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Elaho HV

This Product Has Been Discontinued

Elaho HV Reviews


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Necky Kayak
Elaho HV Reviews

Read reviews for the Elaho HV by Necky Kayak as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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I have had this kayak for…

Submitted by: jimmay on 8/25/2015
I have had this kayak for roughly 10 yrs. I use it on Lake Michigan. It cuts through waves with an incredible secondary stability. After a long paddle, it seems the seat leaves something left to be desired. I don't ever use the rudder because you need to be outside of your yak to engage.I have retrofitted the vessel for trolling. I have caught king salmon upwards of 20 #. This is an extremely intense ride!

I recently bought a Necky…

Submitted by: Lookout on 10/10/2012
I recently bought a Necky Elaho HV again. Yes again.... I had one about 4-5 years ago. I have since bought and sold too many kayaks to mention. The reason I have returned to the EHV is because I am a taller paddler (6ft 3) and I really like a boat that turns when I lean it, rolls well, has low windage and comes fitted with thigh braces and a day hatch. Not to mention, has good acceleration and good looking too. The Elaho HV may just be the Yak I settle down with. I bought a red one, mainly because I can't afford a Ferrari but also because it was on special.

Today I bought a plastic…

Submitted by: paddler234709 on 8/13/2012
Today I bought a plastic Elaho HV for my girlfriend so we can do paddles together. It's quite heavy compared to my carbon fibre Elaho and the rudder system is a little different. I've also noticed the shape of the bottom is slightly different... mine is slightly concaved whereas the HV is flat. It will be interesting to try the two boats and see how differently they paddle.

Just got back from my first…

Submitted by: paddler234339 on 10/25/2011
Just got back from my first trip in my HV (4 day paddle around Skidaway Island). The initial stability mentioned before will make first-time boaters antsy at best, but the secondary kicks in just fine. This yak is like lightning, and allowed me to make it uphill against 30 mph headwinds fully loaded. Wake from the bigger boats were handled well oncoming or at a 45, but I never had the guts to see how it took them broadside. It does Eskimo roll as easy as many WW boats, we tried it empty at camp one afternoon. Bottom line, if you need big time space and are moderate to advance paddler it rocks, but beginners will find it tippy.

No one has put a review in…

Submitted by: paddler233868 on 11/16/2010
No one has put a review in here for a long time but I am excited because I just got a used Necky Elaho HV and I wanted to weigh in. I am 6'1", 225 pounds and the boat is perfect for me. I feel like I can sit in it all day long.

The boat accelerates quickly and is very easy to maintain at hull speed. It is responsive and turns beautifully.

A lovely boat, highly recommended.


OK, I'm back for round…

Submitted by: paddler231867 on 9/28/2007
OK, I'm back for round 2.....As you read in the previous review, Necky delivered a new Elaho HV to me at their cost.....Good news indeed!!! Thumbs up Necky!!!

Bad news...this boat still is wickedly unstable with any kind of broadside swell or chop. In calm water it is a pleasure to paddle. However I do all of my paddling in Pensacola bay, and in any chop/swell at all on the beam of the Elaho, it's a struggle to keep the boat in my first Elaho I installed the very thin "hot seat" to lower the cg as much as's better, but still no fun. I'm told now that Necky has discontinued this model...I think I know why. If anyone who reads this has a recommendation on a more stable, but still moderately high performance boat, please email me. I'm 6'2" and 205 lbs.

I love the Elaho in calm conditions, but feel like I'm fighting for my life when I turn crosswind. At least I didn't have to pay Necky anything for this second boat.....


I'm a 2 year paddler who's…

Submitted by: paddler231867 on 9/18/2007
I'm a 2 year paddler who's prior experience was all in Wilderness T-160i, a boat I'm very fond of. I'm 6'2", 210lbs, size 13 feet, 34" waist. Bought the Elaho HV last fall as my first "real" kayak....I paddle mostly alone. Took it out and found that 1. The boat pulled badly to the left, and 2. The boat had very poor initial stability. I put it up until this spring when I could teach myself to self rescue... still tippy and still pulled left. The nose appeared to be physically bent to the left. I then discovered the tail was also badly bent to the left... I'd been paddling a big "left hook" through the water!

I sent pictures of the defect to Appomotax River Company and they dealt with Necky. Bottom line, I just took receipt of a brand new replacement boat yesterday, totally @ Necky's expense!!! Thank you Tom @ Appomatox, and thank you Necky!!!Report to follow on this new boat. It's also significant that the initial stability improved significantly after I replaced the stock seat with a very thin "hot seat". This lowered the cg and made a huge difference, especially headed into or directly with the swell/waves. It is still very tippy when exposed to any significant broadside wave action. However, I am an intermediate paddler at best so I'm hoping this instability will get better with more time in the new boat.

As far as QA on the first was obviously badly warped when I got it....Is there someone sober at Necky QA'ing these boats? Also, the backpad ratcheting device (I hate it) broke about the 4th time I took the boat out, and the cable stay popped off on the right rudder cable. Again QA ain't what it should be. I'll be submitting a report on the replacement boat after I take it out 3-4 times.


I love my kayak! I'm a big…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/6/2007
I love my kayak! I'm a big dude, 6'4" 225, with real long legs, and this boat is perfect. Once I'm in, there's not a lot of wiggle room, but it's comfortable enough that I feel good throughout the trip on longer paddles.

This kayak has poor initial stability, and at first, worried me a little. That quickly went away, when I realized how good the secondary stability was. Now I enjoy the fact that I can really doing some leaning with it, and feel stable. Another great thing is the amount of storage capacity it has. I'm a hiker by nature, and can fit about 3 times as much in the hatches then in a backpack. Plus, the day hatch is nice for accessing things while on the water.

Love this boat, and I certainly recommend it for bigger paddlers.


I ordered a plastic factory…

Submitted by: paddler232298 on 8/29/2007
I ordered a plastic factory seconds Elaho HV and a Looksha V from REI. I am 5'9" and weigh 200 lbs. I love and hate the Elaho HV at the same time. What I love - it is fast, maneuverable and fun. It paddles almost effortlessly and can really travel. What I hate is the lack of initial stability. It has two small extra rockers on each side of the bottom (probably where they come up with the diamond hull description), and it will only ride on one or the other, but it is almost impossible to get it to ride in the middle. What this also means is that it won't track well either without the rudder. Looking at the hull, the center part is slightly concave inward, and I wonder if that is a defect and might be the cause of the problems (it is a factory second). I don't know, but I will be taking it back to the store.

I am a good kayaker, and this one should not be a problem for me. By way of comparison, for those who are interested, the Looksha V is a totally different boat. Very stable, very slow, sits much higher out of the water and wind cocks very easily. I called Necky when I ordered these two and the man said that the Looksha V was similar to but an improved version of the Elaho HV, with better stability. He was totally wrong, the hulls are designed very differently. There is nothing similar about these two kayaks.


I bought the E HV because I'm…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/9/2007
I bought the E HV because I'm 6' 220lb. and I paddle big rivers and camp. I have the poly models and although a bit heavy, they cruise very nice and carry a weekends worth of camping gear and more. Tracks great, turns great and loading it up doesn't seem to slow it down. The secondary stability is great and the day hatch is a perfect addition. Easy rudder up/down and comfy seat.

I was the last part of the…

Submitted by: paddler231887 on 11/28/2006
I was the last part of the production line for the necky composite touring kayaks(patch and detail). During that time I was fortunate enough to test most of the boats we built.I curantly own the lookshaw and the "hv". The elaho hv is my boat of choice for 99% of my adventures. Comfort, stability, speed, edging. I love this boat. We started are own line of kayaks and had a chance to own one of our new designs... I'll stay with my HV. No longer made in Washington state, necky composites are now built on the east coast.

Bought the fiberglass boat…

Submitted by: paddler231532 on 4/24/2006
Bought the fiberglass boat (5-10, 190lbs. First 'serious' year of paddling. I like the space the boat has and looked at a few others before locking in. Wanted a boat I could paddle for a few years, rather than buy a poly boat and want to swap it out in 12 months. So, paddling Elaho HV, Elaho, Looksha IV and the Wilderness systems 17' tempest. Elaho HV was by far the best candidate. Terrific initial stability, but a fantastic multi chine hull that holds the final edge like crazy. Have spent some time with it and have loaned it to a friend who's a very advanced kayaker; he can make it do amazing things. Needs some work to get the fit totally right (it's a big opening under the deck), but all in all, beyond a 10. Highly recommend for average to large size paddlers or anyone that wants a bit more room for touring. And go for the FG.

I reviewed this boat back in…

Submitted by: paddler230870 on 5/12/2005
I reviewed this boat back in November, and since then I discovered that the main reason I disliked this boat so much was that the example I paddled was a defective hull.

I'm not sure that this really lets Necky off the hook though, since they deliberately shipped us a boat they knew to be defective while charging us the regular price (hull serial # was noted with "blem"). After discovering this I went through all 12 of our new Necky boats from 2004 and discovered two Eskias with no serial # at all (!) and both were also defective although less seriously so than the Elaho HV. The Elaho was very crooked and had significant reverse rocker in the stern, which is what made it ride so low and turn so poorly. I also talked to another local guide here who also was sold a defective Necky boat in 2004.

Necky did replace the defective hulls but charged me shipping on the new boats. The customer service I got was pretty haphazard and took several calls and emails over the course of several weeks to get the job done. And that is how they treat an outfitter with 38 of their boats! So if you buy a Necky boat, look closely at it and its serial #, especially if it is from 2004. The replacement hulls we got look good, so maybe Necky is turning the corner on their Very Bad Year. Still, buyer beware!


A little less than a year ago…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/18/2005
A little less than a year ago I started preparing to purchase a pair of kayaks for my soon to be wife and I. This meant test-driving a lot of boats. I am 6'1" and weigh about 220 lbs. I asked about the Elaho because I have rather long legs. I as referred to the Elaho HV because of that and my general size. I found that the eHV had a very tipsy initial stability that was more than compensated by its secondary stability. The initial stability really only took about 5-to minutes to adjust to and my balance was fine.

If you’re considering a purchase then don't let its initial stability bother you, it comes quickly. The secondary was great when trying hard turns. I found that if I evenly distributed the weight in the front and back hatch then the turning wasn't changed a bit and the tracking got a little better. Hardly enough to notice though. (yes I brought gear and what not with me to demo boats, and I suggest you do to if you know what you will be doing most often).

I found the seat bottom comfortable but the back had to be readjusted every time I got into it. Took about 20 seconds and afterwards it is quite comfortable. Using a GPS I was able to get it to nearly 8 mph with a coasting speed of between 4 and 5 mph. It covered a lot of pretty quickly.

All around I found it to be a smooth ride. Test drive anything before you buy it and consider using a local shop. The only thing I don't like about my eHV is that on its maiden voyage one of the rudder cables came undone, after a quick ride to the boat shop and 5 minutes it was fixed and ready to go. The store owner also let me borrow his rack system off his truck for my pickup truck for a few weeks while I was waiting for mine to come in. If you’re in the Georgia area I would recommend "Go with the Flow" those guys are great.


Yeah, this yak seems pretty…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/31/2004
Yeah, this yak seems pretty tight at first but the girth be phat yo. I be suprised how well it carve a turn but it be scary when you first start tip. I be 230 lbs and 6' 3" and I be wantin’ to gets a Tempest too. That ride is just dope!

I am a big guy, big boned,…

Submitted by: paddler203761 on 11/22/2004
I am a big guy, big boned, but not real "big around" for my weight. I am 53 yr old, weigh 270 Lb, 5'-11" tall, and wear a size 42 jeans/2X T-shirt. I have ridden motorcycle for years, and have my pilot's license. I have developed a good "feel" for what is happening as I Ride, Fly, Canoe, or Kayak. I have been looking for the "perfect" composite kayak to handle my weight, and perform on the water, like a performance motorcycle does on land. Most kayaks designed for my weight, just don't perform as I would like, or are wide and "slow". My "Nanook" does a decent job now that I have it trimmed to carry my weight, but I am looking for more "performance" and lighter weight. Because of this I test paddled a Carbon, Necky, Elaho HV. I will try to hit the points I noticed, and let you see how you feel about this boat, after you read this (and try one for yourself). As you read this review, please keep in mind this boat felt this way to me because of my weight and size. This boat may feel differently to you if you are a lot lighter.

The carbon composite lay-up was very light. I really liked that. I first got into it on land, to adjust the foot pedals, and heard the gelcoat "creaking" as I got in. Is the layup too weak for my weight? (don't know?) The cockpit opening seemed plenty wide enough at the back of it, but the front of the cockpit opening was really narrow for me. On top of that, the seat back band adjusters were right where my knees hit getting in and out. I have had two composite kayaks over the years, and I have never had to adjust the back band more than the initial time I set up the boat. I think this is just a gimick, and waste of money. When I got down in the cockpit, there was plenty of room for me, my thighs, and feet. When I got into the boat on the water, the layup "creaked" again. I wonder how long this kayak would last before something started cracking if I bought one? The seat itself fit me OK, so no complaints on it.

Out on the lake I noticed this boat has one wickedly low initial stability. I got used to it after about 15 minutes, but I think I would always be afraid to take my camera along in this boat.

Secondary stability was really solid. The Kayak has hard chines, and I could lean the boat to the one side, to where the chine on the other side of the boat almost came out of the water, and I never felt like I was going to spill. I was impressed with how solid it felt "on its side/edge".

Speed was pretty good. I settle into about a 4 mph pace (using my GPS) in my "Nanook", but with the same pace and effort, I was doing 4.5 to almost 5 mph with a little extra effort. The hull seemed to get up to speed easily, and covered a lot of water with ease.

I was happy with the way the boat tracked. I never did get to try the rudder, the lake was calm, and so I just paddled and leaned the boat when I wanted to turn. The hard chines grab the water when you lean, and it will carve a really nice turn just by leaning. I was enjoying just paddling, then I'd stop paddling, and lean to one side and then the other. It turned as well as if I was using a rudder on "my" boat. The Elaho HV also tracked very well in a straight line too. I paddled up to speed, and held the kayak level, stopped paddling, and it continued in the same straight line as I was going. I liked that a lot.

I am not sure if I like the hatch covers. First there is a Neoprene stretch cover to seal the hatch opening. I understand this is to keep the water out. On top of that is a hard cover to make the deck flush. Having the flush deck is a great idea, as this helps keep spray off of the face when waves break over the bow. But I think this double hatch cover set up would be a "pain" to deal with if you access the compartments a lot. You would have to decide that for yourself.

Fit and finish seemed nicely done. I believe Necky makes a quality boat. Will I buy one?? I don't know yet. I test paddled this twice that day, with testing a different boat between times. I did enjoy paddling it. I am considering this and two other boats the local shops sell (Impex "Asseteague" & CD Solstice GT "Titan"). I like buying local, as then there is close-by help if I need it. I believe this kayak is a "Performance kayak" that will handle the bigger paddler. I am just concerned over the initial stability, as I do like to take a camera along to photograph wildlife. If what I have written above interests you, by all means test paddle one. I think for the right person, this would be a fun boat.


I have been guiding for one…

Submitted by: paddler230870 on 11/10/2004
I have been guiding for one season. We have all Necky boats, including an Elaho and an Elaho HV. I like the Elaho pretty well, but it is usually paddled by another guide who claimed it first (!). So I decided to give the HV a try and see if it was as much fun as the regular Elaho. I weigh about 185 and am 5' 9" so I figure the HV might be a good fit. I did not really like this boat. I paddled nine miles with it one day. I put one large dry bag of clothing and a couple of quart thermoses in the rear hatch, and it made the stern ride way too low, to the point of being hard to turn.

For some reason, the newer Necky seats don't suit me either. They all seem too narrow and the shape is just wrong for me, and the back band usually digs into my back in an uncomfortable manner. The regular Elaho does this too. After lunch, I switched the dry bag to the front and removed the sidepads from the seat. The boat rode more level that way, but was still not all that responsive, and the seat still hurt, although less so. The next day, I went back to the old Looksha with the hard molded seats. If you like Necky's seats, you could probably like the Elaho HV.

I do like the handling of the regular Elaho, but was pretty surprised how poorly the HV carried a little weight. It seemed to be less able to handle it than the regular Elaho. At any rate, I do really like the regular Elaho's hull shape, but not the outfitting, and the HV didn't really do anything for me at all. This week, I bought a used Wilderness Tempest 170 instead.


I have only paddled this boat…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/1/2004
I have only paddled this boat several times but most recently at the NC coast where the wind and currents can really test your skill and endurance. I am not a big paddler at 5'9" and 170 lbs. The Elaho HV (High Volume) at 17' can easily accomodate a larger paddler. The Elaho is very stable even in choppy water. Entering and exiting the Elaho is easy because the cockpit has a good size diameter. The Elaho has a rudder which is very responsive and tracks very well. The three hatches were all dry after four miles of very rough water. The seat is comfortable and the back band is easy to adjust. If you are considering a larger touring kayak the Elaho should be on your list of boats to demo.