple hours this week. It was on a lake with about 8mph winds.
The little kayak was very stable, extremely maneuverable and has a decent speed. At one point I even laid down in it with my feet up on the deck. A very stable little boat.
It's very responsive to the paddle. That might be bad for some people as it noses left and right if you really dig in the paddle...but on a positive note you can do a 360 degree turn within a 10' diameter. Great for tight spots.
It handled the wind very well. Even though the wind impacted our speed, if we stopped and drifted we didn't drift any more than in a canoe or fishing boat.
Speed wise it definitely has a limit. You have to paddle hard to get good speed. But on the flip side if you paddle gently you get better speed than you would expect from the minimal effort. And if you stop paddling it does glide along straight rather well.
I would HIGHLY recommend these for the price we paid, $299 at Dicks. I would recommend them for novice and intermediate paddlers. Unless you have a special need for a specific type of boat, the Swifty will exceed your recreational kayak expectations. Order your paddles from Amazon.com and save even more money. We got some awesome sturdy paddles for $24 a piece.
03-29-2010Submitted by: JLottes
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought 2 of these boats 2 years ago. 1 for my 14yo daughter 7 1 for me. My son, daughter & I have used them for white water (class 1-3) & fishing on the Chesapeake Bay. Very stable, tracks well, roomy. We've outfitted them for fishing. Last summer my son pulled in a 23" Rockfish & I landed a 32". Not the greatest for WW but an excellent boat for fishing.
12-06-2009Submitted by: bic
- Rating: 10 of 10 Get this kayak! Too much fun, inexpensive, good exercise etc. Have landed red drum, striped bass, speckled trout from it with no problems, very stable. Forget the expensive boats and keeping up with the Jones' this is what kayaking is about. Simplicity and functionality. I don't understand why Perception has disowned this boat as there is no mention of it on it's website. Their loss, I think they should market it with gusto. Farther, faster, higher I guess. Sometimes it pays to keep it simple. Keep on paddling your Swifty!
11-10-2009Submitted by: stew9483
- Rating: 10 of 10 GREAT LITTLE BOAT!!! My wife and I kayak the New River all summer long and have done 10 mile day trips numerous times in our Swiftys. I recommend them to anyone!! Maybe not the fastest thing on the water, but we use ours for the scenery and to just relax. Best money I have ever spent! We did order some Yakpad seat covers and that more than helped the cheaper seats that the Swifty comes with. Don't waste your money on all those expensive boats, buy a Perception Swifty 9.5!!!!
09-11-2009Submitted by: Aussie Wayne Green
- Rating: 9 of 10 This boat is ridiculously good for the money. At under $300 you have a small-water fishing platform (what I actually bought it for) that transforms into a downriver weekender (I have no idea what the storage volume is but I can easily fit three large dry bags into this thing - two behind the seat, one between my legs)....but best of all I've discovered it's a covert tandem boat. I'm an enormous bloke at 5'7" / 145lb, and with a slip in child seat made by Perception ($40 at Austinkayak.com which seems to be the only place that sells them) I can take one of my daughters out for a paddle in comfort. My girls are 5 and 7yo - both small in size - but they love it. Because the boat is small we can access all kinds of narrow creeks and inlets, check out the birds and crabs, take photos, it's just the easiest intro to kayaking for kids that I've heard of. We're so please with this tiny boat that we bought two so the whole family could go paddling together - and my WS Tempest 165 is sitting ignored in the garage at home!!!
But seriously - if you've been considering tandem kayaks to introduce your kids to flatwater paddling then don't waste your money on something that can't be used for other things. Worst case with a Swifty + child seat is that you'll get a smallwater fishing boat all for yourself.....at under $300! How good is that?!?!!
09-11-2009Submitted by: splink48
- Rating: 7 of 10 My friend borrowed a Swifty from a coworker of mine to go on an overnight trip with me down the Chattahoochee with me. I have a Perception Sierra. We loaded them up with our camping gear and set out on the water. The Sierra held the tent, cooler, a chair, half the clothes, and a lot of the miscellaneous stuff. The Swifty got loaded with the other half of the clothes, another chair, cooktop, and some granola bars. By no fault of the kayak, my friend couldn't fit in the Swifty, but he is 6'9", so we traded kayaks and I took over the Swifty.
The Swifty was spacious enough to hold plenty of gear plus me...and we probably overloaded it just a bit. I found the kayak tracked pretty well, but it took a considerable amount of effort to keep up with my Perception. The Perception held most of our gear, and it handled like a dream. While paddling the Swifty, it seemed to just stop when you stopped paddling....almost like it had brakes.
I think the Swifty would make a great workout kayak (you'll definitely get one), but as a lazy river paddler, I'll definitely be sticking with my Sierra.
09-04-2009Submitted by: Randy
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought two Swifty kayaks and I love them. My son and I fish a white water class 2 river April to Oct and the Swiftys work great. The seat flips forward for a small cooler, the rods fit between the seat and the hull and the elastic on the back holds a small crate for gear. I added a 4" spray guard on the front lip to keep the water out. These boats are super stable.
07-23-2009Submitted by: JB
- Rating: 1 of 10 Wow, how is it there are so many positive reviews on this kayak? I agree with much of what is said here; better than anything else in the price range, great starter boat, cheap, etc. But I also agree with the person who said it tracks like an inner tube and speeds along like a dead harbor seal on land. Perhaps it's because many people who buy this boat are first time kayakers and have little or no frame of reference. The number of comments about stability suggest it might be.
As for me, I'm no expert either. I've been kayaking for 8-10 years in several boats of varying types with several multi-day trips in lakes and rivers. Still, I wouldn't claim to be more than moderately experienced. I'm guessing the experts haven't bothered to review this boat yet, if they did it would be memorable. So was my one experience with the Swifty. It seemed that I exerted more than 50% of my energy just trying to keep it straight. When I stopped paddling, the boat stopped like it was attached to an anchor. As with many of the lower priced Perception boats, the quality seemed noticeably cheaper than other boats in similar price ranges. Which brings me back to cost. If you want a boat to bash around the lake in and not care about getting anywhere soon, don't mind being frustrated by the extra effort of correcting the boat, and won't use it enough to justify spending more money, then this is the boat for you. If you plan to do any trips in this boat or keep up with anyone in any other boat, I highly urge you to investigate other boats.
07-15-2009Submitted by: Frazers4
Boats I currently own -Dagger Zydeco -Dagger Bayou -Wilderness Systems Manteo -Ocean Kayak Frenzy
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have owned my Swifty for 3 years now and love it in every way! I paddle the Bay, Lake, River, Creek, as well as white water in it. It handles beautifully and is light weight so that my 110 lbs self can put it on and off my Santa Fe SUV by myself.
I now own a second Swifty and another brand that I am not nearly as happy with. I am looking to replace my 3rd with another Swifty once it goes on sale.
06-15-2009Submitted by: Hottvr
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought the Swifty last winter (it was on sale). Last weekend I did a two day float on the Elk River in southwest Missouri. The little boat is very stable. I did 16.7 miles the first day I was in it. I had been in canoes since I was child. But that was the first time in a kayak. The Elk doesn't have any big whitewater however there are many sections that have rapids.
If you get the Swifty into some fast water that comes across rear of the boat, the water
will come in around the bungie cords on the deck. What I did was to remove the cords and plug the holes. Home Depot sells a pack of four 1/4 inch plastic snap in plugs. They fit perfect and require no sealant. The total cost of this modification? $.88! That's right, 88 cents.
This boat is easy, anyone can jump in and make it work. Great little boat.
06-05-2009Submitted by: Chris
- Rating: 8 of 10 I just bought two of these at Dicks. With paddles, the total for the two came to $800 (with tax). Easy to put in the back of my truck and go to the lake. Easy to handle. Not real fast & I don't think that really matters. It's just easy to handle.
I think as a beginner this has proven to be a good choice. I give it an 8 instead of a full 10 because I don't like the foot pegs or seat back and it doesn't track real well. But overall, I think I really got my money's worth. Lots of trips planned for this summer.
06-03-2009Submitted by: wlmbusiness
- Rating: 10 of 10 I purchased two Swiftys about FOUR years ago, as our first kayaks, after doing a lot of research. I have since paddled a number of different kayaks, taken classes, etc. so more experienced now. And I still love these Swiftys. These are great beginner kayaks.
You will read reviews stating they aren't performance kayaks, weathercock, etc. Reality is, these won't weathercock if you're actually paddling. ALL such kayaks have one issue or another. They are not priced or meant to be performance kayaks.
I have three boys, who paddled them effortlessly, never flipped them, from the age of 7 on. I have had many novice adults paddle them just fine. Dicks is now selling them for less than $300 (I think). What cheap recreation, that can last years.
06-01-2009Submitted by: Mark
- Rating: 10 of 10 I just bought this and wow! What fun! I weigh about 225 and just wanted to get something to play on in a nearby lake. Was skeptical that it would hold me up but it does fine and I absolutely love playing tag with my Golden Retrievers!! Very convenient and light.
05-29-2009Submitted by: Tony
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've been wanting to get in to kayaking for quite some time but couldn't find a kayak that really peaked my interest. I wanted a kayak that would be suitable for paddling around our local lakes and rivers as well as an occasional swift-running creek. While browsing thru our Sunday paper recently I noticed the add for the Swifty 9.5's on sale at Dick's Sporting Goods and for $269 we just had to check them out. It only took about 20 minutes until they were in the back of my truck and on their way to their new home.
We've been out in the Swiftys twice already and we could not be happier. They are VERY stable, easy to paddle, easy to maneuver, easy to carry and, most importantly, they are comfortable. I was pleasantly surprised with how well they track and how fast they are despite their short length. Our kids haven't tried paddling them yet but I'm sure they'll have no problem since they seem like very forgiving kayaks.
Overall, I have no complaints whatsoever, other than not having more time to enjoy them.
05-22-2009Submitted by: EDWARDGILSONESQ
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have owned a Swifty for over 10 years and I think it is an excellent boat for beginners. It was my first kayak and I learned a lot with it. I have drilled holes in it to install rigging, anchors, and fishing pole mounts.It is indestructible. I use it mostly as a spare now that I own a Castine, but I still use it on small creeks. You should also note that the cockpit is more spacious than either the Old Town Otter or Loon and I personally think it is more stable. You may outgrow this boat but don't get rid of it, it still does what it is supposed to do.
05-20-2009Submitted by: Paul
- Rating: 9 of 10 Bought my Swifty (first kayak) in Aug '08 and have used it at home in PA weekly into October, then in Florida at New Years, and then at home weekly since April.
I love it. I bought it for its long cockpit - much easier for 6'4" me to get my legs into than my kids' Old Town Otter-Sports (aka Rush). I wanted a no-nonsense, lightweight and handy (easy to car-top), versatile, quality kayak with the must-have features: padded adjustable seat, footpegs, deck rigging. And a good value (Dick's, $269). I use in on lakes from 25 - 3000 acres, bays, broad flat rivers, fast-running streams (class I-II so far) and even played around in the Gulf of Mexico.
I love the upper body workout to balance my running and cycling. I'm not worried about racing someone to a destination quickly - I paddle for fresh air and fitness on my own, and for outdoor fun & scenery with my family - so I'm not to worried much about performance. Serves me well. I'd recommend it to anyone for all the same reasons.
04-13-2009Submitted by: Cormorant
- Rating: 7 of 10 This is not a performance kayak. It tracks pretty poorly despite channels on bottom and top; speed is quite low. Weathercocking is pretty severe as this boat sits pretty high unless heavily loaded.
So why the 7 rating you may ask? This boat is one of the least expensive and widely available ones on the market. You can experiment on anything with this boat from whitewater to flatwater and for me the most attractive aspect of this boat to me is its highly portable nature. It fits in the back of a minivan! Not on top, mind you, I mean inside the vehicle! My 10 foot Waldens greatly outperform the Swifty in nearly every aspect but are just big enough to be a lot less portable.
For the price, portability, and versatility this beginner kayak gets a decent rating but don't expect it to excel in any way against other rec boats.
01-27-2009Submitted by: motofish
- Rating: 7 of 10 I bought my Swifty about 2 years ago, from Dicks Sporting Goods. Like many others, I purchased it because it was very inexpensive, not knowing anything about choosing a kayak. Boy did I get lucky. This has been a great little kayak, and will continue to serve me very well. I've taken it on slow rivers, lakes, and even out in the Gulf of Mexico (10,000 islands/ everglades national park). I have since learned a lot about kayaking, and wanted to wait until I knew more about kayaking before submitting my review.
I am by no means a small person, at 6'3" and 250lbs. I can attest to the 300lb capacity stated upon purchase at Dick's. I've even exceeded that a few times on calm water. My size 12.5 feet don't fit perfectly, but if I wear aqua shoes or no shoes, and with the foot braces forward (not all the way, surprisingly) I am very comfortable, and can put effort into paddling. It's also quite comfortable with my feet against the foam block in the center of the bow.
I'm still working on my paddling technique, but I routinely get 3.5 mph in no wind conditions with sloppy (relaxed) paddling. When I pay attention to technique and really paddle hard, I see 3.8 - 4 mph tops. Tracking is also very good with little to no wander when easily paddling, and slight wobble of 4-6 inches (approx), when paddling hard. Naturally that is with little to no winds from either side or current.
The seat is pretty comfortable, but the backrest is the weakest point (I feel) with the boat (A regular old square rowboat cushion behind you fixes it though). The boat is very stable, I've done a lot of fishing from it, and I've fished in 1-1.5 foot swells, as well as currents, and it performs well. Waves higher than 1 ft occasionally come over the coaming, but less than 1ft, and you hardly notice them. Lighter paddlers may have different results (for the better I would think). FYI for those who lean towards fishing, the harmony fishing deck fits like it was made for this boat, while adding a place for a scotty fishing mount (it's one of my favorite accessories now). Makes for a nice setup.
As would be expected with a short rec boat, it turns on a dime, but with pretty good tracking. It has good speed and a high weight limit as well as good, solid construction. On top of these other qualities, the stability is excellent. I've never rolled it (on purpose or by accident) so I can't tell you about secondary stability... I'm not that skilled yet. This boat is hard to beat, especially considering the price. Fits nice in the back of a pickup too, and at about 35 lbs, is easy to get in there.
Upgrading to a 14' Cayuga for longer trips, but the Swifty is going to stay on as the one that gets thrown in the back of the truck for the quick fishing trips, as well as a spare for guests.
09-18-2008Submitted by: darrinf63
- Rating: 8 of 10 I've owned a Swifty 3.1 for over 10 years. After hundreds of miles paddling this little kayak I still really like it. The initial stability is quite good. It is light and easy to handle. The large cockpit makes entry and exit easy. It doesn't track very well, but what do you expect for a 9'6" kayak. It is slow. 2-2.5 mph cruise speed 4mph max. The Swifty fits easily in the back of a truck. I consider this a great "workout boat" Often I choose to take the Swifty to a local lake for exercise. Many friends have got hooked on kayaking in this little kayak.
08-27-2008Submitted by: JLottes
- Rating: 7 of 10 My 14 YO daughter took several classes in WW & wanted a kayak. She couldn't go alone, so I got 2 Swifty's at Dicks on sale for $249 +50% off + 20% off with Dicks membership card + 10% off for using their CC or 2 for $179.28. Great buy.
A good, stable, straight line boat. My 10 YO son took mine out his 2nd day into 1-2 ft surf with no trouble. Seat is not comfortable for long periods, & the footpegs are too narrow (IMO). All fittings needed to be sealed B/C of leaking through the screw & Deck webbing holes. (RTV fixed this but annoying.) New footpegs & seat pads are on order.
08-04-2008Submitted by: hiker69
- Rating: 8 of 10 I recently bought a Swifty 9.5 on sale at Dick's for $269. I often fish from a kayak and normally paddle an Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler Edition. With my setup, that boat requires the installation of a truck hitch extension for hauling. However, I was looking for something small enough to simply toss on the back of my truck, go paddle, get some exercise, and maybe fish a little.
I have paddled the Swifty on a couple of lakes so far, and it is pretty much exactly what I expected. It's not extremely fast, but it is certainly fast enough for small lakes, ponds, and rivers. I wouldn't make any 10 mile treks in it on open water, but for short jaunts, it's great.
The kayak is very stable. The bow does tend to push sideways just slightly with each paddle stroke, but overall, for such a short boat, it tracks well. It turns on a dime and stops quickly. The seat is comfortable enough for short paddles (1 to 3 hours), and it adjusts very easily. There is ample storage behind the seat for a dry bag, water, anchor, etc.
The boat rides amply high even with a fairly heavy load. It is rated for 350 pounds, 100 pound more than the Perception Blast. That buoyancy works out well for me, since I'm 6'1" and 200 pounds, and I usually take some gear with me when I paddle.
One of these days, I'll probably go for one of those speedy touring boats, but right now, the Swifty is just fine for what I want/need. As long as you know you're buying a recreational kayak and not something else, the Swifty will treat you right. It is a well made little kayak for the money.
07-23-2008Submitted by: fishwinican
- Rating: 8 of 10 I have used a Swifty on a small sheltered lake for a year. The boat is easy to paddle and does not feel tippy. It tracks as well as I would expect for such a short boat. I can easily paddle it at 3 to 3.5 mph without working too hard. I have fished out of it and paddled it for exercise.
The padded seat is comfortable and the adjustable seat back is a simple but good feature. The boat is lightweight and easy to drain with the drain plug on top of the stern. I am 6'1" and 235 lbs and am able to be comfortable in the boat. The adjustable foot pegs are a nice feature. My wife who is 5'4" also enjoys paddling it. I have not had the boat in current, but it handles well against the wind and in small chop.
I have found it to be a great boat for the money for a small sheltered lake. I got the boat on sale at Dicks Sporting Goods last year for just a little over $200. For a boat under $300 that is 9.5 feet long, it exceeded my expectations.
07-21-2008Submitted by: KWC
- Rating: 10 of 10 The Swifty 9.5 is the first kayak that I have owned. I have had several canoes. This boat is doing what I expected of it. It is easy to carry, easy to get in and out of. A lot more stable than I expected. The seat is comfortable and the toe rail is in a good position and adjusts easy. The cockpit has plenty of room.
I am 5'11" tall and weigh 195 lbs. The boat paddles easily, and glides decent when you stop paddling. It turns well and is very responsive, I have had large powerboats come by and it handles the wake satisfactorily. I have been in the boat several times over the last week for more than an hour each time. I am pleased with the boat at this point. Well made, looks good.
08-10-2007Submitted by: WaterWacker
- Rating: 8 of 10 My Swifty was my first yak. I now have a Pamlico 120 also. I will grab the Swifty just as soon or sooner than the Pam. Mine tracks fine and I have it rigged for fishing with no problems. I took my young nephews out two weeks ago 7 & 10 yrs .NEVER been in a yak and they both paddled the Swifty with no problems - the 10 yr old was 100 yds out in the Susky having a ball.
Where the Pamlico 120 cuts into the water the Swifty don't. and allows easier turns. I would recommend this model to anyone beginner or advanced for an inexpensive do-all rec./fishing yak. My outlook is that it would be hard to buy a better SIK for the money on the market today.
I'm looking for a SOT next, but if I'd run into a Swifty Cheap used I'd buy another just for the fun of it. I have over $400 in mine with the rigging I did to it and I wouldn't sell it for that. This is an unbiased write, my opinion is not for sale. Anyone who can't paddle a Swifty straight needs practice - it's not the boats fault.
07-30-2007Submitted by: Doug B.
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought my Swifty a couple of years ago. I've owned canoes and kayaks for years (currently an Old Town canoe, and 6 kayaks from 9.5' to 15'in length).
I bought the Swifty mostly as a "loaner" because I came across a good deal on a used one - I didn't think I would want to paddle it much myself. I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it out. I fit fine in it (I'm 6'2' and 245 Lbs.). Also, it seemed to be almost as fast as my longer, slimmer kayaks (like my Necky Santa Cruz). I didn't have any problem with tracking straight - or turning when necessary.
My Swifty has been on lakes and rivers up to about class II (maximum) with lots of smaller rapids. It has done fine. I wouldn't mind getting another. I still usually pick my Santa Cruz, but would be almost as happy with the Swifty most of the time. It is also easy to load, move, and store. I didn't plan to write a review, but I read the negative review about this being a "tub," not tracking, etc. and didn't want that to scare people away from this model. No doubt there are higher performance boats, but I think most people - especially new kayakers, or those who don't plan to cover long distances or carry lots of gear will be very happy with the Swifty. I think its a great boat for paddling lakes and ponds, or for going down rivers that don't have over class II rapids. And I don't work for Perception or have any vested interest in talking up this boat - I was just pleasantly surprised by how well it performed for me.
07-17-2007Submitted by: Bill K
- Rating: 10 of 10 Got my girlfriend a SWIFTY 9.5 for her birthday. She had never been kayaking before but really wanted to go. Her first day on the water hooked her for life. The boat is more stable than my Prodigy 120 and handles much quicker. She was looking like a long time yaker after just a short time. My next purchase is going to be a SWIFTY 9.5 for myself for day runs. I would give this kayak a HUGE thumbs up!!
02-19-2007Submitted by: Dylan
- Rating: 10 of 10 I got my swifty for my 19th b-day, but the only bad thing is that my b-day happens to be in Feb. and it gets kinda cold in Kentucky. I couldn't take the excitment any more. A few weeks later I took my swifty out for a test run. I loved it!!! I had never kayaked before, but most of my friends do, so I had to try it. The only thing I am mad about is that I didn't buy my swifty earlier. I'm hooked and plan on kayaking until I meet my maker. I love my first kayak, THE SWIFTY!
12-20-2006Submitted by: jason
- Rating: 1 of 10 This is a TUB, not a boat. Total disgrace. Tracks like an inner tube, in other words, totally trackless. The speed of a beached whale with great white sharks hanging on. Guaranteed to take the total fun of paddling from any newbie friend. Don't be fooled, these good reviews are "staged" and paid recruits. Save your money and buy a kayak that can keep its bow straight. Twelve foot long is a good minumum length. Leave these tubs to olympic paddlers looking for a heavy cardio workout.
10-16-2006Submitted by: skip
- Rating: 8 of 10 good little boat for beginners. the wide, flat, bottom provides a very stable ride, too stable i sometimes think. the swifty's stability gives a false sense of security about kayaks to beginners. with little tippiness to the boat, beginners don't really get a feel for using their body in paddling.
09-25-2006Submitted by: WCG
- Rating: 7 of 10 I picked up a 9.5 Swifty for my wife's second Yak. I took it out and it is not a stable as our other under 10' kayaks. Some may like it but we have mixed emotions on this one.
08-21-2006Submitted by: kent1915
- Rating: 10 of 10 I am a large man (6'4" and 240#) who has no problem fitting comfortably into the Swifty. This boat is great for a beginner; stable, tracks well, hard to roll, comfy. I love it. Purchased mine as part of a package from REI and bought a second one locally.
06-21-2005Submitted by: tschuck
- Rating: 10 of 10 Impressive Recreational Family Boat. I've been paddling recreational boats for about 4 years now. I own (besides this Swifty) a Pungo 120 and Acadia II Tandem. I expected this boat to be a bathtub, but purchased it for its stability for my son. I was surprised by several things.
Handling: Boat steers straight, little effort. Resists "tacking" (pointing to the side after each stroke). Handles lake chop and power boat wakes with no loss of stability
Speed: Only a slight increase in effort is needed to maintain speed as compared to the Pungo or twin Acadia, if all boats are paddled for pace, not speed. Doesn't glide well when forward motion is ceased.
Manueverability: One Sweep stroke will turn boat about 45-60 degrees. (as opposed to about 2 strokes in Pungo and 3-4 in Acadia)
Stability: Completely flat, does not lean into turns, which is not necessary due to its short size and excellent flat-turn.
Comfort: Acceptable for several hours.
01-25-2005Submitted by: screwtape
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have been paddling about a year now and I bought my Swifty for my first run. So far I am the only one of my friends to NOT have a capsizing incident on my record. If you are looking for speed, this is probably not the boat for you but it is a fun boat to get out in Class I and Class II water and have a safe, fun time. I am now in the market for a Perception Carolina 14' boat to take on longer trips but I will keep my Swifty for recreational day paddles.
01-20-2005Submitted by: kathys101
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've been kayaking for two or three years now, but just purchased my Swifty last April. I absolutely love it. I kayak in class I, II, and mild class III water, mostly in north GA. It is very stable, handles well, and is quite maneuverable. Just as important--it's lightweight and easy for a woman to carry and load
I loved my Swifty so much, I bought my husband and 14 year old son one each, for Christmas.
01-04-2005Submitted by: JAMES H
- Rating: 9 of 10 I got 2 of them for Christmas!! Yes they are the only good boats available in Tucson! I had more fun at the lake than I have before, I am tired of stupid motor boats always breaking down, and don't get me started on jet skis! These boats are way to go have some fun and get some exercise outdoors. They are very stable and hold a good amount of gear for a half day/full day trip. I am just getting into kayaking and couldn't really ask for more for the money than these boats! Paddling is the way to go!
11-07-2004Submitted by: Dave Cotey
- Rating: 10 of 10 Great little boat for the money. I bought two when they were on sale at Popular Outdoors. My daughter (17, 105 lbs.) ran the Moab daily run in September when the water was up a little, had a blast, a solid class II. I think we'll invest in a couple skirts. They get a little tippy when they're half full of water.
08-24-2004Submitted by: TheBeans
- Rating: 9 of 10 We've had our Swiftys now for about a month and absolutely love them! They track very nicely (for a boat w/o a lot of length or rudder) and can turn on a dime. Light enough for anyone to pick up and carry and/or load into/onto a vehicle for transport and the large cockpit makes enry/exit a snap. A fun little boat!
08-09-2004Submitted by: Rick Johnson
- Rating: 8 of 10 Swifty's are about the only decent boat you can buy in Tucson so they are fairly popular. Since thay are sold by a chain store, they can be found all over town and are better than that thin-shell boat sold at a more expensive store. We kept looking at Swifty's as a back-up boat but never tried one until we did a lake clean-up withthe local paddling club. During lunch my daughter borrowed and tested a Swifty and fell in love with it.
It's a fun boat for play and an afternoon on the water. I wouldn't do an entire day or a long trip in one but for a couple hours on the lake or calm river, it is wonderful. Short enough to turn around on a dime, handles well and weighs little so anyone can pick it up. All in all, it's an excellent entry-level boat, excellent for kids and useful as a back-up boat.
07-30-2004Submitted by: FM
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought my two used from an outfitter @$150 each. Some of the best money that I ever spent. The only problem is that my 4 adult kids keep fighting over who is going to use them every weekend!
04-01-2004Submitted by: Ken
- Rating: 10 of 10 I just purchased my Swifty 9.5 at Bass Pro Shops in Orlando. Right product for the right price. $379 and it included Harmony paddles. I didn't care for them as I had tried my girlfriends, so I bought Carlilses'with a fiberglass shaft. Very light. I'm new to kayaking. I've been canoeing for many years. Started up in NY with the Fulton Chain Lakes in the Adirondacks. Back in the '60s (yeah I'm that old, I was a teenager then)it was pretty much wilderness. Don't know if it still is as I've lived in Florida for the past 20 years. I live close to the Ocala Forest and it is as wild as anything I've seen. Pretty dangerous also. I didn't have to deal with 'gators and mocassins in NY.
Getting back to the Swifty. It's a good starting point. Very basic. It's light and very manuverable. Especially helpful on the rivers down here. There are very few swift waters here so the Swifty is perfect. It's made for day trips that don't require a lot of gear, maybe a lunch and some light fishing tackle. I took it out one day on a local lake that has some size. It was very windy and choppy (1 1/2 waves). I turned back quickly as I didn't think my skills and the boats capabilities were up to it. Hard to paddle in those conditions. But on a slowly meandering stream or river it is perfect. I feel I made a correct choice when I purchased it. I will probably move up to a larger model as my skills improve.
03-03-2004Submitted by: Dancingmouse
- Rating: 10 of 10 My first boat was a Swifty that I bought 7 years ago. I loved it instantly. It's great in up to class 2 whitewater, surfs as well as playboats, has plenty of room for day gear and is very maneuverable. It tracks straight on and can be handled by most women alone. Great for touring marshes, small rivers or lakes and fast enough to keep up with longer boats. After I got mine, at least a dozen friends and relatives tried them out everyone bought Swifty's.
06-23-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 We just bought 5 Swifty at REI in Minnesota. We are loyal REI customers, but the clincher for buying there was an event at a Twin Cities county park lake where one could try all the kayaks REI carries and a 15% off coupon for attending the event. So with REI's selection of boats to choose from we chose the boat with the features we felt we had to have for the minimum money. Foot pegs turned out to be the feature we had to have, so we eliminated the Old Town Otter and were happy to shell out our money for the maneuverable and stable Swiftys. We are experienced canoeists but our only kayaking experience is the REI demo and about 4 hours on the river with our new Swiftys. I am confident that this boat is the right one for my family to have a great time with getting out and exploring the rivers we live on and near here in southern Minnesota.
07-24-2002Submitted by: Steve
- Rating: 4 of 10 My first Kayak was a Swifty. I will say that it had tremendous initial stability, and for the price it is a good "poking around boat," or good for families wishing to paddling the local park pond. However, for more efficient paddling, it lacks quite a bit. It has a tremendous amount of drag, and the tracking is affected if one paddles fairly hard. We took a Swifty and an Acadia out on a major lake, about 200 feet off shore, with about 1 1/2 feet waves coming into shore. The Acadia gracefully slid over the waves and was a joy to handle. The Swifty plowed through them with wake splashing the paddler and it was obvious that the Swifty paddler was paddling much harder than the Acadia paddler. I have moved up now to larger touring boats, but I still love to paddle my Acadia on small rivers. I did sell the Swifty as soon as I found somebody to buy it. It's a boat that you will outgrow so fast, why not spend the money on something like a Carolina or Acadia? Happy paddling!
07-23-2002Submitted by: s gates
- Rating: 10 of 10 I am 14 and i got my swifty for my birthday, and took it out for a test run. I can easely say it is
the best kayak on the market for this price. It handles well it's very stables and is lite enought
to carry long distances. I LOVE IT!
07-17-2002Submitted by: Alisa
- Rating: 9 of 10 My first yak. I love it! I am having so much fun! I am beginner, but a good one, and I find it is a bit slow sometimes, but generally a great boat. I love not having to worry about it- it's so nice and simple. I don't feel like an idiot in over my head. I feel that I have got exactly what I was looking for in a beginner kayak. I go out on the lakes after work everyday to catch the sunsets. Beats TV for sure! I am looking forward to taking it everywhere! -And best of all, my little swifty was made right here in the Carolinas! She's a Carolina girl like me! I am glad to read some of you more daring folks have actually taken them into more treacherous territory than I thought you could get away with in such a craft! I will have more courage in trying out the spots I really want to hit!
06-24-2002Submitted by: AJN
- Rating: 10 of 10 I nor any one in my family has ever kayaked before, but we were very interested. I have been looking around at all the sporting good stores lately and the best deal I found was the Swifty. I saw a few other kayaks that just look like junk, but the Swifty looks to be a good starter kayak. And thanks to everyones comments I believe we have found what we are looking for.
06-03-2002Submitted by: Pat D.
- Rating: 10 of 10 Just bought a swifty. A bit slow, but great for many rivers in vermont. I find it to be great for dodging rocks and other obstacles. I have been kayaking for about three years, although this may be a beginner level kayak it has many uses due to its great steering abilities. (Also I liked the color) A good bang for your buck.
05-28-2002Submitted by: Doug
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is my first kayak and the Swifty was a great choice for me. I took it out for the first time today and had a blast. I can't wait to go out again!
02-06-2002Submitted by: John
- Rating: 10 of 10 I just bought my Swifty today and tried it out on my local pond. The only complaint I have is that I only bought one. Im hooked I must have 2 or three!!
01-02-2002Submitted by: joeinsc
- Rating: 8 of 10 A Swifty was my first kayak and I still have it. I't hard to beat for creeks and narrow rivers but for larger bodies of water I found I needed a longer and narrower boat. The Swifty is very stable and maneuverable but I found that it takes considerably more paddling effort compared to a longer boat. I've had a lot of fun with this boat and have never regreted buying it but you must learn that there is a trade-off for its great stability and handling. By the way, others have said that there's no way a boat that size can track well but I've found the opposite. It tracks very well. I've never paddled another kayak of this size so I can't say how it compares to other models and brands.
11-26-2001Submitted by: Joann
- Rating: 10 of 10 I got my Swifty in Aug. 2000. I had been debating between a one-man canoe (Hornbeck) and a kayak as my front yard is The Racquette River (S.Colton, N.Y.) There are rapids and a quiet bay in front and then more. I presently own 2 Canoes- a Lincoln (17 ft. nice canoe and have had many hours on the river with it.) however my hubby has lost interest and it is difficult to load on a car by yourself. The other is a Coleman which I let my Bed & Breakfast guests use as it is indestructible, The Racquette is a bony river. I have been paddling for 50 of my 60 years. I also own an old Penn Yen which needs work. My first hubb ad I spent many hours camping on the Adirondack Lakes with an old Adirondack guide boat. We would pack everything in it and head out a lake to find a spot to camp. We both loved that boat. A real workhorse and very stable. Back to the Swifty. I biked one day with a group and got to try the Swifty. I liked it. It was comfortable to sit in and went well also maneuvered easily. That was Sat. Sunday after church, I went to EMS in Lk. Placid, tried some others including an otter (uncomfortable). I had taken a friend. We both wanted one. We had to go to Syracuse the next week to get them. The following Fri. evening another friend tried mine and on Saturday she bought a Walden. I had started something. This summer we took over the river with seven kayaks and a Hornbeck. I love the way my Swifty performs. It is a fun Kayak. I like it's stability. It goes well in the rapids and I have had a lot of fun doing that. I am the only one brave enough to do that. The price was right. Price was one of the deciding factors and what you got for that price. It is a good value. However, I found myself lagging behind as the fleet grew. Some of the others are about 12 to 13 feet. I now have a second Kayak- a Loon 138. I still take "Babo", as I call her, out when alone or if a friend wants to try kayaking and it will be perfect for grandchildren or guests.
11-23-2001Submitted by: JC
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought my swifty in October after spending about a year looking at a zillion others.... it is the perfect beginner kayak.It it blue/white and feel great in the water. It is easy to move about and has enough room for the basics. I look forward to nice weekends, more then ever now. The best part about them is they are very stable and lightweight, so lifting them to the top of the roof is a cinch.
10-15-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 Just got a 2002 Swifty and it is great. They improved the seat which was lacking - the seat is now padded and bigger. It tracks well and is easy to paddle. It's light enough that it is easy to put up on your rack or carry around. A very good boat in all aspects.
09-25-2001Submitted by: DLW
- Rating: 10 of 10 The swifty 3.1 is my first attempt at kayaking. More fun than I thought possible. My wife tried it and now we have 2 swiftys. Have used it on lakes and the Lower Salt River near Phoenix Az.
09-14-2001Submitted by: Damien D!!!!
- Rating: 10 of 10 I the idea for a kayak when my cousin got one a couple years ago. He got a surfing kayak, since he lives on an island all summer. When we got home from thier house, i looked at kayaks online and couldn't find anything in my price range. Then a couple weeks later my dad and I were at campmore just looking around when we came across the kayak section. I looked at some, most were pretty expensive for me(i don't make a lot of money). Then i tried out the swifty 3.1. i liked its seat, and i thought the drink holder was convieniant(i drink a lot). Then we looked at the price. I could afford it, so I bought it, and got it the next week. When I paddled for the first time, i was amazed by its handling. Such quick and sharp turns, very comfortable to paddle in, i didn't get any blisters even though i just used a normal campmore paddle, and i had a great time. It is a good kayak for beginners(like me), and good for paddling, or just goofing around. Not until recently did I try to capsize in it. Its hard with this. It is a very stable craft. I can lean really far over and not flip. So, i give this a 10. thats all i have to say about that!
07-25-2001Submitted by: Al Smigiel
- Rating: 10 of 10 The Swifty 3.1 by Perception is my first Kayak. I weigh 200 lbs and have found the Swifty to be very stable, very versatile, and extremely manuverable in calm and choppy water. The Swifty is an absolute joy!
07-16-2001Submitted by: KAYAKVIRGIN
- Rating: 10 of 10 Life is so hurried and stressful .....i have a 20 ft cruiser fishing boat...i just pop lil swifty in my suv...walk it to my slipped boat...we shove off....i just wanted to do a little paddling and clamming in the rivers on long island.....can I say how fun this craft is...easy ....in every aspect....i just love this little toot
07-16-2001Submitted by: wdv
- Rating: 9 of 10 We just bought a Swifty and were heavily influenced by the reviews that we read on this site. Thanks to everyone who has posted; your advice was right on the mark!
The Swifty is, above all, an excellent value. We purchased from EMS (available at stores only, not on-line) for $319.99; they have had it as low as $299.99. Add in a $50 paddle plus tax, and you can still hit the water for under $400 in a brand new, name-brand kayak.
We bought the Swifty for shared use at a lake house. We needed something simple, light, easy, stable and forgiving, and the Swifty absolutely fits the bill. We've had a number of first-time beginners climb in, push off and start having fun within the first minute. The Swifty makes you feel like an expert on your first trip. It's incredibly stable (i.e. safe!), comfortable and easy to use, which makes it great for sharing with beginners.
Downsides? The Swifty is a very basic kayak kayak. Other than footpegs, carry handles and an adjustable seat with cupholder, it has very few features or options. There's no paddle holder, deck rigging or waterproof containers.
Because it's so wide and stable, it is not a speed demon and has mediocre tracking. It's best suited to smaller lakes and very calm rivers. Experienced kayakers may look down on the Swifty, but it is an excellent starting point and a great way to "get your feet wet" and find out how much fun kayaking can be.
We looked at a number of other brands. The Walden
models offered at EMS seemed cheap compared to the
Swifty, which is very sturdy. The Old Town Otter is a good choice, although you need to get the more expensive Deluxe model to get footpegs, which are a requirement. We chose the Swifty because it was readily available from a local EMS store and the sale price saved us at least $50 over an Otter.
Overall, an EXCELLENT value and a GREAT choice for a first-timer or shared use on a calm lake.
- Rating: 10 of 10 First kayak-love it. I'm using it to fish rivers and reservoirs and it works
perfectly. Add a rod holder and an small anchor and it's a fishing machine.
My bud got a Kiwi Lobo-similar design. The Swifty is a better made, nicer finished boat. Although the Lobo seems a little bit quicker in the water. Overall a great smooth water or lite fast water boat. Fits me like a recliner, and I'm 5-7/185lbs.
06-11-2001Submitted by: Joe Martin
- Rating: 8 of 10 Last weekend I tested 3 Perception boats against each other: Swifty, Sierra, and Acadia - all recreational kayaks. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by the Swifty. I had somewhat low expectations before starting because of the price, which is bargain basement.
High points: very lightweight, decent tracking & speed, great maneuverability.
Low points: somewhat uncomfortable, a bit too small for a large framed person.
The Swifty is fairly quick for a non-touring boat; I had no problems getting up to a decent speed and keeping it there. It's not going to win any races, but it's better than its larger cousin, the Sierra. Turning is a breeze, and tracking is decent too. A serious downside to the boat was general comfort; the seat is really uncomfortable. Also, the boat itself was somewhat small for my larger frame - over 200lbs. It was fairly difficult to find a good footpeg setting that allowed the rest of me to be comfortable.
For what it is, the boat is pretty decent. The thing is light as can be, like picking up a bag of dog food. This would be a great starter boat for kids, older folks, or smaller framed people. It has good initial stability and a large enough cockpit for even big people to get in and out.
05-22-2001Submitted by: Gail
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought a Swifty 3 days ago and use it for sneaking up on wildlife to take pictures. It turns on a dime and is simply a fun boat. I also have a Perception America too which I use for day trips, but the Swifty is the one for daily use and it fits in my station wagon with only about 2 feet sticking out.
04-11-2001Submitted by: Alan Silverstein
- Rating: 9 of 10 Thanks to the other reviews here, I was informed and reassured when I bought a Swifty on sale at REI last weekend (normally $380, on sale for $320). It is as expected, primarily a flatwater boat, kind of a cross between a decked touring canoe and a whitewater kayak. But no regrets! Some remarked it is slow. Some data from GPS:
comfortable speed 3.0-3.1 MPH
fast pace 3.7 MPH
peak attainable briefly 4.0 MPH
This on flat water with negligible wind, 230 cm flat-blade paddle set feathered, my weight 200 pounds. Measured flow of South Platte River north of Denver varied from 1.2 to 3.5 MPH at < 1000 CFS (low flow, braided channels). So getting upstream varied depending on where, and the depth, many places too shallow to even paddle.
Also: I'm pleased that the Swifty is very easy to drive in a long straight line, although necessarily at some cost in maneuverability.
04-01-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 Over the last couple of years our family has purchased five swiftys. We use them about 25 times a year. From one day to three trips, the swifty carries all our gear and equipment, with no problems. I can stack two on top of my truck and two in the bed easily. We have one of every color. A great kayak for all types of paddling.
02-12-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I'm 6' 230lbs, bought this boat last summer and its the best investment i've ever made. At only 35# in weight i put my safety gear,snorkleing equipment, Fishing rod,and lunch, and go for the day. I can lower the foot pegs stand the boat on end back into the cockpit lift the boat with my arms extended and lower the boat to balance perfectly on my shoulders. Great for hiking in to remote areas. I live on the lower detroit river and while there are no rapids I have had this boat out in 3 and 4 foot seas no problem. It's light(so its easy to handle),Its short(so it will handle creeks as well as bigger water), its loads to 350# (so you can load it up), like I said its perfect!
02-08-2001Submitted by: Roger Davis
- Rating: 9 of 10 Buying my Swifty is one of the best decisions I ever made. I have owned mine for two years now and have put many, many miles on it. It is not fast by any means, but it makes up for its lack of speed with its stability, toughness and maneuverability. I particularly enjoy paddling the Clinch, a shallow, island-strewn and rocky river in SW Va., and there the Swifty excels. It will float in almost no water, and is well suited to exploring the margins of the shore and narrow channels. It's easy to hop in and out to drag the boat over ledges and shoals. I routinely paddle 5 and 6 miles at a stretch and have had no problems whatsoever. I have also used it to introduce my kids to paddling. My only real complaint is that the seat back is not very comfortable, but that can be improved with aftermarket products.
01-15-2001Submitted by: Chris
- Rating: 10 of 10 The Swifty is my first Kayak. It is very stable, light, and great for fishing. I will be buying another shortly for my wife.
12-01-2000Submitted by: EJW
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought my swifty (my first kayak) about 6 months ago at REI on sale for $299. I had kayaked before but am an avid trout and bass fisherman,so really needed something that would get me to those hard to reach areas on north georgia rivers,streams and small lakes. Iam very pleased with my swifty. It is easy to load onto my truck and very light so that I can carry it over one shoulder as I walk along a fishing trail. I am even considering buying a second for my son's use.
08-23-2000Submitted by: Denise
- Rating: 9 of 10 I agree. It's a great little boat. Easy to maneuver. Great for kids. Comfortable. I've used it in flatwater and rivers up to Class 2+ and have been very pleased with it. It's not great for speed but makes up for that in stability. And as a woman with passable upper body strength, I am grateful for its low weight in getting it on and off my car by myself. I also like the drain sprout and have easily got back into the boat from the water. It is difficult to roll, though, and probably not intended for that. I don't like the water bottle carrier being upright...a flat design with a strap would be better. And other features like a dry hull container would be nice. But overall, it is a great boat for the money.
08-16-2000Submitted by: JayB
- Rating: 10 of 10 The Swifty is a great starter boat. It handles very well and I was very pleased with the ability to fish out of it. Before I bought this I tried out the walden naturalist (Pete's boat) and it was a little unstable, hard to keep straight, and the seat gave me back pains. The swifty is the opposite, I was able to even stand up in mine. I am going to stick with perception kayaks from here on out.
08-02-2000Submitted by: Ron
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought a Swifty about 9 months ago mainly because I wanted something I could keep in my Aerostar van. It is really a versatile craft. I made hole in the bow deck so I can step an inch and a half pvc mast and sail I made. I couldn't believe how well it sails. I use the
paddle for a rudder. This summer I used it for snorkeling. I was worried about getting
back in, but it is so stable that it is easy as pie. Now I bought a 40 foot regulator hose, put my dive tank in the stern behind the seat and paddle a mile out to the second reef and make 35' dives, leaving the tank in the boat. On windy days with up to 4 foot seas I have had a ball surfing with it. I am 58 years old, 6'3" tall and 180 pounds and have really enjoyed this little boat. I lost the drain plug, but find it is easier not having the plug when
I bring it out of the sea and want to unload water. In fact, I have rigged a tall mast that fits in the drain hole for my dive flag. It is also great for catching beautiful sunsets and moonlight nights when the sea is calm. Best of all it is washed down and back in the van in less than 10 minutes. A really great boat!
07-21-2000Submitted by: Patrick
- Rating: 9 of 10 We bought two Swifty 3.1s this summer from REI and took them on a three week camping trip to southeastern Oklahoma. Even with back trouble, I could easily handle them from the top of the Suburban. My 15 year old son and I trout fished with them nearly every day. Plenty of room in cockpit for fishing gear. The red kayak seemed stealthier than the yellow. We made three runs down the Lower Mountain Fork in flood stage. Rentals had shut down because of high water. I kept getting swamped in a Class III section of the river so we are getting a pair of skirts. My son did not get swamped! My wife and 9 year old loved them on the lake and calmer portions of the river. The whole family is pleased and looks forward to many more pleasurable hours with these neat boats. I found the product reviews posted here to be accurate and helpful in our purchase decision.
07-06-2000Submitted by: Sue
- Rating: 10 of 10 Got two swiftys ( one for a guest) Just love the light weight,ease of paddling and can fit both in my ford aerostar. Launch quickly, tracks great and goes anywhere. Hours of fun,and great excercise. Friends love them too.
06-17-2000Submitted by: Kris
- Rating: 9 of 10 Light to top by oneself and wide cockpit with lotsa room for me and my dog.. good knee clearance for slightly bending knees for powering off footpegs...the seat back could be a bit higher and softer, tho, but plenty of room ..flat bottom and tracks wonderfully!
06-17-2000Submitted by: Angie
- Rating: 9 of 10 Being my first kayak, I am incredibly impressed by this boat's stability and ease of use. My 50-pound dog jumps in/out of the cockpit from/into the water and I've never felt unsafe. One word may summarize the Swifty...FUN!
05-22-2000Submitted by: GUS
- Rating: 10 of 10 Got two Swiftys. Great boat in and out of our tampa bay mangroves,can sneak up on wildlife quietly and enjoy little backwaters of the intracoastal that go for miles and some saltwater too. Florida has 3000 miles of coastline. Also goes fast and be removed quickly to shelter before our famous lightning storms.
05-16-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I recommend the Swifty to anyone who has never been kayaking before. The Swifty is very stable, easy to get in and out of and it's simple to transport. The Swifty is perhaps the best introduction to kayaking craft available.
05-07-2000Submitted by: Andrew Glisson
- Rating: 10 of 10 The Swifty is a great little boat, especially for casual recreation and 1-2 white water. The guy who said he almost lost his lunch when he saw it missed the point. It has incorporated a number of simple inovations into an economical, stable, general purpose boat. What a great way to introduce more people to paddle sports, a step up from the standard Otter in what it offers, for a competitive price. I own two other kayaks and a canoe, but the Swifty is the one everyone wants.
12-07-1999Submitted by: Tig
- Rating: 7 of 10 I've been borrowing my dad's Swifty 3.1 for a few months now, and like it's lightweight and small size for hauling around in the truck. He's retired and likes the price and how it fits in his Astrovan. He will buy a second one soon.
It is a great little yak for the kids to learn in. It doesn't track very well, but has great maneuverability. I use it for saltwater fishing in the Galveston Bay system. It runs so shallow, I rarely have to get out and portage it over reefs at low tide. It works fine for my style of artificial lure plugging in the winter (No room for ice chest or live bait well). I stay dryer than if on a sit-on style yak, but during warmer water times, a sit on would allow easy climb-in and outs. Overall a nice boat for the whole family and anyone who is small-framed, since it's so easy to move on dry land.
10-25-1999Submitted by: kayakgirl_nc
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is a great boat for a beginner. I was given a Swifty as a gift in March (love my family) and have enjoyed paddling this little boat all summer. GREAT stability - I've been able to convince several timid friends to try it. Easy to manuever in creeks and tight places, as well as in very shallow water. My only complaint is the tracking is rather poor - a paddling partner in his Manteo leaves me in the dust. Otherwise, this is a great little boat for short day trips and is easy to car top even for this short woman (5'2"). I highly recommend it for beginners or those interested in a recreational day boat.
09-14-1999Submitted by: Roberta
- Rating: 10 of 10 Perfect for my needs -- I just retired and have never used a water craft before. The Swifty handles easily and is a wonderful way to glide thru the creeks here in Eastern Long island.
09-09-1999Submitted by: John
- Rating: 10 of 10 Got two at the beginning of summer to run flat water. Have since bought skirts and we are running the "rated for class 2" that the Perception lit. references. We are even pushing them thru some low level class 3s. Incredibly stable, have yet to get flipped,(can't say the same about our experiances in WW boats).These boats are great for beginners and gave us enough confidence to move up to more aggressive WW boats. We will keep these for guests who want to try the Lower New River.
08-16-1999Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've just returned from vacation after using my brand new Swifty for 3 weeks and feel I have made one of the best investments of my life. This kayak is perfect for all ages and skill levels. Many of my cousins used it with no problem, and two of them now plan on purchasing a Swifty for themselves.
There are several advantages to this kayak, one of which I had cousins who would steal the paddle while I or someone else was out on the lake. It was quite easy to paddle with our arms and still make good time and headway! Another advantage is the Swifty sits high enough in the water so I could easily glide over rocks that were only 8" to 10" below the surface. Finally, as my husband and I were cleaning out sand and rocks from the hull, we had the Swifty completely filled with water, and it still floated several inches above the surface of the lake!
Anyone looking to tour lakes and rivers, or buy a sturdy kayak for child, should definitely consider the Swifty their number one choice.
08-11-1999Submitted by: Seth
- Rating: 9 of 10 I recently bought a Swifty, including all my gear for about $350.00. Believe me I negotiated and caught them on sale at a major sporting goods store. I like the boat although I'm still trying to get used to the urge to lean back. I was always told that you should sit up straight, but to me its almost impossible in this craft. Oh well. The lakes and bayous are no problem in this boat, but I would not recommend it in choppy waters. Overall, it is an awesome way to get on the water and watch the sun go down after work.
08-09-1999Submitted by: DB
- Rating: 9 of 10 I purchased a Swifty a week ago and after using it five times I am very pleased with it. I am a beginner at kayaking having canoed perhaps three or four times in my 61 years. I am an avid windsurfer and wanted a kayak for those days (far too many days!) when I arrive at the lake only to find winds less than eight miles per hour.
I bought the Swifty at Eastern Mountain in Allentown, PA, though Nestor's have then now also. I paid $349 including paddle plus tax against a list price of $380 plus tax.
My 6 ft 2", 160 lb. fits in the Swifty very easily. The foot braces are very easy to adjust. The kayak moves easily, is stable, and seems to track well. I have since tried a 14' Sun and found it tracked less well and was much less stable. However, I am the first to admit that my lack of experience was probably the cause of my problems with it.
My choice of the Swifty was made because it is one of the few general purpose kayaks that would fit INSIDE my Chevy Venture Extended minivan together with my two windsurfing boards, booms, five masts, six sail, and all my wet and dry suits, gloves and hats! At 9' 5" by 29" by 13" and 37 lb. the Swifty is no trouble at all to get in and out of the van. I could have bought the Caspia which is about a foot longer but all the experts I contacted said that the Swifty would be better for my needs.
I have paddled the Swifty on calm water and had no problems at all. In winds of 16 mph and choppy water it was fine; I could easily keep it heading into the wind, though forward progress was slow. I can easily get into the Swifty from deep water even with a lifejacket on. Several other people have tried my Swifty and all seemed to like it.
I have had only two minor problems. First, the two piece paddle would not fit together! I found that the ball on the clip on the one half would not reach to the hole on the other half and secure the two halves together. I noticed that this was caused by the plastic covering the aluminum shaft permanently expanding past the end of the aluminum. This was due to the above 90 degree heat. I had the same problem with an Ocean paddle I happened to have so it must be a function of the plastic used on all such inexpensive paddles. I used a utility knife to cut back the plastic covering by about 1/8" and all was fine. The second minor problem was that I lost the drain plug out of the upper stern deck. I have no idea how it could have happened but it did! No real problem, but annoying as there is a retainer which is supposed to prevent such an occurrence. The shop gave me another one. I will add an additional retainer dropped inside the kayak.
In summary, I think that the Swifty is a great buy for those wanting to just putz around a lake or lazy river.
Legal disclaimer: The views above are my personal opinions and I take no responsibility for the actions or results from anybody buying or using a Swifty!
07-14-1999Submitted by: SFW
- Rating: 9 of 10 Just bought 2 swifty's for my husband & myself. Love them . especially for the money. Doen't track as good as longer but for lakes/rivers it is a great investment. Also all family members are able to enjoy it!
07-12-1999Submitted by: Debbie Lockey
- Rating: 10 of 10 The Swifty is my 2nd kayak & I love it! (my 1st was a Keowee 2, harder to track). I'm a novice,& when I got my Swifty, it was so much easier to track.It is very stable, roomy-holds binoculars, camera, map, lunch, etc & still comfortable. Easy to carry, fits in my trunk. I'm 52 yrs old, only 5'2" and needed something light I could handle alone. It's perfect for me.
04-20-1999Submitted by: Mike Flynn
- Rating: 1 of 10 This is a sad day for Perception. I almost lost my lunch when I first laid eyes on this craft. Oh, well.
04-11-1999Submitted by: GB
- Rating: 8 of 10 This is our first kayak, although we have an Old Town 174 canoe. I love it and so do my kids (7 and 10). It maneuvers well on the lake and they feel very stable in it. It has been great for getting into the nooks and crannies along the shore. It doesn't track very well if your goal is making some real headway (in distance) and exercising. It's light enough to get on the car easily. In fact, it fits INSIDE my minivan!!!!
03-28-1999Submitted by: Tim Peterman
- Rating: 9 of 10 The swifty is a very good boat to start learning to kayak. It is my first kayak and I plan to keep it for years to come.
03-18-1999Submitted by: SLM
- Rating: 8 of 10 I am an average sized female (125lbs/5'6") and I have found that the Swifty is perfect for someone of my size. It is easy to carry down to the water and get up onto the rack. It handles fairly well, but of course it takes a little effort to get any kind of speed going. The large cockpit opening allows for easy "in and out." In fact, it is so large that I am able to sit my four-year-old son in front of me and paddle quite comfortably. Before you try this though make sure that you and your child do not hit the max weight for the kayak, which I believe is around 200lbs. I use it mainly in the creeks here in SC and it is wonderful for getting into spots overgrown with vegetation that a lager kayak could not get into. Great boat to start out with. I am teaching my seven-year-old to paddle it.
03-09-1999Submitted by: J.F.
- Rating: 6 of 10 The Swifty is the first kayak I have ever owned but it is stable with a generous keyhole. It turns very well and handles great so far. I believe it is perfect for a starter boat.
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