I paddled the Zephyr this weekend - very nice.
Two bits of advice… paddle this boat if you have the chance. Don’t paddle it after Karen Knight - her mojo doesn’t rub off on the kayak, and you don’t look as good.
I paddled the Zephyr this weekend - very nice.
what karen can do to make a kayak look good, eh?
Her and Bob Foote both liked the boat…alot. they want 2! that was a good sign, IMO.
glad you liked it! did we talk? don’t remember, it was a busy weekend.
I paddled it for a good 20 minutes at the festival and I was very impressed with the handling. that is one sweet hull and I think this is going to be a very successful boat for Wildy. Turns and maneuvers very easily. Definitely looser than the tempest and with more secondary. I never needed the skeg even in the wind but on the way back I dropped it just to see how it did and it tracked as if it was on a rail.
I saw Bob Foote come back from paddling it and he had a huge grin on his face and his comments were genuinely enthusiastic about the boats performance. Everyone seems to be really pleased with what this boat does and the general consensus is that this one is a real winner.
If you are looking for a boat, this one needs to get a good hard look.
Zephyr in two sizes!
I just caught that the Zephyr is available in two sizes - very neat.
I always liked the Meridian. A fine tuned adaptation of the Meridian has got to be fun!
BTW: finally got into a Tempest 165 for pool demonstrations this past weekend. Very sweet boat to brace and roll.
I tried the smaller one and was impressed.
I think I like it more than the Tempest. Great secondary, turns nicely and was nicely surprised with the tracking with the bit of wind on the day I tried it. Never even bothered with the skeg.
Looking forward to seeing the glass version…
I liked the 160 more than 155
Normally I like tighter fitting kayaks and the Zephyr is no exception. The 155 is a bit wider, but for some reason felt a lot wider than the 160.
I did think the coaming was a bit big.
I also heard there is a push to give the Tempest the same stern hatch (kayaksport) as the Zephyr. That would be a definite upgrade.
Missed the Zephyr
I didn’t even know about the Zephyr until about 5:30pm on Sunday while walking by the Confluence folks, they were there on the bank. I asked what the heck are these? They looked like “rocker boats” to me. Sure 'nough. I felt bad that I didn’t know about them but the rep explained they were brandy new. Gave me a catalog with them in there but I missed my chance to compare with my Tempest 170.
This weekend in Charleston (great festival) was my first chance to ever paddle rocker boats (my term for them). Right or wrong, I guess they feel like boats that handle very well but maybe short on top speed and acceleration. The ones (2) I did paddle seemed pretty nimble.
Missed my chance.
I hate when that happens!
yo know acceleration can actually be quicker in a rockered boat. less wetted surface to come up to speed. The Z is actually pretty fast for it’s WL and beam. especially catching windwaves and swell!
We had 'em out on MON at south Folly and they performed well. I was able to do multiple cutbacks on small waves and pull out of a number of side surfs w/o issue. IMO this is the best sea kayak I have ever surfed. Granted straight ahead tracking is limited w/o skeg but she is well balanced and behaved.
I still like my tempest alot. all around…Tempest. Playboat…Z.
We need both at Mountainman
Paddlefest next month. John said he wouldn’t know if they will get any until the trailer is opened just before the event. FP, please put one of each in the trailer for demos!
Hand rolled (on both sides) the 165 that wilsoj spoke of on Sunday. Only the second long boat I’ve hand rolled to date. It is sweet.
I Needed One Weekend Before Last
Went out and it was slick calm. Came back and it was “surf the wind waves!!” We were all working pretty hard to keep from broaching.
We Calls it "Git Outdoors"
and it’s just down the road. Fantastic. I’ll call 'em tomorrow.
Sounds like another
fun option for folk looking at a playful coastal boat! Congrats Steve… I look forward to paddling one!
we should have 'em at the MM show, fer shur!
now if it doesn’t snow!!!
I’m looking forward to getting your feedback on her!
It was cool getting CWS to build a nitch boat and methinks she’ll do well!
I was really fortunate and got to borrow a prototype last fall for a week. Nice boat. Really nice. Steve invokes “niche boat” moniker but it is a really nice “one and only” boat for most boaters. Yeah, the Tempset is a better all-rounder but the Z is pretty darn good in that respect.
WS has really broadened their overall appeal with the Zephyr. The Tempests are exceptional designs and the Z’s offer a little differnt performance package.
FWIW…I clip in at close to 200 pounds. One day I added 66 additional pounds of water just to see how it paddled with a bit of gear. Not much additional effort was required to move it through the water at a touring pace. It felt very Tempest-like in that respect. Also, it still handled very well with the weight, unlike some designs that lose their personality when they have to carry a load. I see a Z-160 with 100 pounds of gear being not as perfect as the T but a good choice as long as your trip partners are more into efficiency than speed.
It is a bit loose and that is part of the appeal, really. Others have praised the handling. Honestly, I found it not much more skeg-dependant than the Tempest in wind. It tracks just fine in most conditions that wouldn’t have you deploying the skeg on a T.
So why not just buy a T instead? Good question.
The Z is more playful. A little quicker and responsive. Probably not the great long-range touring boat that the T is. I would probably have a better 3-4 week trip in a T than a Z. YMMV.
Day paddling? Possibly a better choice for many paddlers.
Damn fun boat boat. Good design.
I can’t wait for ours to show up. Hopefully, they’re shipping on time.
Anyone want to play the comparison game to say the Meridian or a Romany?
hey i know these boats inside and out
i’ve seen them with my own eyes, and they are completely different. one has a really hard chine and flat bottom…
the niche boat moniker could apply I guess but it really doesn’t have to. this boat could easily be the do everything boat for people looking for only one.
Just got an email from Git Outdoors. They’re having a demo tomorrow. No Zephyr yet.
a lot of comments on the looseness of the zephyr and as a playboat. I have to say this though. the tempest is no slouch in this category either.
they are both great boats. If you were to force me into making a decision between the two I woudl have a very hard time.