This is my first post on paddling.net but I've been reading the forums for about 2 years now. I'm in the market for a new kayak, preferably under $450. I kayak with my father and we have only paddled on flat water until this past Summer. Dad has always been afraid of going down rivers and streams for fear of capsizing. To make a long story short, we went on vacation to Pigeon Forge last year and I talked him into renting kayaks to take down the Little Pigeon River (small river with only class I and II rapids). We both loved it so now this Summer we're looking into running some small rivers with nothing over class III. For some background, I bought 2 cheapo inflatables 2 years ago (Intex Challenger K1's) and last year I bought a cheap hard body (Waterquest Aruba 10 for $160). What I don't like about the Aruba is that it is slow, doesn't track well, and has a huge cockpit opening that I'm sure will take on water in a decent stream. I know if I could find a spray skirt for this boat it would keep the water out but I really don't want to invest in one since I'm not that happy with the boat. I'm more satisfied with my $60 inflatables than I am with my Aruba. So, I've been researching and reading reviews trying to find a kayak that would be a decent performer in both flat water and slow moving rivers. From what I've read, I believe that my best options for under $450 would be either the Dagger Zydeco 9 or the Perception Sport Swifty 9.5. The only kayak stores/dealers within an hour of me are Dick's Sporting Goods, Cabela's, Gander Mountain, and Dunham's Sporting Goods so I have never saw a Dagger, Wilderness, or other "premium"(?) brand in person. I've been scouring Craigslist looking for some decent deals and have found the Swifty and some 6'-7' whitewater kayaks but it's slim pickin's around here. So, based on my paddling desires (a "hybrid" yak that is decent at narrow slow rivers and decent on flat water for less than $450), do you guys believe that the Swifty or Dagger Zydeco would satisfy me or is there a big difference between say the $300 Swifty and the $750 Dagger Axis to justify the extra price? Thanks for your help!
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You don't mention...|
Posted by: ByronWalter on Mar-21-13 2:30 PM (EST)
Posted by: black110 on Mar-21-13 3:02 PM (EST)
Im 5'11" and 180lbs. The reviews on both the Swifty and the Zydeco seem to indicate that they track well for their size. I'm trying to stick with something under 11' as my outbuilding dimensions are 11'x 8'. And yes we both have good proper life vests. Thanks for your reply.
Posted by: ByronWalter on Mar-21-13 3:27 PM (EST)
...gotcha on the length issue now. Perhaps you have a garage where you can hang/store a longer boat? Good luck with your hunt.
If you are on a tight budget ....|
Posted by: seadart on Mar-21-13 3:00 PM (EST)
Go used ... and if you are planning on class III, get some whitewater boats . Find some some whitewater paddlers in your area. Try the whitewater forum on Boatertalk - lots of boats there on gear swap.
Posted by: willi_h2o on Mar-21-13 3:40 PM (EST)
You are not ready to do class III|
Posted by: celia on Mar-21-13 3:52 PM (EST)
And in class 3 the Axis is safe, at least as far as its features, and the Swifty is not. Right now neither of the paddlers involved are safe.
I realize that...|
Posted by: black110 on Mar-22-13 10:21 AM (EST)
I guess i should have worded that a little different, I didnt mean to imply that I was ready for class III. I should have stated that I'm looking for a kayak capable of class III so that it's ready when I'm ready.
Posted by: ShadyClip on Mar-21-13 4:28 PM (EST)
Posted by: black110 on Mar-22-13 10:34 AM (EST)
I found a Swifty for sale locally and I talked the guy down to $175. I think I'll go ahead and grab it for now at that price as i should be able to get my money back out of it when i find something better. I've been watching for something used on BoaterTalk, KeelHaulers, and WVWA so I should find something good soon.
Price for a used Swifty IMO $100|
Posted by: Celia on Mar-22-13 4:12 PM (EST)
I would not assume that you can get $175 back out of a Swifty - I know people who pick them up for about $100 regularly.
find an intro whitewater class|
Posted by: nickjc on Mar-21-13 4:30 PM (EST)
Running class III and being afraid of flipping don't go together.
Good quality inflatable|
Posted by: tsunamichuck1 on Mar-21-13 10:22 PM (EST)
or old school ww boats can be had used and cheap
not sure about what kind of boat|
Posted by: tdaniel on Mar-21-13 11:13 PM (EST)
you should get but i can help with learning some moving water, class II, class III skills. The first weekend in June on the "upper" new river located near Beckley Wv which is less than two hours away from Proctorville. WVWA is sponsoring a whitewater beginners clinic.
Posted by: black110 on Mar-22-13 10:26 AM (EST)
That sounds great, I'll definitely check into it. Maybe I can talk my wife into a nice long weekend up there.
I own two swifty's|
Posted by: Pirateoverforty on Mar-22-13 2:37 AM (EST)
Love them. Paddle slow moving creeks and near shore on larger bodies. Lots of fun. Picture on my desktop is my wife sitting in one with her feet resting against the forward lip of the cockpit. Put my 70 yr old 220# lb dad in one to try for his first time paddling a kayak. He liked it.
Our first kayaks were Perception....|
Posted by: jackl on Mar-22-13 6:37 AM (EST)
Keowees, which is the same boat as the Swifty, but they changed the name several times over the years.