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Reviews for Looksha Sport Kayak by Necky Kayaks


Rated: 8.77/10 Based On: 39 Reviews

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08-12-2013
Submitted by: PaulSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I remember seeing people paddling the Looksha Sport in the early 2000s and thinking what an ugly design it was - the square stern turned me off and led me to believe that this was a beginner's sea kayak that favored stability over performance. How wrong I was!

Some years later I was buying up a bunch of sea kayaks on Craigslist for a family summer lakehouse vacation where I wanted to have enough kayaks for our whole family (my philosophy was buy used on Craigslist and then sell them off later - much cheaper then renting). Well, I never ended up selling either of the 2 Looksha Sports that I bought because I liked the kayaks too much.

About me - I've been kayaking for 15+ years and am primarily a whitewater boater but equally enjoy sea kayaking and even some flatwater racing. I have owned probably 20 kayaks or more and am particular about the performance of a kayak.

The Looksha Sport is the ideal all-around kayak. It is hard-chined boat with the secondary stability of a whitewater boat - that means it turns easily and is good for coastal exploration, river kayaking, or tight marshes where you require more agility than a 18-20' kayak can offer. The hard chines also make for great carving ability which makes this an ideal boat for surfing waves or getting knocked around in big surf. At the same time, the design manages to offer excellent hull speed for longer distances. I have used this boat for flatwater races and, compared to other boats with a similar length/width ratio, it moves nicely through the water and maintains a very good hull speed considering the width.

As others have pointed out, the stock seat is not very comfortable - a previous owner upgraded the seat in one of my Looksha Sports and it is much more comfortable. Only one of my boats has the oil canned hull that someone described so I don't think that is a problem unless the boat is stored wrong. That same boat has a deformed hull where it consistently pulls left but I think that is also due to improper storage and warping. The other Looksha paddles perfects straight and I rarely use the rudder.

This boat in a composite would be 10 but I still consider my plastic Looksha Sports long-term all-rounder keepers. Oh yeah, one last feature - the rear hatch is also large enough that it makes a perfect seat for a 2-5 year kid. My son grew up riding in the 'rear seat' - you can flip over the hatch cover and secure it in the rear webbing as a nice little plate for snacks. He loved it and it allowed us to paddle as a family until he was old enough to move into the tandem.
Well done - Necky, well done!

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07-25-2013
Submitted by: Bill BiresSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I are older, both over 60 and when younger did our share of white water but at this age we switched to touring. We own two Necky Looksha sport kayaks with foot peddle steering. Even at our advancing age we can spend a full day on the water thanks to foot peddle steering. Just a light grip on the paddle and only one light stroke and our foot controlled rudder and away we go. With two dry storage boxes and ample tie downs for dry bags we can spend a week camping with a tent and air mattress and all the provisions we need and still have extra room for a few bottles of wine.

With the secondary chine the kayak is very stable and can turn on a dime. We have had these kayaks for quite a few years and with a quick wash down they look as good as when we purchased them. They are light weight and even at our age are easy to carry. We like to kayak in the Sierras and can hit five lakes and a small river in a week thats a lot of kayaking at any age. They are so easy to use we let our fellow campers try them for a few hours and have had many converts to the pleasure of kayaking.

My only complaint is the seat on ours could be more comfortable for the long haul. The seats in the new Neckys looks so much more comfortable that we may have to upgrade to the newer model soon.

The wilderness areas and wildlife we have been privileged to see and the freedom kayaking gives us means that kayaking is our sport for life. Kayaking helps keep us young or at least young at heart. If out on a river, a lake or the sea kayaking is the number one sport for me.
We are, to say the least, happy campers.

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01-22-2010
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I rate the stock Looksha 14 model year 2002 eight out of ten. The bottom middle hull between seat and front hatch had too much oil can action affecting form performance. I over came this issue by placing two lengths of shaft end to end meeting and pressed under the seat running between rear and front bulk heads. I added that front bulk head, also cut and made the hatch, didn't like having to be the one doing that work. I guess later models Looksha's 14 saved you from doing this work. Using the same shaft stock "Broken carbon fiber hockey stick shafts" I placed uprights on each end using about half inch compression pressed out between the inner deck and hull then set them with silicone. I started out with more length on the uprights but had too much "V" shape to my liking. It was tipsier finding my self edging too easily. I settled with just a slight "V" about three degrees from flat. Now having over all a stiffer boat with rudder at will to use in conditions of pressing currents, wind and or waves I like it much better. The rudder is a great thing as far as I am concern. If you prefer always leaning and breaking apart a smooth balanced forward paddle motion to make coarse knock your self out. I'll save strength for time. I have paddled this on Lake Ontario in wind driven waves around six feet having about twenty feet between peaks and prefer that even over running class 2 rapids trying to miss things and making sharp fast bends, since dropping a rudder in rapids not always a good ideal. Although if you are up to it and donít mind bracing for the ride firmly and paddle like an animal you can ride rapids with the best of them having different form but of the same length and width and Weight. This form of the boat would be real nice if made with composite. The seat is something you can work with. It depends what and how much you wear at times but the fact you can adjust the back support while in the water is always smart. Also the peddle braces doubling as rudder control I prefer over Epic boats gas peddles type because it is easier to stretch when you feel the need to. The deck webbing is ok as stock. New price is too much for that material. I got my used from someone who was in the water more than on and wanted to get rid of it. Again in itís class Neckyís Looksha Sport 14 is pretty good. I would replace it only with a Looksha 17 composite. I like the lakes and deep water rivers for smaller bodies of water the Looksha 14 is almost too long.
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04-13-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 4 of 10

     I have had my Looksha sport for 6 years now. A stable boat, tracks poor, turns/tracks well with rudder. Hull deforms quite easily, mine has a perma-dent in the bottom. Inflatable seat is ok, but broke after 2 years. All in all, I would say its ok for a beginner kayak, but for any kind of distance it is just too slow.
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08-29-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I tried the Necky Looksha Sport yesterday. I paddled it for two hours, 18.5 km down the Bow River in Calgary, Alberta, from Bowness to the Zoo.

While reading this review, keep in mind that there were a couple of issues with the particular boat I paddled that make me wonder whether the characteristics I observed would be present in other samples of this design. In particular, there was a large concave dent in the hull just forward of the seat (it was the entire width of the flat portion of the hull, and just as long), probably from the boat being tied too hard to a rack, and... one rudder cable was broken. Since the rudder pedals slide on tracks, without the tension provided by the cable, I had no foot brace on one side. I either had to spread my knees and push my feet together to try to brace, or just sit straight-legged. I tried boiling water to pop out the dent, but no go. I nearly took the boat back, but it was getting late and I thought I'd just make the best of it. Besides, it was drizzling and about 8įC, and I didn't want to spend any more time in the rain. (As it turned out, soon after I started paddling, the rain stopped and the sun came out, and I was alone on the river. Sweet!).

Having said that, I was still able to control the boat without using the rudder. The hull shape is a very shallow V (i.e. nearly flat), with hard chines. The primary stability is quite weak, and the boat will easily roll 10-20 degrees on either side. That's a little disconcerting when you first get in the boat. A slight mis-paddle gets the boat leaning over and you feel like it might continue all the way over. However, secondary stability is quite good. I later tried big leans in a sheltered bond, and I could lean the boat more than 30 degrees ( i.e. water almost up to the edge of the cockpit) without it wanting to tip over.

True to the Sport name, this boat is quite maneuverable. It appears to have a slight bit of rocker, and this gives rise to a complex behaviour. While paddling with speed, you can correct course heading (or maintain course heading) by counter leaning - i.e. lean left to move the nose to the right. However, if you hold the paddle in the water a little too long, or use the paddle to slow down while leaning to one side (say to the right), the boat will rapidly spin around in the direction it's leaning (say, to the right), almost on its own axis. A few times I felt as though the current were pushing the tail around, and it was impossible to stop the spin with a bow sweep. Instead, I had to use a rear pry to maintain a heading. Of course, being unable to use full bracing, I was unable to put as much torque into the hull as a I wanted, which may have had an impact. Also, the big "scoop" just forward of the seat may also have contributed to the directional instability. I know it probably slowed me down a bit.

The maneuverability came in handy a few times when I passed a bridge abutment, then quickly pivoted and tucked around into the downstream eddy. The boat felt much shorter than its 14'4" at that point. The boat also seems quite fast, probably due to its narrow beam (23"), and the few times that I turned back upriver (or was involuntarily turned :-) I was able to move upstream with a few good hard strokes.

The boat doesn't have discrete knee braces, but instead has a padded area to the underside of the top deck. This is probably fine for the intended purpose of the boat. I was told by the retailer that it's possible to retrofit gas-pedal style rudder pedals if desired. That might be preferable in rough water where you want to be solidly braced while still being able to use the rudder.

The seat is quite good. The seat pan is well padded, and the seat back is adjustable while on the water. There's a ratcheting type mechanism on each side of the forward cockpit so you can tighten one side more than the other if you wish (good for asymmetrical people? or crosswinds?). The cockpit opening is not very large (31" x 17"), which is good for bracing, and rolling (a small spray-skirt has more chance of staying in place underwater), but not too comforting for beginners (not the target market for this boat anyway).

I like the neoprene hatch covers, which slip on easily. Putting a knee on one end while you pull on the other with two hands makes it easy to slip them in place (thanks for the tip, Dave!). The hatch covers are protected by a fiberglass lid held in place by two straps.

One last point, the boat is a little heavy (58 lb) for self-loading onto the roof of a car, but any other poly sea kayak would likely be even heavier.

Here's what one retailer (Atlantic Kayak Tours) has to say about the Looksha Sport:
"The Looksha double chined design gives this kayak good edging abilities. The Looksha Sport is a big step up from the Zoar Sport in performance, and it has more flotation which allows for easier self rescues. The Looksha Sport falls solidly in the Kayak Touring range; well above a Rec Boat, but not a sea kayak. We prefer the hatch system on the Necky Chatham series of kayaks, but this system works fine. The cockpit and seat allow for larger paddlers. Smaller paddlers will need to foam out the sides, but most boats need foaming for a custom fit. We recommend that decklines be added, which is not difficult. The Looksha Sport has a high rigid seat back which we don't like as it impedes body rotation and laying back."

After Aquabatics repairs the boat, I'll take it for another spin (no pun intended) as it seems to be quite a versatile boat.
To all the reviewers who complain that this boat doesn't track well, I'd say that they may not have the paddling skills to be in the target market. I had no problem maintaining a relatively straight line through class 1 rapids and 30 cm waves. And that was without a rudder or being solidly braced. In flat water sections I was able to maintain a straight heading at even low speeds unless I got too slow or a little uneven in my stroke, and then the boat wanted to turn, as I've described earlier.

I'm rating this boat 7/10 which I consider fairly good. I see far too many 9/10 and 10/10 from reviewers who admit they've never paddled more than one boat.
Strengths: maneuverability (especially for its size), secondary stability, playfulness, seat adjustment, hatch covers.
Weakenesses: sliding rudder pedals (gas-pedal style would be better considering the intended market), heavy weight.

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08-10-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I've had this boat for a few years as my first sea kayak. I purchased it with rudder and rigging. First, let me say it is a great first boat, but I want to relay some of the short comings I've found over time.

It is stable, but a leaned turn is still possible. The speed ain't great, but it is a 14 foot poly boat. It is a very noisy boat at speed. The water sort of gurgles at the bow. The cockpit is plenty big, but you will want to pad some areas of the rudder mechanism as it can hit you knees (I have the blood to prove it!).

If you are smaller (I'm 5'5"), the cockpit is actually a little too big. The boat needs the rudder of skeg to paddle with the waves otherwise it will broach (again, it is a 14 foot boat). It also tends to weathercock a fair amount, but it is controllable without the rudder. For me the trick to using the rudder is to deploy it only part way. The drag is noticeable and it is better if partially deployed.

Overall, it is a great 14 foot poly boat and I'm not sure you can do any better in that class. However, if you do stay with the sport and you paddle open water (ocean, Great Lakes) you will likely grow out of it in a few years. If I used it on flatwater exclusively, I'd probably have rated it higher.

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09-02-2004
Submitted by: DaveCSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Purchased the Looksha Sport (plastic) early in 2004 for the purpose of getting onto Kansas & Missouri waterways (both flat and rivers) with my middle daughter for the ocasional dad/daughter get-aways. In an nutshell I couldn't be happier with the boat, it serves its intended purpose perfectly. On flat water, the tracking is no problem, but, to echo comments of others, I did purchase mine with the rudder and am quite glad that I did. When out on some of our larger Kansas & Missouri lakes when a mid-western wind pops up the rudder makes cross wind tracking a breeze (pardon the pun). Paddling the mid-Missouri rivers is pure relaxation. After adding some additional support under the legs, a long day on the river was a comfortable ride. My daughter likes my boat so much she's redy to dump her Dagger and go for the lower volume Elaho Sport.
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08-14-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just bought the boat and I love it. Before buying I paddled a Dagger Savannah, Perception Carolina, and a leftover Perception Corona. The Savannah was fast but difficult to turn and had an uncomfortable seat. The Carolina was extremely sluggish and difficult to turn - very entry level. The Corona was very fast and could maneuver but felt as if it always wanted to tip. The Looksha Sport was fast, but not as fast as the Corona, it maneuvered very well, it felt a little tippy but nothing too much. My first real paddle was on a very fast but narrow class one creek. The boat was awesome. I paddled with a few other touring kayaks and a bunch of recreational kayaks. Except for the Dagger Savannah, my Necky was much faster than the other kayaks and it maneuvered well on the narrow 100 ft wide creek. It took some time to get used to the secondary stability though. If you buy this boat and don't know what secondary stability is, I guarantee you will know secondary stability after paddling around a few hours on a creek or river. And the seat is air pumped - very comfortable. If your looking at entry level boat in the 800$ range I urge you to consider the few extra hundred for this boat. YOu can grow with it and it really is twice the boat as some of the other boats I was considering.

pros: a great looking boat, seat very comfortable, fast, maneuverable, not too heavy, good storage, water proof hatches, great secondary stability

cons: felt cramped in at times because of thigh braces, Im only 5ft7in 180 lbs, didn't seem to track really well, get the ruddder if you can because I think It'll come in handy even on rivers.

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06-06-2003
Submitted by: MarkSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Here are my impressions of this boat after paddling it for about 4 hours: - very manueverable, but not so great in tracking. I had to use the rudder to keep it going straight. At one point, I tried everything I could without the rudder, including leaning and strokes, to no avail. - Fast for its length, but not very fast. Paddled with a Dagger Cortez and a Cape Horn both of which were significantly faster boats, but they are also about 3 feet longer. - solid construction. Can't fault it for that. The thigh braces seemed a little wide causing me to sit a little awkwardly. - initial stability is medium. Kind of tippy, but not so much that it is a problem. Secondary stability is good. Overall a good boat for its length. I am going for a longer boat such as the Prijon Kodiak or perhaps the Dagger Cortez. Happy kayaking!
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05-26-2003
Submitted by: mark1Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Did a demo day on the Charles River today. The Looksha Sport was the winner in my shootout of 5 boats in order of preference: Liquid Logic Saluda (surprising tracking and speed for such a short boat - I tried this boat b/c I like to fish); Dagger Baja (tracks well but not very maneuverable); Perception Carolina 14.5 (an also-ran - kinda boring); Cape Horn 15 (wayyyy tippy and handles like a dog).

The Looksha Sport tracks like a dream (even without the skeg lowered), the seat is comfortable, primary and secondary stability are great. I am 6' 180# and it fit me perfectly, although I wish there was a bit more forespace in the cockpit.

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02-18-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought my Looksha in October of 2001 and it's been a blast ever since! I paddled quite extensively before buying a kayak - (this is the first I've ever owned) and I couldn't have asked for more. At 5'9" - 135 lbs this kayak is a perfect fit. It's also not too heavy - so I can cartop it quite easily alone. Tracking is a little tricky in the beginning but once you get used to it - you just cruise. Speed is definitely not an issue here.

It also handles well in all kinds of weather and water - I've had it in 2-3 foot waves on the Great Lakes and in these situations, the rudder comes in very handy. I wouldn't buy this boat without a rudder (unless you only paddle calm waters). Getting the rudder up and down could admittedly be a little easier. Great on creeks, rivers, small and large lakes! A great boat for day use or multi-day trips. The other nice features on the boat are the rear u-hook, great for locking the boat up and the bulk heads are designed really well - definitely water tight. There's also plenty of space for 3-5 day trips.

The only negative thing I have to say about this boat is I did have a slight problem with 'oil canning' - that is the hull dented easily after being cartopped inappropriately in the blazing sun. The dent however was easily removed and my best recommendation, regardless of what boat you ultimately purchase, is to buy and install a quality car rack system at the same time you buy your boat. I have a Yakima system with Mako Saddles - it's simply awesome and when you're not using the boat make sure you always store it in slings or at the very least bottom up on the shore.

All in all - this boat was a fantastic purchase and from bow to stern you'll discover the quality in workmanship. There's nothing chinsy about this boat! I highly recommend this boat to anyone who wants a kayak that's extremely versatile and wants to hone their paddling skills without out-growing their boat.

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11-11-2002
Submitted by: TonySend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have owned my plastic Looksha Sport for 2 years now. It came with a rudder two bulk heads and hatches for storage. At 5'11''and 185lbs this boat fits me well. I have used and abused the Looksha Sport in many of Ontarios lakes and rivers including day trips and multiday trips in Georgian Bay's 30,000 islands.

This kayak handles big water great, it can be a blast to surf (still learning). The speed issue kinda makes me chuckle... it is not a slow boat, mind you no 14' boat will be as fast as a 17' sea kayak. Anyway my advise is slow down and you may see something out there.

The boats stability is great for anyone other than a novice who has never sat in a kayak before, but confidence is quickly obtained. The boat turns quicker than anything comparable, especially if you lean on the hard chine to carve your turns. Tracking can be tricky initially. The rudder corrects this problem....but the use of the rudder in my view compromises turning speed when playing in the waves (likely true of most kayaks)

Anyway...I really enjoy this boat....Man winter is going to be long!!!

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10-21-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I will second all the good things said about the L.S. here. I agree with most except for it being slow. Just travel down any interstate and you will find people traveling in their cars happily at 60 mph and those who feel 85 mph is too slow. This boat compared is in the 70-75 mph range depending on the paddlers strength and stamina. It glides wonderfully. I also feel the skeg is fine. Ok it weathercocks but it's fine with the skeg down or low wind conditions. Talk about a fantastic compromise.

I too have waited till I paddled a dozen times before reviewing this boat. It does it all. Why a 9? Sure there are better task specific boats out there but I can only afford one and sincerely feel you can't do better than the Looksha Sport.

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07-22-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've had my looksha sport (plastic, with rudder, F+R bulkheads) for almost a year now and I absolutely love it. I demo'ed many other boats (Perception Corona, Eclipse, Necky Looksha IV, Dagger Magellan) and decided this was the best for me. Of all the boats I tested, I seemed to 'fit' in the looksha sport the best, and it was the most comfortable. I would definitely get the rudder rather than skeg, and the two sealed bulkheads. The construction seems very solid, and I like the two layer bulkhead covers (a heavy spandex-like material and plastic).

It has a good deal of rocker and turns quickly with it's 14'4" size. I think the boat tracks very well and I never use the rudder in calm water. In high winds with 3 foot waves or a strong current, you'll definitely appreciate having the rudder there. The boat handles big water as good as anything out there.

Initial stability is not as good as some wider boats, but secondary stability is great. It may feel a bit wobbly when you get in for the first time, but after you lean a little one way and then the other, you'll be confident that this boat wont tip. When I tried the Perception Corona, it seemed to lack the secondary stability of this boat, and I always had the feeling that I was going to go over if I leaned the slightest bit one way or the other.

This boat is just a tad slower than some longer boats like the Looksha IV or the Perception Eclipse, but then again it turns a lot better and is a good deal less expensive.

All in all this is a great boat and I am very pleased with my purchase. Don't go on my word alone - try one for yourself!

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04-02-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     After looking for an ocean rock garden boat for a while, I finally settled upon the Necky Looksha Sport. I was looking for something impact resistant (plastic), relatively inexpensive, maneuverable and not too slow, since I had to paddle to and from the rock gardens from various coastal launch points and also needed to move fast to get away from dangerous situations. After a number of inquiries and surf demos, the Looksha Sport appeared to meet these needs. I am 5'10", 185 lbs. I also have a Perception Kevlar Eclipse and a Wavesport Z whitewater/surf boat. My previous boat was a Necky Kyook, which was nice, but too short and wide for touring and too clumsy for rock gardening and surfing.

For safety, it has relatively watertight compartments, fair (but not great) deck rigging. The hatch covers and tie downs seem a little flimsy, but have never come loose. Toggles and bow line are fine. Deck bungies are a little lean. There is a compass pad. The rudder gear is fairly good for a lower priced boat. It only needs the rudder in stiff winds or nasty quartering chop. The flat bottom has a tendency to oil can. Maybe it could use a stiffener along the floor.

The original older model boat I demo'ed had loose rudder pedals and cables that flopped around. These were especially annoying on re-entries, because the pedals would ride all the way up, making it difficult to get your feet back in. The newer version boat I finally bought had bungie cords to keep the pedals down. After some minor adjustments, they worked great. The original demo boat had a very unsatisfactory seat back, which came loose every time I wet exited and had a high back that made rolls and re-entries more difficult than they had to be. The new model had a combination backband and seatback with a fabric covering extending down over the seat-- very nice! In my original demo, I was thrown out of the boat several times while surfing. I changed out the thigh braces for whitewater braces (wider) and installed hip pads. This solved the problem. The dealer (Paddle Sports of Santa Barbara) was most helpful).

The Looksha Sport, is 14'4" and has a flat bottom with beveled chines. Stability is fair. I would guess that is 60 something lbs., more with float bags, outfitting, lines, etc. It's a bit heavier than some other boats its size but is fairly husky, which is something you want in a boat to paddle rocks and surf. I have beaten the hell out of it, resulting only in a few scratches, so far.

The boat turns on a dime in either direction when edged. It took a little getting used to, since I paddled a more forgiving, round-chined boat before. The boat catches a wave quickly, sometimes too quickly. It responds fairly well to rudder strokes and draws, but the stern tends to get caught on waves, resulting in unplanned broaches sometimes. Tracking is fair, a tradeoff for the great turning characteristics. Maybe I'll improve with more practice. It rolls well, with aftermarket thigh braces and hip pads.

Speed is not great, but it is fair for a 14' plastic boat. My GPS indicated 4.5 knots with some effort and 3.5 knots at comfortable cruise speed in calm water with little wind.

My hips and feet hurt and fall asleep unless I flex them periodically. I will try installing thigh extensions and padding the thigh braces.

Overall, I would recommend this boat for playing and light coastal cruising.

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11-21-2001
Submitted by: Leif Wickland
Rating: 7 of 10

     Material: Plastic.
Configuration: expedition model (front and rear sealed bulkheads, rudder) My wife and I each got one of these as our first kayak in the summer of 2001. We'd had at most 5 hours of previous kayak experience, so we were decidedly beginners and were counting on the boat scaling down to our needs and up to our skills as we improved. Well, the first time we took the boat out was a lake in a pretty stiff wind which was whipping up decent waves. We felt the boats to be terribly tippy and to have terrible tracking. (We refused to use the rudders as we'd been told that that would just make us weak paddles. Later we were told by someone far more clueful that the boats are designed to be used with the rudders. That observation certainly makes sense with our experience.) Well, of course we couldn't give up on the boats after one lousy outing, so we persisted.

Over a three day weekend, we took a 100-mile trip down a local river, which was far more demanding that we had anticipated, but was a blast all the same. We learned a terrific amount about how to pack a kayak, too. One feature of the Looksha Sport that we VERY PLEASED to discover was that the hatches DON'T leak; everything we had heard suggested that plastic boats' hatches didn't hold. The Sport's hatches are tight. On our next excursion after that trip we found that we had much more control of the boats and could actually handle them without rudders. Basically, the boats have grown on us as we have grown up with them over a season. We're reasonably happy with them, my wife (a small woman) more so than I (5' 10", 185 lb.).
Complaints:
The boat doesn't seem to glide as easily as it seems it ought to, even with the rudder up. Maybe it's just me. The seat (hard plastic variety) tends to make odd parts of the lower half of some people's bodies go numb. The thigh braces significantly in the wrong spot if you're small like my wife or large (6'4") like one of our friends. The manufacturing of our boats isn't perfect. For example, the rudder on my boat is mounted slightly crooked. Also, the hook which holds the strap from the hard plastic seat back is also mounted crookedly. The boat is pretty heavy for a little person at 60+ pounds; my wife has trouble shouldering it.
Kudos:
The boat turns great. It leaves us plenty of room to grow. It's a very versatile boat. We've done lakes, rivers, and even some really tight reeds. It's usually about $200 less that it's big brother, the Looksha IV. It has really handy deck rigging and a nice bow line. The cockpit rim is easy to slide a skirt over and holds onto a skirt well.

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10-05-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I wanted a small playful plastic sea kayak to cruise the coast and to play in surf and rocks. I also had to fit in it. At 14'4" X 22.5" the Looksha Sport is definitely a small sea kayak but it easily accommodates me at 6'2" 200lbs with size 13 feet. The hard chine and generous rocker make it very maneuverable. It spins on a dime when asked to and tracks well enough that Iím starting to regret getting the rudder. I've paddled in fairly rough water and winds over 20 knots with total confidence although when heading into a strong wind you will get blasted by bow spray. It has a relatively narrow beam at 22.5" so as short as it is it's no barge. I easily keep up with the big boys at normal cruising speeds. This is the boat I wish had been my first. It is much more responsive to a lean or a sweep than the 18 footer I've been paddling for the last eleven years. It has enough initial stability for a beginner to feel comfortable (with maybe a little getting used to). It also has excellent secondary stability to grow into edging and braces. The foot pegs adjust easily but they feel a little flimsy. I don't know how they would hold up to having my feet jammed hard down on them in a panic brace while being tossed around by some rogue wave. The hatches are dry and easy to get in and out of; the deck has plenty of shock cord rigged front back and between the rear hatch and rudder. The optional rudder is easy to raise and lower but without a back more limber than mine it is hard to know if it returns to its cradle strait. Bottom line is I've had a blast with this kayak.
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10-02-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     While I am new to paddling I have been thru some great classes and spnt a good bit of ime on research.. I was very anxious to get the Sport out on he snake river fr a weekend of seeing what I could do with it ..What a blast!!!! It was great fu to paddle,, the skeg compensated for my beginner skills, and it really stabilized after I got moving.. The intial tippines(getting in and out) was easy to get used to and well worth the pleasure I received.. Several firsttimers got in it claiming I can't kayak" and came out loving it. This is definatly the boat for me...at 135lbs I will have some customizing to do for a good fit but that is fine.. The boat took the wakes from all the skiers with style and grace and I know I will find my own now :) I would recomend it to anyone that wants to play on local rivers, lakes and hope to take one to the surf next year..The dry hatches have plenty of room for gear and supplies, far more than I expected.. It is a bit heavy for me to load/unload from the trailer by myself but heck, I need the exercise :)
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09-05-2001
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     First of all we have a Looksha Sport LV thats the 13'9" low volume boat. I have only paddled the looksha a couple of times, I bought it for my girlfreind. It does fell a bit tippy, but is very responsive and i had no problem going straight in it on slow moving water without a rudder. I can even roll in it. I am 145 lbs. and 5'7" and can get in and out of the boat, but its a tight fit. My girlfreind is 5'2" and (lets just say she weighs less than me) she has no problem getting in and out and feels quite comfy in it. We have been out twice. Once around jet skis and fishing boats and it did not seem to bother her at all, we are only beginners and I've not much to compare with so between that and it being a bit cramper for myself I give it a 8 but she may rank it higher.
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08-20-2001
Submitted by: Theresa
Rating: 8 of 10

     I purchased the sport as my first kayak. I tried a couple of others and chose the sport for it's secondary stability. I never feel like I'm going to tip over but it's not so stable that you can forget what you're doing. One thing that keeps me from rating it higher is it's need to have the rudder down for great tracking. Without the rudder it needs constant attention and once it starts to deviate from course, takes quite a bit of energ to get it back. This is probably due at least in part to my newbie skills since it typically wanders to my weaker side so I probably have some paddling adjustments to do. The fit/finish of this boat is excellent compared to others in it's price range.
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08-16-2001
Submitted by: no name
Rating: 10 of 10

     I just purchased a plastic Sport. I am 73"\210#, male, and this is my first kayak. I tested it along with a Daggar Savannah. The Sport felt more stable and a bit faster (tested both at same time). The Necky's have a triple chimed hull which provides primary and, determinable, secondary stability. You can feel where you are when practicing j-leans. The cost was substantially less than the Daggar. I purchased the model with rear bulkhead only and no rudder, but a skeg for $695; saving $250 below the rudder\dual bulkhead model. The seat is a good fit and the foot rests are not fully extended so it will take a taller person easily. Tracking is excellent without the skeg down. The skeg extension is adjustable for amount in water. The thighbraces are excellent, not part of the hull, but bolted on.

This is a fun kayak that glides easily through the water with little effort. I can sit in the Sport and not feel hardly any wobbling side to side, yet fast enough to really enjoy. I purchased it at the kayakcenter.com in Wickford, RI with no sales tax. The Kayak Center will let you try before you buy, and they will have you in testing whatever kayak's your interested in within 5 minutes; the 60 mile drive was certanly worth it!

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05-30-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've been paddling my Loosha Sport for over two years. It has seen up to Class III whitewater, but mostly I paddle on calm rivers and lakes. I installed some Prijon "gas pedal" styled rudder pedals. They are really awesome when you need to stand on the pegs and use the rudder. However, to date the only person who has used the rudder was my mommy ;)

The Sport is my everyday boat, the one I paddle for exercise and the boat I feel most comfortable paddling. I have a Cape Horn, a Crossover, and numerous whitewater boats. The Sport is a touring kayak for the whitewater boater! Agile, edgy, great secondary stability, moderate primary stability.

I really like the quality of construction, though I have changed out the back"board" for a padded backband. The hatches and rigging are well placed. the rudder is very usable and durable.

My only complaint abou the Sport is that the hull has "olicanned" under the seat. This is not atypical of a flathulled boat, but I think Necky could redesign the seat to help maintain a flat hull. Still a 10/10!

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05-14-2001
Submitted by: MBMSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have been kayaking since I was 10 and this was my first kayak although I'm only 18 I know alot about it it turens on a dime with the hard chined edge all you have to do is lean its not tippy. It is great for any trip and I recomend a rutter although not used much it sure is fun dawnstream. and definitly the rear hatch big and roomy this is a great touring and recreational kayak like it says sport and you can do just that. I recommend this to any one.
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03-12-2001
Submitted by: GerrySend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     A follow up to my earlier review. Now that the ice is going out and the snow is melting off, I've had the opportunity to take this into some pretty fast moving rivers and large creeks. At over 14 feet, the Looksha Sport really isn't made for this kind of thing, but it does a surprisingly good job of letting me play in this kind of stuff. I was able to float over a lot of barely submerged obstacles, and get close enough to some nasty tangles with a small saw and hand-held shears that I could open up a path. Not exactly the fastest trip I've ever taken, but since we started out by paddling upstream and clearing as we went, the downstream run was fast and fun. With aggressive leans (easy with the Looksha's hard chines) and quick sweep strokes, snaking through tight "S" turns was easy and a real hoot! This is still a great sea kayak, but it's also a much more versatile boat than I would have expected. If you're looking for a very versatile boat that would be difficult to outgrow, this could very well be the boat for you. It's a bit pricier than the competiton, but the attention to details, the quality of the construction, and the thoughtful design make it worth the extra money.
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01-02-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     The plastic looksha sport is one of the best boats for beginer paddlers, who are a bit intimidated by kayaking, especially in choppy waters. The boat is very versatile, and performs well in flatwater, rivers, lakes, and in waves. Allows for an eccellent kayaking experience without intimididating the paddler. Tracking is not one of this kayak's stregths. Although the rudder compensates for the kayaks tendancy to "wander", it also slows the kayak down, because of the additional drag. I decided to purchase a Necky Looksha IV kevlar, which is an excellent tracker, and faster. But I'll always have the Looksha Sport so anyone wanting to accompany me, regardless of their level of skill can have fun too. I also use the kayak myself in rives and rocky, shallow lakes where the Looksh IV kevlar is not at home.
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12-28-2000
Submitted by: Ralph GoshornSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Looksha Sport is my first purchased kayak. I bought it, keeping in mind that if I stay in this sport (I will) I would likely upgrade later to fiberglass/composite, longer, and faster. Although I am sure to do that, I won't sell my Looksha Sport so I can introduce kayaking to others or just give it a beating now and then. I only have one experience thats somewhat different from what I have heard so far. In July I was on Lake Michigan in 4 to 6 feet waves and a small craft advisory was announced while my partner and I was on the water, as I found out when I got home. No problems but although the idea of the waves seemed a little scary for this amatuer, I never felt as if I was even close to rolling over.
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11-21-2000
Submitted by: GerrySend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I live in SE Michigan (read great lakes and flat water), and was looking for a boat small enough to use on local rivers and lakes, yet big enough to handle a week on Lake Superior or the Atlantic coast.

I tried a lot of boats, but the Looksha Sport really met/meets my needs perfectly. Lightly loaded, it's great on the Huron River -- I can sneak up on egrets and herons, float over sandbars and poke around in small ponds and inlets. It's easily cartopped (and I think I can rig a small trailer that will let me tow it behind my bike to the river), and well balanced for a shoulder carry (but at about 62#, it does dig a groove into my skin).

I took it island hopping last summer on the north shore of Georgian Bay. With a tent, sleeping bag, and camping gear and food for a week (fresh water isn't really a problem in the Great Lakes), I still had plenty of room, but it might have been tight if I'd had to also carry a week's worth of water. It's a very nimble boat for poking around the small islets and islands in the Bay, yet (at least when rather heavily loaded) it also tracks well in waves.

I also went island hopping off Cape Gargantua and Old Woman Bay in the NE corner of Lake Superior. Fully loaded, the boat tracked as if it were on rails, regardless of wind/wave direction. Unladen, the boat is very prone to weathercocking, but the rudder easily makes up for that (as does a 30# sandbag in the rear cargo area). Head on into 2 foot chop, with the nose often under water and water constantly breaking over the bow, both cargo areas stayed completely dry (more than could be said of my companion's boat). The double hatch (neoprene and poly) system is a great asset, though I've heard Necky may do away with this feature in the not too distant future.

I am a total neophyte at this, yet find the boat very stable. It did feel tippy at first, but after I'd paddled it a couple times, I was very comfortable. However, the secondary stability is truly amazing! I can eskimo roll it if I try, but the boat is rock steady on a hard lean, and recovers quickly with a brief stroke -- even when handled by a total newbie such as myself. It's also an incredibly stable boat for photography and fishing (and, presumably hunting, though I don't hunt).

The boat is very attractive (one of the reviews in the Necky catalog) commented that it avoided the Tupperware look of most plastic boats), and the attention to detail is fantastic. All adhesives ( of cockpit coaming and thigh braces for example) are well done; rigging is outstanding; hardware is stainless and finished to avoid poking holes in gear and/or skin. The rudder works easily and well, but I usually only need it if the boat is lightly loaded and the waves are quartering from astern.

The long, narrow design makes for a fast boat, but I have to really work to keep up with friends who have longer boats (but that was the tradeoff I chose to get a boat I could use on the river -- even in mild whitewater). The relatively low deck allows me to use a Greenland paddle if I choose, or even to use a larger paddle with a low-angle stroke -- if you're interested in Greenland paddling, be sure the boat you buy has a low enough foredeck to allow it).

The cockpit is pretty comfortable straight from the factory. I fashioned a backrest pad from some HD foam, and stuck some self-adhesive foam onto the thigh braces, but haven't really wanted (or needed) to make any other cockpit changes.

All in all, I'm very happy with this versatile, high performing boat. I'm also quite pleased with Necky's attention to detail and quality. Next purchase: probably a Necky Zoar Sport for my girlfriend (she finds the Looksha Sport a little to cramped). After that: a pair of Necky composite boats and/or a composite double.

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07-23-2000
Submitted by: icegatorSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     A great boat! The other reviews say it all. Good traking, excellent turning with rudder. I'd buy this one except the price is a little high for me.
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06-18-2000
Submitted by: RCSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I recently purchased a Looksha Sport poly. It's my first kayak, even though I have been kayaking for several years. The other reviewers referred to it's "tippiness." I do not find this to be true. I am not a beginner, but I am not advanced either, and I find it quite stable. I have had it out in some pretty good chop and it seems to track quite well (I do have a rudder) and cut through the waves with ease. The poly is quite heavy (63lbs) but I could not afford glass or kevlar at this time.
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02-28-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Looksha Sport: I'm a whitewater paddler who has gotten tired of waiting for the rains, so I went looking for a short boat that could be paddled in demanding conditions such as rocky rivers, heavy surf, etc... The Looksha Sport is an awesome boat for my needs!! It is not a beginner's boat, too tippy and the tracking requires constant attention. It is also not the fastest or lightest boat, but then don't we all need more exercise?!

Anyways, the secondary stability is where the Sport really shines. As you may know, primary stability is for beginner paddlers who are just getting used to floating. An advanced paddler wants a boat with lower primary stability so that it will lean over, edge, turn, spin, ... If you're looking for a boat that will perform and you have the paddling skills to manage an edgy, high performance boat, then you will not be dissapointed in the Sport. If you are a beginner paddler, well then you'll either get used to the boat or you'll sell it and buy a Carolina ;) A solid ten for this great design!!

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11-18-1999
Submitted by: F B CunninghamSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     When it comes to a fun sea and river boat, I have to agree with Tim Mattson in the previous review. This is a fun, agile craft with well-placed deck fittings, bulkheads and hatches. I have had my Sport since May and find it tracks well once you adjust to the shorter length. I don't agree with those who say it tracks poorly. I've had her out on reasonably long crossings and moderately harsh weather and have had no worries. With some foot and knee pressure I can stay very close to a bearing without thinking about it. As to slowness, I can't really say. I haven't tried to keep up with 17 footers on open water.

She acts like a touring kayak (except for extreme conditions) on the sea and a great, fast, agile river boat as well. Like Tim said, you can turn this boat on its axis. With a hard moving brace you can spin the boat around quickly (for a sea kayak). The hard chines make this boat a pleasure to lean on. Nice at carving turns into current on rivers or along a shore. Initial stability is good, but I would not say "cowlike". It isn't like a recreational where you can move around without concern.

Great boat for surfing. I've only done small stuff, but she responds quickly to swell, and carves faces nicely due to her agility.

Overall, I could not be happier with this boat. Maybe not great for real ocean work, but anything short of that, including coastal touring, and this boat is great for a reasonably good paddler. And, no, I don't work for Necky :-)

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11-03-1999
Submitted by: Tim MattsonSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have the Looksha Sport in Kevlar without a skeg or a rudder (it should be a crime to put a skeg or rudder on such a frisky boat). The boat is stiff and VERY strong.

It is a blast to paddle. I can lean the thing over on its side and spin it on its axis. With all the volume up front, you need to spend a lot of time outfitting the boat with pads, but once you fix the fit, it rolls nicely.

Rolling-skills are important with this boat 'cause if you really want to see it at its best, you have to head to the surf zone. The boat is stable and forgiving in the surf. I was particularly impressed with how nicely the high volume bow keeps the boat from pearling.

The boat is rock solid stable. I don't understand why so many other reviewers describe the boat as tippy. I found it as stable as a barge. And once you're moving and "carving your turns", its secondary stability kicks in to delight even the most skeptical play boater.

My only complaint --- the boat is slow and with all the rocker, its tracking is not great. Of course, this isn't surprising since its not designed to be a high-speed cruiser. Still, I imagine a beginner would find the tracking a bit too soft and might have a hard time keeping up with others in the group.

Overall, I wouldn't want this as my only sea kayak (too slow), but as an ocean play boat for a heavy paddler (I weigh 225 pounds), its one of the best boats around.

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10-01-1999
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My wife has this kayak and loves it. I have paddled it many thins and find it enjoyable. It is very manuverable and fast. It rocks a little at low speeds or while sitting. However the stability is quite good. Vendor Info: As the name implies, the "Sport" was designed specifically with sporty paddling in mind. It will find a home in rock gardens and surf zone mayhem; anywhere that maneuverability and final stability are highly valued. This shorter Looksha has significant rocker and when leaned onto its hard-chined edge, it will spin on its axis. Length:14'4",Width: 22.5", Depth: 12.5",Cockpit: 29.5"x16",Rear Hatch: 14.5"x10.5"
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09-07-1999
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     Just had my Sport out on its shake-down cruise in the coastal waters around Wrightsville Beach, NC -- after getting used to the initial tippiness, was much impressed with the speed, tracking, & maneuverability of this little gem of a boat. Where it shines is in wind-blown chop or in the wake of passing boats... as soon as the seas got a little rough, this boat was ready to play-turn-go-brace. Can't wait to get it in the surf zone! Should be a great all-around touring boat for these waters -- but don't expect to paddle it comfortably (or speedily) for miles and miles.
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08-17-1999
Submitted by: JBSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I recently purchased the Looksha Sport, and was a bit disappointed with its tracking abilitties ... it seems like it needs constant correcting with the rudder up. Also I noticed a "wow" behind the rear bulk head. Any one else notice this problem? Necky said to heat it up and it should pop out but that didnt work. I think I'll use it for a while then sell it for a glass Nigel Dennis Romany 16.
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07-13-1999
Submitted by: pjlSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I sold my Dimension Nomad because it had way too much volume for me and purchased a Looksha Sport. I would say this was the best purchase I've made for a kayak. As some others have said, it is a little tippy at first, but the secondary stability is incredible. The speed of this boat makes the Nomad look like a barge. Excellent kayak!
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06-18-1999
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I recently purchased a Looksha Sport. First, I got a poly boat with a skeg and bulkhead. The boat paddled well and the skeg added some tracking. The boat is a little tippy getting in and at low speeds but gets nice a stable once moving. There were some manufacturering defects and the distributer was very easy to work with and even upgraded it to a rudder which works great.
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03-15-1999
Submitted by: KSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I had been shoppong for a boat for about 9 months, had test paddled what seemed like a hundred boats when I tried the Looksha Sport. Although it feels a little tippy at first, the secondary stability is awesome!! This boat will turn on it's own axis if you put it over onto it's side far enough. The speed and tracking are great as well. i've had it out in 3-4 foot waves and have never felt as if it were going to roll (unless I wanted to!!). On the river it is still highly maneuverable, and the slight rocker helps as well. For a beginner to advanced intermediate this is a great boat with loads of storage for weekend trips. I like mine so much I'm going to pick up a 2nd for my 13 yr old daughter!!
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01-26-1999
Submitted by: Kevin SheedySend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Great short river/touring boat.
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