I've been holding off on posting this until I got a few trip under my belt with the Tempest 120P that I bought. I've now had it out about 10 times on Lake Bridgeport. This is my first and only experience with a pedal kayak so nothing to compare to other than my paddle kayaks. So given that, here's my experience so far.
First off, customer service has been above excellent! Not one bad thing to say about these folks and how they handle their business. I called and talked to Kris for about 30 min before I purchased mine and I felt he answered every question I had honestly. This is a very good kayak for $1400, and $1400 includes tax and shipping to your door (who ships a kayak anywhere in the U.S. to your door for $99?). Any questions or concerns I've had have always been answered same day. I call and they either answer the phone or call me back very quickly, always same day. Kris even answered my call while he was on vacation at the Frio River. Again, good folks.
This next item could have gone down as a con but the customer service put it in the pro column. I had an issue with my pedal drive right out of the box. It seemed to have a slight grinding feel when pedaled, almost like it didn't have any, or enough, grease in the gearing maybe. I called Kris to see if this was a normal thing and he immediately insisted I send it back and he'd send me a new one. Simple as that and he paid next day shipping both ways. I got the new one in a couple days and it's smooth. No other problems with it so far. It pedals well and maintaining a steady pace of 3 to 4 mph is no problem at all and when I get after it I can reached around 6 mph. If I had to find something bad on the pedal drive it would be that the cranks seem a little too long. Not so much that I couldn't use them but I'm 5' 10" and felt I had to stretch a little too far to complete a revolution of the pedals. It just wasn't ideal but I wouldn't call it bad. I had an old youth ten speed that had 1 inch shorter cranks and I swapped them out and it fits me better now. Shorter cranks can also be purchased online thru Amazon or Ebay or the like.
I really like how well this kayak tracks and how low it sits in the water. Since it sits low, the wind does not affect it much and it drifts really well. I can position it to drift a shoreline and use the drive to pedal forward or backward to keep my distance from the shore while it drifts without it trying to swap ends. It has enough hull in the water to keep it from being blown around too much while still being able to pedal, and even paddle, without having that barge like effect. It actually paddles quite well too, which I understand is a trait found in very few pedal kayaks. Paddle-wise, I would compare it to my Perception pescador 12. Edge given to the pescador but not by much. I'm very impressed with it's ability to handle in the wind and It doesn't seem to be affected by it anymore so than my Heritage Redfish 14 was. Next to it being a pedal drive, It's ability to handle wind and how well it drifts is probably what I like most about it.
They also sell a trolling motor for this kayak for $399 that fits right where the pedal drive goes. It's actually on a black Friday deal right now for $299. My friend, who bought this kayak at the same time as me, bought the trolling motor about a month ago when it was still $399. When it went on sale for $299, he called them. They refunded him $100 on the spot. Again, good customer service. The Hoodoo pedal drive is almost identical to the Native propel drive and Native kayaks sells a TM mount that goes in place of their propel drive that you can mount a TM to. Since I already had a trolling motor I wasn't using, I made a mount for my Hoodoo to mount the TM on and designed it off the photo of the one on Native's website. If you already had a TM I would bet their mount will fit the Hoodoo if a person wanted to just buy one from Native. I think it's $90 but can't guarantee it will actually fit so you may want to do the research on that first. Unless you already have a TM though, it would probably be cheaper to just buy the complete trolling motor and mount from Hoodoo for $399 or even $299 while its on sale. I don't have a review on my TM since I haven't actually used it yet. I will update later after I've tested it. Deer season is in the way right now!
There is a rectangle shaped compartment behind the seat that I have a love/hate relationship with. First, the lid for it is cheap and cheesy, and will go in the "con" column. I took the lid off mine and placed it on a shelf in the garage and never plan to use it. It's like cheap Tupperware (actually worse). The compartment itself is nice though and a good place to put a battery for your trolling motor if you get one. It will hold a full size deep cycle battery and box. I bought a smaller AGM battery for mine and will be putting in a waterproof box inside the hull so I am currently use this compartment to store 4 Plano 3700 boxes that fit nicely in it. It has a bungee that was stretched across the lid to hold it on and this bungee works great to hold the Plano boxes in place. Personally, I wish this compartment wasn't there at all and that space was inner hull storage with an access hatch. But since it is there, it does make a pretty nice tackle storage area or place to store a battery so I call this a pro.
The tempest 120 decals on the back are terrible and were peeling off when I unwrapped the kayak. For me it wasn't an issue because I didn't care for the looks of them anyway so I just peeled them off. Took me about a minute, maybe 2.
My biggest con is probably the rudder which is mounted under the kayak. This "under rudder" has a long turning radius when going forward and when turning in reverse it takes a while for it to "bite" before starting to actually turn. The rudder, as is, does work though and will turn the kayak, it just has a longer turning radius than I'm used to with my old Heritage redfish and a rear mounted rudder. I wouldn't say I'm unhappy with it but it could be much better. BTW, Kris was up front and told me about this in our phone conversation before I even purchased the kayak so I knew what to expect as far as the rudder goes. He said they should be coming out with an extended rudder before long that will give it a much tighter turning radius. They do currently offer (for an upgraded price) a rear mounted rudder that turns much quicker but it creates another issue in that it has no tension to it so you have to hold the steering lever with your hand to keep it from turning while under way. Most rear mounted rudders are usually controlled by sliding foot pedals and the rudder is held in position by the tension of your opposing feet. However, with a pedal drive kayak, your feet are already busy pedaling, so unless you have 4 feet, that doesn't work too well and so it has to be hand controlled. Someone could probably modify that rudder and add a spring or something that would tension the rudder so it stays put with the hand control lever. I haven't looked into that option....yet. I will say that I have not had any issues with the rudder system functioning properly or failing in any way such as some have mentioned with the handle stripping on it. The entire rudder works as it should, it just doesn't turn great. As I stated earlier, the pedal drive on this kayak seems to be modelled after the Native propel and the rudder looks the same as theirs also. Parts and accessories may interchange with them. I have not verified that so don't take my word for it. However, If they do interchange, Native and Boondox have some upgrade rudder options that may work on this one. I would do some research and make sure they will fit before making a purchase though.
This kayak sits low in the water which I listed as a pro above but it may also be a con. Sitting as low in the water as it does, I'm not sure how much weight it will actually hold. I believe it's either rated for 400 or 450lbs. I can't see it holding that much weight and not having a lot of water in the footwell and tankwell or how much it would affect it's stability. I could be wrong though as I haven't loaded it down that much...yet.... I will eventually. It is however pretty stable with a normal amount of gear for a day of fishing. I said "normal amount" but I actually take a lot of gear when I go even for just a day trip so probably "above normal amount" would be more accurate. I haven't loaded it down for one yet but I would plan carefully before loading it down for an overnight camping trip. Also there are videos of people standing and fishing from these. I wouldn't consider it a stand and fish kayak but I'm also not as nimble as I used to be. Ten years ago I probably would've. I'm not sure there is a kayak made that I will stand and fish from now. From a sitting position, however, it is quite stable. I'm very pleased with the stability in that regard.
The anchor trolleys are really not useable as they come. They are just cord ran thru some rope guides. You have to add pulleys and a ring to them to make them useful as a trolley. For about 20 bucks I rigged both sides to work as they should and now they work well.
Another thing I'll mention is the scupper holes/plugs. It has 11 and It comes with plugs that work well but if you leave them out you will get a lot of water in the footwell since, as I said before, it sits low in the water. If you leave them in then nothing drains when you do get water in it. Self bailing plugs are hard to find for it because it has scupper holes that are larger than most and they have somewhat of a reverse taper that's smaller at the top than at the bottom. I did find some that work well though from here https://www.kayakscupperplugs.com/kayak ... pper-plugs
and ordered a full set of 11 for $90. I love them and it was money well spent.
Overall I love this kayak and think for the price, its pretty awesome. If I think of anything else, I'll come back and update this thread
Here's a pic