first yak-tempest 170 advice

Hey I have been paddling an old town guide 147 for a long time and after renting some touring kayaks I have realized that I could cover some ground in one of these suckers…so after scouring craigslist for a little…I just bought my first yak…a red tempest 170…couple years old…lightly used…and it came with a neoprene sprayskirt…for $750…wut do you guys think???good price???Im psyched to start paddling but did not come with a paddle…and I might need one of those…any suggestions on where to start??dicks??sports authority??kayak store?I have a nissan xterra with roof rack but would kinda like to get one of those nifty kayak carriers…do any work better than others??

paddle before rack
That’s a decent boat, and assuming that you’re an average-or-slightly-larger guy it should serve you well as a first sea kayak.

If money is limited (when isn’t it!) I’d recommend using foam blocks, straps, and bow and stern lines to carry your boat. You have a beefy rack on the xterra, and it’ll work fine.

Instead spend your money on a good paddle. Something that weighs less than 30 ounces. You won’t find anything worth spending money on at Dicks or Sports Authority. Go to a paddle shop, and see what they have to offer. See what other paddlers recommend. Consider taking a paddling class if you have a good instructor around you (good reputation, and accredited by ACA or BCU), as that will give you insight into what style and size of paddle you want to look for.

Most people’s first guess on what size paddle to buy is too long for them. Many sales people (even some at decent shops) recommend paddles that are too long. If you want to make that mistake, save some money and buy a used paddle - you’ll find plenty of too-long paddles for sale on this site and many others. :wink:

Enjoy your new boat!

Give us some statistics about yourself. Ie: Height, weight, type of water you plan to paddle etc.

Sounds like you got a good deal. Get a good paddle, don’t go cheap. Good kayak shop would be lots better than Dick’s!


welcome :smiley:
two year old roto Tempest lightly used w. a good neoprene skirt… for $750 you paid roughly half the cost of both new… I’d call that a good deal.

BTW if you’ve not practiced a controlled release of a neoprene skirt (the wet exit) get that skill before you wear the skirt… not hard but best done w. a spotter in the water til you get it down pat. Til then leave the skirt off or get a nylon one.

Paddle depends in part on width of boat, your torso height, your wingspan, and whether you paddle w. a high or low angle, or somewhere inbetween.

Go to for fit info using those parameters.

Warner is also a great brand of paddle, and here are some others just for starters: AquaBound, AT,Bending Branches, Mitchell, Pat Onno’s custom paddles, Epic,

Swift, etc. Or you can go Greenland (traditional) style and make your own, or have one made for you from wood or carbon, or a blend.

Me, I would stay w. a good midlevel paddle til I figured out what I wanted.

Buy your paddle from another paddler used, or a paddle shop. Generally the sales staff at Cabela’s, Dicks, etc. is not as knowledgeable.

Paddle shop could also best advise on a rack system. You have options - add on to your OEM roof racks w. accessories from Thule or Yakima. Both are very well regarded companies, as is Malone. Be aware that for most passenger cars/SUVs the OEM roof racks are more show than go, generally held in place only by machine screws, and generally not as secure as aftermarket racks. Truck roof racks are typically more robust.

Since you are on a gear spree LOL be sure to invest in a well made, good fitting PFD. Here are some wellregarded brands: Astral, Kokatat, Stohlquist, Palm, MTI. Lotus Designs (now discontinued) made excellent PFDs & there is some new unused stock around.

Add to that a paddle float, a bilge pump, whistle and a couple of small to medium drybags.

Get paddle clothing that is suited for your water temps. Need not be paddle-specific - stuff you use for cycling, skiing, hiking, exercise etc. that is quick drying good quality synthetics, wool or woolblends, etc will work. Depends on your locale and how much of the year you aim to paddle.

If you have to carry your boat some distance from car to water a paddle cart is nice to have (there are websites showing you how to make them from wheels and PVC). If you store your boat outside or transport it long distances, a cockpit cover will keep out rain/sleet/snow and an assortment of critters.

Others will jump in soon w. some paddle brands they like, etc. but it is not about what they or I like, it’s about what suits you…

The most important thing is to size the paddle for you, your boat & your paddling style. This again is where a paddle shop shines - most allow you to demo paddles with your boat or theirs - opportunities you won’t have at Dick’s, Cabela’s etc.

Congrats on your boat and happy paddling!

The Tempest 170 is a very good boat. You should enjoy it.

Get a decent paddle, though no need to spend big bucks yet…

Hook up with local paddlers. Here is the url of the Long Island Paddlers group:

Other paddlers are your greatest resource. They can provide information, equipment, insight, and enhance your paddling experience.

for the info…I am 5’8’’ and weigh about 185…I already have a dry bag,life vest,and whistle…I need to purchase a paddle and a bilge pump…oh and I will be doing my paddling in the long island sound…out of bayside marina in little neck bay most of the time…but would also like to cruise the hudson…and maybe even around manhattan one day…oh and lake george…what do you guys think about the stacker from thule…looks pretty uncomplicated and cheap…but will this simplify if im just transporting one kayak??or does it simplify things more when you are transporting more than one kayak??

Stackers are great…
We went from Stackers (Yakima) to fancy saddles and rollers and then back to Stackers. We carry anywhere from 1 to 4 kayaks at a time and the Stackers make it easy. A number of our fellow paddlers have also reverted to Stackers.

Your …
car looks like a jester.

Elfin boats do that when gathered

Works ok on a low car, not great on a taller SUV. Unless all the boats are very light, and usually they aren’t, loading heavy boats on their sides over your head isn’t fun.

Bill H.

1 Like

If I only was carrying one boat,
I would use saddles and space the bars so they are under the bulkheads.

Makes it easy on the boat

Jack L

as far as the paddle…where would a good place to start be in terms of size…80’’ 90’’ 100’’

my boat is only 22’’ so I probably dont need a long paddle…any ideas about material…plastic,wood,aluminum,fiberglass???anything I should absolutely stay away from

Length depends on your style of paddling. If you use a high angle, 205 or 210 cm is probably right for you. (I’m 6’ tall, paddling a 22" wide boat, and prefer 205cm paddles.) If you use a lower angle style, then you might want a 215cm.

For materials, I’d look for something with a carbon or carbon and fiberglass shaft, and either reinforced nylon or fiberglass blades, depending on how much you want to spend.

For a bit over $100 you can get something like a Werner Skagit (carbon/fiberglass shaft, with reinforced nylon blades). For a bit over $200 you can get something like a Werner Shuna with a carbon shaft and fiberglass blades. The difference is weight and stiffness.

Like many answers to questions about paddling the answer is ‘depends’. Paddle length depends on the paddle blade, angle of paddling, paddler torso length as well as width of boat. Paddles are usually measured in centimeters. Most folk I know use 210-220 cm (82.7-86.6 inch)paddles with 215 (84.6 inches) being the most common. A 90 inch paddle length would be a 230 which is considered too long for the vast majority of paddlers.

210-220 cm
depending on your paddling style and size. I prefer carbon or fiberglass shafts, plastic reinforced blades are fine to get started, fiberglass and carbon are better. Wood is fine as well. I’d avoid aluminum.

Check out the article on paddles:



get thee to a paddle shop
paddles are measured in centimeters… most touring paddles for adults run 205 -240 cm.

22 inches for a seakayak is average width.

if you want to just get one & want a guesstimate - bec. I can’t see your paddle stroke - try these lengths - 210, 215, 220.

Or - better- join a club in your area and ask to try out some paddles on a short daytrip. Then you have a better idea what you like & what fits you & the boat.

in the shop, put on your pfd & do some “air paddling”

w. different lengths, different materials.

buy the lightest paddle you find affordable & comfortable. Your shoulders/arms/wrists will thank you later.

If you want to start getting some technique, take an on the water lesson w. an outfitter or via the paddle shop - another opportunity to use different paddles.

If you like to teach yourself check out youtube or get the Brent Reitz DVD on the forward stroke. Or get DVDs #1 and #3 from the Nigel Foster series.

Paddle Length

– Last Updated: Jun-15-10 12:47 PM EST –

Total paddle length can be misleading. Two paddles with the same total length but differently shaped blades (long and narrow vs. short and fat, e.g.) will paddle differently and fit you differently. One thing I recommend to people as a good rule of thumb is the following. Hold the paddle correctly while sitting in your boat on the water. Rotate your body 90 degrees clockwise and place your paddle vertically in the water at your hips (right hand lower than left) with the power face toward you (just like you would for the end of a draw stroke). Make sure the paddle blade is fully submerged but not any more than that. Now where is your top hand in relation to your head? Is it around your eyes? That would be good. Near the top of your forehead would indicate a paddle that is too long for you. Down around the mouth, too short.