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Name: ChurchillStrangelove

Most Recent Reviews

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.