Good solid tandem kayak with ample dry cargo storage…
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $1,950 including shipping
Good solid tandem kayak with ample dry cargo storage and plenty of lash points on deck for extra. We average well over 5 mph in flat water, no-wind situations for several hours at a time.
A good kayak for those worried about stability. Handles wakes from big boats well and is forgiving even if you have much less than perfect technique.
- Cargo space (lots of cargo space)
- Distance between paddlers means you don't have to be completely in sync
- Rudder is a must for long trips
- Kayak weight (it's definitely a 2-person picky, carry and paddle)
- Width requires longer kayak paddles
A good tandem kayak for the price. Most of the cons could easily go away, if we spent more than twice the money a carbon fiber/Kevlar kayak. But then we would be worried about dinging that perfect boat at every imperfect beach, boat ramp, etc we travelled too.
The rudder can be a bit tricky since it tends to go to one side or the other keeping the person in the rear busy balancing the rudder. We are still messing around with it to see it if loosens up a bit with time. The rudder is a must for this kayak because it keeps the both paddlers paddling forward on those long trips where making time matters. It can be steered without rudder in required situations like coming ashore or where the water isn't deep enough as long is that is not the whole trip.
Basically, this kayak handles like someone steering from the middle of a canoe when the rudder is not used. So this isn't a great little river/stream kayak. Also, note this thing weighs 92 lbs empty and is over 18 feet long...so portaging obstacles can be difficult even if you have cart with you.
However, as a big river, lake, ocean kayak you don't feel small in the water and can hold up under the pressure of waves from big boats. We have been paddling without full spray skirts and not getting swamped. We are using sun skirts (half-skirt) to keep the water in the cockpit to a minimum. In rougher, open water in windy conditions or colder conditions definitely get the full spray skirt on. The real hazard is getting swamped out from waves then actually getting rolled by them. A decent full spray skirt will prevent that.
We have several hundred miles of water time in this kayak and have not been rolled out of it yet. Even by drunk boaters going full speed in no wake zones!
The distance between the cockpits is large enough to avoid paddle smacking and without being completely in sync with the front paddler. However, it can happen if you aren't paying some attention. We've done it once in 200 plus miles of training. Obviously if you have longer paddles and arm reach the risk goes up.
The width of the kayak means you will need a longer paddle so take that into consideration when purchasing a paddle. Also, going with a bigger blade will make maneuvering this kayak easier and more responsive. We initially used the Aquabound Stingrays and upgraded to the Aquabound Manta Ray paddles and were happy with that choice. If you are thinking about the same, pay the extra money for the lighter carbon paddles.
As with most tandems, you will need to communicate with your partner especially if you are the person in front and want to get something from behind your seat or deck bag behind you. Or if you are the back person and you are raising or lowering the rudder. These tend to be the situations where we have found like the boat could become unstable or take on water due to the kayak leaning one way or the other.
The Looksha T doesn't come standard equipped with the Necky ACS seating system, so it is missing some of the comforts of the more modern seat. You might find you need to purchase some off-the-shelf seating solutions if you find yourself getting uncomfortable after a few hours on the water.
The biggest drawback is the empty weight of the boat. At 92 lbs it is heavy! One person moving it around is not practical without a kayak cart or some other means of transport. However, it is a tandem...so you should have another person to help you!
The positioning of the cockpits is such that unless you have really extreme differences in weights both people can take turns steering the boat. Even in extreme weight differences you can just manage your gear or added ballast in the forward or rear compartments.
Ample storage behind each seat to add water bladder systems to boat. I slipped 1 completely filled MRS Dromedary 6 liter water bladder system behind each seat and there was still room for another 6 liter bladder.