Necky Rip 12 Review: A Well-Rounded Kayak

The Necky Rip 12 is a mid-level kayak with features and a design that won’t break the bank. Personally, I’d picked up my Rip 12 with myself being relatively new to kayaking with the intent to eventually do multi-day trips with it. The spacious design and features more commonly found on higher models were major selling points that influenced my decision to purchase this craft. Paired with a lightweight fiberglass ECO-REC LTW paddle the Rip 12 has kept me exploring lakes in the Pacific Northwest of Canada for countless hours.

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Necky Rip 12 Specifications

Diving into the specs the Rip 12 measures in at 12 feet long reaching a maximum width of 28 inches. These dimensions give it an edge over most entry-level kayaks to both cruise through the water without sacrificing any stability of the vessel. The Polyethylene craft’s unloaded weight is 50lbs with a maximum capacity of 350lbs. The cockpit is 46.25 x 19.5 inches allowing users plenty of room to load, enter and exit the kayak with the stern’s hatch measuring 16.5 x 10.5 inches.

What’s Good About The Necky Rip 12

Having purchased this kayak with the intention of doing multi-day paddling trips I’m continuously impressed with the storage capacity. To date, my longest trip has been a full week with no opportunities to resupply on the remote and world-class Bowron Lakes circuit. On this particular trip, the Rip 12 held all my gear with ease and handled well in drastically changing mountain conditions.

The cockpit of the Rip 12 is spacious with a wide design offering stability and, as mentioned, plenty of room to enter and exit the vessel. This cockpit is equipped with a foam seat offering comfort and back support for longer paddles. I’ve paddled for up to four hours without ever exiting or experiencing any discomfort with the standard seat. Adjustable foot pedals in the kayak offer users a foot brace to get the most out of their paddling strokes as well. The Rip 12’s wide cockpit would offer a quick exit in the event of a capsize too, luckily, to date I haven’t had the misfortune of this happening largely due to the stability of this craft making it a difficult feat.

One feature of the Rip 12 is a skeg located at the stern of the vessel. As an advocate for working smarter and not harder the skeg gives a huge advantage here. The skeg can be lifted and dropped using a rope running up through the kayak with the handle located next to the seat. I’ve found the skeg to be incredibly helpful in paddling still water of all conditions to maintain a straight path and avoid weathercocking in windy conditions. When strong winds and rough water conditions roll in the skeg can ensure your safe arrival back at your launch point or campsite for the night.

For the Rip 12 one can’t forget the affordability. Depending on your region, the price of this kayak holds great value as a mid-level vessel. You get exactly what you pay for in the Rip 12 bridging the gap between entry-level kayaks and the higher-level vessels available.

What I Don’t Like

As a Polyethylene kayak with plenty of storage, the Rip 12 is a fairly heavy vessel with an unloaded weight of 50lbs. This makes it a little challenging for a single person to load on and off of vehicle roof racks. The heavyweight and wide design also do make this vessel slower than some higher-end models which I’ve noticed when paddling with friends equipped with these more aerodynamic crafts.

As much of a benefit as the skeg is, when compared to the rudders of higher-end models it does lack the ability to steer which also proves as a disadvantage. When the skeg is down turning does require extra effort, and in moving water can push the kayak sideways quite quickly. Due to this, I would not advise one to use the skeg in moving water. If one explores kayak options that are equipped with a rudder, a person is guaranteed precision steering in all bodies of water with minimal effort on their part.

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Necky Rip 12: Yay or Nay?

For entry-level to intermediate users, the Necky Rip 12 offers great value for those looking to paddle on still and slow-moving bodies of water. Those looking for a kayak to take on multi-day trips will also be impressed, as I have been, with the Rip 12’s storage capacity and handling while fully loaded. I’ve had my Rip 12 for four years and in that time have recommended it to numerous friends with similar kayak experience and had it serve me well on whatever challenges I’ve put it up to. For what it is, this kayak is an appealing option offering great value to its users.

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