Too Advanced a Boat?: Necky Looksha II

I have been paddling for a few years, but nothing above class II on rivers and calm bays in saltwater. The most advanced boat I have is a Hurricane Tracer 165, which I’m learning to roll, but which still takes me a little while to feel comfortable in if I haven’t paddled it in a while. I’m 6’1", 210 pounds and the Tracer could stand to be a little less tight in the cockpit. Anyway, like an idiot, I bought a beautiful Necky Looksha II without paddling it because it was such a good deal. I have yet to pick it up, but now I’m having buyer’s remorse at buying at boat that I’ve read described as tippy and advanced, although it’s supposed to be very fast and with decent volume. Will I be able to use this boat, learn in it, and advance, or will I just shoehorn myself into this Ferrari and suffer continuous dunkings?

I’m concerned. Anybody want a great deal on a Looksha II?

Relax, enjoy.
You may very well find your first experience getting in and out might be jittery. By the third time you take it out you will wonder what all the fuss was about.

I did the same not long ago purchasing a 21 wide at the water line, Fathom, without trying first. My first trip I was quite taken back. I feared I had made an expensive mistake. Now it feels like old favorite sneakers. It took about 3 trips to master a method for getting in and out. I did suffer a bit in some strong clapotis a couple of weeks ago because I was tensing up. I am sure subjecting myself to those conditions more often, I will develop the relaxed attitude to remain comfortable. Haven’t tipped it over ever. I sure am glad I did NOT try it first because I am certain I would have looked at other models and probably purchased something cheaper with more initial stability. And been kicking myself for years for not getting what my heart desired as I would again quickly outgrow my “stabil” boat again. Don’t think of it as tippy, think of it as high performance. It is a mental thing.

In my experience
Neckys can feel a little twitchy at first. They are touring boats and as such seem to behave better with a little load in them. Some of my friends always put in 30-40 lbs of gear even for a skills practice session.

I went through that same though process with my Impex and even when I did my first ocean paddle it in, my co-paddler said I was paddling with a lot of adrenaline.

The upside is that we cut off a full 40-minutes off of the time he expected our little paddle to take.

Like someone here said once, sometimes, the best stability is to keep moving.

Hi mtn_cowboy
I bought a Looksha 3, sight unseen. That boat is eight inches shorter and half an inch wider than you Looksha 2. I’m sure it was more stable but it was tippy. Over time, it felt great. Keep in mind that when I bought that boat, six years ago, I was a brand new paddler (zero skills, just attitude). It wasn’t until I bought an Epic 18 and QCC 700, both faster and more stable than my Looksha 3, and started paddling those boats, did I go back to the Looksha only to decide that it was a tippy boat! It’s amazing what you can get used to and very comfortable in. I took my Looksha into some exciting ocean waters.

In no time you will feel good in the boat, seat time. You will also become a lot better paddler as your NEW boat will help you learn to paddle brace.

Enjoy your new boat!


Ps. The worst thing that will happen “wrecking” in a sea kayak is that you will get wet. If you haven’t learned to roll…now’s a perfect time to learn!

Enjoy the boat!
My first kayak was the smaller cousin to the Looksha, the poly Looksha Sport. 14.6 feet long, 23" wide. I wanted my first boat to be short and maneuverable, with medium stability and two sealed bulkheads for big-water camping. The Looksha Sport provided all of that and more.

I improved my paddling skills, learned to roll, and pushed that little boat all around several corners of Lakes Superior and Michigan before upgrading to a longer, faster boat.

If you’re already comfortable in the Tracer 165, I think you’ll really appreciate the speed and handling of the Looksha, and aside from a bit of initial instability, will enjoy the greater maneuverability. Your comfort and confidence will increase with more seat time, so just toss it over onto the multi-chines for a nice lean-turn and enjoy the ride.

Good Luck!


There is no such thing as a

– Last Updated: Aug-30-08 1:00 AM EST –

...too advanced boat.

However there are inexperienced paddlers.

Given time and paience they will become one and only one of the two can give up the challenge.

Be tough!

Paddlin' on

LOOKSHA II is a fast boat.
It is designed as a fast boat, is generally pretty light, with lots of rocker. I have been paddling forever, and this boat is difficult to keep in a straight line without the rear drop-down skeg deployed.

You have a classic, serious, fast boat that you will like once you learn how to use it. But just understand what it is - a 20X20 boat that has been used for racing back in the day, multi-chine, wants to turn ALL THE TIME without the skeg. But with the skeg, it straightens right up and does what you tell it to do. If you practice.

And it does it fast.

Look it up on the internet (not here). And good luck.

You already got it, so…

– Last Updated: Aug-30-08 1:18 PM EST –

... give it a try. However, until you can roll it, you will never be comfortable in it doing anything but paddle it straight more or less.

The first time I got out of my 22/23" 17 footer boats and into a 20.5" almost 18 foot Current Designs Andromeda (I think it was) that someone kindly loaned me was very educational. That boat has a significant V-shaped bottom, is 2-3 inches narrower than my boats, a little onger, and felt somewhat tippy. Not too bad but I could not immediately relax. And I still could not roll - I had taken a class but could not roll my Tempest without a paddle float attached (the kayak is similar to your Tracer) yet.

1 hour into the paddle we stopped in the middle of the Potomac for some fooling around (pretty much still water) and I tried to roll it. After one or two failed attempts at some sort of a lay-back roll and corresponding bow rescues from my buddies, I tried a simple C2C roll - amazingly, it worked immediately. Tried again - got up on the first try. Tried a few more - got up every time. So, on the way back, I can tell you the boat did not feel one bit tippy - I did 180 turns wtih full edging it that I would not have even attempted before due to the chance of capsizing.

Get your roll as soon as you can and the boat will feel a lot friendlier -;), at least in easy waters, that is...

I don't credit that particular boat for teaching me to roll - I changed my paddle and roll technique b/w the last time I tried it in the Tempest and that day. Just that once you get "wet" you get a lot more comfortable in the boat -;). Btw, the same roll worked perfectly in the Tempest too on my next paddle, so in a sense that tippy boat helped and I thought was easier to roll than some of the wider boats I've tried previously...

Best Boat Ever
I’ve been paddling my Looksha II for 12 years now, and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Don’t unload yours before you give it a try – I think you’ll like it a lot. It’s not as tippy as you might think, and it’s very fast and agile for such a big boat. You do need to use the rudder just about all the time, or it’ll over-steer, but this boat tracks like a dream through high wind and rough seas. I’m keeping mine forever!

Looksha II

I’m looking for a Looksha II or III. Do you still have your II? Still want to get rid of it?