A few questions from a noob

I first went kayaking this summer. I fell in love with it immediately. I rented several different yaks in order to get a feel for what I would want to buy. I wanted a multi purpose boat. Something that could handle long treks, mild whitewater, and weight was important due to my future trip to the boundary waters in MN…a few decent portages there.

I decided on a swifty 9.5. It was very stable, easy to control, and would easily carry my backpacking gear for long treks. I bought it earlier this week and took it out on a couple of lake paddles. I am very happy about my purchase.

My questions…

Are the foam block carriers good enough to travel at interstate speeds without a roof rack of any kind? It seems like it has done ok so far, but I have been very nervous on the road.

What is a good multi purpose paddle?

Feel free to give any other advice or suggestions.

Check out your portage approach
before you go to the BWCA or similar places. I found that even with practice at home, it was harder once we were in the wilderness. Any tricks you can develop to make it easier to get that boat up in carrying position, and to relieve pressure points, will make you glad you put in the forethought.

Long treks?
If that’s your goal, you should be looking at a more capable boat. The Swifty is a very basic recreational boat designed for dabbling in ponds and such. Anyone who’s really interested in paddling will “outgrow” it in the first month. It’s bog slow and doesn’t track well. Its enormous beam and huge cockpit prevent one from obtaining the proper fit for efficient paddling and learning paddling skills. Even a small step up to a 12’-14’ boat in the 24" wide range will make a big difference in performance. Yeah, it will cost you more, but it’s cheaper than having to buy a second boat when you realize that the Swifty is too limiting.

I wasn’t going to say that, because I’m
trying to be nice to noobies. But I think there might be some nice circuits around the periphery of the BWCA that one could do in a Swifty.

I kow what I was getting into…
I realized that I will be getting a sluggish kayak when I bought it. But, through my research, it the swifty is a boat that allows me to do just about anything with a good deal of comfort. Due to my finances, I can’t afford multiple kayaks right now. The Swifty will allow me to do up to low class III which I have done in the yak. It will allow me some river voyages. I have also spent two days in it already on lakes covering about 25 miles total. I don’t care if I was floating on a plank of wood, at least I was able to get myself in the water.

I need to take lessons from you.
I am very pleased to read that you are happy with what you have, instead of wishing for what you want. I need to put that into practice a lot more and simplify my life. Thanks for todays reminder. It might keep me on the straight and narrow for a while.


"Bog slow"
That was a good one Brian.

Do you mind if I steal your cliche ?



It ain’t mine, so your welcome to it!

Yamark, congratulations. You’ve bought a
boat that will give you much pleasure. I’ve had my Swifty for 6 years. I know proud kayakers with faster, prettier and pricier boats than mine, but I’ve never seen any of them having more fun. It isn’t a fast boat, but it is a quick boat. It is easy to handle and easy to transport—I have Yakima racks with rollers in the back, saddles in front, very easy, secure system.

Living in a condo, I have to keep it outside on a canoe rack by the lake. No one has bothered to steal it yet—not a tempting target for thiefs, and hey, if it did get stolen, it is cheap enough to replace.

Have fun, and contact me if you bring your boat to central Florida. I know all the good places.

Happy paddling!

"if it did get stolen…"
they might bring it back!


Bring it back??
Of course they would bring it back, overcome with remorse for stealing a thing of such rare form and beauty from a person of such exquisite taste and good humor!

You would surely LOL if you could see how I chain and lock this treasure to the canoe rack.

Be nice or I’ll just go race with Pamlico 140.