Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Testing the Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 again. Gotta love it!

Would someone please tell me why the Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 is not in my fleet . . . yet?

I tested it again. I seem to test this kayak every year without fail, and select it on trips with outfitters if they've got one in their fleet and I didn't bring along one of my kayaks. I just like to paddle and play with it.

This time I finally got to try a WS Tempest 165 Pro in fiberglass and in a nice flashy red!

Sweet! This 16'6", 21.5 inch wide, 49 lbs., sea kayak (with a skeg) is so easy to love and a good benchmark kayak to use to compare with other sea kayaks in a similar category.

I'll show you a Cowboy Scramble up this kayak in wind and waves in an upcoming post. Here it is posted June 19: Cowboy Scramble up the awesome Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 Pro

Then, we can start to compare Cowboy Scrambles up different sea kayaks. A hint: It's really easy in the WS Tempest 165 kayak. At least for me. It surprised me.

I hope to have a Wilderness Systems 165 sea kayak in my fleet sometime soon. In plastic or fiberglass. It's not a speed demon, or as playful as some sea kayaks, but it's a good quality, reliable boat, and nice to edge.

Happy boat trials! There are lots more I would like to try, some too far away to find. Tis the season. Pick a windy, wavy day to test a kayak! See which kayak you want to be in.

For me, it's still the Maelstrom Vital 166 and Boreal Baffin which I already own. A Nigel Dennis Romany S if I could find one around here. And I could easily add the WS Tempest 165. It fits my 5'6", 125 lb. frame perfectly. For larger paddlers, there's a 170 and 180.
Testing Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 with a made-in-Maine, USA Greenland paddle
Why didn't I buy it first?

The Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 wasn't as playful, or as fast as my other two sea kayaks, the Baffin and Vital 166. I went for playful and reliable.

But I still love the Tempest 165. A great kayak. Let's just hang out together for a good long while until they close the beach!
What, you want specs and infinite details? They're all in my head. Visit Wilderness Systems for that and hop into a boat . . . soon!

The BaffinPaddler

  • Photos courtesy of Jeremy Cherpit
  • Thanks to Ottawa Paddle Shack for letting me test the beautiful fibreglass Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 Pro


  1. Peggy, Thanks! I just found your blog and I'm luvin' it!
    I am looking to purchase a new Kayak in the spring and I'm looking at the Tempest 175. I'm 6'2" 215lb 58 year old male and would consider myself an intermediate paddler looking to improve. Would you recommend the Tempest for someone like me looking to spend ~$1500.00?
    Also we (my wife and I) are planning a trip to Cape Bretton and Gaspe'. so any recommendations for the trip would be helpful as well. Keep up the good work on a great blog!!!

    1. Hi, Thank you for your nice comments. I do like the Tempest. A reliable kayak and it looks good on the water! I guess you will know how you feel about it when you test paddle one. Always best to paddle a kayak before you buy it to make sure it's not a lemon and test all the parts: seat, skeg line functioning, and hatches to make sure they don't leak and the kayak should not be too reliant on the skeg to track straight. I'm sorry that I haven't made it up to Gaspe yet. It's on my wish list too. A beautiful place. I hope you have a great time with your new kayak.