A Balance of Art and Science
Hand shaping is Necky's heritage. We believe that sea kayaks are a blend of art, experience, and science. Hydrodynamic and hydrostatic principles govern every design, but it's important to realize that even the most sophisticated computer modeling programs can't account for every variable. Add a human being, some wind, and heavy chop, and what was theoretically sound on the computer can be a handful in reality.
That's where hand shaping by our experienced design team comes into play. After producing a basic model based on computer specs, we paddle that model in a variety of conditions and begin the hand shaping, fine tuning process. This is a tedious, time consuming effort, and often major adjustments are made to the design by our shapers. After repeated testing, we finalize the design and begin the tooling process.
A kayak design evolves to meet specific usage requirements, and as such there is no "perfect" kayak. Designers balance numerous variables to achieve the best mix of attributes for a given design intent. That's why a Chatham 16 is entirely different from a Looksha 17.
We believe that the eye and touch of a craftsperson adds soul and beauty that enhances the overall design. It's what makes a Necky a Necky.