Difference between Necky Looksha IV and Looksha IVS

Forgive my ignorance, but google hasn’t been helpful in this case. I am trying to figure out the difference between a Looksha IV and a Looksha IVS. I am looking to purchase a kayak very soon and found a Looksha IVS for sale about an hour and a half away. I am 5’10" 155lbs.

I can’t find any information on what the S in the model means. Please, enlighten me if you know!

Look up this post.

I don’t have any specs on the IVS, but I own one and was able to compare it with a regular Looksha IV a few years ago. We used a paddle as a measuring stick and determined that the length and width of the cockpit were the same on both boats. The cockpits on these old Looksha’s are a bit short, around 30 inches, and some people have trouble getting their legs in if they get in butt first. At 5’10", you might be good if you’re reasonably flexible.

I took a few photos, shown below. My IVS is the beige boat (it was once bright yellow), the regular IV is the blue deck boat. To me, the hull shape looks essentially the same, but the hull on the IVs is lower. Look at the amount of white hull between the deck seam and the chine, right where the screws for the foot controls are. You can see that the IVs is narrower through there by an inch or so. So, the IVs has a “less tall” hull. Also notice that the deck forward of the cockpit is different shaped. The hatch on the IVS is further back, and the deck appears to have more curvature.

Overall conclusion is that the IVS is a lower volume version of the IV. The lengths and hull shapes look very similar, but the IVs deck is lower.

As far as you fitting and how it paddles, I’m 6’0", about 165 lb with size 9 water shoes. I can just get bend legs into the cockpit, but recently moved the seat back about an inch which helped a lot. My size 9 water shoes are a tight fit vertically under the deck - I have to keep my heels close together and splay my toes outward to fit. But with the snug fit, I like the way it feels and paddles. It has a lively feel and handles rougher water pretty well. The upturned bow (they called it the Dolphin Bow) makes it ride up and over waves and chop which can be kind of fun. My IVs weighs 53.5 lbs and was manufactured in 1996. Ironically, I’m thinking of selling it though because I have a lighter boat that gets more use.

Thank you Wolf! This is a lot of great information. It’s still puzzling to me that I can’t find specs or documentaion on the differences. Any more information would be greatly appreciated!

Before making the 1 1/2 hour drive, perhaps ask the seller for photos of the neoprene hatch cover liners to make sure they’re still in good shape. I had to patch one of mine. And of course, ask if the rudder works and if there’s any major damage. Also, if you sit in it and wish you had the extra inch of space you get by moving the seat back, see the attached photo showing the old screw hole (circled), and the way I notched the back rest to regain the same amount of “recline” after moving the seat.

The S is for small.

I’ve only seen one or two IVS’s in all the years I have been paddling. The one that stands out was owned by a woman who was 5’ in heels and 100 lbs when wet. Given she fit it, I suspect it may be too small for you. But only trying would tell for sure.

I agree that a Lookshaw IVs is probably a low volume version of the IV. In the earlier years before Necky was bought up by Johnson Outdoors, Necky was very accommodating as far as offering custom modifications and there were a small number of variants among all of the earlier designs.

The neoprene hatch covers aren’t a real concern as they are still available from third party vendors at Top Kayaker. I’ve had to replace them on my 24 year old Arluk 1.9. There are a number of boats that used them besides Necky. To extend their life take them off when storing the boat to take the tension off of them, assuming the boat is stored in a varmint free environment.

1 Like

Just be prepared to spend around $100 for a pair. Good to know when negotiating the price of an older kayak.