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Name: Sticksman

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I bought the Necky Elias poly sight unseen and more importantly unpaddled. Touring boats are not to abundant in Colorado so the internet came to the rescue. First a little about me so it gives you a reference point. I'm 5' 11" 180lbs in the buff and wear a size 13 NRS paddle shoe in the boat. My first boat is a Jackson Rouge 10. I consider myself a beginner but a newb no longer. I consider the Elias to be a good looking boat. At 15.6 feet long (including rudder) it seemed a good fit for lake use. It weighs 56.4 pounds on my scale. The cockpit dimensions are slightly smaller then the specs on Neckys website. The width is 15" the length 32.75" and the depth in front of the coaming is 12". The cockpit narrows quickly and with the foam thigh braces makes for a tight entry. The braces can be adjusted but must be unscrewed to move them. I like the back band but found the seat felt too flat and put my feet to sleep. The hatches fit well but the bulkheads have a hole drilled in them to relieve pressure which may allow a little water in. I found a spoonful in the aft compartment after a capsize. The foot braces also work the rudder and are of the sliding type. They are plastic and use a bungee to adjust their travel length.

The boat has a fair amount of rocker and likes to turn but edging and proper paddle technique are required to master it. I've been in 2' waves and confused rough water (great fun) from power boats with no problems. The boat also likes to weathercock and this is where the rudder comes in handy. Rudder down the boat goes where you want and you can concentrate on covering some miles despite the wind.

When I first got the boat I didn't like it a bit. I found it uncomfortable and difficult to control. I was tempted to sell it and buy another, I'm glad I didn't. I padded up the seat with minicell foam by fitting it underneath the seat in its recesses and installed some hip snaps on the seat brace. I then removed the thigh braces as my knees lock up tight beneath the coaming and now I had the comfort I wanted. I worked on my paddling technique and edging and now have the control I wanted and can now say I really do like this boat.

I think Elias may be too small for those taller than I but the boat will lend itself to a beginner who can then grow with it.

I have a Necky Elias and wanted to tighten up the cockpit with the option of changing the fit for clothing. I also didn't want to alter the boat so the salamander hip snaps fit the bill. The have self stick velcro and fit perfectly on the seat support between the cockpit rim and seat. I had to add a extra .25 foam insert I had to make it a good fit thus the score of 9. They will hold no more shims so I lucked out that they fit for me. As with any outfitting you and your boat make all the difference but the product seems sound. The velcro is sticking well but I don't know how well they will hold up over the long haul.

I got a Necky poly Elias and needed a new paddle. I have been using a Aquabound Manta Ray hybrid with my Jackson that I really like but wanted a smaller blade. I felt I was beating my self up and the Sting Ray seemed a bit small. The Cyprus fell nicely in between so I took the jump.

This paddle is very smooth with little blade flex or flutter. The swing is very light. The ferule is a flush one button with internal adjustment for feather. A very sexy paddle and seems to move my boat and my 180 pounds well. I have not tried the paddle with a loaded down boat so I can only hope it performs well here as well.

The only down side (besides price) I have found is the Cyprus is unforgiving of sloppy paddling so it will make you a better paddler, hey maybe that's a good thing.

I gave a 9 because it has a few little voids in one blade edge. Oh so close to a 10, but not quite perfect.