Could the Hurricane Tampico 135s be..

A good kayak for my wife and I. We are both about 5’10" and around 150lbs. We would be paddling mostly interior lakes and Lake Michigan. Occasionally venturing onto a slow moving river. We are novice paddlers and have found a decent deal on a pair of used boats.


Should be fine

– Last Updated: Mar-29-09 4:13 PM EST –

If they fit you, they should work well for what you want to do. Having front and rear bulkheads is a big plus. Just don't take Lake Michigan lightly -- it's big water and deserves respect.

Here's a fun event aimed at novices:

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How should they fit?

you’ll know…
pretty quick if they fit you or not, just getting in & out & if you can snug up to the thigh bracing foam.

I have a Perception Sonoma 13.5 which is a very similar boat. At 6’3 & long legs, I do have a little trouble getting in, not sure if the cockpit in the Tampico is a little more generous, but I shaved some of the inner coaming off of mine to save wear & tear on my shins. Otherwise, the stability may bother you a little if you are new to kayaking, it just takes getting used to.

I think these models are in a class somewhat in between a rec boat & a serious sea kayak, definately a narrower beam than rec boats, so I think a good choice to develop some skills & then maybe move up.

Tampico 135S here

– Last Updated: Mar-30-09 4:18 PM EST –

since August 2006. Demo'd it twice. Loved it. Love it still. I also live in Michigan.

The Tampico is my second kayak. After one month in a short rec boat, I hit its limits. I found the Tampico 135S much more nicely fitted out for boat control and for learning skills - real thigh braces, nice low seat back, lower decks fore & aft. Yet it's very easy tracking and efficient to paddle right from the get - very newbie friendly.

Tippiness? Not ever. I can easily eat, shift stuff around, take pix - even fell asleep once very near shore.

Everyone is different of course, & I am a small person, which helps. But in this
touring/seakayak range 23.5" is not narrow. The Tampico series is not intimidating. One school in Michigan makes it available to beginning paddlers.

At 5'3", 117 lbs I fit the kayak easily. At 150 lbs in a kayak rated for 250 lbs total you are well within capacity.

At your size(s) you both fit in the kayak, unless somebody has large thighs which won't clear the deck. From there it'll just depend where the thigh braces hit your legs. Shoot for the top of your lower thigh clear of the knee. Again, her fit and your fit may differ quite a bit.

In my experience it's ideal for inland lakes, and Class I/II rivers. Long enough for speed, short enough to make turns. Very lightweight for getting it to the shore or down a bank. Stable enough to relax & do stuff on the water, narrow enough to get going, agile enough to try out skills and have fun doing it all.

As for Lake Michigan - fine weather, short trips,keep it coastal - nice boat for sure. I also prefer skirts (spraydecks) w. a deck of neoprene which is stiffer than a nylon deck and less likely to implode going through a wave.

I also have a seakayak and for many reasons not to be gone into here it is my choice for 95% of my Great Lakes forays.

Wherever you paddle you'll want to have a few rescue techniques under your belt.

The TampicoS has a low stable back deck for re-entries, & the low seat back stays out of the way coming back into the cockpit. This, along w. the two sealed bulkheads, gives it rescue advantage over most of the purely recreational boats which tend to have rounded decks and high seat backs.

Note that the decklines are not full perimeter like many seakayaks, which gives you fewer places to hold if you are already in the water or are coordinating rescues w. others.

the Tampico 135S can be rolled for the quickest
self rescue. Plus it's fun. did I mention that?

This is a nice kayak for getting on the water right away and taking it forward as you learn.