Cockpit size in regards to Sea Kayaks and fit.

I am 6 ft tall and an Athletic 215lbs. My waist is 34" to 35" depending on where my weight is during the summer (205 to 218lbs). Recently picked up a used Tempest 170 Pro. My other kayak is a Swift Kiwasa 13.2. The Kiwasa is really comfortable and easy to get in and out of. However it is a Sport Recreational and not a Sea Kayak. The Tempest was not too hard to get into, but getting out of it well…seems the hips pads were quite preventative to a smooth exit on dock. Pretty much had to crawl out onto the dock. I measured the inside of the cowl and it is 15.5" inches wide. So my question is how tight is the sea kayak supposed to be?

I am your current size, mostly, and have owned my Tempest 170 Pro since 2013. There has been considerable comment in the past about the ease of exiting this boat. I think it is a bit deceptive that the company lists the cockpit size measured to the outer coaming edge.

Earlier Tempests came with hip pads that had removable inner pads to be able to adjust for a custom fit. My newer boat no longer came with them. I managed to find older pads and began playing around, and noticed the pads were not helping with torso rotation. The boat has an excellent seat, thigh pads, and foot pads, so removing the hip pads all together has helped rotation and I do not feel loose in the boat. I have a finger’s width of space each side.

I also did a common modification by moving the seat rearward about 2". A 1-2" shift is fairly easy to do, and does not require any additional deck holes. There are videos online showing how this done. The shift has not appeared to affect the trimming of the kayak, though I am not an expert in these matters. But it has made it easier to exit without scraping my shins on the front of the coaming. I have had no problems with wet exits and getting back in . Some kayaks I can sit on the back of the coaming and slide right down in. The Tempest requires slightly leading with the left leg and rotating the the right knee inward a bit to twist down in. It quickly became second nature.

Other than fit, I hope you are enjoying your boat.

I’m getting in a current Designs Nomad 29.5 x 15.5" 6’ 240 lb. Seat is 1.5" wider below coming. Feels fine even rotating. I slide in. I did move seat back.

I second @pbenter … I have a WS Zephyr, which has the same Wilderness Systems seat and roughly the same cockpit dimensions. I’m 5’10" and about 240, but not really wide in the hips. I also had to remove the hip pads as no amount of moving them fore and aft would help. The seat was just too narrow with them in place. With them removed I still feel like I have good control. I’d give it a try.

Thanks for the information on the removable hip pads. I did notice a Zipper, so perhaps removing the padding in the hip pad and replacing it with a thinner pad will allow me to exit easier. Moving the seat back 2 inches would also be ideal. Will have to look into that. Oddly enough I am one of those body builder types who was not a big fan of leg day…not exactly tiny legs but most of my body mass is upper body. I am an XL Shirt but only a L for shorts and pants.

@Zan said:
Oddly enough I am one of those body builder types who was not a big fan of leg day…not exactly tiny legs but most of my body mass is upper body.

Sounds like a Letterkenny hockey player workout: #beachbody

Crawling out at the dock may be the way to keep low center of balance and keep from getting wet.

If you haven’t guessed the seat is a highly personal thing and most serious kayakers have to adjust, trim, replace as necessary to be comfortable but still maintain contact with the boat. You put on a kayak you don’t ride it.

6’2 250lbs 38 waist now a days after being home with the kid for 3 years. I just rip the hip pads out, I think the ws one have velcro and straps, never worked for me even when I was 225lbs. You should have about a finger worth of space on either side of your hips, too snug and it’ll impede rotation, and probably put your legs to sleep.

I second the idea that getting out of the boat at a dock is not going to be the most graceful exit, but with a lot of practice–who knows? Outside of making the necessary adjustments to seat and pads, getting in and out of any boat is going to get much better with years of practice. You have to train your body parts to know exactly where and when to shift your balance without you consciously thinking about it.

I’m 6’-2" and it is a very rare sea kayak that I cannot enter and exit with complete confidence in about a couple of seconds. That is as long as they have the normal sized cockpit and not too low a deck. That is with the boat fully in the water (6 to 12 inches) ; always from the left side of the boat–right leg goes first, followed by the butt and finally pull the left leg in. Getting out is pretty much a reversal of getting in. It sounds easy enough and it is very easy, but for me it has taken thousands of repeats over the years to reach absolute confidence.

You’ll notice that I specified, always from the left side of the boat. There will probably be some who would say you need to learn it from both sides. If that is important to you, then have at it, but I always get on and off my bike from the left side, the same with horses when I used to ride them. So far, I have never found a situation where it was only possible to get in, or out on the right side of the boat and honestly if I had to, I would probably stand a decent chance of getting wet.

@magooch said:…You’ll notice that I specified, always from the left side of the boat.

Me too. It got worse when right knee had torn cartilage.