This Product Has Been Discontinued
Read and submit reviews for the Looksha 14.
Looksha 14 Reviews
Yep, if you go looking for it…
Yep, if you go looking for it new it's not there but when you find a used one get it. Not the fastest, not the most nimble but also not slow or a barge and very user friendly (think stable here). Mine has a rudder as to all my 14's, sit in or on top. Save the "learn to paddle instead of using a rudder" discussion for another day. Hard to get some parts as the boat is no longer made as Old Town decided to push their own brand but I have Wilderness Systems Tsunami, Pamlico, Pungo and Focus as well as a Riot 13.5 Edge and couple of Hurricane Phoenix SOT and the Necky is my go to boat. Want to go fast in a Poly boat then get a Focus but it's on the tippy side but a wonderful seat design. The Tsunami was my go to but the Necky is faster and just a really nice platform for Texas river or lake kayaking. Can't discuss ocean wave surfing as I don't play that game. Day or weekend use is where this boat is really nice as the seat is extremely comfortable for the 20+ mile runs and the hatches can hold plenty of gear. Hatches are bulk-headed which is great if you do get wet. Hatch design is the 4 instead of 5 star as it takes a neoprene cover and plastic strapped on hard cover which is a bit cumbersome and they still leak a little. W.S. yaks have a much better hatch design but their old rubber covers were also a pain and after a few years would also leak. If you want a boat that is easy to paddle for yourself or friends that you volunteer to go with you on some trips then a Looksha 14 is definitely a boat to have in your fleet. If it has a rudder all the better as any discussion about weather cocking is dismissed and you use a lot less paddle strokes during you trip of any length. For the record, 6'2' and mostly legs, 190 lbs and the Looksha fits very well.
Discontinued boat but if you…
Discontinued boat but if you can find one get it. I am a slow water to occasional Class 2 river and lake paddler and this is a wonderful boat. Has a rudder which I like on all my boats but that is another discussion. 50+ lbs but not a hassle for me at 6'3" 185 lbs and a Colorado truck with a rack and loader to help me haul two yaks on the camper top. Very easy to paddle and faster than my Tsunami, Manitou, Pungo, Pamlico or Carolina but slower than a Focus. User friendly but still can carve a turn with the rocker that's in the hull. Hard-chined which helps the initial and secondary stability. Hatches are old style with neoprene cover and hard shell so not 100% dry and you need installing neoprene cover 101 and maybe 201 classes to get the hang of it. Once you do it is not a problem just a couple more actions to closing up the boat regarding hatches. Seat is very comfortable and adjustable. There are better ones on the market now but state of the art is always changing when it comes to seats. Mine has a high back seat back and not a band as I need the high back for support for my height as the bands kill my kidneys and make for a very long day. It is my go to friendly boat with the Tsunami as the back-up. I use the Poly boats in Texas as the river rocks, debris and oyster reefs in saltwater will quickly scratch and dent the fiberglass and composite hulls. I am on the look out for another one in good shape as I like it better than the Tsunami. Downside is that some parts are getting hard to come by.
This one is a must have, if…
This one is a must have, if you can find one. Necky is of course gone now, I guess to promote Old Town boats, but the Looksha was a hull they should have hung onto and rebadged.
Lets start with me. I'm 6'3" with big feet, and a 35" inseam and 235 lbs. Touring boats and I are generally at odds from the meet and greet. CD, Jackson and Dagger are all out in the 14' range. I just cant get my legs and feet in. That leaves the Tsunami and the OT Castine really. Both feel enormous inside.
I have two Looksha boats, a 12 and a 14. They're both accepable for my size, in other words I'm not stuffed in but there isn't loads of addition space either. They're the most comfortable seating boats I own, and thats by a long shot. My WS Tsunami and my Dagger Zydeco arent even close.
The Looksha is a pretty athletic hull. It moves along quite nicely , in fact my daughter was paddling the 14 against me in demo Eddyline Equinox (dream boat) recently and it held right with me. The Looksha has really hard chines and it will sit on its edge like it's on tracks. Primary and secondary stability are amazing. The boat handles really well and its predictable.
The post 2010 models have the better hatch covers, both lengths have 2 bulkhead and 2 hatches. They don't leak at all, ever. The overall fit and a finish is quite good with excellent rigging, handles, thigh braces and seat quality.
You really cannot go wrong with having a Looksha in your fleet, it wont be quite as athletic as a Manitou or an Alchemy, but it will be as stable and capable as any boat you buy in its size range and certainly will win the award for all day comfort.
Necky made some really phenomenal rotomold boats towards the end of it run and the Looksha is one of them.
The Looksha 14 has been a big…
I have owned my Looksha 14…
Here is how I would rate the boat now:
• Tracking - outstanding
• Turning - very good
• Carved turns - fair - (you do have to lean pretty far because of the stability.)
• Speed and glide - good, considering the weight of the boat.
• Seat comfort - outstanding
Overall, a very good boat with no bad habits.
This is my initial review of…
I bought the Looksha to gain some leg and foot room. I am 6' 3.5" tall, 175 lbs and wear a size 12 shoe. I picked up enough leg and foot room to be comfortable. I do have to have the footpegs in the all-the-way-forward position. However, if you are taller than me and have a larger shoe size, you may need to go to a longer boat. The forward hatch bulkhead limits the leg and foot room.
At 59 lbs the Looksha is fairly heavy for a 14ft boat so it is harder to get it on and off our truck and into the water. Hope I will get use to this. Our other kayaks are a Necky Manitou Sport and a Manitou 13. These boats weigh in at 45 lbs. I think the extra room in the Looksha and the ability to brace properly in the boat will offset the extra weight over time. All of my experiences with Necky kayaks have been good. That is why I keep coming back to them.
Picked Up a 2011 Looksha 14…
I guess I will start with the BAD, as that is what most people read reviews for before they buy a boat, the potential downers.
- The thigh braces are foam, and held in with a rather ignorant system, its a Phillips screw that runs through the hull into a smooth round tab about the size of a quarter neither end is fixed, so you have to be able to put tension on the smooth, hard to grab end in order take the screws loose to adjust the pads. In my case 2 of the 4 screws had foam/debris in them and because there is absolutely no way to grab the other end with any force, they couldn't be unscrewed, both ends would just spin. I had to drill the screws out to replace them.
- The crimp fasteners that hold hold the loops in the rudder cable both pulled loose 10 minutes into the first trip. Had to be replaced.
- The seat has side to side give, so under hard paddling it can wobble back and forth as You paddle.
- The hatches have to be absolutely the biggest pain in the ass of any kayak hatches ever. the top cover is just a hard plate, and in and of itself offers no waterproofing whatsoever. Underneath it is a neoprene gasket, which, while being absolutely and totally waterproof, is also very very VERY hard to put back on, especially the front one. I dread having to open either hatch. The first time I took them off it took me around 15 minutes to get them back on, perhaps over time my technique will improve and it will become easier, but as of now its by far the thing I like the least about the boat.
- Because of the cockpit shape, the boat will not fully drain if you flip it over.. rock it, seesaw it.. do whatever ya want, no matter what you will have to sponge out the last quart or so of water.
Ok, so grumpy pissy BAD side over, now for the GOOD.
- Boat looks sexy, very neat looking low profile cockpit.
- First touring boat I can actually sideshift into.. I.E. drop my butt in from the side and then swing my legs into, I love this about the boat, no more bracing with my paddle and all that crap, you can just drop in.
- While it is stable enough to get into easy, you can still edge the boat enough for proper keel break maneuvers, I don't know how they pulled that off because it really is a best of both worlds situation. bracing while using the rudder and edging will snap turn the boat VERY quickly.
- Coming from a 16.5' touring boat I was quite pleased with the speed and glide, and that was my biggest concern. I was ready for a compromise, and granted it does not have the same hull speed as a full on 16+ foot sea kayak, it is still very fast.
- the optional rudder has the sliding rudder pedals, which is fine for some, but many prefer the pivot style rudder controls, thankfully Sea-Lect does make replacement controls that bolt right in using the existing holes, and they are only $50 So you can have it either way if You want.
- The seat is very very comfortable and does have a cup holder, the adjustments are nice and easy to get at and use.
- the grab handles are bungy sprung so they stay sucked up against the boat, having grab handles slap and bang on the boat annoys me, so I like the Looksha handles.
I am a novice paddler, with…
I rented the of these and paddled Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay, CA with it. My goal for the day was to paddle calm water and maybe play in the swell outside of the harbor mouth. This boat was a good rental.
I did not like the rudder kit on the boat. I have quickly grown to like the gas pedal approach of my Tourya, so sliding the pegs front & back to steer was clumsy for me. It was too touchy for my novice level and I constantly over-steered. Since the day was calm I kept the rudder up most of the time.
The seat design is OK. The pan feels OK, but not as well formed as the P&H Easky or the Prijon. The back rest stood out as stable, well fiting, and easily adjustable.
The stability of the Looksha is what stood out to me - initial and secondary. Leaning enough to break the keel free to turn tight was not easy for a novice like me.
I did play in the swells outside of the harbor mouth, but got spooked when caught between a swell and a reflected wake that hit at a 45 deg angle. The boat and I rode right through it, but the chaotic after currents unsettled me, making the boat feel out of control, so I headed to the safety of the harbor to test my speed.
The boat gets up to speed quickly, but I felt like I could be going faster. She glided well, tracking straight, but slowing sooner than expected.
I love the look of this boat and I like the outfitting. I did not capsize on this trip, so wrestling items out of the rigging was not needed. Casual grabbing of my drink bottle from under the front deck webbing was simple.
Overall, 7 out of 10, using my other experiences in my Touryak, and the Easky & Delphin.
I would not buy this boat, as the looks are the best thing about it to me. But it is probably a boat better experienced by an intermediate to advanced paddler.
Bought my Necky first week of…
It has proven to be exceptionally stable, maneuverable, fast and fun. I load it on top of my Ford Explorer all by myself and have had no problem with it at all. I live in Florida and have paddled the Gulf waters, Weeki Wachee River, Silver River, Crystal River, Homosassa River, Rainbow River, Hillsboro River and the Peace River. Went on two camping paddling trips and my only regret is I didn't do this many years ago. I get nice comments on my Cloud blue kayak everywhere I take it.
My only negative of the Necky Looksha is that I have a heck of a time getting the neoprene hatch seals back on, if that can really be a negative. Not one drop of water have I found in either the forward or aft dry compartments. Even in windy choppy gulf waters, I have never capsized. I weigh 220 lbs and am 6'1" and am totally stable in my Necky. My Necky is Rotomolded
I enjoyed the Looksha 14's…
I found the seat back a bit high - though very comfortable. Might agree with the prior review that the seat back gets in the way during rescue. Though I am perhaps advanced novice or beginning intermediate in skillset, escape was easy, and with the large cockpit rentry as well. Have not worked with the spray deck other than escape .. no issue, but with the seatback (not necessarily a Looksha review, but seat review) it's difficult to reconnect the deck to the boat.
The boat tracks very well. The lower back deck makes the wind affect it very little, at least in moderate winds. Longest paddle thus far was a trek down the sound side of navarre beach, in light winds, maybe 1 1/2 with a rare 2 foot wave ... no issues whatsoever... tracks well, slight adjustment to strokes to maintain track (I don't have a rudder on mine).
Very stable - didn't try to edge much for turning as I didn't use the spray deck, but I would agree with previous reviewer that it would take a bit of lean to create the edge turning, given the stability of the boat.
I think this will be a great boat for my day / overnight touring...(I also picked up a Prowler 13 for fishing... like that too, for its intended use)
I was surprised at the…
I would suggest getting the back band rather than the seat back. In doing rescues, the seat back was always in the way and got tangled. The back band was much easier.
The boat tracks almost too well. It does respond to an edge to turn, but you need to put it up quite a bit. The lower back deck makes the wind affect it very little, at least in moderate winds. I'm ordering three of them for a teaching fleet, sans rudder. Each will have the 'outfitter' seat back.
I prefer this boat to the Looksha 17 (V) that I tried earlier. The 14 is a good combination of a shorter sea kayak that can track as well as an easy to transport and store kayak.