Most Recent Reviews
Cannot add a bunch to the existing reviews but certainly agree with the fault in the design of the eye hooks. The only major gripe I have with the Yak, as they are harder to use and the brass clips for the seat attachments end up riding against the plastic hull top. As one reviewer said, loops give you distance off the hull tops. Fast for 14' SOT and light which a big plus for hauling. Can start leaking in the scupper holes between the top and bottom decks so just watch for it and silicone or epoxy in the scupper holes remedies the situation. I have a 35" inseam and the foot pegs all the way out are usable but moving the rails to the farthest limit helps. 2018 Winter project was to built a unistrut motor mount and put a 39 lb troll motor on both of mine. I have rudders on mine so when it comes time to fish you drop the motor in the water and move along nicely with the rudder controlling the direction. Frees the hands for fishing. The extra weight of the bracket, motor and small 30 amp hour battery isn't noticeable. Use this yak in the summer months, which in Texas is first of March to the end of November before the water cool off. If you find one buy it. Have not tried the newer skimmer models but imagine they are excellent boats also as Hurricane makes a nice Kayak.
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 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.
Might not deserve a perfect 5 but it fits my needs perfectly, so it gets a 5. I paddled a Carolina 14 1/2 and the cockpit was just too big and the Yak was "not fast". Had a Necky Manitou that I liked but wanted an operational rubber not just a skeg. It was also fiberglass and that is not the best material for shallow Texas rivers and the rocks and debris you encounter. Bought a W/S Focus as it was said to be fast and it was. Could keep up with the 16/17 Yaks without wearing myself out. Wasn't the most user-friendly boat as without chines it would roll over fairly easily, but it was and is a nice poly kayak. Then comes the Tsunami. It is not as fast as the Focus and much faster than the Carolina. Started with the 14 1/2 and again the cockpit was cavernous. If you are a big person, then this or the Carolina are your boats. Moved to the 14 and now I am a happy camper. I am a recreational kayaker on Texas rivers for the most part and the Yak is fast enough to keep pace with the longer boats but they might skip a stroke or two to let me catch up but that could also be my age. Seat is extremely comfortable and can be adjusted on the fly, so you can change positions on those 20+ mile runs easily. Can carry "stuff" in the bulk-headed hatches but not much of an overnighter so for recreational purposes there is more space than I need but no one complains about too much space. Keeps items off the deck with all the space. I do wish the day hatch was in the front like the Focus instead of behind the cockpit. If W/S is listening this would be a nice improvement. Is is very user friendly with initial and secondary stability and that is something I look for as I don't like cold water dunks. I use the rudder as I am not a purist just a weekend kayaker and makes turning the boat on winding bayous mush easier and less wear and tear on the shoulders as the long sweeping multiple strokes are needed. can't discuss weather cocking as the rudder is always down so there is no weather cocking. That will make the purist cringe but this is an opinion review so those are mine. For the record, 6'2", 36" inseam, 188 lbs. and 67 years young. Looking for a second one as a throw down Yak for friends who might want to join me.
Hard to give any yak a 5 star but if this had a functional rudder instead of a skeg then it might come close. Used this boat in a 16-mile Buffalo Bayou regatta and by the time the end came my shoulders were tired of the multiple strokes to turn the Yak on the winding bayou through Houston. Completed the same trip with Tsunami and Carolina with rudders and not near as tired. Does go straight with or without skeg and user friendly as far as stability. Roomy cockpit as I am 6'2" at 185 lbs. and was comfortable for the 3+ hour trip. Good storage space in the hatches and bulk headed. Also, good storage space on top. Nice paddle holder as part of the boat. Good size yak for a 65-year-old guy to carry and load. Versatile is probably the best description for this kayak as it fits many needs. Has a rod holder for fishing but I like the SOT’s for fishing. Seat is comfortable and adjustable to fit many styles but if you’re a back-belt person you will complain about the seat back getting in the way during water reentry. I always use full seat backs as tall guys like the back support. Versatile user friendly especially for those new to kayaking. Good to have one around.
Like all stretch to fit compartment covers, a bit of a pain to take on and off but not as bad as some. Seat is comfortable for 25 - 30 miles trips which is about my limit. Roto-molded boat is tough but probably heavy to load for smaller folks. I would buy this boat again and looked hard for a composite version but found a composite Necky Manitou 14 in Austin so now my fleet is complete. Lighter Necky boat when rocks and shallow river water aren't issues and the Carolina for the tough duty tours when hull cracking might be a problem