Submitted: 07-03-2008 by NC
I just got this boat over the weekend and I've only taken it out once but I have to say I love it. I've owned a WS Tempest 170 and a WS Tsunami 145, I have also paddled the WS 16.5 and several other rental boats. So far I like this the best.
It is like a scaled down version of the Tempest, it has the same adjustable seat and foot pegs with the adjustable thigh pads as well. It also has a drop skeg. The cockpit is a little roomier that the Tempest and was easier to get in and out of but the overall profile of the boat was similar.
I'm 5'7", 185 lbs. so larger paddlers might find the Zephyr 16 to be a better fit. The boat handled very well and has good speed. I had it out on the Hudson River on a relatively calm day with a friend who was paddling my Tsunami 14.5. The Zephyr was quite a bit faster. On the way back we switched boats for a little while, man what a difference. My partner has only been kayaking 4 times and she felt really comfortable in the boat. I should also mention that the day hatch has a new style lid on it that opens and closes much more easily and actually seems to seal quite a bit tighter than the ones on the Tempest and Tsunami.
If you are looking for a hard core touring kayak you may be better of with the Tempest but this is a great boat for anyone from the beginner to the advanced day paddler.