Follow-up review, Tempest 180

I wrote a follow-up review on the Tempest 180 prototype. It’s a bit long and colorful, but I wanted to give you a feel for what it was like for a 6 month experience kayaker to paddle it, which is all I can really do. I’ve paddled a lot of boats, and this one’s way the best one for me. If I had to place an order today, I would. Since it’s coming out in mid April, I’m gonna try to paddle the final production prototype before placing my order.

In my mind, the Tempests are great all around boats for beginners who want a skeged boat that they’ll enjoy paddling in the beginning and that they’ll still enjoy and grow with as they gain experience. Flat water, rough water, tour, play, medium-fast. Might be a great all around boat for an expert too, but I can’t speak to that.

Paul S.

you’re an animal. Thanks for the review.

Off to NC in a couple weeks for a test run on the production boat. They’re saying mid-late April for the first run to the dealers.

You see what ol’ Wade thought of the cut and paste model?



hope it’s better than the 17
i’ve observed two plastic Tempest 17’s with skeg in rough water. here are my impressions of one of them. conditions = following 3-4 foot seas with quartering to following winds of 30-35 knots. boat loaded with perhaps 80 lbs. of gear. paddler = beginner. paddler weight = 130 approx. the boat was extremely ill behaved and in fact, i had to hook up the paddler to my tow rope just to keep her on course. the skeg was completely ineffective in preventing severe weather cocking and the boat wallowed severely. all hatches leaked. by comparison, another beginner was paddling with us under the same conditions in a Romany 16 and had absolutely no trouble keeping boat on course.

again, remember that i have not paddled this boat. all my comments are based on my observations of two beginning paddlers in fairly rough conditions in two different boats. i was not impressed at all with the Tempest.

It would have been interesting to switch paddlers between the tempest and the romany. Maybe she was just too small to handle a 17 ft boat. It’s good input though. Heightens my interest in trying the T180 in some wind. Thanks for sharing the observations.

Paul S.

30-35 tail winds and 3-4’ waves? nothing like mild conditions. You guys are out of my league.

I wonder
what ‘beginners’ are doing in these conditions?

In my book these would be strong level 4 or low level 5 conditions.

Just a thought.


That’s what I was thinking.
Yeah, that was partly what I was thinking. With just a few days experience spread over a couple months, I was out in a lake with 20 mph winds with maybe 30 mph gusts. That would be 17-25 knots. It caused 1-2 ft chop with whitecaps. During the gusts, you could see the white roll across the lake.

I was in a CD Storm. I was out the previous evening in the same boat in the same lake with maybe a 3 knot breeze. My son was in the Squal. Weather cocking was noticeable even then. And the boat yawed worse than anything I’ve been in. I had the rudder down half the time. Just got tired of fighting it. Xed it of my list right then. Still had fun with it though.

I could have dealt with the 20 knot quartering winds for maybe a half hour but I would have been struggling with corrective sweeps the whole time. Truth is I put the rudder down after 10 minutes because I didn’t want to get so tired that I couldn’t get back.

I expect much better from the boat I’ll buy, in 25 knot winds.

I was thinking the 130 lb paddler would do better in a Tempest 165, and maybe couldn’t handle those conditions in any event.

liv2padl, I’m glad you brought it up though. Heightening my sensitivity to possible issues can’t hurt.

Anyone else have experience with wind in the Tempest, one way or the other?

Thanks again,

Paul S.

Such data has little

Two beginners in different boats under rather testy conditions means nothing more than one beginner is catching on quicker the other. It has little or nothing to do with the boats.

Such anecdotal data really has no value as there are no constants and the scenarios were not reversed for analysis.

The T-170 has been evaluated and reported upon by experienced paddlers with the ability to compare the Tempest to similar boats.

The Prijon Seayak handles rough water quite well. (I am but an intermediate paddler) Before winter took hold, a beginner friend was paddling my Seayak on a medium size lake when a storm blew in. The water instantly became a 3-4’ opponent and the beginner was struggling just to keep it upright. We managed to put out on an island and switch back to our own boats. He paddled his Blackwater just fine and I took the Seayak in without incident.



No I didn’t
I read his review of the proto I on the local PDX board (same one I reviewed in Sept 2003). I haven’t read what he thinks of the proto II yet, but I’m sure he’ll like it even better. Oh, wait, you mean his anecdotal that he’s not giving it back! hehe. You read my reply? I said I’d put him up down here in Albany where you’ll never find him. Only room and board I’d require is a 70/30 time split with the boat, 70 for him and 30 for me, of course. I should have made it 60/40 to give me some negotiating room.

He has an NDK Poseidon now, right?

I read your little ‘come on down’ post. You know you could both go do an A vs B with the two protos sometime. They’re just sitting 'round here waiting for a big guy parade!

Wind is up in the gorge. we did it on Saturday and probably manyana. Wind performance you ask? you don’t want to hear my experiences. yawda yaw!


My Opinion
I’m too light for the 170. I weigh 165 pounds. I think a 130 pounder is way too light for the 170.

my feeling exactly.
and since when does a ‘beginner’ in these kind of ‘conditions’ even have the ability to control a boat, especially @ 130 lbs and loaded. Kudzu had trouble in BIG wind in his T-170 at 165lbs. and he’s NOT a beginner. he switched to a 165 and he’s happy as a clam.

Liv2 how big was the Romany paddler?

We have some standards around here we try to keep to assure some safety in our paddling adventures. Beginners learn to paddle properly before venturing out in ‘conditions’ that would give the advanced paddler a challenge. loaded boat in 30-35 knots with 4’ seas, quartering?



Now that sounds like a good idea.
Can probably get wind on demand at the Gorge. It’s not a wind surfing mecca for nothing.

I might want to wait for the production proto though to get the whole package; foot pegs more forward plus the latest rocker. Are you definitely bringing one back?

Similarly I know where to get rough water on demand now. Alsea Bay. Even if there’s no wind waves on the bay, I can just go to the mouth. I was talking to a local old timer who referred to it as the “jaws.” Ocean waves hit the sand bar causing breakers & spray & secondary waves. With the winter water flows out of the river though, I have to make sure and do it during incoming tide if I don’t want to end up in Japan! Or if I’m luckier, in a Coast Guard helicopter. I prefer going out there with someone experienced. Garry Kenniston is the man! He goes right out in that stuff and starts playing around. He was my “paddling partner” in my review. He also knows his safety stuff, has the gear, and knows how to use it. I hung back a bit from the mouth last time, but I’d go right out there next time, at least a little further :^).

gotta wait till they ship me out a production boat.

If the prototype tests out OK they’ll send me one ASAP. it may take a couple weeks. :frowning:

I’ll keep you posted.


Very Windy
I can’t say just how strong the wind was but I was out in my 170 on a very windy day and I thought it behaved quite nicely. My friend seemed quite concerned in her Monterey 14 but I was just smiling ear to ear. The wind resistance was the only drag :wink:

I did notice a little weather-cocking but simply sliding the skeg down until it stopped was a very simple action.


What on earth…
…were you doing taking a beinner out in conditions like that?

I hope it was something that came up suddenly and was not predicted.

Who cleaned the brown stains off her yak seat after you got off the water?



Ouch! We have SOME standards.
Take that. Kind of scathing. I love this place.

Man… I’m With You On That!
total insufficient controls and data on given scenario. Shoot! I’ve seen folks who consider themselves “intermediate” out in conditions almost similar to those, in their favorite boats, showing some strain and concern in their face. But you have a 130 pounder in a T170 in those conditions and expect the person to control the boat. Why don’t I dump 200 pounder into my SOF in those conditions and see how they fare in controlling the boat. I bet my SOF would come out looking like crap, even though it has nothing to do with the boat.


Hopefully I well get to test one at the ECKKF in April if they have one down there by then, as it stands now I cant Even fit in the 170. the cockpit is big enough, its just the way the seat is put in. I just want to paddle it to compare it to other boats I have paddled. Wish they would make a plastic version.

boy, you gotta love this place - - -
did i say “i took these paddlers out in these conditions” or was that an assumption made by folks here who like to find the negative in what they read.

you might equally have assumed that i simply came upon these paddlers, found them wanting in the skills necessary to be out in those conditions, and tried to help them. oh, but that would have been having your glass half full rather than half empty. how dull, eh?

the facts are that these paddlers ‘found themselves’ in such conditions after starting out in significantly calmer waters … the wind had not picked up yet nor was it predicted.

as to whether this was a boat “test”, a worthless piece of information, valid or not or at all useful … i guess that’s up to you. i made an obsservation. i posted that observation to do with what you will. you may discount it entirely or put it in your bag of information to use later. perhaps someone may be thinking of buying this boat and might now give it a more thorough test than they might have. i have no axe to grind one way or the other.