WS Tempest speeds

I’ve recently picked up a Tempest 170 and was wondering what other Tempest owners are seeing as far as overall speeds? I usually have an hour I can get out on the water and get a quick workout in and with taking breathers, I’m usually in the 3.6-3.8mph range over the course of 1 hour. When I’m paddling I’m seeing up to 4.2-4.6mph and if I push it I can get over 5mph and maybe hit 6mph if I really tear at it. But I’m constantly seeing people posting that they’re cruising in the 5mph range and I can’t fathom being able to sustain that, at least not in my Tempest. Basically I’m just wondering if it’s me or the boat. :man_shrugging:

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Both. I have a friend who paddles a Tempest180.He was a very strong paddler but we typically stayed at about 3mph on long trips of 20+ miles.
We were paddling the lower Edisto, listening to several gators grunting in the sawgrass. As we paddled past, three blasted out of the grass headed for Doug’s boat. They all dove before they got to him but that didn’t matter; he was no longer there.
His GPS recorded 8 mph.
I use past tense because it’s been years and now he mostly cycles.

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Glad it’s not because the gators got faster and/or he got slower!

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Talk is cheap. You’re doing fine. Currents & wind do wonders for speed and tales.

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We didn’t and don’t worry about gators. They typically take off when a paddler gets close.
The only time I got a little uncomfortable was on the Myakka River in Florida. It was a dry year and the gators enjoyed laying on the river bank in the sun. The majority would slide into the water but the really big ones, I’m guessing 12’ plus, would stand their ground and it felt like we were being measured for a meal.

To answer your question; YES!!! It’s you and/or the boat.

That’s about typical for a person with average conditioning and skills paddling that boat. It can be marginally improved on.

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Remember 4 mph to even 4.5 mph seems small only a half a mile per hour but it’s a large percentage.

Bringing your average up 1 mph is huge in effort required.

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So your boat is perfectly happy cruising at 5 mph but you get tired and you’re wondering if you should blame the boat? I think that leaves you and your paddle as the prime suspects.

:wink:

Well it’s gotta be me then because I was given a Werner Kalliste paddle with the boat so it’s no slouch. lol And my backup is a AquaBound Manta Ray.
I just wasn’t sure if poly Tempest owners usually get 3.5mph or 4mph or 4.5mph out of their kayaks or what. Still can’t really find an answer to that. I only really see the higher $$$ composite boats posting their speeds/workouts.

I’ve also been able to get a tandem Malibu Two XL up to 5mph as well but I don’t thinks that’s realistic paddling for it either.

Agree with PaddleDog52. Take paddlers “cruising” speed claim with a grain of salt, because the variables of wind, current, and the paddler’s need to impress could change on any given day ; ).

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If the object is to get a good workout in an hour, then speed isn’t necessarily the most important factor.
Paddle a wide heavy boat with a large bladed paddle … you may not cover many miles but you’ll burn lots of calories

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Personally a Kalliste paddle in my option is not what I’d or most would pick to go fast.

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My current paddle options are the Kalliste, AB Manta Ray, Sting Ray or Eagle Ray or an older Hobie FG paddle, model unknown.

Not familiar with those paddles sorry.

Paddle length also plays a part in speed and fatigue. To long you bury the blade or have your hands to high when doing high angle. Keeping your hands to high makes you expend to much energy and reduce your cadence.

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In the few races I have taken part in, I have used an Aquabound Manta Ray.

A poll I would love to see is, “What non-wing paddle do you prefer for amateur paddle races?” I figure most would prefer high-angle paddles, but I have seen a few people using low-angle paddles (aquabound sting ray). Blade surface area does count too in terms of using them over long distances.

Celtic CF 750 adjustable length .

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I wouldn’t worry about it too much, so many variables. I paddle a Tempest 165 and my speed fluctuates all over the place depending on conditions. Really shallow water will kill your speed too, from the bow wave reflecting off of the ocean/lake/river bottom. Not sure how the exact physics work but the effect is real. Someone else mentioned a Celtic Omega paddle, and I’ll say that when I started using one of those (just the 650, not sure who the 750 is for besides King Kong) my cruising speeds across the board increased noticeably in all of my kayaks. Was using a Werner Shuna prior.

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