Submitted: 08-09-1999 by DB
I purchased a Swifty a week ago and after using it five times I am very pleased with it. I am a beginner at kayaking having canoed perhaps three or four times in my 61 years. I am an avid windsurfer and wanted a kayak for those days (far too many days!) when I arrive at the lake only to find winds less than eight miles per hour.
I bought the Swifty at Eastern Mountain in Allentown, PA, though Nestor's have then now also. I paid $349 including paddle plus tax against a list price of $380 plus tax.
My 6 ft 2", 160 lb. fits in the Swifty very easily. The foot braces are very easy to adjust. The kayak moves easily, is stable, and seems to track well. I have since tried a 14' Sun and found it tracked less well and was much less stable. However, I am the first to admit that my lack of experience was probably the cause of my problems with it.
My choice of the Swifty was made because it is one of the few general purpose kayaks that would fit INSIDE my Chevy Venture Extended minivan together with my two windsurfing boards, booms, five masts, six sail, and all my wet and dry suits, gloves and hats! At 9' 5" by 29" by 13" and 37 lb. the Swifty is no trouble at all to get in and out of the van. I could have bought the Caspia which is about a foot longer but all the experts I contacted said that the Swifty would be better for my needs.
I have paddled the Swifty on calm water and had no problems at all. In winds of 16 mph and choppy water it was fine; I could easily keep it heading into the wind, though forward progress was slow. I can easily get into the Swifty from deep water even with a lifejacket on. Several other people have tried my Swifty and all seemed to like it.
I have had only two minor problems. First, the two piece paddle would not fit together! I found that the ball on the clip on the one half would not reach to the hole on the other half and secure the two halves together. I noticed that this was caused by the plastic covering the aluminum shaft permanently expanding past the end of the aluminum. This was due to the above 90 degree heat. I had the same problem with an Ocean paddle I happened to have so it must be a function of the plastic used on all such inexpensive paddles. I used a utility knife to cut back the plastic covering by about 1/8" and all was fine. The second minor problem was that I lost the drain plug out of the upper stern deck. I have no idea how it could have happened but it did! No real problem, but annoying as there is a retainer which is supposed to prevent such an occurrence. The shop gave me another one. I will add an additional retainer dropped inside the kayak.
In summary, I think that the Swifty is a great buy for those wanting to just putz around a lake or lazy river.
Legal disclaimer: The views above are my personal opinions and I take no responsibility for the actions or results from anybody buying or using a Swifty!