This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
journal k ayaker’s


Looksha Elite Composite

FOR NECKY, the new Looksha Elite repre- sents a return to its roots. Not another Brit- ish-style kayak or “poke around the bay” rec boat, this is a true North American–style touring kayak, complete with a rudder instead of a skeg. Te Elite has a distinct Swede form, mean-

ing its widest point is aft of the seat. While this creates a lot of volume for storage, racing kayaks also favour the shape for a number of other reasons: better stability; longer, more slender hull entry for increased speed and ef- ficiency; narrower foredeck for a closer, more vertical stroke; tighter turns because the great- er curve to the stern lifts more of the stern keel free of the water when edging; and less ten- dency to “pound” when paddling into oncom- ing waves and chop due to the finer bow entry and stern-biased volume distribution. Te Elite is built in Tailand, and while not

particularly light (ours was 57 pounds), the build quality is excellent. A honeycomb foam core is used for stiffness, and everything is very nicely put together, with no leaks, rough edges, or imperfections. Hatches remained bone-dry after extensive rough-water play and rolling. Te fit accommodates a wide range of sizes.

Tere’s lots of foot and legroom, but smaller paddlers won’t feel dwarfed. Optimal paddler



weight is about 170 to 220 pounds, but at 150 pounds I thoroughly enjoyed it. Te seat is comfy and the back-band adjusts easily to pro- vide solid support. Te thigh hooks and the underside of the deck create a nice knee pocket for a very positive grip with the legs. Initial stability is very comfortable and there

is a ton of secondary. Because the rocker is very pronounced,

the Elite has very light tracking and benefits from being paddled actively, or else paddled with the rudder, which uses a SmartTrack pedal system. Te downside is that with the rudder up, the Elite has a definite tendency to wander and blow around. Te upside is outrageous manoeuvrability! Edging away from a turn will have you immediately carv- ing a hairpin. It’s a hoot in rock gardens and tight channels, and due to its speed is very quick to accelerate onto waves and swell, while the pronounced rocker makes the boat a blast to carve around on a wave. Te clipper bow does a great job of staying on the surface even on steep waves. If you can’t imagine ever using a rudder, then

this is not the boat for you. However, if you like efficient touring, carrying big loads, and ac- celerating down waves in a following sea along an open coast, then you will love the Elite.

CUT IT OUT! Cutaways in the front deck allow for a closer, more vertical paddle position for an efficient catch at the start of each stroke. Large oval hatches (rigid shells over neoprene gaskets) provide easy access to storage.

SWEET SWEDE FORM The Swede-form shape and “humped” stern deck create awesome cargo capacity in excess of 200 litres.


The Elite has a clipper bow (more vertical rather than long and overhanging) which extends the waterline for increased efficiency and provides more volume for better rough-water performance.

length ....17 ft 6 in (536 cm) as measured

width ......22 in (56 cm) cockpit ...32 x 16 in (81 x 41 cm)

weight ....57 lbs (25.8 kg) fibreglass as measured

49 lbs (22.2 kg) carbon

price.......$2,999 US fibreglass $3,999 US carbon


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48