Submitted: 04-17-2002 by Echo1
2002 Necky Sky. Base model comes standard with front deck rigging and a padded seat/backrest. Made of Superlinear polyethylene Length: 9'6", width 26.5". Weight: 42 lbs.
Reviewer: Male 6', 175 lbs. Novice experience.
Likes: Very comfortable cockpit, room for feet/legs in many different positions. Clever mechanism to adjust backrest position while seated. Speed, tracking, maneuverability, and construction materials.
Dislikes: Rear foam bulkhead limits storage
I recently purchased a Sky and have been out paddling in it 4 times for a cumulative distance of about 30 miles. When I started looking at kayaks, I had no paddling experience other than renting a SOT that I found very uncomfortable. I decided I would purchase a kayak if it met my basic requirements for comfort, fun to paddle on flatwater and coastal areas (Sea of Cortez), and, be easy to transport in the back of my Nissan pickup without a rack. I looked at several kayaks including a Swifty, Loon 100 & 111, Zydeco, and Sky. From my initial look, I concluded the Swifty would be a tight fit for me especially with foot space, and the Loons were a little larger and heavier than I wanted. The Zydeco was comfortable but I wasn't crazy about the backrest as it is just part of the seat and must be flexed forward to access behind the seat storage. For me, the Sky was the most comfortable and had lots of foot space because there is no keelson or tracking channels intruding. Prior to purchase, I test paddled a Sky and found it to be a little tippy in the beginning. As the day progressed, I became more and more comfortable with its stability and was impressed with its speed and tracking. By the end of the day I knew I was going to purchase the Sky.
Since purchasing, I've paddled in a variety of conditions and have concluded the Sky is the most sporty of the kayaks I looked at. It exceeds my expectations for comfort, fit, speed, tracking, and handling. The last time out, I took my GPS receiver (held in place by the front deck rigging) to map where I paddled and was surprised to see just how well it performed: I paddled 7 miles on flatwater (with chop) in winds of 5-15 mph. My sustained cruising speed into the wind was 2.6 mph and 3.5 mph downwind.
In summary, the Sky is one of the most sporty and versatile recreational kayaks available. It can be used for paddling flatwater, whitewater, and coastal areas. Surprisingly, the Sky received a 3.25 rating (out of 4) as a value whitewater kayak by the Gear Guide on OLN TV. It has good speed, tracks well, and can be lean turned for great maneuverability. Considering my requirements for a recreational kayak, I give the Sky a rating of 10.