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Perception Sport Swifty 9.5 Kayak Review

Updated on January 24, 2014
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Bill Watson has authored 3 books and many articles online and for print publications such as Sports Afield, Income Opportunties and more.

The First Thing You'll Notice...

...Is there's PLENTY of Leg Room!

This Perception Sport Swifty Kayak Review is based on having owned it for many months now, enough months to add up to a couple years in fact.

It's the roomiest kayak I've owned by far, and you'll love that aspect. I've recently added fishing to my kayaking repertoire and I'm pleased there's enough room to comfortably keep the pole in the cockpit if I need to. But even if you don't fish from it, a tight-cockpit boat will make you slightly uncomfortable after a short while. Plus, on hot days heat tends to build up more in a tiny cockpit, further reducing comfort. Logic dictates the more roomier the kayak is, the easier it is for heat to escape.

It has a capacity of 300 lbs. The length is 9'6'' x a 29'' width. The weight is only 39 lbs, and that's certainly another big selling point, especially for females. Yes, you'll be able to move this kayak by dragging (with the ground helping you're dragging maybe 25 lbs., max.) And you'll almost surely be able to lift the entire boat when necessary!

Other features worth noting in this Swifty Kayak Review include the padded seat, foot braces, drain plug and a three year hull warranty (read your warranty carefully for details before hitting the water so you don't void it).

Best Kayaks For The Money - Other Kayaks I Recommend

Perception Sport Rambler 9.5 Kayak
Perception Sport Rambler 9.5 Kayak

A small, yet stable sit-on-top and very light.

Lifetime Payette Sit Inside Kayak, Orange, 9 Feet 8 Inch
Lifetime Payette Sit Inside Kayak, Orange, 9 Feet 8 Inch

This is a few lbs. heavier than the Swiftie but the weight increases stability. Not quite the quality of the Swiftie, but less expensive and quite a decent kayak.

Old Town Canoes and Kayaks 10 Vapor Recreational Kayak, Cloud
Old Town Canoes and Kayaks 10 Vapor Recreational Kayak, Cloud

This one is designed specifically for lake and pond use with a price point and quality level near the Swiftie.


Essential Kayak Accessories - And How Does the Swifty 9.5 Handle In The Water?

Don't be foolish and take your boat out with at least a few essential kayak accessories. Essential kayak gear includes a method of signaling others if you're in distress or if you need to alert a larger boat to your presence. Essential kayak gear includes a method of keeping yourself afloat if your kayak should capsize. I don't care if you purchase them from this module, buy them locally or buy something similar but two of the items I've listed below are required to be on your boat by law, and that's for good reason.

Now as far as the swifty 9.5, you're not likely to capsize in it. It's stable and hard to tip over, it doesn't even feel the least bit tippy like other kayaks I've been in have. The hull is thick enough that nothing will easily penetrate it. While anything can happen there's no need to be in constant fear of sinking.

In spite of its name it's not what I'd call a speed racer. Even if you're relatively athletic and very muscular in the chest and arms don't be surprised if just about anyone in a sit-on-top (due to them sitting so high in the water keeping drag to a minimum) can kick your Swiftie 9.5 bootie in a race.

But stability? That's where the Swiftie shines! The width makes it nearly tip proof.

Tracking? I don't know, for as much of a big deal as this aspect is made of in kayaking circles I've never been in one that didn't track reasonably well....head toward a target, your Swiftie will get you there!

It's a good idea to get one of each of these products to go with your purchase:

Carlisle Day Tripper Aluminum Kayak Paddle - 2 Piece
Carlisle Day Tripper Aluminum Kayak Paddle - 2 Piece

Without one of these you'll literally be up a creeK without your paddle, not fun!

I always recommend the two piece paddles because they break down for easy transport and are very easy to snap together. Paddles that come with boats are usually one piece, they'll get you by but you'll be looking for a two piece before long.

X20 Universal Adult Life Jacket Vest - Blue & Black
X20 Universal Adult Life Jacket Vest - Blue & Black

Required by law. You don't have to wear it but I can't recommend doing so highly enough. I've had one totally unexpected dunking and can assure you: Accidents can put you in the water in a split second.

The first ones to drown fall into two categories: "Good swimmers who don't really need to wear a life vest" and people who "keep the life vest handy" instead of actually putting it on.

Premier Kayak Paddle Splash Guards. Greatly reduces paddle drip. Sold in Pairs.
Premier Kayak Paddle Splash Guards. Greatly reduces paddle drip. Sold in Pairs.

Not essential I guess but that water constantly dripping and running down your arms gets to be a PITA rather quickly. They aren't that expensive.


Safe Kayaking

Don't Let Your Maiden Voyage Be Your Last!

By no means do I mean to scare you off of kayaking, but safe kayaking is not intuitive, it requires education. I'd be remiss if I failed to frankly discuss the dangers because if this is your first kayak purchase then you're probably as unaware as David Civile was. David died at the age of 26 on his maiden kayak voyage. The fact he was athletic, muscular and an excellent swimmer didn't save him.

David was anxious to try out his new kayak on a New Jersey River near his home. And why not? It was warm and sunny even if a bit windy. He had no idea of what cold water can do to a person suddenly immersed, and regardless, he had no intentions of falling in.

Once launched the winds and churning waves of the river caught the kayak and eventually capsized it. Once in the cold water it's logical to surmise he either drowned upon contact due to the "reflex response" or attempted to swim until his limbs became useless.

There are a number of safe kayaking tips you should review before you launch the first time, even if you're going out with far more experienced kayakers. I've learned firsthand that they don't always reveal everything you should know, I was almost killed on my maiden voyage also. Often more experienced kayakers aren't all that experienced and have no clue themselves. They might have a lot of hours on the water but have simply been lucky so far.

Read "How To Kill Yourself In A Kayak" at the link posted below!

Any Comments On This Lens, Kayak Safety Or Kayaking In General?

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