any good advice on necky kayaks

Just wondering if anyone is familiar with Necky kayaks been looking at getting one. Just wondering on how well they will handle on the narrow or wide rivers.

Not Necky Per Se…

– Last Updated: Mar-15-06 9:55 PM EST –

really comes down to the length and rocker of the boat and types of rivers/streams you're paddling. Don't get locked into any one company. Look for a type of boat that suits your needs.

(speaking as Necky, Perception, Riot, Impex owner)

Necky makes both touring and WW
kayaks. What kind of rivers are you contemplating?

Profile says lake/flat water/slow rivers

– Last Updated: Mar-15-06 11:42 PM EST –

Considering the preferences as stated in her profile, I'd say that she's considering either recreational or sea kayaks. That being the case, I'll make a few comments about the necky boats I've paddled (all in the somewhat distant past)...

To country_girl:

It's been nearly 9 years since I've paddled any of the Necky sea kayaks, so I don't know if any of the things I'm about to mention have been changed or not with the newer boats. I'll mention them anyway, just in case they might still be something to consider.

First though, rememer what sing said about looking for a boat that will fit your needs, and don't get stuck thinking about just one brand or another. Anyway...

During my first couple months of paddling, I paddled a few different Necky models: Looksha Sport (first kayak I ever sat in), Looksha IV, Looksha II (a faster version of the Looksha line), a couple of the Arluk models (a "III" and one of the "1.x" models), and about 8 years ago, I paddled a fun little Necky surf boat that I can't remember the name of at the moment.

Though I thought the Necky boats were well enough made in terms of general workmanship, I did have a few complaints (again, I'm not sure if these have been changed by now):

1) I didn't like the high "seat backs" in the Necky sea kayaks at all! It didn't take me very long to figure out that I much preferred low back bands instead (even with a low aft deck, I wouldn't want the back band to be any higher than the deck level). If you do end up with a Necky sea kayak with one of these high seat backs, I'd recommend getting rid of it and replacing it with a good back band. Your posture and connection to the boat will be improved, thereby improving your boat control as well.

2) Though I stopped paddling boats with rudders after just a couple months of paddling, I remember that I also didn't like the "push-pull" type of rudder pedal/foot brace system (not good for "foot bracing" at all, even with the rudder "locked" on deck). I'm really hoping that Necky, like many other good manufacturers, has moved on to using the more reasonable "pivoting" rudder control/foot brace systems for their boats with rudders.

3) As I just mentioned above, I have a preference for boats that don't have rudders. That said, I remember feeling that the Necky rudders weren't all that great. Perhaps those have been improved as well...I dont' know. In any event, I found that something like the Looksha IV had a terrible tendency to weathercock in certain wind conditions, and the rudder was the only thing that could keep it tracking...with a *lot* of extra drag being the cost of using the rudder. In a sense, I also almost felt like the rudder contributed to, at least in part, the need for itself. If it wasn't deployed, it sat on top of the stern deck, ready to catch the wind, and create the need to deploy it. :-/

I thought of something else I should add...

I don't know how tall, short, large, or small you are, but I found that just about all the Necky sea kayaks I paddled had pretty high decks (both fore and aft of the cockpit), and I prefer lower volume boats with lower decks. Also, if I were to paddle any of those boats today, I'd certainly want to completely re-outfit the cockpit in order to not feel like I was swimming around in it. Of course, with any boat that wasn't custom built to fit your body, you'll most likely want to do some custom cockpit outfitting.

Finally, I'm not very impressed with the aesthetic lines of the Necky sea kayaks, but that's an entirely subjective consideration that only you can judge for yourself.

In any event, I don't know how long you've been paddling, or how many different boats you've tried so far, but if you've only paddled a few different boats at this point, I might recommend being patient and trying as many different boats as you can find before making up your mind. You may well end up liking a Necky enough to acquire one, but do try many different boats if possible.


Necky makes good boats, but so do
others. My first kayak was a Necky Sky, 9.6 ft recreational kayak. Roomy cockpit and very stable, not very fast, and has a bit of wave slap if you push it at top speed. I still have it and use it on small streams where my Loon 138 is too big for tight turns. Stability is important to me because I fish from my kayaks. I’ve had my Sky out mid lake when the wind came up and it began to whitecap, the Sky did fine getting me back in, though I wouldn’t recommend it for that kind of water. I’ve looked at the Manitou and thought it an ok kayak. It all depends on your needs, but there are lots of kayaks out there that’ll do the same thing. Try a few out before you make up your mind.

looking for a rec boat
I like the 9-10 foot kayaks for more control and stability on the tighter faster rivers. I saw a necky at a local paddling shop and I am hoping to be able to try it out this summer. I liked the wilderness systems pamlico 100 but they got rid of the dry hatch which was my good selling point on it. I have paddled the pungo and liked but on shallow rivers it is a pain in the but to handle. I currently have an old town rush right now and love it but it is not good for weekend paddles handles great on the rivers I like to paddle but not very easy access to be able to store my gear well. So I have been looking around and pricing want to get the best deal I can but I am picky and want something that will suit what I need.

I am an undashamedly fan of the Lookshaw Sport and am very familiar with the Zoar Sport. I like the boat, no two ways about it. The loooky has rock hard secodary stability and packs plenty of gear for what I do,and the rudder has been very handy over the yearswith this boat, it was my first boat and reamains a family favorite. The Zoar is it’s little cousin and works very well for many people. What model are you looking at? The previous responses are correct , there are alot of different boats out there. Stay picky and get what you want s…kim

Have had my Manitou almost two years now and love it. Excellent tracking, decent speed, handles nicely. Have had it on lakes (fishing and just paddling) and in Tampa Bay and on the Gulf of Mexico (2-3 foot seas). No complaints. Meets my needs perfectly.

I paddle a Necky
Elaho Sport on lakes, rivers, and a couple of wide creeks. Good secondary stability, tracks well, easy to turn. Low volume but enough room to pack for an overnight, maybe two. I paddled on Sat. Mar.11 with a new acquaintance in her Necky Looksha and she is very happpy with her Necky too. She was faster than I. The back band is easily adjustable, as are the foot pegs. It is a comfortable boat.

Necky “Elaho”
The Necky Elaho is a VERY manoueverable kayak. It has mulitple hard chines, to make it very easy to turn. All you have to do is lean the kayak to one side, and it will make a hard turn to the opposite side, all by itself.

Initial stability is like balancing on a railroad track, but secondaty stability is rock solid.

IMHO, it is not a kayak for an inexperianced paddler, but great for someone comfortable in this kind of kayak. I watched a beginner paddler, in a Poly Elaho, and she couldn’t paddle a straight line longer than 15’ (no exaggeration). She would have benefitted by having a rudder, but she didn’t have one.

It is a neat design kayak, for what it is. But not for a beginner.

Just a little feedback, from my experience.

Why not buy a used WS Pamlico?
Check out the classified ads on this website. It might be a little scratched up but who cares, you’re going to scratch it up anyway.—Rich

Necky rec boats are all V hulled…
I believe. They’re going to hang up like the Pungo did in shallow rivers. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not dissing Necky. I think the Looksha Sport and Chathams are pretty slick, just not for river running. I know you weren’t too keen on the seat in the Blackwaters, but you might want to give them and the Element another look-see. Daggers tend to be more river oriented than lake/sea, and have less draft. I believe the Blackwaters and Element all have rear hatches and bulkheads and pleanty of leg room for bum knees. Seats can be modified, hulls are harder.


thanks Jim…
I was looking at that aspect. I am looking at the manitou sport does have a v-haul on it but not as deep as your pungo. I do appreciate the other boats that you mentioned I will have to look in to them.

Perception Sundance 12
Check out the Sundance 12. Nice large cockpit, rear hatch with sealed bulkhead. I love mine

How big are you?
Necky, as do others, make a number of basic boats that’ll get you around on flat water. But for someone of the female persuasion, a lot of what’s out there has a big cockpit that doesn’t aid a smaller person in actually manuvering the boat. Are you contemplating just meandering along, trying to paddle with a group, and are you about average height for a woman or other than that?

I don’t want…
a long boat I am looking for a short rec boat no longer than 10 foot. If I was looking for a long boat it would be a sea kayak. Just looking for something to be able to handle shallow tight rivers and can still track well on the wider deeper rivers.

My boat has a smaller cockpit in it…
can be pain at times but I am able to manuver a lot better with it than if it were any larger. I like the smaller cockpit. I am about 5’8" but long legs so I also testing out haow well my legs fit in the cockpits and if there is enough leg room for me to be able to be comfortable and not have my knees lock up on me.

second the Blackwater…
I think the smallest Blackwater might be 10.5 feet, so it’s a bit longer than maybe you were thinking, but I think it’s a very good river running rec boat. It was my first boat, and I loved it. I chose it over other rec boats I tried because the cockpit was small enough that I could use my knees to maneuver the boat even though it doesn’t have actual thigh braces. A lot of larger cockpits were so large I couldn’t hook my knees up under them at all (I’m about 1/2" shorter than you). I didn’t find the cockpit too small though for comfort or ease of getting in and out at all.

On a trip last weekend with a large group of paddlers on a solid class II/II+ river, all of us were in ww kayaks or canoes except one guy in a Dagger Blackwater. He did fantastic in that boat even though a lot of quick maneuvers were needed.

The Blackwater also either comes with or has a skeg option (mine had the skeg), which makes tracking better in any long slow pools, too.

Happy 'yak shopping!


I can comment on only one Necky yak-
The Looksha II.

I bought it to use for excercise and still use it for that sole purpose. Would love to race but they are too far away for me to entertain thoughts of at the moment and foreseable future. I keep the QCC700 packed essentialy for frequent trips.

The Looksha II is very well made. I love the Seal Line rudder system. As far as quality and important at the time was the quoted weight and it was within 5% ( i told the dealer if it was more than no money from me, they made certain Necky knew this)…the only problem I had with Necky was waiting almost 7 months for the boat! Granted the Looksha II is not a frequently requested boat but even Valley can get you a goat quicker.

If I were studying Necky now it would be the Chatham but there are other boats that are on my list before that one.

Make good rec kayaks.