Kayaking Made Easy: The Perception Swifty Deluxe 9.5 Review

Are you on the lookout for a kayak that offers both ease of paddling and the ability to enjoy a spot of fishing? Look no further, because we have just the boat for you! Perception, a renowned kayak manufacturer based in South Carolina, has a wide range of reliable and high-quality kayaks suitable for various activities and conditions. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at one of their smaller models, the Swifty Deluxe 9.5 kayak.

Things to Consider Before Buying

The Swifty Deluxe 9.5 is primarily designed as an entry-level recreational kayak. Its short keel and absence of a rudder restrict its use to protected waterways such as small lakes, calm rivers, and serene saltwater environments. When faced with wind, waves, or tide, this kayak may veer off course easily. However, unlike most recreational kayaks, the Deluxe 9.5 features a sit-in design that offers stability while ensuring more protection from the elements. This makes it an excellent option for those living in colder or rainier areas.

With a length of over nine feet, the Deluxe 9.5 is considered one of the shorter and lighter hard-sided kayaks. It is important to have dedicated storage space for this kayak, preferably in a climate-controlled area like a garage.

Kayak Specifications

  • Length: 9 feet, 6 inches
  • Width: 28.5 inches
  • Weight: 44 pounds
  • Load Capacity: 325 pounds

Design Features

Material

The Deluxe 9.5, like most recreational kayaks, is constructed using polyethylene, a durable and tough plastic material. This ensures the kayak’s rigidity and longevity.

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Speed

Due to its short keel and stability-focused hull design, the Deluxe 9.5 may not be the fastest kayak out there. It requires consistent and efficient paddling to maintain speed.

Maneuverability

One advantage of the shorter keel is that the Deluxe 9.5 excels in maneuverability. It turns easily with a simple paddle stroke, making it suitable for small bodies of water and rivers with tight corners.

Comfort

The Deluxe 9.5 comes equipped with a well-padded seatback and pad, offering paddlers of all sizes a comfortable experience. The adjustable foot braces allow for further customization. However, shorter-legged individuals may want to consider installing additional padding for thigh support.

Stability & Tracking

While the Deluxe 9.5 provides impressive stability for its size, standing up in it is not recommended. Its short keel may compromise tracking, making it susceptible to being pushed off course by wind, waves, or tide. It is best suited for calm waters and protected waterways.

Durability

With its robust plastic hull, the Deluxe 9.5 is durable and built to last. However, it is advisable to carry it instead of dragging it to prevent scratching and peeling of the plastic.

Portability

Despite being a hard-sided kayak, the Deluxe 9.5 weighs a manageable 44 pounds, making it relatively easy to transport. It can fit in the bed of most trucks, while a simple carry rack on the roof of smaller cars is sufficient for transportation.

Features & Accessories

The Swifty Deluxe 9.5 does not come with an included paddle. However, it does offer several useful features. It has a convenient “paddle park” to secure your paddle, allowing you to keep both hands free for fishing. Additionally, it includes a built-in drain and plug to prevent swamping in windy or wavy conditions.

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Fishing Ease

While the Deluxe 9.5 is suitable for casual anglers embarking on occasional fishing trips, it lacks the extensive features found in more specialized fishing kayaks. It does come with molded-in fishing rod holders, but if you desire other customizations, drilling holes in the kayak is an option. However, for a more comprehensive fishing experience, it is recommended to consider a larger and more specialized boat.

Value

Exclusively available through Dick’s Sporting Goods, the Deluxe 9.5 offers excellent value for its price. It serves as a great introductory kayak for newcomers to recreational or fishing activities. However, more experienced paddlers may quickly outgrow its limitations, particularly in terms of tracking.

Alternatives

If you’re considering alternatives to the Swifty Deluxe 9.5, here are a few options worth exploring:

  1. Pelican Mustang 100x: This lightweight kayak provides stability and decent tracking, though customization options are limited.

  2. Old Town Vapor 10: With excellent stability and the ability to handle protected bays and most lakes, this kayak is a reliable choice for various water conditions.

  3. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10: A classic playboat, the Aruba 10 is designed primarily for recreational use. Its sit-in design offers maneuverability, but wind and waves can pose challenges.

Conclusion

The Perception Swifty Deluxe 9.5 is an affordable and versatile kayak that caters to both recreational paddlers and occasional anglers. Its stability, lightweight design, and ease of use make it an excellent choice for beginners. While it may not offer all the bells and whistles of more specialized models, its value and portability make it a popular option for weekend adventures. So, grab your paddle and embark on your kayaking journey with the Swifty Deluxe 9.5! Visit UpStreamPaddle for more exciting kayaking options.

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