The Swing sit on top kayak was designed with ease, comfort and stability in mind. This was achieved by the inclusion of an easy access seating area with adjustable footrests and a side carry handle. For the users comfort the large ergonomically designed seating area has self-draining scupper hulls and a higher than usual moulded backrest area. The stability comes from a wide 76cm platform hull that has dual channel tracking channels along with a deep skeg in the stern and an upswept bow that makes the Swing a very easily manoeuvrable and stable sit on top kayak. – Perception Australia
The Swing is one of the most commonly paddled fishing kayaks on the East Coast so we thought we’d better find out why.
The standard Swing comes with a 10” round front hatch, central 5” hatch with mesh bag, rear pod straps, water bottle strap and alloy paddle. It also features moulded in single person carry handle and rope end loops, recessed anchor points and adjustable footrests.
There are a number of set up options for the Swing. Perception offer a Swing Deluxe, Swing Plus, Swing Dive and Swing Expedition model. These include features such as foam backrest and seat pad, thigh-straps, rear storage pod, rudder, dive mates, anchor, map holder, water bottle and PFD.
A number of other SEQ retailers have taken fitted a host of extra features to the Swing including an adjustable rod holder, lip gripper with quick release fittings, paddle leash, rod/real leashes, bungy strapping over rear well, waterproof tackle box, fish lifter, and numerous flush mounted rod holders. These comprehensive fit-outs have made the Swing as one of the ultimate fishing kayaks.
Each month we will explain some of the kayak terminology and design features to help the readers understand the reviews. This month we’re going to talk about speed in relation to kayak length.
In theory, the longer the kayak’s waterline length is then higher the potential top end speed of the kayak. Waterline length does not include a kayak’s upturned bow and/or stern.
As a kayak moves through the water, it creates a bow wave and a stern wave. The farther apart they are, the easier they are to push. The problem is, the higher hull speed of a longer boat is only attainable when you are paddling at maximum effort, which is rarely the case when fishing or even trolling. At lower speeds, the wetted surface (the area that is underwater) of the hull creates friction against the water. The larger the area, the more friction created. At slower cruising speeds the resistance due becomes more significant than the resistance from the bow and stern waves. This means that, at average cruising speeds, a long kayak may be no easier to paddle than a shorter one, depending on your paddling strength and technique. A longer kayak has a faster potential hull speed but is only an advantage if you have the paddle power to use it!
The reviewed kayak had a foam backrest and seat pad. The backrest provided great support and still allowed a freedom of movement not found in other conventional backrests. When surfing into the beach it still allows the paddler to lean back and keep the bow from nose-diving. The adjustable footrests are also a great inclusion. We tried without them and found it much less comfortable and quite difficult to brace in to the kayak in the surf zone.
I noticed that the position of the recessed carry handle didn’t balance the craft evenly when it was lifted. This may have just been the balance of the test boat but it is something worth checking out.
The Swing had good stability, tracking, manoeuvrability and speed. It is very stable due to the width of the yak, the relatively flat bottom and hard chines. It tracks well and doesn’t need the rudder unless you’re planning on being out when in is really windy. The dual tracking ribs in the hull do help with tracking but also increase the wetted surface area of the hull. The Swing is no speed machine but it cruises nicely.
We tested the Swing in 1m surf at Narrowneck and found that it performed well. The test kayak had plugged scupper holes in the rear to avoid leaving an unwanted berley trail if you’re lucky enough to fish out there. In the surf this stopped the rear well from self-bailing but didn’t hinder the kayak’s performance. When coming into the beach I noticed that each broken wave would semi-submerge the stern of the craft. If I leant back at this same time the nose would slightly lift out of the water, and with a little ruddering with the paddle, continue pointing to the beach. Some kayaks will be more prone to broach sideways than the Swing.
It was easy to see why the Swing will continue to be a popular fishing yak. It is a very stable fishing platform that rates well in the areas of tracking, manoeuvrability and performance. It is no racing machine but obviously can be paddled at a desirable trolling speed. If you want to buy a basic model and do your own fit-out, I’d recommend looking at the kitted out models to get some ideas. If you’re not that way inclined, or more interested in getting a line wet, get one of the ‘Angler’ models and go fishing.
The Swing ranges in price from $1350 for the basic Swing package to $2497 for the Swing Elite Angler. For more information contact Perception Kayaking on (08) 8362 2279 or email --e-mail address hidden-- . A list of Australia’s Swing dealers can be found at www.pereceptionkayaking.com. - Craig McSween
This review was conducted by Craig McSween of Splash Safaris Sea Kayaking who is a sea kayak instructor with Australian Canoeing. For feedback on this review you can contact us at Adventure Outlet (Kayaking, Camping and Outdoor Store) in Southport on (07)55712929 or --e-mail address hidden--