I use this boat as a day paddler for inland lakes and slower rivers. I'm on the smaller side, 5'8" and 160# and this boat is a snug fit for me, I have good contact with the thigh braces and seat. Seat is comfortable but I'm used to backbands and this boat has a seatback. This boat has a sealed hatch in the rear only.
It moves along well for it's length, turns on a dime with the rudder up and tracks fairly well with the rudder down. For this reason it can get in and out of smaller slower moving rivers and wetlands fairly easily. I've also had it out on the lake MI shore and while it doesn't perofmr like a 17' sea kayak it is pretty seaworthy for short paddles.
I like having a poly boat for durability, having said that I think Necky could make a thicker poly similar to Vally or P&H. I bought this boat as my first boat and owned/paddled it for about a year. I bought it based on the construction and size. It was a great fit for my small frame (5'1" 110 lb female).
The Necky construction is fabulous -- the firm plastic stands up to a beating, the hatch was secure, and the rudder worked well. The seat in this boat is horrible. The back is too high and is held to the seat bottom by a bungee cord that runs through a hook (not a loop). The bungee cord unhooks when rolling, wet exiting, and some entries, which causes the seat back to fall out of the boat. The seat may have been replaced in newer models.
The boat is quite maneuverable due to its short length and hard chines. However, it is really difficult to keep this boat going straight. It acts like many whitewater boats I have paddled. Errant paddle strokes really have an impact on tracking. I found myself sweeping on each stroke to compensate for the previous stroke.
I would rate the speed as slow to average. This is mainly due to the length of the boat. The hull shape is great and slices through the water nicely, but can't compensate for the length of the boat.Initial and secondary stability are fabulous.
Overall, I would say this is a good boat if you want a small, maneuverable boat for playing in the surf or on slow to moderate moving rivers. This boat is not designed for touring or flatwater paddling where you need to keep up with a group of faster paddlers (around 3.5 - 4 mph). I ended up selling this boat and getting a longer low-volume boat (Current Designs Squamish). The Squamish tracks better and is faster than the Looksha Sport LV on flatwater.
I'd like to end this review by saying that rating this boat is quite difficult. If you want a boat that is playful, I'd rate this boat a 10. If you want a fast boat that tracks well, I'd rate this boat a 6.I want to qualify this review before I state it...I do agree with others that a review is best when presented after owning the boat for at least a few years - and I have done so. I am also scoring this boat for the use it was intended and how it was actually used.
I got my LV sport about 3 years ago. I am male, 5'9" and 180#. This boat is a close fit but fairly comfortable. Quality seems very good overall; I thouhgt the poly was fairly stiff but did experience temporary oilcanning while cartopping. The hatch was not waterproof, nor did I expect it to be. It would have been nice to have a front hatch but this boat is not for extended trips. I found the cockpit and knee braces fit me well and the boat becomes an extension of my body.
Regarding performance, I used this boat mainly in flatwater but also some paddling on the great lakes. It has decent speed for it's length, especially in flatwater, and while it carves a turn nicely with edging, the length and rocker allow you to turn this boat while flat. Tracking was decent in calm conditions but was greatly impacted in wind. Having said that, this fall was the first time I used the rudder, choosing instead to work on correcting with paddle strokes. Once I used the rudder I found it very effective. Primary stability is good and secondary is very good; I personally prefer the indexed lean that comes with a hard chined boat.
It was in rough water where this boat surprised me. While it is not a speedy boat, it is fun and inspires confidence in choppy water, surfs well if you paddle fast enough, and can handle smaller swift rivers very well.
I have been happy with my LV and would recommend this boat to paddlers my size and smaller for the same kind of work - playing in surf and chop, swift rivers, and flatwater.