Looksha 17

17' 4"
Width (in)
Weight (lb)

This Product Has Been Discontinued

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Looksha 17 Description

The Looksha 17 easily accommodates medium to larger paddlers and all of their gear. And when stowing gear, you'll find the bow and stern hatches are the largest hatch openings ever designed by Necky. High initial stability, excellent glide and outstanding acceleration ensure that strong currents, tides or wind chop up to four feet won't slow you down.

Looksha 17 Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit Inside
  • Seating Configuration: Solo, Tandem
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Necky Kayak
Looksha 17 Reviews

Read reviews for the Looksha 17 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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Disclaimer: I have never…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/27/2023

Disclaimer: I have never owned a sea kayak before. I will not be comparing the Looksha 17 to sea kayaks. I have owned 10 kayaks (recreational, fishing, and day touring). I have owned a Wilderness Systems Pungo 120, Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140, and Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140. Those are all good kayaks with solid reputations. I will be comparing the Looksha 17 to those kayaks and relay my observations of it.

Where I paddle: Coastal shoreline and streams along the Potomac River, Patuxent River, and Chesapeake Bay. I paddle for recreation, fitness, photography, and to disconnect for a while.

About me: 5'8", 235 lbs.

My review: The Looksha 17 is a good kayak with a lot of positive attributes. I would buy it again. I average 3.75 mph with a max speed of 5.75 mph. This is faster than the other kayaks I have owned. I can get the Tarpon 140 up to a similar top speed but need to work much harder to do so. The Tarpon is like running in hiking boots where the Looksha feels like a pair of trail shoes. The Looksha has a similar paddling feel to the Tsunami 140 but has better speed and glide (which is to be expected since it is a longer kayak).

The Looksha 17 has good initial stability and tracks really well without the rudder on a calmer day. The rudder works well and comes in handy in the event the wind picks up.

The Looksha has two sealed compartments with neoprene covers with a hard plastic hatch cover over the neoprene that gets locked in with cross buckles/straps. The neoprene covers are a pain at first but after you get the technique down, they are much easier to put on. This kayak has excellent storage space and ample capacity. So many kayaks out there have capacities of 295/300/325. When you apply the 33% (or 100 lb) deduction rule of thumb guides, that eliminates a lot of kayaks for you if you are 220+. The Looksha 17 states 375 but to me it seems like it could be higher.

The cockpit has a fairly small entry but once you are inside, you feel very connected to the boat. The padded thigh braces are nice and the seat bottom is very comfortable. The seat is adjustable. It is good (better than a lot of seats out there) but still not quite as adjustable as the Phase 3 seats on Wilderness Systems kayaks). The footbraces are adjustable and connected to the rudder - style where you push the footbrace to turn the rudder - works well but prevents you from being able to brace against the footbrace. Looking at it though, I prefer to have the rudder and can engage the with the boat very well using thigh pressure against the thigh braces. I have no real complaints (just minor niggles) about the cockpit once you are inside of it. Can ride in it for hours without discomfort. It's set up well. I use a Seals sneak 1.7 skirt. That works well.

I enjoy the relative ease of paddling (again compared to my other kayaks), the feel of an extended glide on a still day while you look around, the good initial stability that enables pulling out a phone/camera to take pictures without worrying about tipping over, and just the way this kayak makes me feel on the water. I enjoy paddling it - plain and simple.

So why 4 stars and not 5: The weight. It comes in at a similar weight to my Tarpon 140 fishing kayak. On the water it doesn't matter but getting it to/from requires you to figure out a system to work around the weight. Here is mine: I store the Looksha in my garage on straps connected to pulleys above my garage door. I lower it onto a folding plastic table and move that to the front of my garage. I use a Thule waterslide (or a shower mat - grippy on once side, padded on the other) to go over the rear spoiler of my Subaru Outback. I rear load onto Malone seawing racks on my Outback. This method allows me to only have to lift half of the kayak a few feet onto the roof and then push it into the cradle. At the launch, I reverse the process. I wish this kayak was 20 lbs lighter...but...that is unrealistic based on the price point for this kayak used versus a similar composite/kevlar/fiberglass kayak.

Conclusion: This kayak is very good at what it does and is very reliable. It is not what it is not. It is not a high end, lightweight sea kayak. It is not a performance sea kayak. If you see one of these used and are thinking about buying it, do it. You won't regret it. This kayak offers an awful lot at a good price point. I would buy it again.


I really don't like it. It's…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 1/30/2020

I really don't like it. It's heavy and awkward. Although I'm 2 meter tall and 128 Kg, it's too big and not flexible. The stability is very good, but turning is inconvenient. Rolling is almost impossible! I recommend it only for very heavy people who want stability but not looking for performance.


First let me say this is my…

Submitted by: turboghost on 6/17/2019

First let me say this is my first kayak and my very first time in the water in a kayak. I've canoed for over 30 years off and on but, never kayaked until this moment so, I cannot give you the review of a seasoned veteran but, I can give you a full beginner's review! This is long and if you want the short version just scroll to the bottom for the pros and cons section.

For nearly a year I read reviews of so many kayaks on this site. I was trying to find one that I thought would meet my needs both physical and purpose-wise. I am 6'-2" tall and weigh around 225lbs with a 36" inseam and a size 12 shoe (thank you to all the reviewers who included that information as that really helped me with my decision!). I wanted a kayak to travel local lakes and rivers. I wanted one with maximum travel for minimum effort expended. I'm not doing this for exercise but, for relaxation and pleasure. Exercise is secondary. So, I decided on a sea kayak. I browsed CraigsList and when I would find one I liked I would come to this site and read reviews and more often than not I would read "I'm 5'-10" and it's a bit cramped for me" and obviously, that killed it for me. Then I found the Necky Looksha 17.

My particular one is in great shape! It has a rudder but, the cables were frayed and I replaced them with 200lb test monofilament. The rudder is practically useless for me though because when seated, my feet touch the front bulkhead which means the pedals have nowhere to go when using them. I was able to spread my knees outward and gain a little space to use it a little and it worked rather well but, the webbing straps that adjust the pedals are old and stiff and won't hold their position so, the pedals kept slipping down until they again had no travel. I will be replacing these as soon as I can.

I bought a handmade greenland semi-shouldered paddle based on the information I learned on this site. I like it very much! I did not buy a spray skirt as I didn't have the money at the time of our trip and I was told it would be a lazy trip down river with no big rapids. LOL!

The seat is fairly comfortable. I like the back adjustment as I can get it up higher on my back where I need the bracing. I do wish it would be able to move backwards about 4" as I think that would really help with my legroom and allow me to use the rudder better.

I wish the area just forward of the cockpit was slightly taller as I'm more comfortable with my knees bent a little bit and I feel more in control. Mine came with what I assume are thigh braces but, I honestly have no idea what species they would be designed for as your hips would have to be 3' wide and your legs 4" in diameter to fit. I'm sure I am doing something wrong but, I couldn't figure out any way to fit without them digging into the tops of my thighs. So, I took them out. I have a 34" waist and I feel a much larger person would be a tight fit in the cockpit. I didn't touch the sides but, it's close.

I didn't use the storage compartments as I didn't need to haul anything for our trip. The straps on them are somewhat stiff but, the rubber covers are still flexible and seem to seal well. I didn't check for leaks afterwards but, will try to remember the next time I go out on the water. I added a little uh...loop mount..omega looking thingy in front of the cockpit to attach my paddle lanyard and I'm thankful for that!

From the moment I hit the water it was obvious how much faster it was than the guys I was with. They all had 9' sit on top kayaks. The boat glides so well! At one point I told the others to go ahead as I was going to pull over and drain the boat. They got several hundred yards ahead of me and with very little effort I was able to catch up very quickly. I didn't use the rudder for the first part of the trip as I didn't think I could use it at all. The boat steered rather well and I found that I could make instant course corrections by braking on one side or the other more accurately than I could by paddling. At the first rapids which were class 1 or a low 2 I was able to get fairly close and back paddle and easily hold my position while I watched the others choose their lines and decided which route was best for me. I found in most straight-on rapids I had the advantage as I could go straight through where the waters were moving in multiple directions and the smaller boats would get moved around and they had to fight more than I did.

However, when the rapids had a turn to them I struggled. Two of the rapids were in bends in the river and one was along a rock cliff and these were low to middle class 3. The first one got me turned and I lost balance and went in. I'm sure a more experienced paddler would have been fine but, this was my first time. There were several large submerged rocks but, the boat sustained no damage as it got tossed around. I swam to the shore and drained the boat and hit the water again. Oh, I didn't lose my paddle thanks to my lanyard!

The second rapids went along the rock wall and were very fast! I was using the rudder at this point and right as I entered the rapids, one of the peddle straps slipped and my foot slammed into the bulkhead and the rudder turned sharply and I went straight into the wall between two rocks which put me crosswise to the flow which didn't end well. Again, the boat sustained no damage whatsoever. I did a little bit. Throughout the trip, the boat was quite stable except when water got over a couple of inches in the bottom from going through the rapids but, a spray skirt would have cured that. I'm not that comfortable with the secondary stability yet but, I never felt tippy or at risk of flipping except in the worst of the rapids and even then only when they were turning.

There were several sections of the river where it was shallow and I was sliding over lots of rocks. The boat sustained no damage and I was thankful the seat doesn't actually sit on the bottom of the boat! With the rudder I think it weighs around 70lbs. It's not too hard to carry by myself but, I'm not a small man. I drive an F150 SuperCrew and I used a hitch extender in the vertical position to haul it. Loading by myself is extremely difficult but, can be done. Even with help it's not the easiest task.

Overall, I'm very impressed with the boat! The others who I rode with were sure I would sacrifice the boat to the river gods when they saw the size of it but, at the end of the trip they all said they were incredibly impressed with it especially since it was my very first time on the water in a kayak! They made sure to note they were impressed with the boat, not me! :)

I wanted a boat that I could do a variety of things in. After my experience on the river I know it will be excellent on the lakes!

The pros: Maximum travel with minimum effort.

  • : Tracks very well even without the rudder.
  • : Very durable
  • : Roomy for most people but, a 36" inseam is pushing the limits.
  • : Plenty of storage although I never used it.
  • The cons: It's not a light boat and the length make loading and portage challenging.

  • : The storage is not convenient to access when on the water. Actually, near impossible.
  • : Definitely not the best boat for locations where rapid direction changes are required.
  • : Thigh braces (if they are a factory item, I don't know) designed for 1950's Roswell aliens.

I wish it were lighter and had more knee room and the storage was easier to access but, other than that I am very pleased with the boat and would happily recommend it to anyone that could tote it!


A great family touring…

Submitted by: paddler443446 on 6/18/2018

A great family touring kayak, Very stable, tracks beautifully, easily carries gear for an overnighter or multiday trips. We often go to the San Juan Islands with our family and have taken our now thirteen year old boys there since they were 6 years old. Durable, affordable, a great kayak all around!


Verrrrrry good boat!

Submitted by: Randy-Scott on 5/26/2017

I have an old Necky Looksha 17 in glass and my friend has the plastic which is also a nice tracking and packing out boat. They are fast and stable in the ocean.


I bought a used Necky kayak,…

Submitted by: rcarew on 9/28/2016
I bought a used Necky kayak, model Looksha 17 last year. I absolute love the ease of moving through the water. I still grin every time I slip into into it. I would recommend it to everyone.

I have been consistently…

Submitted by: Pleone1 on 9/20/2016
I have been consistently impressed with the Necky 17. I had heard lots of good things about Necky and wasn't sure whether I should go for the polymer or not. I was a little worried about how it would hold up in rough seas and for longer trips but it really held its own in the boundary waters, on the bay in Maryland, on the blue way in Florida and on the lake in North Carolina.

On the water it's fast and turns really well and on land it's light and easy to load onto my truck without any help. My only issue was the price, it was a little on the high side for what you get but I'd make the same purchase again, you pay for quality.


I've been a kayaker for 20…

Submitted by: paddler228569 on 10/7/2014
I've been a kayaker for 20 years. I prefer Necky boats. I currently have two Zoar sport and one Looksha polymer kayaks. I had another Looksha, but sold it to a friend to get him into paddling. I have taken the Looksha out on numerous day trips, overnighters, and once, 5 days 75 miles unsupported.

I truly believe it is a well thought out touring boat. It blends speed, durability, stability, comfort, and the ability to carry a load into a durable affordable package. There are many other boats available. Some of them may edge out the Looksha in one category, but taken as a whole, I say nothing else comes close. I believe it so strongly I bought one, TWICE!


Tried one at a local rental…

Submitted by: paddler235805 on 8/4/2014
Tried one at a local rental place... Great size and fit. Only thing was with the right rudder control. The cable inside that adjusts length had a sharp spot (metal wire strands). That rubbed on my right leg.
Easy to operate, stable and great for dragging up onto shore
Might not be the fastest, but stable

17 Looksha is a great touring…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/27/2014
17 Looksha is a great touring boat. It has great initial stability. It's secondary stability could be a bit better. For its length it is lighter weight than I expected. I felt it was a nimble boat and was very responsive. It's a little wide so I think it's a little slow for its length. Definitely better suited for a larger paddler than me but still a great boat. Got a little worried in the surf because its sleek bow has a tendency to dive. It never threw me but it was enough that I decided not to do that again. Also has a tendency to "wind cock".

All in all I would recommend this boat especially if you're a larger paddler or if you want a good boat you can paddle all day and stay comfortable.


I just had the opportunity to…

Submitted by: paddler233692 on 11/27/2011
I just had the opportunity to paddle a 2011 Necky Looksha 17 plastic version that a dear friend lent me for a couple of weeks. She comes with all the whistles any serious kayaker looking to cover some water could ask for.

The New 2011 Necky Looksha 17 incorporates the ACS seat which puts the manufacturer way ahead of the bunch with its multiple adjustments points such as the thigh support feature, easy customizable backrest and solid feeling on a seat that really seems one with the boat. The little pull up strings that release the adjustments tabs are also an excellent idea.

Overall a roomy cockpit able to harbor a large range of body types allowing for great comfort as well as excellent control on rough water. When the wind picks up badly a solid rudder system aids on tracking. Adjustable foot pegs could do better on such a great high performance boat. Carrying capacity is almost obscene for you have so much room in each of the pantagruelian hatches that it is hard to find a complaint on that one. The cross lock hatch cover system with the well proven neoprene covers allow no water in even when rolling.

Rolling; for a boat of these specs one would think rolling would require a lot of effort yet it does it easily once you pass the high secondary stability point to flip it.

To finalize, I liked the boat a lot, roomy yet controllable, big yet nimble, fast fair tracker even with some wind, excellent craftsmanship in a boat that can do a lots of things better than just right. I even used her to fish for stripers with no stability worries.
Now I want one!