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The cockpit, though fairly small for a rec boat, is very comfortable, the thigh pads are acceptable, and the seat back is quite nice. We added a foam stadium seat pad under the stock seat on ours to raise the seat height just a touch and add cushion and better drainage. The placement of the deck bungees are perfect, but the rear bulkhead and Tupperware hatch are NOT watertight on either of ours. In addition, there's no drainage port, so in the case of a flip, there will always be some water in the bottom of the boat as it gets caught in the deck and under the cockpit combing.
The Swiftwater 10.5 was originally a Dagger Blackwater and was designed with a retractable skeg. Judging by it's current handling characteristics, I'd guess that it was a fairly competent and fun hybrid boat in that configuration, but by retooling it without the skeg, Confluence has turned it into little more than a fun little beginner's toy boat.
After just one summer in the Swiftwater, I already want to upgrade to something either in a similar length with a skeg, or something in the 12-13' range for better tracking on open water.
I was initially worried about the length being shorter as far as tracking, cargo capacity, etc, but I was sure wrong. My fiancé and I love this kayak! It handles small waves nicely, is easy to maneuver, is pretty stable for being so narrow and tracks well. The weight is definitely manageable for one person, and easy with two. Cargo space seems okay — we figured we could fit enough gear between the two of us for an overnight camping trip if we budgeted weight well.
We have only taken them out a couple times on a large lake (calm one day, and wavy the next), and as soon as we take them on faster water, I will update this review. Recommended!
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