When we moved back to Minnesota and started looking at houses before Jules was born, my realtor took us to a house in Fridley. I was dead against the place before we even arrived because I had mentally determined it was too close to my parents house.
I don’t know if our realtor did this on purpose or not, but he approached the house from the east (a route I wouldn’t have chosen), which showed that just down the hill is a lake.
There’s something in my lizard-brain that made me not hate the house because of its proximity to the lake and to my parents (for childcare reasons). I swallowed my pride and we bought it.
I wound up buying my parent’s canoe in hopes we’d launch on the lake nearby, but canoeing is an activity that is better with at least two people. Convincing my family to go was rare 🛶 So we sold the canoe and got two kayaks from Menards.
Those kayaks were fine, but eventually I wanted one with a couple of extra fishing features, without going to a full fishing kayak – because sometimes I like to just paddle around and sometimes I want to fish.
My friend Joe has a Perception Swifty and I really like how solidly built it is. I started leaning towards the Perception Joyride, but as other reviewer note – it is too expensive! So I subscribed to Dick’s sale notifications via text and waited…
Finally the price listed was “view price in cart” so I did and checked out, saving almost $200 off the regular price.
How is it?
Construction, like the Swifty, is very sturdy. The handles are molded into the boat so they’re indestructible. For car transportation, I’d normally use the handle eyelets to run an extra strap to the rear hitch. The handles are too big for my normal strap hooks. I’ll have to add some rope or something. Bringing it home from the store was unnerving because the van has no sunroof and normally the handle strapping is what lets me know the kayak is still up there.
What I sort of forgot was that to equip fishing rod holders, I’d be investing another $100 in ram mount equipment. If you just want a couple of holes to drop your rod into, the Swifty and Mustang options are good choices.
The boat itself is great. It tracks very nicely. Strangely there’s no drain plug like on my cheapo Menards rig, so when the cockpit gets rain inside, it can be tricky to dump. I got a huge car wash sponge from Walmart to assist. I’ll likely buy a cockpit cover to keep water out during storage.
The back compartment is completely sealed from the cockpit, which is nice. In my old kayak any water inside the boat was going to get to the back too.
New Paddle Too
Like the kayak itself, I over-analyzed what to get. Deciding on length seemed to be the hang-up. I found this Paddling.com article to be helpful.
But there are several ways to measure. My torso is 30.5″ which calls for 210-230cm. My height is 5’10” and the boat is 29.5″ wide which calls for a 240cm paddle.
Having spent too much money at Dick’s on the kayak, I had a $20 reward to put towards a paddle. The Vibe Journey Paddle is the one that is in stock at every store, and it was on sale for $37 so I could get it for less than $20 with my reward. But it only comes in 230cm 🤔
Ultimately it didn’t matter because compared to the hardware store paddle I had, it was larger. 😎
On the water
On the lake it tracks very nicely. Not that the Menards one was bad, but this is clearly a step up. It’s got a nice place to hold my phone (put it in a dry bag!) and a water bottle, plus an indent to rest the paddle.
The problem that I have is not with the kayak, it’s with my nearest waterbody. I wish is that Moore Lake wasn’t bisected by a state highway 😞 It’s so easy to go down there, but it’s not as relaxing as it could be. The noise from the cars nearby is unrelenting. It’s especially bad if you want to go for a quick paddle after work, when everyone is battling their way through rush hour.