Swifty 9.5

This Product Has Been Discontinued

The Swifty 9.5 has been replaced by the Conduit 9.5

Swifty 9.5 Description

The Swifty 9.5 is a kayak brought to you by Perception. Read Swifty 9.5 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 Reviews

Read reviews for the Swifty 9.5 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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I bought this well used and…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/27/2023

I bought this well used and for my wife. I ended up using it a lot as although it doesn't have much seat padding, I find it suitable and the kayak just seems to fit me so I didn't think a seat upgrade was needed and didn't even have to bother adding a gel pad. This kayak tracks well in calmer water and is remarkably maneuverable and I can easily show off doing fast & easy 360's. It's not heavy and is easy to transport and fits in my truck bed very easily. It is small, so it can be hard to paddle and have trouble tracking straight in choppy water and winds, but it is manageable, especially if you sit a little lower in the boat. Overall, I like it in our small neighborhood lake and love challenging and easily besting men 30 years my junior in maneuverability and 360's. Finally, my wife loves it and makes her feel like a mermaid.


I started Kayaking in Alaska…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/19/2021

I started Kayaking in Alaska in the 70's when the sport was just getting started. The early Alaskan natives made their own boats out of seal skin and whalebone. Anyway, I wanted to get back into it and in 1998 I bought a 9.5 Swifty as my first modern kayak. After the passing of many years and several different Kayak designs... I retired. I then decided to get another general utility Kayak that could fit into my SUV and was easy to use, stable, easy to transport, durable...and what did I get. Another Perception 9.5 Swifty. Some things are timeless.


Decent starter boat but…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/23/2020
Decent starter boat but imperfect. I bought two cheap Dick's boats, a Swifty and a cheaper Trailblazer. Pros and cons to each. The Swifty has nicer cockpit features (e.g., paddle lock cord, adjustable footpegs), but it is also slooooow and doesn't track as well as the Trailblazer. I am constantly spinning from side to side. However it is maneuverable and easy to turn around right corners, etc. Light and easy to load. Overall, it is a good starter kayak but I agree, I'll probably resell it sooner than later and get something a little better for intermediate technique.

This was my first purchase…

Submitted by: paddler550525 on 9/4/2019

This was my first purchase of a Kayak. It has been a learning experience. My Swifty has provided many hours of practice and peace. It has allowed me to get alone and just hear nature. It Tracks well. My speed is not the greatest but as I said it is a learning process. I would like the opportunity to take the next step with a different Kayak. Right now resources do not allow this so I look to this to possibly fulfill a wish/dream. While I have not done so yet I am getting ready for a overnight trip(s). While I have learned alot. I have just scratched the surface. There is so much more there.


This is my first kayak after…

Submitted by: paddler460430 on 9/11/2018

This is my first kayak after renting a few. I needed something stable and also easy to load onto the car. And pretty. So far, I've taken her to a local small lake and then into Long Island Sound. On the sound, the swells were higher than my boat, but we just gently rose up over them. It amazed me how comfortable the ride became. This boat goes in whichever direction I point her and would go straighter if I was more even in my paddling. Adjust the seat to be more upright than you think before getting in and it will be fine.


Love my little first kayak!…

Submitted by: paddler460430 on 9/10/2018

Love my little first kayak! Have had it out in a quiet pond and then the Long Island Sound. Even though I was initially concerned about swells higher than the front of the boat, all she did was rise up and ride them. The longer I was out, the more comfortable I got. It's also a comfortable boat to sit in for a long time. Easy to transport. Goes in the direction I point her.


Love my little first kayak!…

Submitted by: paddler460430 on 9/10/2018

Love my little first kayak! Have had it out in a quiet pond and then the Long Island Sound. Even though I was initially concerned about swells higher than the front of the boat, all she did was rise up and ride them. The longer I was out, the more comfortable I got. It's also a comfortable boat to sit in for a long time. Easy to transport. Goes in the direction I point her.


This was a great first…

Submitted by: Nashville_Paddler on 7/16/2018

This was a great first kayak. Very stable with plenty of room. I paddled this boat for 6 years never once tipping over. Great on rivers up to class II but best on class I. Lakes are fine as well but the wide body creates a lot of drag. So, don't expect to go very fast. I loved this kayak and wish I had never sold her.


I went from my starter kayak…

Submitted by: Hurley on 7/16/2018

I went from my starter kayak the pelican trailblazer100 to the perception swifty 9.5 and have been very happy. I like the comfort, color pattern, large cockpit, and the 1piece design (makes it a bit heavier but as Boris the bullet dodger says heavy is reliable). Have used it mostly on calm to class 2 water and it has run like a champ. Tracking is good, not great but compared to the pelican it's a significant step up. Really only 2 cons for me. I wish it had padding for knees(I added pool noodles around the rim) and the hatch is useless. If it's not a dry hatch then why have a hatch at all? Overall a great medium range kayak that I'll be handing down to my daughter as soon as my LL remix xp10 arrives.


I have owned 2 of these…

Submitted by: jdwlew on 6/19/2018

I have owned 2 of these boats for about 8 years. I bought them both at Dicks Sporting Goods. They are very nice light weight kayaks that a easy to portage and good for still water and class 1 rapids. They are a little small for large open water and I would recommend caution using them in large open water on windy days. Personally I enjoy them most for their easy portability when I need to drag them down to and back from my favorite trout stream. They are also work very nice when taking my grandkids out on a family sojourn. In addition to these boats I own 3 Olde Town Loon138. These are old classic, heavy weight kayaks that I prefer to use when I'm out on a big lake etc.. The swifty's work very nicely elsewhere. The seats are adequate though not the most comfortable - a bit difficult to keep adjusted to my comfort level. The swifty's are fairly wide and quite stable considering their lengths. I haven't tried stading in them but I'm sure my kids and grandkids have tried it at one time or other.


I needed a kayak with a…

Submitted by: Juliaalma on 6/18/2018

I needed a kayak with a large, easy access cockpit and a comfortable seat. This boat is exactly what I was looking for. It tracks great on flat water and is low profile enough to not get blown off course by the wind. I've spent three hours in it and it remained comfortable. It is very stable. It handles well in class 2 but I think you would need a spray skirt to take it on a class 3 run, that open cockpit would let in a lot of water.


We bought two Swifty 9.5's..…

Submitted by: paddler432476 on 5/17/2018

We bought two Swifty 9.5's.. over-all, very good kayaks. My wife accidently flipped hers and lost a foot keeper (they don't float). We ordered some, which were not cheap. What I did, in order to prevent further loses, was to place a tie wrap in one of the first adjustment holes. It looks like it's going to work. 


We own a lakefront home…

Submitted by: paddler425267 on 4/10/2018

We own a lakefront home where we have six kayaks of various brands on our dock. Needed to add two more kayaks for our big family. One of our previous six was a Perception Swifty. So, after carefully considering all brands, including the six we already own and a few others, we have decided to buy two more Perception Swifty kayaks. Basically this kayak is a nice size. Regardless what others have said about tracking, this kayak tracks very well! I have to wonder about the experience of those who don't think it tracks well. It is every bit as good as the other five brands we own. Does very nicely on our lake. We have not used it on the rivers. We especially like the width of this kayak. I can easily tuck a grandchild in the kayak with me for youngsters too small to go out alone. But, its also perfect for myself when I go out to do some photography on the water. Holds all my gear and plenty of room to move around while taking photos. I really could not be happier with this kayak. I think buying two more says it all!


I love this little kayak.…

Submitted by: paddler415388 on 1/31/2018

I love this little kayak. It's perfect for a beginner looking for a single sit-in kayak. It is a tad bulky, but it doesn't cause problems with paddling.


Recently purchased a…

Submitted by: pbjones80 on 9/26/2016
Recently purchased a Perception Swifty Sport 9.5. I live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains on the crystal clear New River and this is a perfect kayak for this area. The length is very manageable and it has great stability. It only weighs 42 lbs so moving it to the water is no problem. I absolutely love this kayak.

I am a newbie kayaker, 54 years young and a woman. Love to kayak up the river and leisurely float back down. Easy to maneuver and control, sturdy and very well made. Lots of room for carrying gear. It also comes in many different colors. I got a red, white and blue one.


Perception redesigned this…

Submitted by: paddler236864 on 6/14/2016
Perception redesigned this model in 2015. The old model was fantastic, But the new model struggles to track straight and is slow.... I struggle to keep up with people in low-end Pelican boats where my older model does much better. Just a look at the shape and you'll see that this design is for a stable beginners boat that is very stable, It looks nothing like the old model. It's maneuverable....and I've taken it on class I and II Rapids, but for distance flatwater, this boat doesn't want to track straight once you ago paddling.

Honestly, I prefer the cheaper Pelican Trailblazer as a beginners boat, at the price point of this boat I expect more. For the pre-2015 model, it was a fantastic boat and I'm glad I own one... Pick up the old Swifty but I would avoid this model. In short, it's just not enjoyable... It has the feel of riding a WalMart mountain bike with guys with good rides...

Large Cockpit if great for larger paddlers.
Light weight, easy to transport.
Very stable even in choppy waters.

Doesn't track straight.
Slow..... really struggles in flatware... Just not fun to paddle...


I have three of these I've…

Submitted by: paddler236682 on 3/31/2016
I have three of these I've accumulated. I just got done floating 48 miles of the Gila River in New Mexico, carrying dry bags behind the seat with sleeping bags, stove, tent... What a great boat. Able to handle class II rapids comfortably, or track well enough to cross a lake.

The Swifty 9.5 is a good…

Submitted by: Soggybottomboys on 10/13/2015
The Swifty 9.5 is a good stable beginners kayak. This boat tracks well and turns quickly. The kayak is light and easy to transport. The lack of a storage hatch on the basic model bothers me a little as I end up carrying my son's belongings with me.

Bought this 9.5 Swifty for my…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/18/2014
Bought this 9.5 Swifty for my 9 yo son. bought myself the 12 ft. Field & Stream Talon. he has lost interest so I alternate taking out each when I fish. The Talon is a great fishing yak but I enjoy the Swifty because the factory built in seat is awesome. comfortable with plenty of back support. it only weighs 40 pounds. easy to transport and propel thru the water. tracks fairly well and is stable.

This thing has plenty of storage for a 9.5 sit-in but don't expect to take the tent and sleeping bag. an avid fisherman wouldn't be happy with this long term, but for an all-around yak this is perfect. rod holders, storage and stability for fishing, light and very maneuverable for rivers and rapids. Can't wait to hit the river. the 12 ft. will be staying in the garage.

The only reason I give it a 9 instead of 10 is that the foot pegs could be another inch or 2 further so I could fully stretch my legs but I'm 6'4"... also thigh pads would have been nice


A fairly decent starter…

Submitted by: quantum on 9/5/2014
A fairly decent starter recreation kayak. Pretty stable for entry/exit and once underway as it has relatively sharp chines and a flat bottom. Handles quite well and turns fairly sharply due to 9'5" length and 28"wide. Reasonably comfortable adjustable padded seat and rather large cockpit. Can handle small waves and very small rapids, which makes it pretty fun on your local creek or lake. The downside is that it doesn't track straight very well (but not too bad) and is slow compared to a touring boat. Well made poly construction, robust. If you're looking to get in a kayak for occasional local use, this one goes for about $349.
Decent little boat.

I love this kayak! I did a…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/3/2014
I love this kayak! I did a lot of research because as a recreational kayaker I wanted a good value. This kayak has a good amount of storage. I like the extra bungie cording on front and back because it makes for easy access. This kayak is great for flat water paddling, very stable. The seat is reasonably comfortable and very adjustable. The only thing I wish it had is dry storage.

1st kayak. Love width as my 8…

Submitted by: anneemarie on 7/16/2014
1st kayak. Love width as my 8 1/2 yr grandson can sit with me until he learns. Does not tack well in current, turns easily, comfortable, lots of storage. love the rod holders and paddle holder. small kayak but great for beginner. No true dry storage so you def need a dry bag for extras. I would add ropes onto the lift handles so I can pull it vs carrying it.

How do I begin to thank you…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/10/2014
How do I begin to thank you enough for creating something that has added so much joy to my life! I love my beautiful blue/green Perception Sport Swifty Deluxe 9.5. It has literally changed my life & my "Perception" of nature!

My Swifty and I have shared many exciting adventures together. I have explored vast lakes, quiet coves, rapidly moving rivers and shallow swamps with ease. The sleek Swifty has also allowed me to enjoy days of peaceful paddling on still waters where I have been in communion with the sights and sounds of the great outdoors. Through it all, the polyethylene construction of my Perception Sport Swifty, has held up in every possible condition, from jagged boulders, protruding logs, and floating debris.

Fishing from my Swifty is a joy because of the total comfort, and the outstanding maneuverability through the water, in and out of small coves, searching for that prize fish. The cozy cockpit & cushy seating, built in molded rod holders, roomy hull and the convenient built in dashboard for all my modern necessities, makes fishing such a luxury. Also, the paddle holder is a huge bonus while baiting the hook.

The built in molded handles and the lightweight of my Swifty makes transporting a breeze. Thank you again, Perception Sport, this kayak certainly lives up to it’s name; Swifty. I look forward to many more years of fun and adventures with my Perception Sport Swifty Deluxe 9.5!


I have had this kayak for…

Submitted by: paddler235697 on 7/5/2014
I have had this kayak for about 5 years now. I love it and it is so stable in the water. I have kayak many rivers and at Ft. Fisher in this kayak and I feel very safe. Thank you for making kayaks so we can enjoy wonderful adventures in the water.

My wife bought a pair of…

Submitted by: LeftyFitz on 7/3/2014
My wife bought a pair of these for Father's Day last year so we could both get out on the water together. We got a very good deal on two with paddles and we have been very happy for the most part as beginners. They seem very stable and comfortable. The only downside they seem to move side to side with each paddle stroke, just slightly, but noticeable. This could be due to inexperienced paddlers. Overall for a recreational and/or beginner kayak I think the Swifty 9.5 is a great value.

I bought my Swifty in 2003,…

Submitted by: paddler235619 on 6/25/2014
I bought my Swifty in 2003, I've used it for over 11 years regularly, it was a great decision. I mostly fish out of my Kayak and it served me well over the years. This is a great Kayak, very stable, sure its not ideal for long trips but great for relaxing out on the lake and fish.

This isn't a performance…

Submitted by: paddler235542 on 5/14/2014
This isn't a performance kayak. It's a stable and forgiving platform that is easily portable in the back of a 6 foot bed pickup. You get this kayak if you only paddle a couple of times a year, or have lots of different people...many of whom are noobs...using it. I also like it for shallow creeks, where I know I'm going to scar the bottom at times. It won't matter. I know it doesn't track like an arrow...but it tracks well enough for day trips, and it's short enough to turn around in narrow creeks.

I'd give it a higher score but the seat is where you really see why the price is low. The seat back needs help... I'm sure you can figure something out... like tightening it up and using your life vest as a back brace. Plenty of room inside. Have yet to try to sink it...curious to see if I need to add more foam. If you dent it, warm it up with a heat gun (gently) and push it out with a gloved hand.


We have had a Swifty 9.5 for…

Submitted by: paddler235527 on 4/29/2014
We have had a Swifty 9.5 for about 9-10 years. I'm 6' and my wife is about 5'7". We have about 5 kayaks- mid range touring, Jackson Coosa fishing, whitewater and playboats - all of which I enjoy. However, the Swifty is, hands down, the best kayak I ever bought.. I say this taking into consideration what the kayak is designed for. It is a recreational runaround kayak capable of much more.

Excellent beginner kayak. It is durable, stable, roomy, tracks well and for its size is fairly fast. It is light enough for my wife to load no problem. We leave it chained up at a lake about 10 min. walk from our house in our city. My wife is able to paddle 3-4 times a week without the hassle of loading it up and we're not too concerned about someone stealing it. I offered to buy her a new one with better seat and storage and she said no, she'll wait until this one wears out - guess I won't we won't be shelling out any cash any time soon as this thing is so durable.

I have used the Swifty to fish and have been out a kilometer or more on Georgian Bay with 1-2 ft. waves steel lining for lake trout without a skirt and not worried too much as the kayak is that stable. Good enough storage behind the seat for a light day trip which my wife and I often do when camping.

The Swifty is not designed as a touring or fishing kayak although we have used it for both. But it is an excellent introductory kayak that will get people into kayaking at a reasonable price and head and shoulders better than other kayaks in that price range. And it will be a joy long after. The seat is serviceable but is probably the only thing that can be improved on. Still, it's a 10!


After taking my first paddle…

Submitted by: paddler235517 on 4/23/2014
After taking my first paddle along the north coast of the Olympic Pen. in WA, I was smitten. Came home to MI and found the Swifty. I am 54, 5'11" (not a small lady), I can get home from work, toss my Swifty in the truck, pick up my neighbor and her Otter and off we go. The Swifty is light, stable, easy to paddle, haul, load, easy to store, and for the price- wow! I am glad I found the Swifty. Get a longer than you think paddle...I got a Bending Branches "Whisper" 240cm, recommended 220cm was out of stock, best "mistake" ever. For back support, get a fat pool noodle and slice it like pipe insulation, pop it over the coaming in back of the seat and you will be surprised at the difference it makes.

Bought the Swifty a couple of…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/9/2013
Bought the Swifty a couple of months ago for a first kayak for local lakes and slow rivers, and love it!! Was worried about tipping but it's so stable, doesn't even threaten to tip even with windy, rough conditions. It's the smallest one in our group of river yakkers, but it's fast enough and maneuvers very well. I'm a 5'6" female and it's easy for me to handle. Been on the river a few times and banged into fallen trees and other kayaks and haven't even scratched the polyethylene hull. Tried out some friends' different yaks but this is still my fav. Thinking of upgrading to a bigger one with more storage, but will definitely be keeping the Swifty for a spare or loaner. Can't bear to part with it!!

I rated the Swifty a "10" for…

Submitted by: paddler235377 on 10/14/2013
I rated the Swifty a "10" for what it is: A great low cost, lightweight, stable kayak. It's not going to win any speed contests. The seat is kind of cheap, but easily enhanced with one of those garden kneeling pads in the seat and a swimming kick board to supplement the back rest- $9.99 each.

I got this kayak on sale for $206.00 and am very happy with it! I ran over a couple of underwater stumps in the lake yesterday and the material took it great - just enough "give" to take the impact with no problems. This kayak is easy to carry and fits in the bed (diagonally) of my short bed pick-up.
Great beginner kayak!


I've had this boat for a few…

Submitted by: paddler235313 on 8/26/2013
I've had this boat for a few years now so it's been pretty well tested. Used it on lakes and rivers. I've fished from it and never tipped it. My daughter tipped up but was reaching way over the side to get scoop up a golf ball out of the water - not surprised. It is manueverable and fairly quick. I have two other (much more expensive kayaks) but prefer this one except for the seat is better in my other kayaks. This can handle class I and II but III will require a skirt - I tried this and was a mistake.
I highly recommend for the price and functionality of this boat!

great basic little boat. Not…

Submitted by: pljudge on 7/26/2013
great basic little boat. Not the fastest but very stable and suitable for beginners and more experienced kayakers. Very light and easy for one person to load. No storage, but nice roomy cockpit.

This is an excellent,…

Submitted by: DaveTheKayaker on 7/17/2013
This is an excellent, entry-level kayak for younger paddlers or those who will not do much more than paddle out on a lake and splash around a bit. It is very stable with a larger cockpit so that might also appeal to some who fish from kayaks. It is short and wide so tipping is not likely, getting in and out is easy, and carrying it is also easy.

If you think you will progress through the sport and want to take longer trips on either flat or moving water, then you will outgrow this boat quickly. But I bet you'll want to keep it for those times when you want to include a non-paddling friend or when you just don't feel like hoisting a heavy boat onto your car.


First off I am not a paid…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/15/2013
First off I am not a paid reviewer. I live in northern Ontario and, for the most part, paddle whitewater. Am now paddling a Wavesport project x. Also have a Riot Astro, Necky Manitou 13 and a Jackson Coosa fishing boat as well as the Perception Swifty 9.5. Love all these boats, but bang for the buck, my favourite is the Swifty!

Where do I start? Bought the thing as a recreational run around kayak about 8 years ago at Ramakko's in Sudbury, Ontario. The thing is light- my wife has no problem throwing it in the truck which she does with the Manitou. It's stable. I've had this thing out a mile in Georgian Bay steel lining for lakers a hundred feet down with no skirt, a wind and a 2 ft. chop and no rod holder. And I catch fish each time without worrying about flipping the thing.

For a short, wide stubby boat in the recreational class it tracks damn well. I made it out and back on those trips on Georgian in reasonable time. Taken it for much longer trips too. Manitou is faster but it should be. Again, this is a recreational beginner kayak. As for storage, no water tight compartment, but good room for gear behind seat for a day trip or spartan overnight trip. With a skirt I can roll this thing no problem. Simple rigging and extremely durable plastic

For a beginner to intermediate boat this thing is excellent in its class- recreational. The only complaint I have is that I didn't buy another one when I saw them on sale for $250 at Paddleshack in Ottawa!


I'm a tall, fat, out of shape…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/8/2013
I'm a tall, fat, out of shape fifty year old woman. I've paddled an Ocean sit on top, a Wilderness Tarpon 140 SOT, a Perception Carolina 14 ft Sit Inside, and my personal kayak is a 12 foot Prodigy. I paddled a Swifty at a lake house we rented for a week. I will be buying one.

It is slowish. It is very maneuverable and very stable. I had no trouble paddling a couple of miles, and I am in no way, shape or form athletic. It's really fun, and I can get it in and out of the water without assistance. It is really great for what it is, which is a fun boat to play around with on fairly quiet waters.


Ok, I tried to find reviews…

Submitted by: cmzac on 7/3/2013
Ok, I tried to find reviews for this from large guys and had trouble so I hope this helps someone my size! I'm 5'9" 250lbs, I'm a fat dude, I don't get much of a work out sitting at a desk and, except for cutting the grass on my tractor, I'm kinda stagnant. That said, I got a Swifty 9.5 from Dicks Sporting Goods and love it. I took it out on sat.

I have no trouble getting in and out of it with it part way in the lake, part way on land. Paddling is easy and burns a lot of calories (I hope - lol) and it's stable as a dream. It took the wake from power boaters like a champ. Its light weight, solid and comfortable to use. Easy to carry to and from the truck and I fit pretty comfortably in it and I can also sit in it and put my legs out and lay them across the top as I meander down the river in it with out fear of flipping over.

If you're big like me, get it, if you're not, get it cause I can only imagine how much I'd love it if I were 170 -180 lbs! lol


I've had my Swifty now for a…

Submitted by: paddler234922 on 3/19/2013
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.

I bought my Swifty in March…

Submitted by: paddler234839 on 11/14/2012
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.

This is a fun little…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/6/2012
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).

My wife and I recently…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/25/2012
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.


After some research, my…

Submitted by: paddler234636 on 7/5/2012
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.
Next week going to the lower Salt to try the Swifty out on a fairly easy "river."


Read all the helpful reviews…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/18/2012
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!

This is the first boat I…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/14/2012
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:
  1. at 9.5' and 39 lbs I can load this boat alone on top of my Toyota RAV.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The dual channel hull tracks very well and it is very stable, neither my son nor I have yet tipped them.
  5. I also like all the rigging that is on the boat - the bungee deck rigging and paddle keeper are expertly installed.
  6. The Carrier handles make carrying the boat and dragging it over ledges on low water days easier.
    What I don't like:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. My son and I are both short and so the foot braces are of no use to us.
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!

A better seat and easy to clean hull I'd give it 10 stars. Thanks! and Hope this helps!


I'll start out by saying i am…

Submitted by: paddler234583 on 6/10/2012
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

-Seat leaves a little to be desired, i will get an aftermarket seat down the road at some point


My friend and I have…

Submitted by: paddler234473 on 3/28/2012
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.

I'll start by saying I bought…

Submitted by: paddler234460 on 3/19/2012
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.

-pretty speedy
-goes straight
-smooth ride
-drain plug

-no room for lots of gear or coolers
-dented (mine)
-no cup holder
-no dash
-no cubbies
-my feet are too large to fit


The Swifty is a good beginner…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/29/2011
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.


I can't say enough about the…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/24/2011
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.

Bought two Swifty 9.5's after…

Submitted by: paddler234218 on 8/14/2011
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

I bought this boat two years…

Submitted by: paddler234211 on 8/10/2011
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

The Swifty is a great kayak!…

Submitted by: paddler234144 on 7/18/2011
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.


We own 3 Swifty 9.5's and one…

Submitted by: kayakteddy on 7/13/2011
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.

I just bought a Swifty 9.5…

Submitted by: paddler234109 on 7/6/2011
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.


This is a great beginner…

Submitted by: kayakinut on 3/14/2011
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!

I'm not sure how to rate this…

Submitted by: Eriecanalboatcompany on 3/10/2011
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!

AWESOME KAYAK, my dad bought…

Submitted by: paddler231452 on 3/7/2011
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.

I bought a Swifty after…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/3/2010
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.


Purchased one of these little…

Submitted by: paddler233581 on 5/13/2010
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.

Before buying the 9.5' Swifty…

Submitted by: paddler233537 on 4/12/2010
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.


I bought 2 of these boats 2…

Submitted by: JLottes on 3/29/2010
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.

Get this kayak! Too much fun,…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/6/2009
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!


Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/10/2009
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!!!!

This boat is ridiculously…

Submitted by: paddler233366 on 9/11/2009
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?!?!!


My friend borrowed a Swifty…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/11/2009
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.


I bought two Swifty kayaks…

Submitted by: paddler233347 on 9/4/2009
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.

Wow, how is it there are so…

Submitted by: paddler233250 on 7/23/2009
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.
Boats I currently own -Dagger Zydeco -Dagger Bayou -Wilderness Systems Manteo -Ocean Kayak Frenzy


I have owned my Swifty for 3…

Submitted by: paddler233233 on 7/15/2009
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.


I bought the Swifty last…

Submitted by: paddler233924 on 6/15/2009
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.


I just bought two of these at…

Submitted by: paddler233161 on 6/5/2009
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.


I purchased two Swiftys about…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/3/2009
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.


I just bought this and wow!…

Submitted by: paddler233151 on 6/1/2009
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.

I've been wanting to get in…

Submitted by: paddler233141 on 5/29/2009
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.


I have owned a Swifty for…

Submitted by: EDWARDGILSONESQ on 5/22/2009
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.

Bought my Swifty (first…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/20/2009
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.


This is not a performance…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/13/2009
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.


I bought my Swifty about 2…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 1/27/2009
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.


I've owned a Swifty 3.1 for…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/18/2008
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.

My 14 YO daughter took…

Submitted by: JLottes on 8/27/2008
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.


I recently bought a Swifty…

Submitted by: paddler232796 on 8/4/2008
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.


I have used a Swifty on a…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/23/2008
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.


The Swifty 9.5 is the first…

Submitted by: paddler232755 on 7/21/2008
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.


My Swifty was my first yak. I…

Submitted by: WaterWacker on 8/10/2007
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.


I bought my Swifty a couple…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/30/2007
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.


Got my girlfriend a SWIFTY…

Submitted by: paddler232193 on 7/17/2007
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!!

I got my swifty for my 19th…

Submitted by: paddler231936 on 2/19/2007
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!

This is a TUB, not a boat.…

Submitted by: paddler231899 on 12/20/2006
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.

good little boat for…

Submitted by: paddler231846 on 10/16/2006
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.

I picked up a 9.5 Swifty for…

Submitted by: paddler231815 on 9/25/2006
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.

I am a large man (6'4" and…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/21/2006
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.

Impressive Recreational…

Submitted by: tschuck on 6/21/2005
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.


I have been paddling about a…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 1/25/2005
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.

I've been kayaking for two or…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 1/20/2005
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.


I got 2 of them for…

Submitted by: paddler230921 on 1/4/2005
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!

Great little boat for the…

Submitted by: paddler230862 on 11/7/2004
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.

We've had our Swiftys now for…

Submitted by: paddler230756 on 8/24/2004
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!

Swifty's are about the only…

Submitted by: RikJohnson on 8/9/2004
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.


I bought my two used from an…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/30/2004
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!

I just purchased my Swifty…

Submitted by: paddler230495 on 4/1/2004
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.


My first boat was a Swifty…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/3/2004
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.