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Narpa Reviews


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Necky Kayak
Narpa Reviews

Read reviews for the Narpa 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 love my boat!! I bought my…

Submitted by: paddler237112 on 9/13/2016
I love my boat!! I bought my Necky Narpa in 1996. Since then it has seen 1,000+ miles with me, both in a professional guiding capacity and as a recreational boater. I have paddled 20' swell in this craft, surfed it at Bolinas, and spent many happy weeks (up to 14 days at a stretch) touring the waters of the west coast.

Where this boat shines brightest is is in big seas. The low profile helps in wind, and the excellent secondary stability handles nearly any chop/swell combination you can throw at it.

Secondary, but still important considerations include: it's ruggedness; the volume of gear that can be stowed; and maneuverability.

I held back a point for the comfort of the seat, which is low. I use a ThermaRest stadium seat (only partially inflated) to make it tolerable. If anyone has worked out how to swap the seat out for something comfortable please let me know.


This kayak is fairly stable…

Submitted by: chasityyoho on 10/8/2015
This kayak is fairly stable and super slim to get into. Even while leaving it feels as if it stops itself from flipping over. Foot pedals are pretty neat. It's a very long kayak.

I purchased a Narpa used from…

Submitted by: DebFex7 on 7/26/2013
I purchased a Narpa used from an independent seller a few months ago. I am in love with this boat! I am not a small paddler, but this boat is HUGE. However, despite its size, it handles like a dream and tracks quite well. The seat is not exactly an easy chair, but I have yet to find a kayak that has a truly comfortable seat.

In short, I love this boat. Only reason I give it a 7 is that I hate hatch covers with straps & buckles, and the footpegs are very short and narrow, so dig in unless you are wearing very good water shoes. These things I cam live with. Great boat.


I have been kayaking now for…

Submitted by: bwarthur on 6/1/2009
I have been kayaking now for over 10 years (mostly recreational, but have now moved on to touring) and have owned about seven kayaks and tried many more. I picked up this kayak used a month ago, and it has been my touring boat of choice since (I currently own three touring kayaks, but not for long!).

I am about 5'10" and 185 lbs and this boat fits me perfectly, although I believe it could also hold a larger paddler quite well. The Narpa tracks well and is responsive to leans and edges. The rudder is a nice addition for windy conditions but is not needed as weather cocking is minimal. Before I owned this boat I had never figured out how to do an Eskimo roll, but after watching a few videos...I rolled this boat on the second try very easily! I love this boat and am looking forward to logging many mile in it.


For what it's worth here…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/2/2002
For what it's worth here goes. I consider myself an intermediate paddler,no roll but working on it. I have paddled in a wide variety of conditions, winds 0 to 30 knots, waves 3 foot surf to 6 foot swells with loads ranging from basic safety gear to day at the beach loads. The beach gear includes sunshelter, soft cooler, thermarest pad/chair and other stuff.

I think you might like to know this stuff for comparison. I am 6 foot tall at 180 lbs. The Narpa is my first kayak but like most folks I spent a lot of time testing others. I have owned my Narpa for a little over 3 years and think it's great. It's tough enough to run onto oyster bars(accidentally) and not scratch badly. It handles well with or without the rudder deployed, need the rudder more in increasing winds. Turns great with or with out the rudder. I run through saltmarsh cuts and some turns are 180's. Rides wakes and wind swells fine, but surfing it can be a handful. It tends to broach but it could just be my lack of experience. My Narpa will carry more gear than I care to think about and I see no prblem getting a weeks worth stowed. Seat is great, very comfortable. I have never had my legs go numb, even after 4 to 5 hrs without a shore break. My size 11s fit fine with water shoes. I could go on but why bore you with more. I feel really at home on the water in my Narpa. My dealer kinda put it best when we were talking about my next boat,"You're looking at a new boat? Why?"

P.S. A 9 because the speed of a Looksa II spoiled me.


I've had my Narpa for just…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/30/2002
I've had my Narpa for just over two months. In that time, I've registered 98 miles paddling on the Wisconsin lakes and rivers. As a new paddler to kayaking, I feel this was the best choice for me, and also a good boat for me to be happy with as my skills get better. I tried numerous other brands and models,(at least 10 different kayaks / all plastic) before deciding on the Narpa.

By the way, I'm 6'2, size 13 shoe, was 265lbs, when I started paddling, now I'm a slim 243lbs, hahaha. I couldn't disagree more with the other paddler who says this isn't a bigger person boat. In my search for a kayak that fit my physique, I was very particular and open with the dealers, that I needed a boat that would handle a person my size and be able to be loaded with enough gear for a weekend getaway. The Narpa is a 24" width, 16'4 length, and the cockpit is 31.5" x 17". A friend of mine, who's 6'1" and 185lbs, who also owns a Narpa, does complain sometimes that he feels he needs a narrower boat, and that it's too much boat for him. He rides about an inch and a half higher out of the water than me.

Over time, as my technique has gotten better, I've found the Narpa to be very responsive to a lean, fast, and yet very stable at the same time. This, in my opinion, would be a great choice for an intermediate paddler. I also looked at the Eskia, by Necky, which I found to have a little more stability than the Narpa, probably would track slightly better, but wasn't as quick, or as easy to turn. Ok, I guess I've written enough. If anyone has any specific questions about the Narpa, please feel free to e'mail me. Take care, John


I've had my Narpa for about a…

Submitted by: paddler229886 on 8/20/2002
I've had my Narpa for about a year now, so I've really gotten to know it. It's a good, stable, predictable boat. I'm not a real strong person, and I find it's a bit of a chore to turn around in a small space, but on the open water it handles beautifully in wind, chop, ski-boat wake, you name it. I wish the cargo hatches were a wee bit bigger. the front one is downright tiny, and it's difficult to get gear like tent poles or full drybags inside. I find that theres still plenty of room inside for more stuff, but I cant maneuver objects in through the opening. This weekend though, I got in full camping gear for two into just my boat. Well, a LOT of it was strapped to the outside, but we made it without swamping! In short, I like my boat a lot, though there's some I like equally well for different reasons.

I finally became the owner of…

Submitted by: paddler229561 on 3/25/2002
I finally became the owner of a Narpa after a lengthy search for a good, durable touring kayak. I wanted to try a Narpa, as it has been used for a good number of big water expeditions with much seccess. Since I paddle in Florida where there are oyster bars and other submerged items that could tear apart a flimsy boat, I needed a durable kayak. The Narpa is very durable, well made, dry, and very easy to become accustomed to. I've been paddling for years in my Scupper Pro for fishing, and the transition to the Narpa was smooth - no surprises. It tracks extremely well and is relatively unaffected by winds. I find that this kayak takes less effort to move the boat and keeps up hull speed easily. Also, the acceleration is good and the glide is superb. The strengths of the Narpa is in light to moderate chop - stable as a rock. In short, I'm extremely pleased with this choice and would certainly get exactly the same boat again. The only improvement I'd like to see would be larger hatches. Necky has a winner with this kayak! RR

I started my search in Oct.…

Submitted by: paddler229499 on 10/17/2001
I started my search in Oct. of 1999 for a sea water kayak. Loving the water and the entire camping thing, I was in search off a boat that would be comfortable yet aggresive and be able to be packed up for the long hall. Let me tell you I paddled every boat that is found in the Florida panhandle and my work brought me to the Narpa. After some phone calls and a 3 hour drive, I found, paddled and bought my new Narpa,( does anyone know what Narpa means). This boat tracks better than any other rotomolded, narrower boat that I have paddled with (Narpa is 24" wide). It is easy to roll upright and it edges like it belongs on edge, so impressed. As for the whole camping thing, even loaded down, this boat still handles GREAT! Tough to boot!! My only grouch is that the line to raise and lower the rudder should have some type of handle or knot. Thanks Necky!!!

P.S. Anyone wanting to paddle in this area, please e-mail:) (what the heck is a NARPA?)


After evaluating numerous…

Submitted by: paddler229066 on 1/16/2001
After evaluating numerous kayaks, I chose the Necky Narpa (plastic). I paddle in Cape Town, South Africa, where the seas are often rough and gale force winds are frequent. I wanted a boat with a good carrying capacity and good stability. Good tracking was also a major criteria. The Narpa is all that and more. The sheer simplicity of the layout, and the rugged design approach taken by Necky makes this kayak superb. Stability is excellent, and the boat handles rough water beautifully. The hatches seal extremely well too. Even though I like the Perception boats, my Necky is built like a Hummer - it is almost indestructible. The only improvement I'd like to see would be slightly more rugged, and larger rudder pedals (currently plastic), and perhaps less plastic and more alloy used for the rudder mechanism.

The Narpa is the SUV (sport…

Submitted by: paddler228735 on 8/31/2000
The Narpa is the SUV (sport utility vehicle) of the plastic sea kayak world. It is heavy, durable, holds a ton of cargo, and is built to take serious abuse. The Narpa has good primary and secondary stability, tolerable hull speed, and turns predictably without excess effort. You can put first time paddlers in Narpas and they'll have a good time. It doesn't have the twichy feeling the chined Looksha IV has, and will tolerate more paddler misbehavior than that boat. The Narpa accommodates all but the largest paddlers (e.g. over 200 lbs or taller than 6'2"), and has reasonable footroom. The cockpit opening is fairly large and easy to get into tail first, and the seatback is very HARD, (but less of a problem for larger paddlers than the Looksha IV seat.) It has sufficient deck rigging to do what you want, and a sturdy rudder that works well. You can pack a ton of geat in the Narpa, and it has large hatches for easy cargo access. You'll only "outgrow" a Narpa if you paddle a lot of other (faster) boats, and crave higher performance. But when the dust settles, you may end up back at the Narpa if you want a durable, reliable, well made kayak that you don't have to baby or worry about. You won't win any speed races with the Narpa, but you won't have to worry about hull cracks, significant oil-canning, broken parts, or brittle pieces. The Narpa will probably outlast the vehicle you use to get it to the water. And when you finally bore of it, you'll be able to sell it for far more than other boats. If money (and space) were no object, most paddlers would probably keep a Narpa laying around for infrequent paddling guests/friends to enjoy.

I recently (8/00) purchased a…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/22/2000
I recently (8/00) purchased a nice used Narpa (my 3rd kayak) and have found it to be a very nice boat that is fairly quick and stable, although it is initially a little tippy until you get used to it (secondary stability is pretty good). I'm 6'1", 185 lbs. and have had no problem with leg room or space in general, it's a nice fit. However, this is not a boat for a big boy/girl. There is a decent amount of storage space down below for extended trips. The Narpa turns nicely with the easy to use rudder but has seemed to be a bit slow without it (even on edge). The quality of the materials and workmanship is fairly good and has held up well on this 4 year old boat. The weight is up around 55-60 lbs. but I can still carry it for short distances. I'd like to see a water bottle holder integrated into the seat and possibly the seating position moved back slightly (6" maybe) I real get the feeling I'm sitting up toward the bow in this thing. Overall, I would not hesitate to buy a Narpa again and would recommend one to someone who is looking for this type of kayak.