perception 9.5 a good beginner boat?

Everyone here was so helpful in answering my Q about whether I could safely travel with 2 kayaks and a cargo carrier on the roof of my car! Now I have another Q for you:

I have missed all the demo dates and the sale ends on Sunday…I want to buy an entry level kayak for myself. The perception swifty 9.5

I would be doing simple paddling. I have Lyme Disease and this makes life painful for me, especially my right shoulder, so I dont expect to do more than an hour or two at a time.

I was looking for a short, stable, light and cheap boat. This seems to fit that bill.

Any advice?



I got an Old Town Rush when I first started which is an upgraded (sort of) Otter. However, the Swifty seems to be very much the boat of choice among beginning kayakers and most if not all still have them as a great loaner or for small lakes and rivers. Like I said I never owned one but the numerous affectionate comments about the swifty lead me to believe it would be a good choice.


I’m a novice kayaker. I started out with a Perception Sundance 12.0. I think the one you’re getting is a good one to start of.

Perfect, as far as I am concrned.
My wife and I started with Keowees, which was the first of the Perception Swiftys, Sparkeys, etc, and we still have them both, although they are only used in white water now, and for the grandchilden as starter kayaks.

Keep in mind that you won’t go fast, and you will turn with each stroke, so you will have to counter it with a opposite stroke.

But also you will have to work very hard to tip it over, and they are just about indistructable.

I say, go for it!



You’ll love your little Swifty!
You’ll be able to carry and load it easily. It is quick, maneuverable, and sturdy. I’ve had mine for 5 years, and it has seen more time on the water than most kayaks ever do. I’ve enjoyed it on rivers, creeks, and lakes; with a spray skirt I’ve handled 20 mph winds and white caps with no problem.

It is a fun little boat. Three of my friends have also bought them, and if it ever wears out, I’ll buy another.

I love my
Sundance 9.5 great for river paddling or just an easy to carry rec. boat. It won’t win any speed competitions but is an excellent basic rec. boat.

A good kayak
The swifty will most likely serve you well. i can enjoy one and i am 230lbs. a fun boat that many on this board started with.

9.5’ as beginner boat
When I switched from canoes to kayaks, I started out with a 9.5’ boat. After just 2 outings totally 6 hours, I’m moving up to a 12-13’ boat. YMMV, but loading a 12 footer isn’t really any more difficult than the little 9.5’ plastic bathtubs, but the longer boats handle better, steer better, are capable of carrying necessities like a change of clothes in a dry bag and a small cooler, etc. Whereas in my 9.5’ boat, there’s really no room for anything but me. That said, if you’re really set on a smaller boat, a friend has a Pamlico 100, and it’s a nice little craft. It handles reasonably well for it’s size.

Swifty is great
I have had my Perception Swifty for 3 years and still love it. Have taken it on rivers and lakes. At 38 pounds, I can handle loading it without help. That means I get out more – about a couple dozen times last year (although I’m trying for more this year).