Arluk I

Arluk I Description

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Arluk I Reviews

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TheNecky Arluk and Looksha…

Submitted by: roamer on 3/31/2021

The Necky Arluk and Looksha series boats dominated the market for a few decades. Basically the Arluks were rounded soft chine boats and the Lookshas were hard chine boats. ( except the Looksha 5 which went back to soft chine) Boats were were numbered from the fastest to the slowest, with the Looksha II being the fastest in that series and the Arluk I being the fastest Arluk. I’ve paddled both and they are both quite fast boats. Not full on race boats like the Phantom, but very fast for a sea kayak that can hold enough gear for a camping trip and also feel comfortable while you take a break.

Compared to the Looksha II ( and Looksha III, which isn’t that different), the Arluk I tracks quite well without a rudder, although you’ll want to use one in a following sea. The Looksha is completely rudder dependant and pretty much uncontrollable without one. This is because of the huge amount of stern rocker. There are pros and cons. The loose stern on the Looksha means it is a surprisingly manoeuvrable boat for being such a long fast sea kayak. On a turn, the bow tends to yaw anyway, and the stern swings around fast ( if you pulled up the rudder). The Arluk I is not like that. It really wants to go straight.

Both boats tend to feel a bit tippy to a beginner, as will all fast sea kayaks, but you get used to it quickly. I find the Arluk I has a more predictable stability profile, similar to the Arluk II, and a lot like the feel of an Epic 18x. With the right amount of weight in the boat it feels comfortable enough sitting flat. I’m talking about paddling it empty with a 200 lbs paddler. Edging it side to side, it responds quickly, but firms up as you approach the tipping point. The Arluk I has fairly high sides, which give it a bit more secondary stability, although not as easy to do a lay back roll as the Arluk II. The Looksha II and III by comparison have that initial stability twitchiness, as if they can’t decide which way to lean. I’ve never liked that characteristic, but when you edge the Lookshas, they firm up fast for good secondary stability. Both boats feel more solid when you pick up speed or carry gear, as you might expect for all kayaks.

Which boat is faster? I haven’t checked this with a GPS, but my impression is they are fairly similar. At least close enough that the difference will be in the paddler. An interesting fact is that the Arluk I has a better L/W ration, even though the Looksha is longer, and that is because the Arluk has less rocker. In theory that makes it a faster boat, but of course there are other considerations.

One of them is comfort. The Looksha is a bit tighter squeeze for me, I don’t like to be so rudder dependant, and I don’t care for the initial twitchiness, so the Arluk gets the nod from me. There are newer boats, and possibly marginally faster. But I think the biggest differences are weight ( new fast boats can come in at under 40 lbs), and price. Necky boats have been around for a while and you can pick them up for less than half the price of a new model. That’s good enough for me.