06-29-2012Submitted by: PJOutdoors
Reviews for Eskia Kayak by Necky Kayaks
Based On: 17 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have had my Eskia for 10 years and I love it. Bought it from a rental shop in Maine, so it wasn't even new when I got it. It has been kept outdoors the entire time and has held up very well. Agree with all the other comments. I am only 5'10, but at 230 lbs. when I bought it (less now), it provided great flotation and comfort.
Biggest issues are the weight of the kayak and poor tracking with rudder up, so I just use the rudder all the time.
The seat back was too low, but a nice birthday present was a custom seat with full seat and back support - makes it ride like a luxury sedan!
05-15-2012Submitted by: scootermcfly
- Rating: 10 of 10 I'm still pretty much a novice kayaker. I've been wanting to get a poly boat for some river trips that can get pretty rocky. I bought this used from another kayaker in Atlanta. My biggest problem finding a poly boat is that they don't seem to make many that are in my size. I'm 6'4", 240lbs, with a 36" inseam. This boat fits great!
It is nice and stable and runs pretty smoothly with little effort. My feet fit the pedals without a problem although they are maxed out. I don't have any qualms with this boat and would recommend it to anybody who is tall and looking for a poly boat.
07-19-2011Submitted by: David R
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've had my Eskia for some time (I actually don't remember!) and absolutely love it. At 6 ft. 250 I'm a big paddler and this boat handles me and my cargo very well. Just don't get in a race with it :-) !
01-05-2009Submitted by: ewolin
- Rating: 9 of 10 Rented two of these in the Adirondacks and paddled about 20 miles in two days. Rented two Eskia's again for an 8-mile day trip near Vancouver, BC. Lots of room for camping gear. Doesn't track well with the rudder up, but does fine with the rudder down. Fairly stable, comfortable for two medium-sized paddlers, reasonably fast.
In one my leg kept falling asleep but proper adjustment of the seat eliminated the problem.
08-15-2007Submitted by: JBC
- Rating: 9 of 10 I love this boat. I own 7 kayaks and this is my boat of choice for most of the paddling that I do. I have owned it since '05 and there are only 2 things I don't like. The seat back wasn't high enough for good support, so I added a back rest from a sit-on-top. The other thing is, the clam cleat for the rudder line is right where I hit it with my elbow, and always seem to hit my funny bone.
I am 6' 3" , 180lbs, and this boat is perfect for me and all the gear I want to take for me and the family.
09-06-2005Submitted by: Dmitri
- Rating: 6 of 10 I took a Necky Eskia out for a 2 hour rental, and took out a Wilderness Systems Cape Horn 17 back to back. Difference is night and day.
In comparison to the Cape Horn, the Necky is slower, tracks downright awful without rudder , and I guess this being personal preference, the hinged seat back of the Cape Horn is way comfier than the suspended one on the Eskia. Eskia IS somewhat more stable, but it's more like recreational-kayak kind of stable that doesn't really want to be leaned.
Eskia has 2 things going for it, number one is its high volume and number 2 is it has lots of room for larger paddlers, Iím 6'1 and 180 and I think someone 6'4 and 250 would be fine in it.
All in all, paddling the Eskia in even mild wind was more of a chore, while paddling the Cape Horn (or a Prijon SeaYak that paddles very similar) was just joy. Try before you buy.
02-26-2005Submitted by: gv
- Rating: 9 of 10 Being new to kayaking and 50, I shopped thru many kayaks until I found one big enough to accommodate my size 14 shoes and 6-4 frame. I tested many but as soon as I test paddled this one, I bought it.
It has been in rough river and wind conditions and seems very stable, although it tracks terribly unless rudder is used, and it is slow, but a fair compromise for stability. It holds plenty and is well made for a plastic boat. This boat would not fit a smaller person very well so if you are taller than most with big feet and want excellent stability this is a boat I would recommend, other than spending $2500 and up for a kevlar or fiberglass.
08-11-2004Submitted by: Peter B
- Rating: 10 of 10 I paddle whitewater aside from sea kayaking. I have two whitewater boats. One is less than 7' for playboating and one 10' for "big" water or when I want to be sure I survive. I also have two sea kayaks. One very long and narrow which is fast but very low intial stability and I have an Eskia which is still "fast" but I use it in bad weather or to go offshore when it is cold. People should realize there are different boats for different purposes. Sea Kayak are like whitewater kayak. Every boat has it purpose. The Eskia is a great boat for real sea kayaking or long trips. It has great stability so you can relax your muscles when paddling and you don't have to have a blade in the water to feel stable. It also has great storage and very good speed which is hard to find.
06-29-2004Submitted by: PC
- Rating: 8 of 10 I've been paddling the Eskia for two seasons now. This is a roomy and comfortable boat that can accomodate large paddlers. In my opinion, the flat hull compromises tracking ability and I find that I cannot maintain an efficient course in winds and unpleasant sea conditiions without the rudder. That is, I'm making too many corrective strokes compared to others paddling with me.
Unfortunately, this boat is about as fast as a sand barge. When paddling with my club, I find it difficult to keep up with the slimmer and lighter fiberglass and Kevlar boats. However, I've had this boat in some rough chops and tidal rips and it has never gone over. It also has a large storage capacity and can even swallow small two-piece beach umbrellas. It turns reasonably well without the rudder. I've experienced a sea condition where I was parallel to never-ending, wind driven boat wakes and waves and the Eskia absolutely refused to turn perpendicular to the waves without a rudder assist.
Initial and secondary stability is high and I too would rate it a ten if it tracked better and could hit 4.25 MPH without killing myself or without a tide/wind assist (measured with a GPS). In contrast, I've paddled an Eddyline Merlin XT which paddles like a Corvette when compared to the Suburban-like handling of the Eskia.
01-03-2004Submitted by: Bill
- Rating: 9 of 10 I belong to the MDI Kayak Club on Mount Desert Island, Maine. I paddle my Eskia almost every weekend(67 trips in 2003) and with a dry suit, will paddle all winter with the club. I find this kayak to be an excellent boat in all respects. It handle well in the big waves and winds that we experience here in the stretches of open water off the coast of MDI but also tracks very well in calm water. I have a huge capacity for storage and is comfortable for a large paddler. I liked it so well that I bought a second one as a spare boat for my son!
07-22-2003Submitted by: ttellerma
- Rating: 9 of 10 I purchased my Eskia 16 months ago as an Expedition boat (to supplement my Looksha Sport) and paddled it 300+ last summer on the Gulf of Maine Expedition, in a huge variety of wind/sea including some exciting open water crossings - it performed very well in all conditions (a fairly wet ride in seas due to low dolphin bow - but it also tracked well in quartering seas - a compromise that works for me).
The boat carried a great deal of gear including substantial deck loads at times without complaint, and paddled very easily for a fairly short, fairly wide touring boat.
After six weeks of living in the boat and camping downeast Maine to the top of the Bay of Fundy, I ended up liking it more than when I started!
Note: I am a big guy - 6' and 240 - and the boat was a comfortable fit. Might be too roomy for a much smaller paddler.
06-17-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 8 of 10 I bought an Eskia after a number of months of searching, demos with other boats and reading posts on this site. I wanted a stable, realatively high volume boat for day and weekend trips along the coast of NC.
I looked at a number of RM boats from Perception, Wilderness Systems and Current Designs. What stood out to me about the Necky's was the attention to the details. Quality stainless steel hull fittings and nice features such as the flush deck hatches and comfortable seat.
I've now paddled this boat in a number of conditions ranging from calm inland lakes to the choppy waters of Pamlico Sound and am very pleased so far with the way the boat tracks and handles in 15-20 kt. winds.
If the boat were a little faster, I'd give it a 10.
02-14-2003Submitted by: TD
- Rating: 8 of 10 I purchased an Eskia a couple weeks ago. I went to buy a current designs or dagger, both of which are fine boats. But when I looked at the Looksha IV in the showroom, I was amazed at the attention to detail and quality of the fittings, riggings and design. I tried the Looksha and found it low in initial stability, good in secondary, but a bit narrow and too low a foredeck for my hefty 5' 11" 210lb body. I was shown the Eskia, and immediately it fit and felt better. It is outfitted very similarly to the Looksha IV, but has flush hatch covers which is a nice touch. I've gotten to paddle the Eskia once for about 4 hours the day I bought it. Protected bay situation, very mild swells in inlet. Against tide, moderate wind 10-15 knots. The boat tracks very well without the rudder, and with it, it is exceptionally easy to maintain a course if there is weathercocking or current requiring a ferry angle. With a bit of speed you will turn on a dime with the rudder. The foot peg/rudder adjustments are very nice on this boat, no hard to reach metal buttons to depress, just a handy buckle/bungee system lets you put the foot pegs exactly where you need them. I find the seat a little uncomfortable after a couple hours. The backband adjustment mechanism is very nice, easy to operate seated. I wish the band had a bit more padding and was slightly higher. The seat features a neat inflatable bladder underneath a top molded pad. There's a "blood pressure cuff" style rubber bulb to inflate and a screw cap valve to deflate the seat cushion, both of which work extremely well. The problem is that the air bladder tends to lift you evenly all around, slowly jacking you up in the seat, which lessens stability. It'd be better if it only raised the thigh portion of the seat bottom to make a deeper bucket. Perhaps there should be two air bladders independently adjustable. And whatever happened to the memory gel stuff bike seats have?
Boat was equipped with good perimeter line, a safety plus. Deck rigging layout is nice and you can change the bungee arrangement if you like. Good recessed fittings for clean lines and unscraped knuckles. Front and rear bulkheads are foam, but seem sturdy enough. They should be placed closer to the foot pegs and directly behind the seat. Behind the seat storage is awkward and wet and the space would be better served in the dry hatch. The diamond chined hull is great with stability all around. Did not roll the boat yet. Carry toggles are great! Thigh braces are good quality.
There are some exposed screw ends under the deck, but not in places they might be a real problem in. Carves turns without rudder fairly well, feels solid on edge. Nice draining depressions around cockpit coaming. Boat seemed a bit more influenced by windage than some, but not terrible by any means.
A very high quality plastic kayak. Not the most elegant, not the fastest, not the lightest in polyethelene, but very well appointed, safe, very seaworthy, competent in the calm conditions I experienced, and I am assured it handles rough water equally as well. I don't doubt it.
09-18-2002Submitted by: ebrackett
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've owned and paddled a few different boats in search of a comfortable high performance sea kayak that wasn't 40ft long and 100 lbs(exageration). Old town, perception and current design to name a few. They all came up short in one area or another compared to the Necky Eskia.
I'm 5'11" and 170 lbs so I needed something sea worthy but not the size of the Titanic. Weighing in at 64 lbs, with a length of 16'4" this boat is ideal for someone my size. It's made from polyethylene and contains two large dry hatches that do what they're supposed to..."keep things dry." It has the diamond shaped hull design which makes for great initial stability and secondary stability. However it does not turn as well as boats with a round hull but if you choose to have a rudder (which in my opinion is a must) you'll be able to turn on a dime. The thigh braces are very comfortable and the seat became comfortable after I adjusted it correctly.
All in all I recommend this boat to anyone my size looking for a reliable high performance sea kayak.
06-24-2002Submitted by: Maine Paddler
- Rating: 9 of 10 Tried the Eskia for a week in Maine. It performed well on flatwater, with good stability all around. This boat is long enough to track well (and go fast) but short enough (w/rudder) to turn reasonably. It felt light, but i'm a small paddler (150lbs). It handled well on the ocean in rough chop and wind, and the rudder was a great help. Was able to land in surf without spinning of rolling. I'll emphasize that in a week of paddling on mostly ocean I didnt roll once. Hatches stayed dry but were a little difficult to put on. They consist of a soft cover with a plastic cap buckled over. Deck rigging was good, rudder was excellent (esp.adjustment systen) and my only real complaint was that the seat was uncomfortable. Others may find this different. Overall, a great kayak for beginners on up.
04-01-2002Submitted by: jd-s
- Rating: 7 of 10 I paddled this boat for a day paddle around Newport Beach harbor. Although it was windy, the harbor is very protected and I didn't have to contend with chop. I found the boat to handle reasonably well. It tracked fairly well, and during my paddle, I felt that a rudder was only needed when I wanted to control drifting as I checked out the map or stopped to take a drink and watch the scenery.
It responds nicely, though not eagerly, to a hanging draw and to leaned turns, though I never did feel comfortable with where it's secondary stability point was. (I was unwilling to deliberately risk going over, considering I was paddling solo with no paddle float in a harbor). I didn't try rolling.
The cockpit was quite roomy... it would need padding out to truly fit me, and I'm not small. The back band seemed uncomfortable, but it may just be that it needed some adjustments. The hatches were quite roomy, but also showed evidence of leaking, though I didn't test them.
All in all, a pleasant, but not particularly playful, boat. I would recommend this boat to beginners who want a boat that will accommodate growth in paddling skills or intermediates who are looking for a fairly stable, easy to paddle, forgiving boat.
02-27-2002Submitted by: MJBeiser
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is a great kayak for larger paddlers. It is very comfortable, tracks well in the water and has large storage hatches. Great boat!
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