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So far this kayak has exceeded my expectations. As a platform for snorkeling it can't be beat with its ability to carry all my snorkel gear with room left over. The huge front hatch is great for carrying my dry bags and the storage area in the rear easily holds all my snorkel gear and can also hold a dive tank if I should start diving again.
I was a but apprehensive about being able to keep up with my kayakers in their sit-in kayaks when paddling the waterways but this has proven not to be a problem as I'm often at the head of the pack.
When kayaking out to the islands this kayak easily holds a cooler, chair and all the other stuff that I like to take with me for a day spent partying on one of the islands. It also handles rough water very well.
To sum it up I can't say enough good things about this kayak.
On the water, it is fast, straight, and quiet. It was a pleasure rowing this kayak. Needless to say, it is now my preferred ride. On the downside, albeit ignorable, water filled the foot wells while drifting. However, the water problem should be eliminated by using a pair of scupper plugs which came with the kayak. The kayak is great value for your money, and fun to ride. I highly recommend this boat.
The kayak has a nice large front hatch, room in the center of the cockpit for a small hatch, rod holder or GPS. The rear of the kayak has a descent sized tank well with cargo net cover to secure your items. The seat area sits deep into the kayak and provides great lumbar support. On the water, the Tempo tracks very nice compared to my OK Scrambler XT and my Perception Sanibel. The kayak takes little effort to get moving and glides very well for a SOT. The hull has just enough rocker that is turns very easily for a long yak, very characteristic of the Scupper Pro. Paddling into the wind or cross wind affects the kayak very little.
I was able to pick up the yak brand new for $600 including high-back padded seat and paddle. For the price, there are few kayaks that would compare. RTM offers a 3 year warranty on the yak, which is pretty good. Based on the build quality, I don't foresee needing to use it. Anyone who has paddled a Scupper Pro, should be quite comfy in the Tempo. I have read that some paddlers thought the boat was a bit tippy, but I'm not professional paddler, but I was right at home in this yak. Being 6' tall, my center of gravity is higher then most, so those shorter should feel even more comfortable. The nice thing about this yak is that compared to there boats in this class, WS Tarpon 140, Emotion Grand Slam and the Red Fish, this boat is about 15lbs lighter. Did I mention all of the deck loops, paddle holder, built in rod holders, and perimeter deck line. For the price of this boat, why buy a used one?
On a side note, RTM is a french company who used to make boats for Ocean Kayak before they were bought by Johnson Marine. The same high quality plastics and rotomolds are used.
I will post an updated review once I get more time in the yak, but first impression on the lake have me very excited for more time in this yak.
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