Swifty 9.5 DLX

This Product Has Been Discontinued

Swifty 9.5 DLX Description

The Swifty 9.5 DLX is a kayak brought to you by Perception. Read Swifty 9.5 DLX reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other kayak recommendations below or explore all kayaks to find the perfect one for you!

Swifty 9.5 DLX Reviews

Read reviews for the Swifty 9.5 DLX by Perception as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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This is an excellent kayak…

Submitted by: paddler234616 on 9/4/2019

This is an excellent kayak for fishing quiet waters, and it has handled quite nicely in a bit of chop, although with some mild splashing when paddling quickly through small waves. It's stable and tracks well for its size. The seat is comfortable and it's easy to reach the rod holders positioned behind the seats. The dashboard offers a flat platform to set things like a small tackle box and a pair of pliers, and front and back rigging is a nice touch at this price point. The gunwales are somewhat low, a feature shorter paddlers appreciate, and its weight -- 44 pounds -- makes it easy to transport. While it's rated to 300 pounds, I think a smaller kayaker would be more comfortable in it for longer paddles; I'm 5-1 inch and 132 pounds and it's ideal for me. The hatch compartment doesn't really keep anything dry, but when the trip is over, it's nice to be able to pop off the cover and reach inside to retrieve something like a stray bottle of sunblock. It does not have padded thigh rests, although I haven't really noticed the lack of them, and I've been in it, fishing and paddling, for as long as five hours at a time. My only complaint is with the drain plug, which is somewhat oddly positioned to one side, making it a bit tricky to completely drain the water. I got this kayak on sale, and it's a really great buy for the price.


I love the feel of the build…

Submitted by: USA on 9/4/2019

I love the feel of the build on this. The cockpit is larger than my Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 10, making getting in and out a lot easier with my long legs. It tracks so much better too, due to the keel design, I think. I would have given it five stars, but I miss having a drain plug to get the water out.


I bought this for my…

Submitted by: Sean.G on 6/27/2019

I bought this for my girlfriend awhile back ago. I've been kayaking for a few years, grew up in Colorado on a yak so after looking through other reviews and testing one out I knew it would be the perfect kayak for her. The tracking is excellent, the style is perfect and definitely speaks to her personality, Plus seems pretty durable. It's a great all around starter yak for recreation purposes/lower cost and is just fun to have. I was able to find one for $200 so know they're out there. She had never been on a kayak before and now she loves it and has fallen in love with it; only wish I had one for myself. If you're thinking about getting one go for it! (Other side additive it's great for Rick & Morty Puns)


Took the new Swifty out for…

Submitted by: Patriot44 on 6/24/2019

Took the new Swifty out for the first time on the Chattahoochee river in NE Georgia. The river section we did ranged from still water to Class 3. I'm very pleased with the performance of the yak, though there are a couple of areas that could be better.

First, the good things. It was very easy to get to and into the water. The weight is good and the molded in handles are great. The stability seems to be good, though the Class 3 areas were a bit of a challenge (actually flipped on one). It seemed to track well across the full range of water types we experienced. After 4 hours in the water, the seat still felt pretty comfortable.

Now the downside. The seat back is not fixed by anything other than the adjustment strap. The bottom of the back fits into a slot. It popped out of the slot several times on the trip. It would be much better if it was on a pivoting shaft like I've seen on many others. There are no pads on the cockpit sides and the outside of my knees were a bit sore by the end of the day. Nothing a pool noodle and some adhesive won't fix. It could use a little foam in the bow to keep it up when it's capsized. Again, pool noodle to the rescue. The foam in the stern worked fine.

For me, the positives greatly outweigh the negatives in the Swifty. I expect to have many great hours in it.


Great budget kayak and…

Submitted by: paddler460471 on 8/9/2018

Great budget kayak and supports big and tall people. I'm in the 275lb range and the kayak rides about 1-2 inches lower than my son who is 160lbs. The kayak is unstable getting into it, but with a little practice entry and exit is simple. It does paddle and track well as long as you have your weight centered, but you can go to one side by shifting your weight. It is a perfect kayak for casual floats down calm rivers and small lakes. I would be hesitant to take it out in any waves due to load in the kayak (Fat Man Problems). Durability of the kayak is great. Very little damage after scraping several rocks in the river (FMP). Paid $233 for the kayak at Dicks sporting goods after sale price and 10% credit card discount. Would recommend a 230mm paddle for anyone in the 5'10" and a 33-34 inch torso as it will match better with river paddling. I have a 240mm paddle and it is a very lazy low angle paddle that is hard sometimes in small spaces.


A pretty good boat for the…

Submitted by: rnsparky on 6/25/2018

A pretty good boat for the price. Appears higher quality than other inexpensive kayaks sold by Dicks. Lots of features, comfortable seat, and tracks acceptable. Enough speed to putter around the lake or relaxing float down the river.


Easy sable kayak. Great for…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/18/2018

Easy sable kayak. Great for fishing and fun.


Got out at a great price.…

Submitted by: D8piccini on 5/30/2018

Got out at a great price. Easy to carry and transport by myself. Seat is decent. Cup holders tie downs etc are all very convenient. Short so not that fast but stable and easy. Color swirls are attractive and draw compliments. Really like it for the occasional recreational kayaker.


Great kayak. I use this…

Submitted by: pbjones80 on 5/30/2018

Great kayak. I use this kayak for recreation on the New River in Independence, VA. I paddle up river with no problem and float back down.. Great tracking. Very stable. Smooth ride. I have not turned this kayak over even once since purchasing. Lovely variety of colors and great pricing. Wish this had been my first kayak. Have bought another for my husband. Several friends have also purchased one after trying mine out. Love it!


Don't mix of up the old Swifty with the DLX Dicks model. The original is a nice boat, avoid the DLX.

Submitted by: paddler340369 on 4/5/2017

I was a fan of my friends older swifty, but the DLX model sold by Dicks is NOT the same Kayak. It's not even shaped the same.

First the pro's: It's well built and durable, and had a big cockpit. It's manageable to move around and transport. It's an attractive boat and it's agile enough(being 9.5')
The Cons: Storage compartment is not water proof and the biggie: The seat is what is expected from a low end rec kayak. But my biggest complaint is that It is slow and tracks poorly. It's a struggle to keep up with others, even if they're in low end Pelican boats. Stop paddling and the boat will turn, so forget about drifting. Stop paddling and the boat will turn circles on you. You're spending your time correcting your direction as your friends pull ahead of you.
I have several boats ranging from White Water to low end Pelican Trailblazer and this, without a doubt, performs the worst. I put several experienced paddler friend in this boat and they all said the same thing.

Now, the ORIGINAL Swifty 9.5 was a nice boat I would five 4 stars. Tracks well for a 9.5 boat, a gem at the price. But this DLX Model?


The Swifty 9.5 DLX is not a…

Submitted by: becker98382 on 10/5/2016
The Swifty 9.5 DLX is not a grand boat for white water, big open water or any specific niche kayak use but as a general recreation boat it is hard to beat.

Recreational kayaks are sometimes looked down on but if you are looking to try out kayaking, keep an extra boat around for visitors or as a dependable, rugged backup, take a good look at the Swifty DLX. The Swifty DLX has the traditional flat bottom of a recreational kayak for great initial stability. This stability lets first-timers get that, "yeah, I can do this," feeling. The large cockpit doesn't make them feel trapped in and will let you take a child or four legged companion along for a paddle.

The flat bottom does lack directional tracking but you should expect this and enjoy the maneuverability that it affords. The initial stability and big cockpit combined with a flat rear deck allow me to set crab traps in the Pacific Northwest and transport my catch back to shore in a five gallon bucket set between my knees. There are rod holders molded in that make the Swifty a decent fishing kayak but not a not a fish killer.

The Swifty DLX seat has an adjustable back that is supportive and comfortable enough for a day long paddle but not multi-day voyages unless you modify it or have a better seat on yourself. (I don't) There is also a water bottle divit at the front of the seat.

The cockpit has a dash of sorts that gives you a good place to set a small waterproof box or bag. The dash also features a molded in paddle holder with a stretch cord and hook so you can quickly store it while you attend to a fish or photo op.

Being a rotomolded boat the Swifty can take rock bumps, drops, and bangs. She works well in areas where the shoreline, well, is not all sandy beach. Here in the Pacific Northwest most of my launch sites include rocks, muscles and barnacles so the ability of the Swifty to put up with these is a blessing. While it is true that rotomolded boats are heavy this is mitigated by the Swifty's short 9.5' length.

The biggest short falls on the Swifty DLX are the lack of any bulkhead and the rough edge of the cockpit. The lack of a bulkhead can be addressed by adding one behind the seat or using float bags. I thought of adding a bulkhead but after using a float bag and being able to remove it and clean out the boat without a bulkhead in the way I was sold on leaving it out. The raspy edge to the cockpit required some file use and the addition of some cockpit trim edge and pad.

Having finished this review I see why most of my paddling time is spent in my Swifty DLX! I have a fiberglass Chatham 17 and she's a great boat but I don't put her through what I put my Swifty 9.5 DLX.


New kayaker. Love this Kayak!…

Submitted by: pbjones80 on 9/11/2016
New kayaker. Love this Kayak! Very smooth, stable and easy to guide with paddle. Wish I bought this one first. Bought a 8.0 Sundolphin first and all I did was turnover, was not stable at all. Love my Swifty.

This was my very first kayak.…

Submitted by: Canaltowne on 9/2/2016
This was my very first kayak. It is steady, tracking is ok, not great. The seat is comfortable, it has some nice deck rigging and room behind the seat for storage. Easy enough to move around by yourself. Good beginner kayak. Easy enough with a small dog but was a tight squeeze with my young Labrador. I was lucky to find it in black & purple, Go Ravens!
I would recommend.

Did a lot of research before…

Submitted by: seanemory11 on 9/1/2016
Did a lot of research before purchase and based my purchase on several factors:
1) I live in a third-floor apartment. Storage is limited.
2) I'm mainly on light rivers and lakes.
3) I'm 6'1", 200lbs and I'm an outdoorsmen, so comfort and safety are a concern.
4) I like speed over stability.
5) Quality of manufacturing is a very high priority.
6) Practical for SUV transport.

The Swifty 9.5 DLX is the perfect kayak for my situation. Totally blown away. It's the right weight for a man to carry solo. The design is suited for secure transport. The 9.5' length is perfect for storage/transport. Hull design cuts the water well so speed is better than some of the cheaper model 10', and you're saving 6" of length.

Surprisingly stable. Great tracking. The seat is fully adjustable and comfortable. I can actually arch my back and chill. The cockpit is very open, which is great for a taller guy like myself. The console and accessories slots are useful, especially the front bungee oar lock. Low to the water and narrow frame was a huge factor in paddling efficiently.

This kayak exceeded my expectations in all aspects. I'm not sure I could stand to own a lesser kayak after this one.


I tried out my new swifty 9.5…

Submitted by: paddler237071 on 8/29/2016
I tried out my new swifty 9.5 DLX that my husband bought for our wedding anniversary. We are both total beginners. We took it to Lake Powell in Arizona yesterday and it was awesome. Based on the other reviews, I am very excited about Kayaking since this Kayak seems so easy to paddle...everyone else's reviews say it's kind of slow and doesn't go in a straight line. My husband was kayaking with his new kayak he bought from Wal Mart and I was effortlessly passing him while he had to work very hard to get past me. I love it and I love the aqua and purple color. I didn't know it had adjustable foot pads or fishing rod holders until reading the reviews! So I spend all day with my legs straight out without foot pads and still didn't have any problems with it. I am almost 5'10" and size 10 shoes and it was very comfortable.

I tried out my new swifty 9.5…

Submitted by: paddler237071 on 8/29/2016
I tried out my new swifty 9.5 DLX that my husband bought for our wedding anniversary. We are both total beginners. We took it to Lake Powell in Arizona yesterday and it was awesome. Based on the other reviews, I am very excited about Kayaking since this Kayak seems so easy to paddle...everyone else's reviews say it's kind of slow and doesn't go in a straight line. My husband was kayaking with his new kayak he bought from Wal Mart and I was effortlessly passing him while he had to work very hard to get past me. I love it and I love the aqua and purple color. I didn't know it had adjustable foot pads or fishing rod holders until reading the reviews! So I spend all day with my legs straight out without foot pads and still didn't have any problems with it. I am almost 5'10" and size 10 shoes and it was very comfortable.

I am an absolute beginner in…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/6/2016
I am an absolute beginner in the paddling world. I knew I wanted a kayak after canoeing several times last summer, also knew I couldn't afford to put out much cash. I got my Swifty on sale at Dick's for $299 and believe I got a pretty darn good deal. I am a 56 yo woman in fair to middlin shape and while the Swifty is a bit heavier than I wanted, I still don't have much trouble getting it on and off the top of my Jeep. I just stand the kayak on its end at the rear of the vehicle, tip it forward and slide it up onto the racks. Same with getting it off, I use a rug in the small area at the back hatch where the yak briefly touches the paint. I have carried it to the water a couple times, but I prefer to drag it (not on gravel or concrete) and since the plastic hull is quite thick and rugged that seems ok to do. Getting in and out of it on the water is fairly effortless, the design is super stable even though the bottom isn't 100% flat. Even as a beginning paddler, I can tell that the tracking isn't ideal or effortless, I didn't expect it would be with this boat, but it is fine for what I need so far. I can get from point A to point B in a more or less straight line, just not super fast. I think that will improve though as my skill level improves. Paddling the correct way, using torso rotation and engaging my legs makes a huge difference. I paddle on lakes, reservoirs actually, and they are not always exactly "flat". The boat takes swells and waves well. Soon I will be taking it on slow rivers I have canoed on and that's where I think the rugged hull will be a plus too since the water level on said rivers is quite often fairly low in the summer. The Swifty is more maneuverable than it is swift, I find it to be very responsive to small corrections. Easy to get into those small nooks along the lakeshore that I love to explore. The hatch is just an access to the open bulkhead behind the seat but makes getting to my gear a little easier. The front bulkhead has a chunk of styrofoam wedged in for extra buoyancy, but still leaves plenty of room for my legs and some extra gear. I haven't even used the fore and aft deck rigging yet but this boat could carry quite a bit of gear. Looking forward to some overnighters. The foot rests are easy to adjust with my feet, but the bowed design of the boat bottom makes resting my feet on them a bit awkward. The seat back is adjustable and comfy, the seat bottom is a bit thin and I will probably be adding a cushion at some point. So far I'm not missing knee pads, but suppose I could add them if I wanted. I appreciate the paddle park, can't think what a hassle it would without it, probably would have lost my paddle by now with all the times I suddenly see something I need to take a picture of. The rod holders are a nice plus, I haven't fished in years but who knows... Overall I am happy with this my first kayak, it seems to be a perfect little workhorse.

I like this kayak, but I…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/27/2016
I like this kayak, but I don't love it. It's comfortable and tough, but tracks like a cow on the river. Has adjustable foot pegs, but I'm just as likely to use them as not. Got this as a birthday gift last year, but it's a little heavy to handle and load on my own, so I usually default to my little bitty Pursuit. My husband like this one fine, so he usually gets to take it.

I purchased this kayak for my…

Submitted by: paddler236402 on 7/31/2015
I purchased this kayak for my daughter. We already had a Swifty that we have really enjoy and I knew that we couldn't go wrong with a Perception.

The boat is light and easy to car top on our suburban. The hatch is not that great a feature because you can just as easily reach the back through the seat but it does mean that we can add a bulk head for dry storage later. The front paddle holder and rear rod holders are a nicer feature though.

The little boat is really fast and tracks pretty well for its size but does have a little more roll to it than the standard Swifty. The stubbier front end also makes a lot of noise going through the water but not so much that it is noticeable from an adjacent boat.

The cockpit is much larger and more comfortable than the standard Swifty but the pegs will adjust back enough that my 9 year old daughter can reach them comfortably. The lower profile makes the DLX very wind resistant and the same 9 year old rowed over a mile in 15mph winds easily. The trade off here is that you do get wet in this more easily than any other set inside that i have used.

Overall I am very happy with the Swifty DLX, but given the option I think I like the standard Swifty better overall and it was $50 cheaper.


A friend asking me for kayak…

Submitted by: ChurchillStrangelove on 6/18/2015
A friend asking me for kayak opinions led me to take a long, hard look at my 9.5 after a year or so of paddling and I'm pretty happy with what I see.

I agree with what a lot of other reviewers have said: this is a stable, easy to handle, all-around boat perfect for beginners. I've been pretty surprised with its maneuverability considering how stable and easy to paddle it is. I've enjoyed it for flatwater and river paddling but it's still untested in whitewater (which will change this summer and I'm confident it will do fine within its limitations).

Here's my issues with it, and these are also mentioned by a few other reviewers. Despite it's name, it is not swift; it does not slice through the water like a keen-edged blade. It's line tends to wander and it can drift a good deal when gliding. The footwell is annoyingly shallow – my size 11s either sit on the foot pegs at an angle or I have to scrunch my foot in there to sit flat on the pegs. Neither are comfortable for long stretches of paddling. Thigh pads - not necessary but would be a nice touch. And stretches of over 2 hours remind me (again) to pick up a little extra padding for the seat (which otherwise I think is fine).

My last complaint is more of a marketing/merchandising issue. It seems the Swifty 9.5 DLX is exclusive to Dick's Sporting Goods (it was the only Swifty 9.5 we could find locally, the Swifty line seems to have moved to a store-exclusive collection of slightly different models) and the local store was a nightmare to deal with. But I'd go through that retail hell again to get such a great boat at a really good price.

Bottom line:
Solid, stable & easy to paddle yet maneuverable, the Swifty is great for beginners and works well in a variety of paddling conditions. The slower speed and wandering line don't detract much from its overall performance but are noticeable. A few ergonomic tweaks would be nice, some of which can be done by the owner.


I actually have two Swiftys;…

Submitted by: paddler224975 on 9/9/2014
I actually have two Swiftys; the older model and the new DLX model. The older model is a great kayak. Maybe not the fastest in the world, but tracks strait and is wonderful for playing around in the streams where I live. Both are very stable, but the newer model has a tendency to wander when you stop paddling (has a mind of its own and pick the direction it wants to go). Both are roomy and are great to fish out of. If you want a kayak to play in and you don't have much of a budget the Swifty is a great boat.