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Name: paddler224975

Most Recent Reviews

I had written a review right after buying my Axis 10.5, but had never had it in swift water. I'm starting my second season with it and finally got the chance to see how it handled in some whitewater. It was all class I and IIs (don't know if I would take it in any bigger water) and it handled great. I was with a couple of guys in creek boats, and while they could out maneuver me, I was still able to have fun and do a lot of the same things they could. Plus I could out run them in the still water sections.

I'm finding the Axis to be a great all around boat. One thing I would suggest if you want to get the most out of it, invest in the thigh braces. Really helped me make the tight turns in the rapids and makes you feel like you are part of the boat.

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.

Last fall I decided to get back into paddling and bought a Perception Sport Swifty 9.5 rec boat just to play in. This spring I was hooked again and wanted a better boat so I bought the Axis 10.5 after reading a bunch of reviews. Where I paddle offers a lot of varying conditions depending on the amount of rain we have been getting. I live in the upper Ohio Valley and usually paddle a couple miles up a creek off the river. With a little rain the current can become a challenge and if the river is up the current can be a challenge coming back the other way. The day before the Axis was delivered we got about 2.5 inches of rain and I would have never thought about going up stream in my other boat, but I really wanted to give the Axis a try. When I first pulled out from the landing I was all over the place. I couldn't believe how maneuverable the Axis was compared to the shorter Swifty. I dropped the skeg and headed up stream.

The Axis tracks straight as arrow with the skeg full down, but with the skeg in that position it is a little sluggish in turns. After playing with the skeg I found the middle position to be the proper balance between turning and tracking for my paddling. So far all of my rides have only been around an hour, but the seat is very comfortable and the adjustability is great. The footbrace system is great. It nice to be able to adjust the foot pedals on the fly.

The overall fit and finish of the Axis makes it seem like a more expensive boat. I can't wait to try it out some moving water.