Sometimes it seems like kayak designers share the same obsession as the magazine headlines at the grocery store checkout. Everything’s getting skinnier. At almost 24 inches wide, the Necky Looksha V is one boat that’s bucking the diet trend.

Necky Looksha V Specs
Length: 17’4”
Width: 23.75”
Depth: 13.5”
Weight: 65 lbs
Cockpit: 33” × 17.25”, 155 L
Bow Hatch: 16” × 9.5”, 63 L
Stern Hatch: 16” × 9.5”, 85 L
MSRP: $1,619 USD or $1,999 CAD

Necky’s Looksha V offers a roomy ride

There is an undeniable pride and grace to be felt slipping into a kayak that’s nary wider than your hips. But there may come a time when you paddle your 21-inch-wide kayak through a four-foot chop and notice your paddling partner blithely snapping photos and popping his skirt to pull out a snack while you’re white-knuckling your paddle and grinding the enamel off your teeth to endure the pain of cramping obliques. And it will be quite likely that your grinning buddy will be paddling the Looksha V, the latest in Necky’s popular Looksha series of multi-chined tourers.

Economies of scale

The heft of a 17-foot polyethylene hull (the only material currently offered) is undeniable, but so is the surprise of its speed and manoeuvrability. At tripping speed, the Necky Looksha V has no problem cruising alongside those calorie-counting kayaks with British accents.

Man paddling a Necky Looksha V sea kayak
Feature Photo: Liz Burnside

The wider girth has the advantage of providing a more rounded rocker on a tilt—the Looksha V spins quickly on its side—yet tracking is excellent, obviating the need to deploy the rudder except in some following seas and rear quartering winds. Initial stability is moderate to high and secondary stability is exceptional—you really have to throw your weight around to flip over.

Details of the Necky Looksha V sea kayak

A simply strapping boat

The “Extrasport XtraComfort” foam rubber seat integrates a water bottle holder. Foot braces are shock-corded on the bow end and connect to the rudder cables with adjustable straps. A clever under-deck shelf keeps pumps and other essentials out of the way yet accessible.

Large, easy-to-pack oval hatches incorporate the tried and true combo of a neoprene seal and a rigid plastic cover to protect from sun and waves, all secured by the bra-like “Cross-Lock” four-strap system that does up with one quick clip.

Adjustment options in the cockpit of the Necky Looksha V will leave you agog: one strap on each side for seat bottom angle, backrest angle and foot pedals. Plus a six-point height adjustment on the backrest, sliding thigh braces, and comfy under-deck foam padding.

Take a closer look at the Looksha V

The Necky Looksha V promises to be a reliable workhorse for outfitters and mid- to large-sized paddlers looking for a durable, affordably priced ride with a rich array of features.

This article was first published in the Early Summer 2006 issue of Adventure Kayak Magazine. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions, or browse the archives.


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