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Submitted: 09-29-2004 by rmc

I paddled a Current Design Slip Stream for four years. I had added an aftermarket back band to make up for the horrible stock back band, which offered no support.

Compared to the Slip Stream:
The Tempest 165 (I'm 5'9" 150 lbs) has fantastic secondary stability - I can easily J lean much further without swimming than I ever could in the Slipstream. Paddling the Slipstream is like riding a unicycle - if you have good balance and are vigilant, you stay dry. If not, you swim (or have an impromptu rolling practice).

It's a dream to go through all the BCU 3* "school figures"; the Tempest comes up nicely from sculling for support or a roll. I can lay back over the back deck, which I never could do comfortably in the Slip Stream. There's much more storage space under the hatches, especially under the rear hatch where the skeg is placed further back than in the Slip Stream.

The cockpit, ah, the cockpit. It's like padding while sitting in a Barca lounger - extremely comfortable. No more pinched nerves (Slip Stream) or cut off circulation in the butt cheeks (I test paddled a Romany - ugh!). No need to add glue-in hip pads (I have narrow hips) for fit - the stock setting is just fine. And the thigh pads are comfortable for edging.

Hatches close easily and are watertight. Foot pegs easily adjustable.

Handles beautifully in 1'-5' waves with good maneuverability. Will try in surf next weekend but expect only good results.

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