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Looksha Elite Skook Test


Nov 8, 2008
North Vancouver
Well the Looksha Elite arrived and I had a chance to test it at the Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak Centre's Kayak School Retreat. The kayak school takes an annual trip and this year it was to Skookumchuk.

17' x 22 inches

This was only my second time at Skook, and I was a bit apprehensive. I found the seat very comfortable and the thigh braces fit quite well. There is a drainage well around the spray skirt coming, great for draining away water from the deck but makes it difficult to get water out of the boat. The for deck is scalloped to make you paddle catch closer to the centre of the boat. The "Smart Track" foot pedals allow you to brace and steer. These need tweeking and were not well adjusted. It has a fair bit of rocker and responds well to lean turns and sweep strokes, a bit turny on flatwater with out the rudder for my liking, but provided good maneuverability when I was playing around in the small current as the Skook wave was building. When the wave started to form I was having fun, the Looksha Elite jumped on the wave nicely and I found it fairly stable in the rough water. As the got bigger the bow started to dive into the wave. Surf specific kayaks like the Chatham or Romany are not nearly as fast on flat water but on the Skook wave they excel.

So for small to moderate waves I think the Looksha Elite does nicely. Necky's goal with this boat was to produce a practical all round performance boat. Where the Chatham 16 is a specific "moving water" boat, it is a dog in flat water. The Looksha Elite is a "jack of all trades" and will give you moderate performance in a variety of conditions. Good speed, somewhat agile, good storage capacity.

The Looksha Elite is produced at "The Cobra Factory" in Thailand. Along with the Chatham 16, 17 and 18. Construction quality is very good, and maybe you have seen the You Tube video of the guy beating on the Hull with a mallet. Necky is so confident in toughness that after watching the Hurricane Rider video of Marty Perry seal launching his plastic Scirocco down a 50' cliff they offered up a Chatham 16 asking us to "use and abuse" it.

Check out proto-type images of the Looksha Elite

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XMRRjreUiqU/S ... rg_all.jpg
lilydipper said:
...Construction quality is very good, and maybe you have seen the You Tube video of the guy beating on the Hull with a mallet...

I looked it up....kinda cool.

I also found other You Tube videos where people do it to various fiberglass and plastic boats (Using metal hammers rather than rubber mallets). Doesn't seem to be that hard a test to pass although it sure looks impressive.
If you're talking about this video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dtk818WSiU&NR=1
That is NOT a rubber mallet. That term is a ways off, just like their own claim of "sledgehammer" in the name of the video. What the guy is using is a dead blow hammer, which are hard plastic, filled with lose shot. The idea behind a dead blow hammer is it's meant to drastically reduce/eliminate bouncing back. As to why a dead blow hammer and not something else, good question.
Not as impressive as this test done by Delta http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkdaqwQx ... re=related since the relative surface pressure by a steel claw hammer will be much higher than that of a dead blow hammer of same weight because the steel hammer face is much smaller.
Frankly any of the youtube hammer tests are a bit dubious without hard data and clear closeup shots of surface, and layup on the inside.
This is a bit more scientifically objective with more clear data and less noise. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ut0Uoenlzk
and this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVmhissXTWc&NR=1
Mark_Schilling said:
Personally, I think the real-world tests are more valuable. This video of (allegedly) Nigel Dennis performing a rock (seal) landing in rough water is, to me, a better indication of what a boat is build for than a video of someone with a hammer in controlled conditions.

With how fuzzy and short that video is, and the distance it was shot at, I doubt you could tell if that boat actually sustained any damage or not. In fact it could have easily sustained heavy structural damage(even though I doubt it), but the fact is that the quality of the video wouldn't let you make out anything less than a massive fracture. Given same video quality and duration, I bet I could use my somewhat lightly laid up ex-rental Solstice GTS with the same visual results. Not to say my old GTS has similar toughness as an NDK Romany/Explorer,but the video of that quality wouldn't show the difference. With a good close-up of AFTER, and good quality, different story.
Cool video. I am guessing that is a BCU test? otherwise WHY would anybody of sane mind want to land on that rock. Must be a good pub nearby. Obviously a very tough boat. The hammer test is certainly a dramatization, however there are some boats on the market I would not want to hit with a hammer. The new Necky boats made at the Cobra factory are good quality and tough. The difference between the NDK boats is that the Necky boats are light whereas the NDK boats weigh 60+ pounds. I wouldn't hesitate, for reasons other than fear of personal injury or lack of skill, to do that rock landing test with a Chatham or Looksha Elite. With today's construction technology I can't understand why somebody would paddle a 60+ pound kayak. What NDK has working in its favour is a great hull design, especially the Romany. People love it. Our last trip to Skook I padded the Looksha Elite for a bit but when I switched to the Romany I was having more fun. The Romany was the right boat for that application. I think it's just a matter of time before somebody knocks off a Romany with better construction techniques.
rider said:
...What the guy is using is a dead blow hammer, which are hard plastic, filled with lose shot....

I have a dead blow hammer, and it is rubber not hard plastic.

Personally I doubt it is a dead blow. But I don't really care as the video is largely meaningless. Still looks cool though.
Rider, I agree that it's not an entirely useful video - we don't see any potential damage afterwards, and the boat really doesn't take much of a beating (I think my Pygmy has actually suffered worse!). But to me, it's more useful seeing the 'real world' applications that boats are designed and built to take, rather than some 'controlled experiments' with a hammer. I'm sure there are many boats that would not have survived the rock thrashing as well as the NDK boat, which in all likelihood only sustained a few scratches.
While reworking my garage "ceiling storage hoist" for kayaks to hold two boats yesterday, an improperly tightened link popped open and dropped the aft end of one of my boats approx. 4 feet directly down on top of a saw-horse (actually it dropped them both but the newer boat got hung up in the rear cradle and didn't land on the sawhorse). Results: a lot of noise (some of it blue in nature) and a scuff mark on the keel of one Pygmy. Don't think I'd want to repeat that "test"...with anything!
Yeah, I used to design gas turbines at Pratt & Whitney so I'm familiar with lock-wiring: this was a truly idiot situation... forgot to spin a nut down on a bolt that was in direct tension! Nobody to blame but myself (which explains the "blue" part...directed at self).