Submitted: 07-06-2005 by talqinpaddler
This review is for a plastic Necky Looksha IV. I loved the boat from the moment I tested it the first time. However, my objective might be fairly different from those of others.
I'm 37 years old and about 5'11" and 200lbs. I did race kayaking for several years when I was a teenager and got back to the sport just recently. Now, I do kayaking on a big open lake for fun and for a good workout. I paddle about 4 times per week for 2 hours per session and cover almost exactly 10 miles per trip.
I don't do any tricks (lean, roll or whatever) but I enjoy to aim towards the middle of the lake and go mostly straight to reach particular goal points within my set time limit. So keeping the boat straight on track for all kind of weather conditions (wind from any side, up to 3 feet waves, minor current)is important to me - the Looksha IV is doing fairly well in that regard (without ever having to deploy the rudder). I have the air cushion seat but never bothered to ever pump it up.
As I mentioned before, I manage to cover 10 miles within 2 hours (plus/ minus only 4 minutes dependent on the weather condition. Therefore, I consider the Looksha IV fairly fast. I love the lines of the boat and believe the relatively low deck contributes to the fact that wind has such a low impact on its travel speed.
I also own a plastic Necky Chatham 17 with a drop skeg. Although 2 inch longer and 1 inch skinnier I need about 10% more time in the Chatham to cover the same distance. The only thing I wished I could adapt to my Looksha IV is the drop skeg since one can partially engage the skeg and improve tracking without adding to much drag. However, without rudder and skeg the Looksha IV tracks much better than the Chatham 17. Also the hard chines and keel shape of the Looksha IV create less of a bow wave than the Chatham 17.