11-25-2011Submitted by: shortmarie
Reviews for Zoar Sport Kayak by Necky Kayaks
Based On: 59 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've owned many kayaks, and keep around 4 in the barn, on a regular basis. This is my "go to" girl. Very stable, and with her rudder, Very easy to steer. I'd highly recommend her to new kayakers! I love this boat!
05-05-2011Submitted by: wasabi11
- Rating: 9 of 10 Bought my 2008 Zoar Sport in late 2007. I have logged many, many miles in this boat, and I have enjoyed 99% of them. The only complaints I have are that thigh braces should be standard (you can buy Necky brand braces and DIY), and the Extrasport seat can be a little trying on long trips.
It is an awesome boat for a 3-5 day trip, and I have had no leaks with the rubber hatch covers. I prefer these to the beret-style with plastic covers and cross straps. Stability is amazing- I can see why an Angler version of this boat was made. With this much stability, it is not a super-quick handling boat unless you have some skills at bracing and good paddle technique (which I do hee hee). I have paddled it on slick bayous and rivers and in wicked chop and surf and like to deploy the rudder in chop, as it improves tracking.
I don't think the rudder is standard anymore, so if you are buying this boat, I would suggest having a rudder installed and thigh braces. I am 5 ft 8 and 145 pounds, so I definitely need thigh braces in this boat to maximize the fun. I may be insane, but I have paddled this baby in 4-6 ft seas without a spray skirt and stayed pretty dry. Only time I came out of the boat was due to my own stupidity- lots of chop, no skirt, and heavy winds in the Gulf of Mexico. I was cutting up in the waves and zigged when I should have zagged. Re-entry is easy using cowgirl/cowboy method and paddle as an outrigger. Even when I had to deliberately do wet exits WITH a skirt, the rear deck is ample enough to get you back on board fairly easily.
The boat is roto-molded poly and mine is the sunrise fade- colors are still beautiful and all the fittings are like new- even after salt-water use. There is a neat little spot to install a compass on the front deck and I did put one on.
I would definitely recommend this boat to anyone with a $1K budget. I will ALWAYS keep this boat, but I am a fairly advanced paddler, so my next 'yak will be something more along the lines of the Looksha Elite or Eliza Composite- something faster and more agile in heavy surf. I have been using a Bending Branches Journey paddle with my boat, have a basic Aquabound paddle as a back-up, and a Surge Carbon. I prefer the BB for touring and the Surge is brand new, so I am excited to get out on Lake Michigan and see how that works out.
07-29-2009Submitted by: colleenp
- Rating: 8 of 10 Bought my Zoar at a dealer's sale and got a great deal. I really like the tracking, ease of entry, and larger cockpit, along with the rudder for those fast-moving rivers. My only complaint is the weight...rather heavy for me to get on top my SUV at 57 lbs. I also think the seat needs to be improved but generally, since it is my first kayak, I am enjoying it. I am not worrying about scratching it...already christened by low water in the Everglades! A fun kayak to play with...but it can't keep up with the sleek kevlar ones.
03-13-2008Submitted by: Dogb
- Rating: 9 of 10 I purchased a Necky Zoar Sport as my (gulp) 4th kayak. I wanted an inexpensive boat that I could leave locked up at a public landing and not worry like I would about my "good" kayaks.
I say, for the money, this is a pretty good boat. It's not super-fast, but there are other boats for that. It's a good beginner boat, or one if you want a roto-molded boat it's pretty good for the money. I'm a little disappointed in the seat, it could be more comfortable when I look at other boats at this price break. It can "sort of" hold an edge, again more so than other boats at this price-range. I would say at the 14 foot range, a day tourer, this is a pretty good boat and better than some. It can handle a larger paddler, but so can Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 - which has more comfort, but less performance. I'd recommend the Tsunami for anyone with knee or back problems over this boat.
I think if you're looking for an "all around" kayak to do some rivers, lakes and even some big water, it's great - especially for the money. Don't look for speed, or cutting through the water, because it's a little clunky - but at 14 feet, what can you expect? For what you're paying for, you get a pretty darn good boat. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a better boat for the money...unless you buy used.
05-18-2006Submitted by: YooperBlock
- Rating: 9 of 10 I am the Tony who mis-rated the Zoar Sport with a 5 below. I would give the boat a 9. After another couple years with it, I really want to stress the comfort of this boat. It is not cramped at all and the stability is better than most kayaks.
03-03-2006Submitted by: head4obx
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have had my Zoar Sport for about 3-4 years now (purchased used from this site) and used it on several ponds, lakes, harbors, and tidal rivers in NH and Maine. It is a great beginner kayak and serves well as I try new activities. I have not used it in the ocean but would not have reservations in doing so. It is a very stable kayak, and I have never tipped it over despite some "less than graceful" entries. It's a little wider than a touring kayak. This past year I rigged it for fishing and that has worked extremely well. There is space for flush mount rod holders behind the seat, and a Scotty rod holder in the front. There is also plenty of room at the ready for an anchor, tackle, moving around, and handling fish (I'm 5'8", 180 lbs). I do have a rudder which has helped me, especially when fishing the tidal rivers last year in strong currents or wind. But prior to that I didn't need the rudder very much. I haven't tried to roll or re-enter after tipping it, which wi!
ll be the next step before ocean fishing. Its not the fastest yak on the water, but the lack of speed is easily offset for me by the stability and ease of transporting it. The weight is reasonable and I have no problems loading it on my jeep with the aid of some hully rollers. All in all I think the Zoar Sport is a great kayak for the money, especially when I compare it to some of the more popular plastic kayaks.
09-21-2005Submitted by: Scott
- Rating: 8 of 10 I am relatively new to kayaking and purchased the Zoar Sport to use around local lakes, rivers, and the occasional coastal trip. This kayak tracks very well and is very easy to lean and turn without the rudder. Eventually, I would like a longer and narrower kayak for extended ocean paddling, but for most of my excursions, the Zoar Sport performs admirably. I can Eskimo roll the kayak easily and can enter the boat after a wet exit without using a paddle float. The seat does leave a little to be desired, but I feel the rest of the kayak is well outfitted.
08-29-2005Submitted by: YooperBlock
- Rating: 5 of 10 I bought a Zoar Sport in 2004 and have paddled it on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and on inland lakes and rivers. I like the stability a lot and I like the roominess (I'm 6' 2" and 220). It cruises along well enough and the rudder comes in handy when I feel lazy, but the tracking leaves a lot to be desired. All in all this boat works well for a beginner and I thoroughly enjoy it. I don't find the seat that uncomfortable.
07-27-2005Submitted by: Wendy Horan
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is my first kayak and I love it. I've canoed all over the place but prefer the ease and responsiveness of kayaking. I test drove 5 boats (Manitou, Santa Cruz, Manitou Sport, and Breeze) before settling on the Zoar Sport. It suits all of my needs. I've had it in heavy open water chop as well as tight, narrow, windy, shallow rivers and it does well in all conditions. It's a little on the heavy side but I can still manage to get it up onto the roof of my van on my own. It's stable and easy to paddle. No complaints. All around wonderful boat. I'm so glad I settled on this make and model.
06-05-2005Submitted by: tillibets
- Rating: 10 of 10 I use the Zoar Sport in the Hudson three times a week and it is a very good mix of stability and agility. Not the fastest boat, but it does just fine in flat water and rough. I have the rudder and don't use it much, but it comes in real handy in a fast running current and high wind. An excellent all around boat, very well made.
05-23-2005Submitted by: sfm2244
- Rating: 8 of 10 I'm very happy with this kayak. Being a bigger paddler (270lbs) it handles nicely and is very stable. I've taken it out on some windy lakes and some windy streams and haven't had any problems.
02-01-2005Submitted by: BlueZoarIndiana
- Rating: 9 of 10 I purchased my Necky Zoar in the Spring of 2002. It is my first kayak. Since then, I have taken it on many lakes and rivers in North/Central Indiana. I have found it to be exactly what I wanted. It is very stable (I regularly fish from it), it runs very shallow (even with 200lb me and some gear in it), and I can easily paddle it upstream in a river (without the skeg). I will agree with other reviews that the seat is a disappointment. My lower back is often sore after a day on the water. However, I happen to like the thigh braces (I can easily lean the kayak with my lower body while fishing). My next kayak will have a better, more comfortable seat--but I am otherwise a great fan of this boat.
09-03-2004Submitted by: Laurie
- Rating: 10 of 10 I am a new kayaker and not big (5'4") and found this a wonderful kayak for my purposes. I purchased it to paddle on a reasonably sized fresh water lake and it has proven to be an excellent choice. I will admit that portaging this kayak over a rough trail is not fun (I will never do it again).
08-13-2004Submitted by: loganpe
- Rating: 8 of 10 I have owned my 2003 Zoar Sport for over a year. I am 6' 180lb. The boat is a great beginners boat. It is very stable which also causes it to be slow for a 14 footer. Lots of room for packing gear. Seat is a bit uncomfortable, especially when compared to Wilderness Systems Phase 3 seating. The knee braces are cheesy. They appear to be added to the boat as an afterthought. Rudder is nice, but would like to see a better footpeg system. The boat tracks very well, with or without the rudder. All in all, I would highly recommend to any beginner. You would have to do something seriously wrong to tip over.
07-30-2004Submitted by: Paul
- Rating: 10 of 10 I am 5'10, 200 lbs. and purchase the zoar sport about a year ago. I did my research for about a year. I have taken it out on many lakes and rivers in RI, MA, NH and ME and the ocean off the coast of RI and ME. I found it to be very stable, great edging performance, fit is very comfortable and nice tracking. I use the rudder often in the ocean which helps a lot. I am extremely please with this model.
07-19-2004Submitted by: Tim
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is a great kayak. I'm 6'0" 195lbs and just getting started. I tried a lot of kayaks at a demo day and have rented some too. I liked the Zoar Sport the best. I found a great deal on a used one on this website. I have used it so far on lakes and just recently took it on a river with class 1 rapids. At first I used the rudder a lot but now I hardly use it. It kept wanting to go left but I found it was me and not the kayak. I recommend buying a video and/or a book (I have both) on kayaking if you are a beginner. The Zoar Sport is very stable and easy to get in and out of.
04-26-2004Submitted by: Patrick
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've had the Zoar Sport for over a year now and thought it was time to give my report. I am 5'10, 200 Lbs and it fits me like a glove. It tracks well with the skeg and slices through breakers. It is extremely stable and excellent for an amateur. I highly recommend this boat for a novice or as a spare.
03-24-2004Submitted by: Dr.JB
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is really a great boat, I could not be happier. It is VERY stable and although not the fastest one around, still fast enough for most of us to enjoy. It is easy to turn and with the skeg down it tracks very well, even in pretty windy conditions. My twelve year old daughter, who never used any kayak before, had a blast with it on her very first try. My fourteen year old son, caught a bass fishing from it, also in his first try ever on a Kayak (as I told you, it is really very stable).
I use it for costal touring and nightly workouts on a lake in the back of our home.
This is a superb little kayak, the only small setback for me is the fact that it is rather on the heavy side - I drive a Ford Expedition and to haul it to a car top that is about six feet high, after a day paddling, is really a workout on it's own. But then again, I bought it mainly for workouts, therefore under this circumstances the weight should be considered a plus as well. Great job Necky!
03-23-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought 2 kayaks two weeks ago. A zoar sport for me (5'11'' 215 lbs) and a Perception Avatar for my wife. I really like my Zoar, it tracks well and I have only used the rudder a few times in the wind. For me it is the perfect boat, much more stable than my wifes and alot more storage. I will proabley upgrade the seat as it is uncomfortable the seat in the Avatar is very comfortable so something along that design. I've paddled it about 50 miles so far on lakes and love it!
09-10-2003Submitted by: patrie
- Rating: 10 of 10 What can I say, I love this boat, I have been kayaking for 3 years, and have had the zoar sport for 2 years. I am very satisfied with the stability of the boat, as well as it's preformance on both open water and river. I would recomend this boat to anyone new to kayaker.
07-21-2003Submitted by: Dan
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've been kayaking for about 7 years. Have had my Zoar Sport for little over a year and have paddled in about 18 different locations between the SF Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. This Necky has been superb in all conditions with a stability from start to finish that has given me more confidence and helped improve my skills as a paddler. My old boat (that a local dealer allowed trade -in value toward the Zoar) handled more like a canoe in comparison, and quite honestly, the Zoar's bulletproof stability took some getting used to. It floats over wakes and confused seas that used to send my former kayak into fits. I'm a big fan of that diamond hull.
I've been okay with the stock seat, but after reading others' reviews thought it wise to add a self-inflating cushion under the stock seat. Highly recommend this simple and inexpensive outfitting.
Since I acquired the Zoar, I can't get enough of hitting the water, anytime, anywhere, and have found many a delightful spot to put in within a 30-45 minute radius of my home.
If you're looking for a great boat for coastal explorations, wandering through marinas, basking in early morning flatwater birding sorties, taking on your less-challenging rivers, boat camping, or simply getting lost only to paddle your way home hours later (make sure you always carry lots of water, sunscreen, and some food), the Zoar sport has all the comfort, storage, and capability of any boat in its price range and slightly above. If I had the money to burn, I don't think I could find a simply more enjoyable paddling platform.
07-07-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 Bought the Zoar Sport with a skeg, cheaper, and on a 14 foot boat I didn’t think a rudder was necessary… I may have been wrong; there have been times in big water when a little direction control would have been handy. The dollar difference between the skeg and rudder is enough for me not to regret my choice.
The boat fits very nicely. At 5’10” and 200 lbs, I don’t feel stuffed in and there’s enough room to move. The only problem so far is the weight; this is a heavy little guy, though probably no worse than comparable boats, but loading it back onto the car after a paddle can be fun for others to watch.
The Zoar gets a gold star for stability, nothing seems to bother it. It tends to move a bit with the wind but not enough to bother me. The seat gets hard after a few hours but so does my car’s so that’s not an issue. All in all a great boat, nothing to complain about, no leaks, lots of room for me and gear, stable, solid, very secure… I’d buy another one with out a second thought.
06-30-2003Submitted by: katb8
- Rating: 9 of 10 I rate it a 9 but for what I use it for it is a 10. The model Ihave has a sealed rear compartment and a skeg. I prefer a skeg as opposed to a rudder. Just me. I use it to get to out of the way places to fish and get away. I have use it on Lake Michigan, western shore, with no problems. Always felt secure. Not the fastest boat I ever had but a good all around boat.
06-17-2003Submitted by: Bruce
- Rating: 9 of 10 Yet another vote for the Zoar Sport as the "big person's kayak." At 6'-2" and 200 pounds I am not extremely tall nor very "beamy" and yet I had a *lot* of difficulty feeling comfortable in most of the kayaks I tried. I have canoed for over 40 years and set out last summer to find a plastic kayak that I would not quickly outgrow. I had never been in a kayak before last year but recognized from the outset that fit is important and can only be determined by plunking one's bod into many possible boats -- that reviews can only be helpful to a point because they are based on *other* bods than one's own!
Through rentals and loans I tried a variety of boats from 12 to 15 feet or so: Perception Acadia, Carolina, Catalina; Prijon Calabria; Wilderness Systems Cape Lookout, Cape Horn, Alto, and Manteo; Walden Odyssey; and a few others I'm forgetting. Of all these, the Zoar was the best fit by far, and I bought one. One of the main attractions is the easy in/out. Others have complained that the Zoar's thigh braces are too far forward -- well, for how I'm built, the braces on boats like the Calabria (even though these were adjustable) were way too confining. The Zoar's allow me to make very firm contact with the lower portions of my thighs, yet it's easy to disengage without a lot of contortion. Some boats like the Alto I couldn't even get into, let alone feel comfortable paddling.
The boat handles well and feels a lot quicker in the water than some of the beamier, flatter-bottomed models I tried. The secondary stability is wonderful and reassuring. I am not a skilled turner, yet I feel that this boat will keep me interested as I learn more.
I got a boat with a skeg because I liked the idea of rock-solid foot pegs and I do not plan to do ocean paddling. (Plus it was cheaper.) Now that I have used the boat a few times I find its overhanging skeg a liability in putting the boat up onto the car rack and in storing the boat -- the skeg hangs out where it can very easily catch the ground and as a result can be bent, or the bearing stressed. I will probably take it off and store it in the boat. It is certainly helpful in windy situations but where I'm mostly in small lakes and rivers I can always go ashore and fit the skeg in a few moments. Just for the ease-of-handling issue, I guess a rudder is better as it can be rotated completely up onto the deck and kept out of the way while the boat is being carried.
I recommend the Zoar Sport very much for its craftsmanship, handling and comfort. It is a bit heavy but that is a small negative to be considered with many positives.
06-16-2003Submitted by: Geegeo
- Rating: 9 of 10 I just bought a Zoar Sport this week. Although my wife and I have not great amount of kayaking experiance, we love this little yak. I tried a Current Designs Whistler, looked at an Old Town Nantucket and paddled a Wilderness Systems Cape Horn. The Zoar was way better priced than the Whistler and only slightly more expensive than the Nantucket. The thing that impresses me the most about the Zoar is it's responsiveness while turning. It'll turn on a dime. The tracking seems good, but this is my first experiance with any amount of kayaking and I've still got work to do on my technique. The thigh braces certainly give me more confidence when leaning. I love this little kayak and typically, it rained all weekend. Our first full weekend with it. I'll write another review later this summer. For now though, as a novice paddler, I am very satisified. Great job NECKY.
06-06-2003Submitted by: PKM
- Rating: 10 of 10 Outstanding! What a great boat, a real pleasure to paddle. I've been out quite a few times in my new ZS and I am amazed by the amount of space even for me (6'2" 250). A solid buy. Nice job Necky.
05-23-2003Submitted by: DA
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is an all around excellent boat! I have paddled the Zoar in lakes, bays, rivers, surf, and blue water. The baot performs well in all conditions, but does tend to weathercock without the rudder down. I feel very confident in any weather or water condition with this boat, and can't wait to see where it will take me next!
05-09-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 Just purchased two Zoar Sports for myself and my wife. Main reason was the price...dealer going out of business and offering them at a huge discount. We hadn't used short boats before, just tandem Kayaks and 16' Prisms for bay and sound daytrips. We found these Zoars to be very stable both primary and secondary, able to turn on a dime even without the use of the installed rudders and able to hold their own with longer boats. Put the rudders down and they track beautifully in almost any wind which is surprising due to the dolphin nose sticking way up in the air. But just because of that nose they stay extreemly dry. The only complaint is the seat back.C'mon, Necky, look at the Widerness system Phase Three seats and make something similar. If you do I'll give you a perfect 10! All in all a great paddling kayak with ample room in the cockpit and hatches, double bulkheads for boyancy and very capable in both smooth and wavy conditions. Except for the seat and backrest it seems to be well made and offers the performance of a much longer boat.Paddlers should consider a paddle of at least 230cm due to the width of the boat. Very satisfied!
04-16-2003Submitted by: snap202
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've been paddling since 1976 and have owned a bunch of boats over that time.Last year a friend of mine told me to check out the Zoar Sport. Well, I've never tried the Necky boats before and this one blew me away. My first trip was a circumnavigation of Prince Edward Island and this boat is by far one of the best performers ever. Don't buy any other boat till you try this one.
04-04-2003Submitted by: hal56
- Rating: 9 of 10 Just purchased my Zoar Sport today; got a great deal on a 2002 model from a huge canoe/kayak store up in Farmville, VA. The dealer seemed very knowledgeable and even raved that a friend of his was very competitive in a Zoar versus longer touring crafts in local lake races. It came down to the Prijon Calabria or the Necky Zoar for me, and I'm glad I went with the Zoar... had a Looksha before and liked it, and the Zoar is cut from the same cloth: a great, responsive, all-round coastal and lakes tourer that is not too big and not too small. Seems to track just fine and lean just fine; the speed was good for a 14' craft; good primary and great secondary stability. I paddled into a stiff breeze, and then back in a following breeze, and even broach (broadside) to 1' chop and it handled just swell. I am 5'9" and 190 and it fits just fine; the thigh braces may be just a bit too forward, but the seat is very comfortable. I look forward to more paddling in my Zoar, and hope to get my girlfriend comfortable in a decked boat finally -- good job, Necky! I give it a 9 because, hey, no boat is perfect...
03-31-2003Submitted by: Seabitch
- Rating: 10 of 10 I purchased my Necky Zoar Sport three years ago after spending every weekend the summer before demoing boats. It came down to the Zoar or Perception's Eclipse. I selected the Zoar because of it's price. I'm very pleased with my choice. I'm 6'-1" and 210-lbs. It fits me better than any of the other boats that I tried. Last summer, I guided sunset and weekend trips in my Zoar. It was comfortable to paddle all day long, week after week - no problem with the seat. I use the skeg to control weathercocking. I prefer a skeg over a rudder because the foot braces are solid (don't move when bracing, rolling, etc.) The stability both initial and secondary is great. It's a wonderful all-around kayak that I won't be replacing anytime soon.
03-03-2003Submitted by: Ian
- Rating: 9 of 10 I cannot say enough good things about this kayak. It is perhaps the best all-round "generalist" kayak for the cost. Excellent for beginners (very stable). I have paddled a Necky Zoar Sport for three years and I am very content. This is an outstanding kayak for fishing and camping. I recently purchased a kevlar Daggers Sitka for longer and more difficult expeditions, however will continue to use the Zoar for day trips and as a back-up. Excellent kayak.
11-15-2002Submitted by: keg
- Rating: 10 of 10 If anyones looking for an all purpose kayak they need not look any further. This boat does it all, from ocean/creek/river touring, to surfing, to raging waves crashing over your boat ocean paddling. I have put this boat through a tremendous amount of abuse and it just keeps going and going. It has awesome initial stability, but even better secondary stability. With a little practice you can lean it until it starts pouring water in her huge cockpit. It turns great, and tracks good also. High winds seem to make her wanna weathercock but thats what rudders and skegs are made for. It has good speed and cuts through the water nicely. At first I didn't like how big the cockpit was, but I grew to luv it after I figured out I could fit one of my children in it with me. If you want a kayak that can take whatever you dish out, this is definitely the boat for you. Long live the Zoar Sport.
10-14-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 After another year of paddling the Zoar Sport I would still give it a 10. It handles well in rough weather or flat water, turns on a dime but tracks well (with a rudder in the high winds). Very satisfied.
08-20-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is my first boat. I'm 6'7', 210, and this was almost literally the only boat of this size with a real cockpit I could fit my feet into comfortably. I got a basic model (skeg, rear bulkhead only, no seat padding, battleship grey, $550 new) and put some foam on the seat and back. It's no Perception seat, but it's not bad.
I've only paddled 8 or 10 kayaks. It's stable, but not a dog to paddle like the really wide boats. On the other hand, a 17' Pygmy feels a lot more responsive than this boat, and my 13 year old son in a Dagger Callisto has little trouble staying with me (he might say I manage to stay with him). I capsized the Necky on purpose, just to see when it would happen, and it took some effort and came with some warning. I'm too much of a rookie to be sure about the tracking and turning. Sometimes, it seems to really need the skeg, as with a (small) following sea and wind off the rear quarter. It's HEAVY--far and away the hardest of the boats we put on our car, but seems very solid in return. All this writing about it has me ready to go paddle, which says something good about it!
08-16-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I highly recommend this kayak. I am an avid kayak enthusiast and just happened to come across the Zoar sport at an Army/Navy surplus store that also sold kayaks. Like other large men 6’1, 250lbs, I have trouble fitting in most kayaks, the Zoar sport fit right and when put through its paces on both Cape Cod and Massachusetts North Shore it performed admirably. Choppy seas, high winds, and other stormy conditions did not effect the kayak’s performance. I did not need the rudder most of the time out on the ocean, but felt it better to have one and not need it then to need it and not have it. Its cargo capacity and handling make it a great asset for long day trips or a camping out on a river trip. I did put the Zoar sport through some tight maneuvering tests on the Ipswich River and its handling was sharp and the kayak highly responsive to the actions needed to overcome many obstacles. The Zoar Sport is just as advertised: an excellent coastal explorer.
07-11-2002Submitted by: samo
- Rating: 9 of 10 I also bought a Zoar Sport a month and a half ago. I'm 6'5" and 220 lbs and it fits well. My former Dimension R5 was a sardine can compared to it :) It tracks well and I only have a skeg and only use it when it is windy. The seat is very comfortable and I've had friends with $2-3,000 boats say it's better than theirs as theirs are only fiberglass, no padding. Good size for day trips... The rubber hatch cover is also not as bad as I thought it would be :)
07-11-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought my Zoar Sport 3 mos, ago, have paddled it under many circumstances and I love it. At 5'11", 200 lbs. it fits me well,handles great,...no cup holder!!
07-11-2002Submitted by: pbounds
- Rating: 10 of 10 I will agree with everyone who's posted, Necky does make some great kayaks. I got an Alsek, kinda a precursor to the Zoar Sport a few years back and to me it is a quality boat. the Neckys track extremely well, and I for one, like the dolphin bow, for breaking big surf. I will admit however if you are paddling into the wind, you should go ahead and drop the rudder, becuase the raised bow does have a tendency to go with the whims of the wind, other than that, I am a super happy Necky user. Last year I also purchased a Santa Cruz. With the large cockpit, it gets those who feel trapped in the smaller std sized kayak keyholes. It also has the raised bow, and breaks surf great. You will want to go ahead and get the expedition model on this one as well, to give you an adequate dry storage in back. The huge front bow on both the Santa Cruz and Alsek, and Zoar model, will allow you to remove the airbag, and stick a couple of sleeping bags in dry bags up there as well, doubling your storage capacity. The S/C aside from being a great entry level boat, has great secondary stability with its' chined sides. The boat will track effortlessly, but also be able to turn on a dime much quicker than the large touring boats. As far as customer service goes, I have had no problem getting in touch with any of the guys at Necky for ordering extra trimlock, which I also fixed some of my old Perceptions with. Generally all round, great boats, super company.
07-11-2002Submitted by: jackiehoff
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought my Zoar a year ago and still am very happy with the purchase. It has been on many a trips and i still love it. Tracks just fine and I have had no complaints with anything other than maybe a nicer seat, and that is an easy fix!
Way to go Necky!
07-10-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 7 of 10 I spent about six months looking at kayaks, reading reviews, etc. before deciding on the zoar sport over my second choice: The Perception Carolina.
PROS: Fast, Large comfortable cockpit (people call this a "big persons" kayak but I'm 5'6" and I feel very comfortable in it as well), Pretty good size hatches, well built, easy to use rudder, reasonable price, very stable, hatches stay dry.
CONS: Tracking without the rudder is only so-so, some items seem cheap (thigh braces are poor; seat is very uncomfortable as some others have mentioned, it has little padding and is an awkward size)Would have preferred plastic strap down hatches vs. the rubber hatches, and lastly I have found Necky's customer service leaves a lot to be desired.
OVERALL: I love this kayak, while it is not perfect it comes closer to my ideal kayak than the numerous others I looked at. While a score of 7 may seem low (on this site) it is above average. I do recommend this kayak.
07-09-2002Submitted by: waterjedi
- Rating: 8 of 10 I bought my Zoar sport about a month ago without really knowing much about kayaking. I've been happy with it but now that I know more about paddling technic, edging and such, I've realized the thigh braces on this boat are poorly designed. I'm 6'1" and the braces barely touch my thighs. The're more like knee braces, and after a full day of paddling my knees are rubbed raw. Other than that, the boat tracks well and I've got no problems with the seat.
07-08-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I purchased a Zoar Sport last week after extensive research. I was in the market for a 14 footer for ease of handling as well as the fact that I own a small car (Tracer) to carry it with. The Zoar Sport is everything it is advertised to be. So far, I have had it out in coastal waters with 10 to 20 mph breezes. Without the rudder, she tracks quite well, but with the rudder down, she feels like she's on railroad tracks. Most of the time, the rudder is not needed. A well-made, stable craft that fits my needs perfectly. A true joy to paddle. Thanks Necky!
07-02-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought my Zoar Sport a month ago, been out 3 times on local lakes to test things out. I'm 6'4", 230 and the boat is incredibly perfect for me. I owned a Santa Cruz last year, a little wider boat and thought it was pretty comfortable, but this boat is amazing. The fit is perfect, the thigh braces perfect, the leg room perfect. Any tall or large person should love this. The boat performs very well also, tracks well, very stable initially and secondary. Rides very stable on waves. I will take it out into Puget Sound the next few months and give an update on its sea legs. Only problem as the previous poster noted is the seat. It's like a half seat, very poor. Will look into alternatives.
07-01-2002Submitted by: Jonathan
- Rating: 9 of 10 I recently purchased a Zoar Sport. I really like the boat. It handles very well in tight areas. In open chopy water, it still did pretty good, but would pull a little to either side with the rudder up, but if you drop the rudder, it would do fine. It is a very stable, light weight boat. My biggest complaint would have to be the new seat. It makes my back hurt pretty bad if I am in the boat for any length of time. I have ordered a new seat back to solve the problem. All around I think that it is a great boat. I would recomend it to anyone.
06-11-2002Submitted by: George
- Rating: 10 of 10 This kayak is it. After buying and trying then selling several kayaks I bought a new Necky Zoar Sport with rudder. Burr (see below) must have been sitting in his kayak backwards because this baby tracks. My rudder stayed out of the water. I am 6'2" and weigh 200 lbs. Found this boat easy to get into (and out of). Easily the best poly touring boat I have paddled.
09-26-2001Submitted by: Gordon Ritchie
- Rating: 9 of 10 I could not be more pleased with my Zoar Sport (linear plastic). I chose it to use for paddling the rivers and lakes around Ottawa, Canada. Although it is only 14' long, it handles very well, tracking just fine even without using the rudder. I have had no trouble keeping up with the longer glass boats under a range of conditions. It has outstanding primary stability but can also be put up on edge for fancier strokes---braces, etc. Perhaps most important, it is relatively easy to move around, sling onto the car, launch down a cliff, etc. I would not hesitate to recommend it for the recreational flat water paddler. (The only reason I did not award a full 10 is because it is less capable than the big glass boats for long trips with heavy loads.)
09-04-2001Submitted by: garym053
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is a follow-up to my first review, which was written after paddling the Zoar Sports once! I continue to rate the Zoar Sports at a 10 after paddling them for 50+ miles! They track well, respond to a lean, Initial stability and secondary stability are great! If I had unlimited funds, I'm sure I'd have a couple of Kevlar boats, but I think I'd still have the Zoars to paddle those rocky lakes, ponds, and streams!!
07-31-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 Have to agree with all the Zoar Sport lovers on this review list. Bought this one for my wife, but had to spend several hours with it just to see if it lived up to all the hype. Yep, sure does. Tracks very well, very stable, nice edge work, rock solid and the quality appears to be really good. Also got the skeg which appears to work really well. The boat isn't "quite" as fast as my Perception Vizcaya, but it's a couple feet shorter so that's not a surprise. Bottom line? Wouldn't hesitate to take this boat anywhere. In fact, I'm taking it to the coast next week (along with my Vizcaya) to see how it'll handle there. Give this boat some consideration. It is really nice.
07-30-2001Submitted by: garym053
- Rating: 10 of 10 Just bought two Zoar Sports for my wife and I. Tried out a couple of boats by OTC and a couple by Necky, decided on the Zoar Sport. Believe it was the diamond hull that sold me. Will post another review after a few weeks of paddling, but really like this boat!
07-10-2001Submitted by: cool hand
- Rating: 10 of 10 I recently purchased a Zoar sport. I was really interested in the Carolina until I paddled it. The Carolina felt very slow, like I was paddling through syrup. The Carolina also seemed like it was cheaply built(hatches, workmanship, quality etc.), Which is ironic because it was $100 more than the Zoar.
I also was interested in the Savannah, but didn't like it because it was difficult to j lean. The Zoar sport is fast, and agile. Also, with the diamond hull the Zoar is easy to lean on its side,(j lean) and stable once you get it there. I feel that the Zoar sport is a boat that will grow with me as my skills develop
07-02-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I purchased this boat mainly for excursions on lake ontario. It handles very nicely and for a lake as rough as ontario, a rudder is very much appreciated. It is extremely easy to load and unload in the water and on your vehicle. For being plastic, I was surprised with the ease it moves. A good general purpose kayak. If you're new to the sport of kayaking, its a good choice.
06-11-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 This boat is great. This boat handles and edges great. It sounds like Burr is expecting the baot to handle opposite when edged. I have paddled the Zoar on both flat and moving water with no trouble. The more time you spend in the boat the better it handles. As a big guy, 6'2" and 250lbs. the boat is super comfortable. I mostly paddle it on long river voyages and have never been disappointed. It is a super boat. You don't need the rudder, so save some cash. I'd recommend it to any "big guy". Definitely worth the money.
06-11-2001Submitted by: no name
- Rating: 10 of 10 My wife and I have a Zoar Sport (for her) and a Zoar (for me); both boats track. and turn very well. My wife is a small person and finds the Sport to be very nimble and easy to handle, but it also carries my weight (210 lbs) without any noticeable decline in responsiveness. It edges nicely, too.We have had the sport out in 2 ft. chop, and it feels very stable and secure. Having a rudder is a nice option on a windy day, and the foot pegs are easy to adjust. We tried a bunch of boats, and liked the Zoars hands down for handling, comfort and price.
06-11-2001Submitted by: Rick
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought a Zoar Sport in March 2000. After much searching and fitting. I am 6'3" 220lbs. and am very comfortable in this boat. Most of the others I tried did not give me near as much leg room. I've found that it tracks very well and is very easy to handle. I use it daily in Lake Tahoe and this past weekend several of my friends tried it out in some serious chop on the lake. They liked it so much I spent very little time in it myself.
06-09-2001Submitted by: jusask
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have two Zoar Sports. I've paddled them on the WI River.....(a large fast moving river) I've also paddled them in small rivers and big creeks with I & II rapids. With the skeg down they track exceptionally well and with the skeg up are agile enough to keep me out of trouble. There is enough room to carry camping supplies for a few days and they are a breeze to handle when it comes to cartopping. I've added some padding on the seat and seatback. I reviewed and tried a number of boats in search for the "perfect" tour/rec boat. I think the Zoar sport comes pretty close.
05-22-2001Submitted by: Burr
- Rating: 5 of 10 I have been looking for a kayak for this entire spring. I have attended 6 diferent demo days on 6 consecutive week ends. I took classes at the local outfitter (an excelent idea for all!!) I am 6'1'' and 250 lbs. I am an areospace engineer hence my tendasie to over analize buying a kayak. Last Saturday I tryed a Zoar sport. These are the results:
Primary stability, good. Secondary stability, good. Tracking, addiquate (bearly). Edging performance, bad (when I leaned right I went left when I leaned left I went left). Fit, sloppy. Workmanship, OK. Rudder linkage Good. In gereral except for the edging problem an OK boat. Will I buy it? NO!
Two reasons. 1) The dealer was trying to "slam dunk" me into it. With no reguards to my wants and desires. To quote, " we sell these to all the really big guys." Since I am a big guy this is obviosly what I should buy. 2) The poor edging performance indicates something not right with the mold. Never get a plastic boat that does not track pretty straight in still water. One that edges badly can never be fixed.
08-10-2000Submitted by: Ed
- Rating: 10 of 10 We went to a demo day in the Florida Keys last February. It was like being in a candy store. While this was an opportunity to find the right kayak for my fiance', it was also a chance to test whats new, I already owned a WS Seacret. We looked at dozens of kayaks and maybe tested half a dozen. We asked tons of questions of the representatives. The Necky rep was the most knowledgable of what real weekend yaksters wanted and needed. She went out first and loved it, and I agreed, I would gladly have one for myself as well. :-)
05-22-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I tried the Zoar Sport at a Demo day and of the four boats I tried, it was my favorite. Since then I have done a lot of research about choosing a kayak and it fits all the requirements. It is responsive, tracks well, has excellent initial and secondary stability. I ordered mine last week. I'm sure I'll have more to add when I have had a chance to paddle in different conditions.
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