Hi. I am interested in buying a Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 - seems like a fantastic boat but I am wondering if a 5’4" female 125 pounds is too light for it? Any one of similar build have this boat that can give a recommendation?

the best way to get an answer is to demo the boat. I’m 5’9" about 140lbs and the boat fit me as the perfect glove fits a hand. If you were going to invest in a tempest…the 165 would definitely be a wiser choice than the 170+.

Worth A Try
I sat in one at the Paddle show in NJ a few weeks back, and it would certainly be on my short list of boats to try (if I were buying). It really felt nice and snug. I’m 5’6" & 148. My guess is that it may be a good fit for you as well. I really liked the long seat bed which provides support under the thighs, which many knowledgeable people say prevents the legs from falling asleep while paddling.

Good Luck…Lou

What I Do…
Try to demo, borrow, rent one on a windy day. The breezier the better. If it tracks and turns like you want it to in the wind and chop, it’s a keeper.

My wife is giving up her Romany for it.
She paddles a Romany 16 and last week she placed an order for a Tempest 165. She’s 5.7 & just under 120#.


tempest vs. romany
I’m curious as to what differentiates the tempest from the romany, from your wife’s prospective. Those are the two models I’m planning to test paddle next. So I’ll pay atttention to the differences.

I’m 5’ 2" and the same weight
I’ve test paddled many boats before choosing the tempest. The second runner up for me was the P & H Capella. I am very happy with the tempest. Every time I went out with a group, I asked the outfitter for a different boat. This way I could see what the boat felt like after 3 or 4 hours of paddling AND was able to see how it functioned on the ocean. Many outfitters will let you test paddle on site, however, I usually found the water relatively calm and flat at those sites. This is how I also chose what paddle I wanted to purchase.

Good Luck,


I love mine…
I’m also 5’4" 125lbs and just bought a Tempest 165, and I think it’s great, and it tracks pretty well for me. Haven’t tried it in really rough conditions yet, but I’ve had it out on some pretty windy days and it’s been good. I did find the skeg helpful in the wind, but it wasn’t essential by any means. I’m also a total beginner (this is my first boat) so it will probably be even better for someone with better paddling skills.

I’m really happy with mine. I think you should give it a try!

I’m a Male 5’9" @ 155 Lbs. I’ve tried both the Tempest, Chatham 16 and the Romany 16. I perfered the Chatham over the Tempest for it’s responsiveness but bought the Romany because it seemed a little more secure on it’s secondary than the Chatham, all else being much the same. If you think the Romany is too large then you might try the Romany LV, which is the lower volume Romany

Tempest Vs Romany
I am looking at both boats also. I got to paddle Tsunami Chuck’s Romany this weekend and I liked it a lot.

My friend
is trading in her Romany w/o skeg for a Tempest 165. She paddled one and talked to the designer. Supposedly they took the best features of the Romany (which is a great boat) and incorporated it into the Tempest. But def… demo…