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Hurricane Tampico 140S Review

Posted by on September 6, 2012

The Deets:

Material: Thermoformed ABS Plastic (Trylon)

Class: Day Touring (Light Touring)

Length: 14’

Width: 23.5”

Weight: 45 lbs

Cockpit Size: 38 x 18 inches

Capacity: 250 lbs

Hull Type: Shallow U-Shaped with integrated keel

Hatches/Bulkheads: Bow and Stern

Rudder/Skeg: Optional Rudder

MSRP: $1399

The Review:

The Hurricane Tampico 140S is the mainstay of the Hurricane Aquasport lineup designed with the small/mid-sized, beginner/intermediate paddler in mind. At 14ft long and with a beam of 23.5inches this kayak is designed to cruise along in the Day Touring (light touring) class. The “S” in the model name is for “small” cockpit and thigh braces. Like all Hurricane kayaks it’s constructed of thermal-formed ABS plastic called Tryon. In general, thermal-formed plastic is as durable, more UV/ heat resistant, lighter, and stiffer than the traditional polyethylene used in roto-molded kayaks. The Tampico 140S weighs in at an impressive 45lbs which is a good 7-10lbs lighter than most roto-molded kayaks of this length. It’s available in four deck colors: blue, green, orange, and red (Note: I wish they still offered the magenta deck color as this was a big seller at the shop!)

I’ve found that the biggest difference between the Tampico 140S and anything else in the recreational and light-touring region of the Hurricane spectrum is its low-profile deck. The low-profile deck (minimal windage) combined with its 14ft length and prominent keel provide for the excellent tracking displayed by the Tampico 140S. There are a few places where the low-profile deck may bite you. Bumpy conditions warrant a sprayskirt as the low profile deck doesn’t abate the water well. Another reason to take pause is if you’re inflexible.  Flexibility, especially in my hamstrings, is something that has always eluded me as an athlete. I find that the low-profile deck of the Tampico 140S forces my knees into an uncomfortably flat position which leads to cramping and my feet falling asleep. If this is a problem for you too then you should consider trying the Tampico 140L which has a slightly higher deck and a different cockpit configuration that provides more room for your legs.

Hurricane really hit a home run when it comes to the outfitting of the Tampico 140S. The cockpit features well-padded integrated thigh braces, a comfortable seat, and a back band! These sea kayak-like cockpit features make you feel like you’re wearing the Tampico 140S and allow you to take advantage of its great secondary stability for lean-turns and bracing. The one place in the cockpit that could be improved is the foot pedal system. The foot pedals have an adjustment wand that locks/unlocks the pedals and allows you to adjust them while seated in the cockpit. I’ve found that this wand system to be fairly flimsy. Standard trigger operated pedals would be much preferred! Otherwise, the Tampico 140S comes standard with two bulkheads and hatches. I’m a big fan of the hatch covers that Hurricane uses as they’re easy to open/close and are very watertight. Hurricane also offers a rudder option on the Tampico 140S. I feel that the tracking of this kayak is great without the addition of a rudder (which would add a few pounds to the overall weight). One instance when a rudder may be nice on the Tampico 140S would be if you were looking to load it down with some gear for a weekend of kayak camping.

In summary, I find that the Tampico 140S is an excellent kayak for the small/mid-sized, beginner/intermediate paddler looking for something to take out on near-coastal day trips. Its low profile deck (minimal windage) adds to the excellent tracking performance but can create an uncomfortable for inflexible paddlers like myself. The outfitting of the Tampico 140S is exceptional, especially in the cockpit where sea kayak-like features make you feel like you’re wearing the Tampico 140S and allow you to take advantage of its great secondary stability for lean-turns and bracing.

Word of caution: Hurricane produced a version of the Tampico called the Tampico 135S for a period of time. This kayak was a major dud because it was poorly balanced. The cockpit and seat were positioned too far back which makes the Tampico 135s very bow heavy and thus creates a noticeable and negative effect on its tracking. The boat is also challenging to shoulder carry because of this balance issue.  The Tampico 135S is a kayak that I would stay away from!

-Kayak Dave

Pros: Excellent tracking, low-profile deck for minimal windage, great outfitting, Made in USA

Cons: Can be uncomfortable for inflexible paddlers, Flimsy foot pedal system. Stay away from its cousin the Tampico 135S

Demo Notes: I have test paddled the Tampico 140S in both calm and windy conditions over the past 3 seasons.

Kayak Dave Rating:

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