Tempest 170 vs. Impex Assateague

-- Last Updated: Jun-18-08 1:48 PM EST --

Had a chance to paddle both at a demo day last Saturday and liked them both but noticed some differences in handling.

So, if you are familiar with both, can you share how are they different/similar on the water or what not?


very different kayaks
I paddle an Assateague while my friend has a Tempest 175 and one other has the 170.

The Assateague is a very large boat with a pretty high deck that fits my legs fine while the Tempest 175 is much lower on the deck and I have a hard time squeezing in. I have no chance to fit the 170.

The Ass is a relatively fast turner lively kayak for it’s size while the Tempest has a much straighter tracking and needs to be leaned to turn.

If comparing apples with apples, the Tempest is closer to the Force 4 (Impex).

The Ass has a lot of storage room for long trips and is extremely stable in rough waters. The tempest is less beamier and a bit less initial stability.

The two boats are very different.


Tempest vs. Tsunami
Is there a 175 “Tempest”? I know there is a 175 Tsunami, which is indeed “huge” for foot/leg room at 15+ inches deck height. I had a Tsunami 145 which is still big.

When I paddled the Tempest 170 and the Assateague this weekend, they did feel somewhat different - the Ass was indeed more turny where the Tempest was a bit more straight tracking. But both turned really easy when edged - not sure which was easier to turn with a lean - both were. Both seemed to have excellent secondary stability as well. And both had large cockpits, but neither had “too much” room IMO. The Ass may have had a little higher deck but the seating position in the Tempest 170 is such that, while there is not much wiggle room, it is still comfortable…

The Tempest has a more pleasing rear deck that allows me to lay back on it without any udue pressure on my back, where the Ass has a bit higher rear deck. Lastly, the Tempest seemed to respond to leans a but more directly than the Assateague, changing directions almost like a WW boat when leaned.

I could not tell much more in this flat water/no wind demo - I’d be interested to find out more about handling in wind and waves if someone has experience in these conditions.

comes in 165, 170, and 180

apologies for mixup
when I referred to 175 I meant 170 pro (FG) and 165 (poly) respectively.

The 165 turns very fast.

Make sure that the Tempest you are after has the new hatch covers as the old ones leak very badly.

Wilderness Systems (Johnson) was also not interested in providing a remedy for the leaking hatches while Impex is extremely good with customer service.

Just my experiences…


Wilderness Systems ≠ Johnson
Wilderness Systems = Confluence

I can’t fit in the 165 but fit almost OK in the 170 Tempests.

On my Tsunami 145 the hatches were leak-free, but I had to keep them off during storage and only put them on during practice. Otherwise the front would leak - you could rotate it even when properly installed. The other two were dry.