1st Kayak Necky Arluk II or Current Designs Infinity


Im in the market for my first kayak and realize it’s a terrible time to be looking for one with the recent demand in recreational items.
I have recently found the above boats. I also realize these are two very different animals. That being said I have much canoe experience both solo and tandem. Spent considerable time in marathon race boats so while my kayak experience is limited to some trips in a friend’s boat I have been on the water.
What are people’s thoughts in regards to these kayaks? I would be using them for day trips and weekenders. Coastal waters.
I do plan on taking some coastal confidence courses and rolling eventually.
No big plans for the surf but anticipate some waves of course.
I would.like to get a boat I can grow with.


Take your size into consideration.

I’m 6’ 175lbs. Seller says it’s narrow would fit a taller person. Sounds about right.

Your size will fit easily. I considered buying one but they stopped making them. You may have ignited me again to have one skeg boat. Don’t like the look of the Prana.

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I haven’t paddled the Necky Arluk II. I believe it was a design focused on open water efficiency and speed, which is a beautiful thing. I would welcome a chance to try one. I paddled a friend’s Infinity at the beach once. I remember it being a very well-mannered kayak, on the more efficient side in terms of speed and tracking, and rolling and bracing felt natural. He was really wanting to push the envelope in terms of surf play, and ended up buying a Sterling kayak and selling the Infinity. He once expressed regret at selling the Infinity, because he really loves the Sterling, but for days not dedicated to surf play, he missed the efficiency of the Infinity.
It’s one of those things where you might see someone describe a kayak responding meaningfully to every input, and it sounds wonderful, and to them that means something that turns easily. But when 95% of your input is a forward stroke, and you have the ability and energy and ambition to explore that fast glide through the water, and you feel the kayak fighting back against every forward stroke, then responding meaningfully to the vast majority of your input is efficient glide. It doesn’t take a dedicated racer or pushing maximum hull speed to realize this type of efficient glide. If you’re the type of person to notice the shoreline or other fixed objects going by, and your glide across the water gives you some sense of satisfaction, you’re probably there. I think either of these kayaks will give you nice efficient glide. The Infinity, to me, seems like a nice all-arounder for someone with one kayak. It certainly checks all the boxes for learning everything about sea kayaking, and should be a great boat for any of the ACA skills courses (or otherwise) that you might take. It should be a comfortable fit for your size that allows you to develop good forward stroke technique and also contact and control for maneuvering, bracing, and rolling. It could be a nice kayak for you. Definitely worth a try.
Good luck in your search.

You just described my kayaking mission. Cruising and going places.

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I’ve been paddling a Necky Arluk 1.9 for 22 years, and obviously am very happy with it. It is pretty similar to the Arluk II. The Current Designs boat is very similar in almost all features. Both boats are designed to track very well and are designed to be relatively fast with a straight keel and soft chine. The Current Designs is a bit shorter but the Arluk gives a way more waterline length with the upswept “porpoise” bow. Primary and secondary stability are moderate. The Arluk in Kevlar is possibly just a couple of pounds lighter. Both boats are perfectly suitable for coastal waters.

The primary differences are that the Arluk normally has a rudder while the Current Designs has a skeg. To each his own. The Arluk has the old style sliding foot pegs to control the rudder which are not used anymore and most people don’t like. It could be upgraded to the newer “gas pedal” designs now used in most ruddered boats. However, with me in the 1.9 the boat neither weathercocks or leecocks, but instead will end up broadside to the wind if I stop paddling. This means I can generally turn upwind or downwind with no problem, but it can be a challenge if I want to stop paddling for a bit on a windy day being broadside to the waves. I generally only use the rudder with a strong stern quartering wind. Paddling open water on the Chesapeake and other places I can occasionally go a whole season without using the rudder. This may vary with you and gear in the boat.

The Current Designs boat will ride over short period waves better than the Arluk which tends to punch through them.

A final difference might be age. The Arluk series was discontinued in 2003 a bit after Johnson Outdoors bought them. The the entire Necky line was discontinued in 2017. The Current Designs boat is still being manufactured. If the Necky has been well cared for, it should still be just fine, but I would expect a much more substantial discount compared to the Infinity if it is considerably newer.

I have somewhat limited experience with the Current Design boats.

My brother-in-law had the Arluk in Kevlar and liked it except for the deck height not allowing him to raise his knees as much as he liked. He ended up with a NDK Explore with the knee bumps.

I paddle with a good friend that has a Kevlar CD Infinity. It may not be as fast at top speed as the Arluk, but he is always at the front of the group with it. He has a knee replacement and doesn’t seem to have any problem in that regard. I think the Infinity is a bit more of an all around kayak.

I have not paddled either kayak.

Infinity has not been made since Prana came out so it’s gone 5-6 years I think.

Thanks to everyone for the insight full comments. I am learning much in this search for a kayak.

The Necky is a '96. Hatch seals have been replaced, hardware and rudder is all intact. The hull and keel line look very good with just two repairs to the gell coat.

It did have some damage on the decks from snow. Both in front and behind the cockpit. It was repaired with fiberglass patches and gell coat. The seller has been very forthright and provided many photos. He feels it’s nothing structural. I’ve seen many repairs to composite canoes and these seem well done.

I am looking at a new poly p200 Boreal Designs Epsilon tomorrow. It’s more money of course and in some ways I prefer poly. My tandem canoe is plastic and the solo kevlar. I never realized how liberating is was to not fret over a canoe until I got one that I did.

I have 2 Kevlar canoes a tandem and solo. Maybe because I bought them used at significant savings neither is babied. They are also more easily repaired than poly. For that reason I prefer a composite boat. The exception is white water, and that boat is Royalx.

I like repairability of composite hulls.

Nothing really replaces getting out on the water in a given boat and paddling it a bit.

Im a bit heavier than you but generally the same hight. My first “nice” boat was a CD Soltice GTS in kevlar which is a delightful boat and I would consider taking a look at one if you can. CD generally makes great boats and mine was used, well kept, and has really stood up to some abuse over the few years ive had it. My only complaint is the lack of day hatch which has become really popular on boats in the past few years. The molded hatch covers have never been an issue and on the water is a delightful boat in all conditions. That being said its somewhat “uneventful” of a boat. Not terribly playful, not terribly planted in the water either but if you want an all around, go fast, fill it with stuff, comfortable, rudder boat, its exactly what you are looking for.

I paddle with one guy who has a Stellar 18 and one who is in an NDK explorer, we all hold pace with each other well, those are both skeg boats but thats a personal preference thing.

If you are looking for recommendations in that space I would take a look at the Prana from CD if you want a CD skeg boat. The Explorer from NDK (will be a bit heaver than the kevlar CD boats) either LV or standard depending on the fit you want. Valley also makes a variety of boats in that size range but I have yet to encounter one in person so cant speak much to them.

Ive got an NDK Greenlander Pro, but that is a whole different barrel of what ever is in the barrel today…

For day trips and short weekend stuff you can also look at the shorter 15-16ft boats that are out there like the NDK Romany etc.