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Submitted: 08-12-2013 by Paul

I remember seeing people paddling the Looksha Sport in the early 2000s and thinking what an ugly design it was - the square stern turned me off and led me to believe that this was a beginner's sea kayak that favored stability over performance. How wrong I was!

Some years later I was buying up a bunch of sea kayaks on Craigslist for a family summer lakehouse vacation where I wanted to have enough kayaks for our whole family (my philosophy was buy used on Craigslist and then sell them off later - much cheaper then renting). Well, I never ended up selling either of the 2 Looksha Sports that I bought because I liked the kayaks too much.

About me - I've been kayaking for 15+ years and am primarily a whitewater boater but equally enjoy sea kayaking and even some flatwater racing. I have owned probably 20 kayaks or more and am particular about the performance of a kayak.

The Looksha Sport is the ideal all-around kayak. It is hard-chined boat with the secondary stability of a whitewater boat - that means it turns easily and is good for coastal exploration, river kayaking, or tight marshes where you require more agility than a 18-20' kayak can offer. The hard chines also make for great carving ability which makes this an ideal boat for surfing waves or getting knocked around in big surf. At the same time, the design manages to offer excellent hull speed for longer distances. I have used this boat for flatwater races and, compared to other boats with a similar length/width ratio, it moves nicely through the water and maintains a very good hull speed considering the width.

As others have pointed out, the stock seat is not very comfortable - a previous owner upgraded the seat in one of my Looksha Sports and it is much more comfortable. Only one of my boats has the oil canned hull that someone described so I don't think that is a problem unless the boat is stored wrong. That same boat has a deformed hull where it consistently pulls left but I think that is also due to improper storage and warping. The other Looksha paddles perfects straight and I rarely use the rudder.

This boat in a composite would be 10 but I still consider my plastic Looksha Sports long-term all-rounder keepers. Oh yeah, one last feature - the rear hatch is also large enough that it makes a perfect seat for a 2-5 year kid. My son grew up riding in the 'rear seat' - you can flip over the hatch cover and secure it in the rear webbing as a nice little plate for snacks. He loved it and it allowed us to paddle as a family until he was old enough to move into the tandem.
Well done - Necky, well done!

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