Wilderness Systems Tempest Pro

Wilderness Systems Tempest Pro

$ 3,105.00 USD

Brief Description

Disregard anything you read elsewhere on the Web about WS Tempests, it's all out of date. Tempests had some issues, but the new ones put all that in the past. The Tempest series has a combination of comfort, stability, tracking and maneuverability that makes it a winner. And the current quality of both the roto-molded plastic versions and the composite glass models are great ("Pro" is their term for the fiberglass and Kevlar composite versions which are available in three sizes). Whether choosing your first sea kayak or upgrading from an older boat, the Tempest is an outstanding all around, state-of-the-art, sea kayak with enough storage for multi-week trips yet playful enough for to make day trips fun too.

Detailed Description

All Tempests, whether roto-molded plastic or composite (fiberglass) share a host of truly excellent design features that are still the best in the industry. Tempests have the most adjustable seats, knee/thigh braces, and hip braces of any sea kayak. Many people find the Tempest seat to be the most comfortable kayak seat period. Almost all newer sea kayaks have some sort of a "keyhole" cockpit, but the Devil is in the details and we feel the Tempest's keyhole cockpit design is the best. Similarly, when it comes to deck rigging, Tempest's get everything right. They come with sturdy, retractable end toggle handles so you don't have to be afraid to use the handles to lift and carry the kayak, and the handles don't drag in the water and rattle like so many others, yet when a swimmer or rescuer grabs the handle it will extend out past the end of the kayak for safety. When it comes to safety rigging for outrigger self rescues, Tempests are the best. The cockpit design, contact points, coaming height and hull design combine to make Tempests easy to Eskimo roll (making learning to roll up a snap) and they are easy to handle in wind and waves. If you want to do rock garden paddling and surfing in full-on sea kayaks, a roto-molded plastic Tempest is an excellent choice for learners as well as pros. If you are looking for your first sea kayak and can't afford a good fiberglass one, buy a roto-molded Tempest - you'll be way better off with a plastic Tempest than a cheap glass kayak.

Wilderness Systems is one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, manufacturer of roto-molded kayaks in the world, and the are part of the company that built the first plastic sea kayak. So WS has more experience (some good, some bad) than anyone with designing and building roto-molded sea kayaks. When plastic Tempests were first introduced, there were issues with their quality control and their rear hatch design. But over they years roto-molded Tempests (available in the 165 and 170 models) have evolved. In 2009 the oval rear hatch was redesigned to make it more secure, and the overall quality of the roto-molded Tempests are now excellent. For an all-around sea kayak, we consider the late model versions of the roto-molded Tempests to be among the best of all the roto-molded kayaks available. And they are built here in the USA.

Fiberglass Tempest have a mixed record too, but the story now has a happy ending. Like the roto-molded Tempests, early glass ones had some issues with the hatches, but WS fixed that. The 2007 and later Tempest Pro series come with Kayak Sport hatches (same brand of rubber hatches used on NDK and many other popular British kayaks). This improvement made the Tempest Pro series into a sea worthy kayak. Other quality issues that had plagued them were resolved by 2008 (though you'll still read outdated comments on the Web). Then just when all the old issues had been resolved and Tempests were really setting a new standard for high quality, cost cutting lead WS to move the production of their composite kayaks (i.e. fiberglass) to China and the lay-up (construction and strength) was changed at the same time. As a result, K.A. stopped selling Tempest Pros 2009 - 2012. (However, roto-molded models continued to be made in the USA. and we kept selling them.) The good news is that starting with Jan. 2013, composite Tempests are no longer built in China and the lay-up has been beefed up to bring their strength is back to what it used to be. The current Tempest Pros look beautiful inside and out. So disregard any negative things you read on the Web or hear about them, the new Tempest Pro is better than ever -- they are now among the best built kayaks on the market. Welcome back Tempest Pro, you've been missed. K.A. is proud to re-introduce fiberglass Tempest Pro kayaks to the NW.

"Pro" model Tempests (Pro means glass) come in three sizes. Roto-molded Tempests are available in the small and medium sizes only. The fit of a given size Tempest is virtually the same regardless of whether it is roto-molded or a composite "Pro" model. As a rough guide, we find:


The Tempest 165 is best suited for paddlers 5' 3" to 5' 9", 120-170 lbs
The Tempest 170 is best suited for paddlers 5' 6" to 6' 3", 170 - 225 lbs
The Tempest 180 is best suited for paddlers 5' 9" to 6' 6", 210-250 lbs

Tempests all come standard with the latest features you would expect in a top-of-the-line sea kayak (i.e. retractable skeg, day hatch, recessed deck fittings & reflective safety lines, rubber hatches, foam seat pad, adjustable back rest).

The Tempests all share the same overall styling -- an "Americanized" variation on the smart looks and proven seaworthiness of the Greenland/British look, but without the back-breaking weight or tippyness usually associated with kayaks of this genre. The Tempest has a moderately chined hull that carves turns quickly and handles well in rough seas without the added drag of a harder chine. Tempests come standard with features such as: a retractable skeg* with state-of-the-art precise, smooth slider bar/cable control, front and rear hatches (plus a day hatch), front and rear bulkheads (three bulkheads), recessed deck fittings for safety lines, self-rescue bungees and chart holder bungees, keyhole cockpit with good hip and knee braces, and a comfortable back band that you can adjust while seated in the kayak -- even on the water.

Tempests also feature a day hatch to keep your lunch and other items close at hand. All three hatches are rubber hatches that seal like food containers. The bow and day hatches are round, while the stern compartment is accessed through large oval hatch.

*A skeg looks like the fin on the bottom of a surf board except on sea kayaks this skeg is designed to retract into a trunk on the bottom of the hull. With the skeg up, the Tempests are very maneuverable; put the skeg down and Tempests track straight even in side wind conditions where most kayaks without rudders weathercock (turn up wind). This combination of good hull design and a retractable skeg are fast making rudders (and all their problems and limitations) obsolete on sea kayaks (at least for people who know how to paddle).

Call the Kayak Academy to arrange a demo.

Specs

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FEATURES
Tempest Pro 165 16.5' 21.5" 11.5" 57 3 bulkheads & 3 Kayak Sport rubber hatches, front & rear oval + round day
Tempest Pro 170 17' 22" 12" 59 3 bulkheads & 3 Kayak Sport rubber hatches, front & rear oval + round day
Tempest Pro 180 18' 23" 13" 64 3 bulkheads & 3 Kayak Sport rubber hatches, front & rear oval + round day

Special Shipping Required

Kayaks are excluded from our free shipping policy. Sea kayaks are expensive to ship and prone to being damaged. We recommend picking them up at our shop. If needed, we can provide contact info for specialty boat hauling businesses so you to arrange your own FOB shipping.