Submitted: 12-21-2007 by suncoast
I have been paddling a plastic T-165 as my main kayak for about 10 months since buying it new (2007 model)
The kayak is outfitted very thoughtfully with lots of adjustment and it's easy to get a 'wearing the boat' feel.(5'10"/155lbs) Deck bungies allow for paddle tubes up front to store euro blades and greenland paddle behind paddler under convenient bungie arrangement, so its good for my needs.(with half a foot of Greenland Paddle sticking over the stern). Can fit a helmet behind the backband in the cockpit to access on the water.
Primary stability is solid and I can easily bend around to access day hatch or grab greenland paddle from back deck. Smaller soup waves roll under the 165 and its stable to just sit there. Secondary is also good and has a predictable and solid balance point and leaning or edging the kayak is confidence inspiring plus fun.
Speed is good enough.
Can camp for a week but only essentials and backpacking gear. Fit tent (tent pegs in the back hatch) in front of footpegs in cockpit - fit 10 + 6 litre water bladders behind seat in cockpit. Is just as good to paddle fully loaded just heavier/slower handling.
Rough water is no problem with me in this kayak. I like to paddle in/on a river month surf zone where the 165 is really capable and doesn't go over to easily ( my skills have increased this year)- I enjoy playing in the rougher stuff and with its low front/back decks this allows for a good range of body movement in and around the cockpit(lay right back if the boat feels like its going over to save a capsize)
Rolls very well - positive fit helps as well.
Tracks well - don't need the skeg much. Edges well when tilted.
Big negative with this plastic Tempest is the bid oval back hatch lid has come off - once for me and once with other paddler - both times in the surf. Now have some bungie cord running over it. Day and back hatch leak water, not normally a lot, but more when the kayak spends any time up side down. Bit of a bummer!
Would give the Tempest 165 a better score if the hatches were better. I'll continue to enjoy this nice all-rounder.