Most Recent Reviews
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.