WS Tempest vs Ocean kayak Sprinter


I am at my final decision. I have 2 choices, maybe the answer is obvious, but I am a beginner.

I can buy:

----brand new Wilderness Systems Tempest 165

LENGTH 16’ 6" / 503 cm

WIDTH21.50" / 55 cm

----second hand Ocean kayak Sprinter

LOA= 5.17m or 17ft.

W=53cm or 21in

The price is similar ( I think the Sprinter is overpriced) but very different kayak, I like the Tempest because it’s a true kayak, I think I can have good control and I can learn a lot.

I had not considered at the beginning the Sprinter because Sin on top, but it could have some advantages: easy self rescue (I am always alone) and maybe in tropical climate a SOT is better, I don’t know.

What do you think?

Thank you very much

about me:

I live in south Thailand, Krabi. The Gulf of Phang Nga (Andaman Sea) is usually quiet , no strong wind, weather is always hot (32 °C /90 °F),many islands.

My average trip with a recreational SOT is 15/20km at average speed 4.5kmh.

I am small size 65kg 1.70mt

Those are two very different boats. How did you narrow it down to those two?

How do the prices compare? 15/20km paddles are pretty darn impressive as an average (just did a 14 mile yesterday and I’m beat!). The Tempest could get it done faster, if that’s something you’re interested in. If you just want to leisurely paddle around and jump in to cool off frequently, then maybe the SOT is better for you. I like the Tempest but my goal is usually to stay dry since it’s not nearly as warm where I live. I might roll to cool off but I don’t leave the boat.

The boats you’ve selected are for two very different purposes, in my opinion.

yep 15/20
ok, 20km is the maximum and I did just once but with a SOT lenght: 9’6"(2.9 m) width: 29"(74.5 cm)

I hope I can double with longer and narrow kayak.

I narrowed it down to those two because they are the only choice at the moment, in Thailand is so difficult to buy a kayak. If I order the Tempest tomorrow I will receive it in February!

I’d go with the Sprinter
It’s a bit tippy for a beginner for an SOT but it’s a fast paddler.

Have you ever tried a SINK in hot weather, it’s not fun, SOTs are made for the kind of paddling you would be doing.

I own both SINKS and SOTs and have paddled in lots of different climates around the world. I would go with the Sprinter.

I was thinking the same
The 2 times I have been in Thailand, I remember the heat. Given this, a SOT may be more comfortable than a SINK.

how does this compare to a ski?
Couldn’t help but notice the dimensions compared to “Epic’s new toy”.

97% humidity today
hot and wet.

yes my biggest concern is about how uncomfortable or unbearable can be a Sink under the deck.

If you go with the sprinter …
If it’s new I’m assuming it’s coming from NZ, in the US you can only find old Ocean Kayak Sprinters and they are cheap if people don’t know what they have.

To make your paddling easier learn to drop your feet over the sides when you need some stability, like sitting still outside the surf zone or if you get knocked off balance in the surf zone. Buy or make a set of thigh straps so you can lean and turn and recover with a brace. Will make you feel very confident in rougher conditions. It’s a fast fun kayak.

SOT more comfortable in your climate
No way would I have only a SINK for a sea kayak where it’s usually hot and humid. UGH!

It’s warm and humid in Florida…
and lots of us paddle SINKs. I really don’t notice any unusual heat unless I don the spray skirt which is rare in calm conditions.

The radiant heat of the summer sun is more of a problem than the air temperature and humidity. Keeping the legs in the shade and a good wide brim on a hat, combined with light color loose fitting clothing seems to work for me. Keeping my legs exposed to the sun would be dangerous. I’d need long polyester pants and frequent dips in the water.

Just my thoughts.


I have a bit shorter model Ocean
… Sit on Top, the “Prowler,” which has, for reasons that escape me, been discontinued. Sometimes I see another person with a Prowler, and the people who have them think the same thing- great boat. I alternate between that and the longer Eddyline sit on top, depending on what sorts of conditions we will expect. The Ocean Prowler is very, very good out on the bays with regular type wave action, and surprising fast for what it is. If we might hit rocks because of low water, I take the Prowler, because it is plastic tough and sturdy. If I might hit a lot of waves from jet skis or powerboats, out on a big lake, the Eddyline, which has more of a “sea kayak” type bottom, is amazing at handling that - the best I’ve ever had.

I’m looking at that Ocean Sprinter and thinking that would be really a neat boat because it is about 3 feet longer than the Prowler, so should be even faster.

Where I live it gets really hot in the summer if you are anywhere inland off the coast. It routinely goes up to 95ºF - 100ºF or more. There is no way I would have a sit in kayak because of this heat, unless I was doing winter paddling. The advantage of the sit on tops is you can cool off so easily, besides easier self- rescue.

Sprinter 1200$

– Last Updated: Oct-24-14 10:09 PM EST –

the second-hand Sprinter I can buy is the yellow/orange model:

It's from NZ, it's 2 years old, in good condition but and they ask me 1200 US$
I think it's overpriced
The Tempest new is 1400US$

SINK heat maybe not so a big concern
Looks like the owners of SINK kayak in hot weather do not report problems due to cockpit too hot.

In fact , without a sprayskirt, only the legs below the knee are covered:

I own a Sprinter
and it’s my favorite boat. Fast and remarkably maneuverable for its length. Fun boat. A little tippy, but for me it’s reasonable, especially since its fast. Also, the Sprinter’s seat is very low to improve stability. You will be sitting in water if you’re not paddling quickly. The scuppers act like venturi drains and they’ll empty the cockpit at about 3.5-4 mph. I’ve taken it down Class II whitewater and it’s a hoot. I’ve also never paddled a Tempest so I can’t compare.