I bought this kayak to paddle local rivers and lakes. What I bought was a cheaply built poor handling piece of plastic. cheap materials poor tracking and very unstable. not for the beginner.
I just bought my Perception this past winter and have been on the river quite a bit this summer. It has been a great boat so far. It handles well in slower and faster waters. I am able to maneuver easily when I need to turn or get through a rapid. The seat is comfortable. The only thing that it didn't come with that I will have to add is a drain plug and potentially some tracks for attachments. I can't wait to keep trying out new waters.
I bought the Swift water at the end of last season and, did not have a lot of time in it. Original thoughts were it's very slippery, had a tracking problem and never felt tucked in the seat.
WELL. I was withholding judgment til this year. Took it out in moderate chop and wakes the other day. Tracking definitly an issue and very susceptible to the wind. Had I known this at the end of last season, I probably would have returned it I've paddled for years in Corsica's mostly. On the New and Gauley Rivers I just can't get comfortable in this boat. I though it might be a little more suited for open water. As long as your moving forward it's manageable, but that's not what I'm looking for when I paddle. I think it's time to dig the old boat outta mothballs.
Absoulutely love this kayak..was kind of leary at first when I read the reviews about the seating but that wasnt my problem at all..this kayak tracks well and is really enjoyable. 4 stars!!
Overall is a pretty good boat, great boat for flat water and not too bad on whitewater, I ran some class 4s in it on wolf river section 4. Not as responsive as a whitewater boat though, takes some serious practice.
It's a fast boat that tracks rather well. Stability is good once you’re in. Getting in and out requires a little balance. According to one review, the Swiftwater was originally a Dagger Blackwater and was designed with a retractable skeg. Having the skeg would make the boat better but for the price it’s a good recreational kayak and at 44 lbs. its light too. I had no issues with the hatch which has ample storage for overnight or weekend trips. One miner con was the absence of a drainage port. Don’t know why they didn’t put one in so you’ll need a sponge, kayak bilge pump, or you can add one yourself.
Overall the Swiftwater performed well and the pros defiantly outweigh the cons.
This kayak isn't for the beginner, and does take some skills to paddle, but I LOVE THIS KAYAK, was in it for 9 hours,and had NO PROBLEMS, except for the seat got a little uncomfortable, but ya sit in something long enough, ANY KAYAK, will make your butt ache! I totally enjoy this kayak, and the smaller cockpit kept water out, the bulkhead stayed DRY, but I think this kayak will please the more advanced paddler!
The cockpit, though fairly small for a rec boat, is very comfortable, the thigh pads are acceptable, and the seat back is quite nice. We added a foam stadium seat pad under the stock seat on ours to raise the seat height just a touch and add cushion and better drainage. The placement of the deck bungees are perfect, but the rear bulkhead and Tupperware hatch are NOT watertight on either of ours. In addition, there's no drainage port, so in the case of a flip, there will always be some water in the bottom of the boat as it gets caught in the deck and under the cockpit combing.
The Swiftwater 10.5 was originally a Dagger Blackwater and was designed with a retractable skeg. Judging by it's current handling characteristics, I'd guess that it was a fairly competent and fun hybrid boat in that configuration, but by retooling it without the skeg, Confluence has turned it into little more than a fun little beginner's toy boat.
After just one summer in the Swiftwater, I already want to upgrade to something either in a similar length with a skeg, or something in the 12-13' range for better tracking on open water.
I was initially worried about the length being shorter as far as tracking, cargo capacity, etc, but I was sure wrong. My fiancé and I love this kayak! It handles small waves nicely, is easy to maneuver, is pretty stable for being so narrow and tracks well. The weight is definitely manageable for one person, and easy with two. Cargo space seems okay — we figured we could fit enough gear between the two of us for an overnight camping trip if we budgeted weight well.
We have only taken them out a couple times on a large lake (calm one day, and wavy the next), and as soon as we take them on faster water, I will update this review. Recommended!