I bought a composite Looksha 17 on clearance about a year ago. It was a bit of an impulse buy. I have only used it in the pool at a rolling class where the stitching on one of the rudder straps gave out. I am now trying to get ready for this spring and trying to decide what to do about the rudder. As background I am planning to primarily use this kayak on the Connecticut river for exercise. I also intend to use it on LI Sound, the Connecticut lakes in NH and other such places for day touring and camping. I am 6’1" and 220 pounds. I am currently learning to roll in my Dagger Katana.
I have searched the forums here for info on the Looksha 17 and think that the boat will be good for my intended uses once I have sorted out the rudder.
I am trying to decide if I should fix the rudder system that came with the boat or replace it with a SmartTrack system. The rudder system that came with it appears to be an Ocean Kayak Universal system with sliding pedals. With the rudder stowed they gave somewhat squishy support when trying to roll, although I am now suspect of their build quality. My intention is to use the rudder to compensate for weathecocking in the wind and not for steering. As a cruising kayak in moderate conditions is the original rudder system good enough? Is the fixed pedal of the SmartTrack worth the effort to retrofit it to this boat and would it make this boat more useable in rougher conditions?