Keeping pace with the Tempo
  |  First Published: June 2007

The Tempo is an efficient long distance touring kayak. Stable and comfortable with a length of 4.5m, it has excellent tracking and speed. It’s a great diving and fishing platform that is suitable for bigger paddlers. ROTOMOD (France)

The Tempo comes standard with a basic fit-out suitable for fishing. Two rod holders with caps (which stop the holders from filling with water), paddle park on the right side and rear gear well with a unique deck netting are good starting points.

The Tempo has a large front oval hatch suitable for carrying rods, a tackle box, some big fish or camping equipment. It has carry handles either end as well as two side carry handles that make lifting pretty easy. Most 4.5m fishing kayaks are getting close to 30kg, so at 24kg, the Tempo is a pleasant change when it comes to loading and unloading off the car.


The model provided for the review had RTM’s deluxe seat and backrest fitted, thigh braces which are great for additional control in the surf and a partial bulkhead mounted inside the kayak just aft of the front hatch. This bulkhead allows rods to be stowed inside the craft for surf launching and landing but also contains anything else that was dropped in the front hatch. It can be easily accessed while out on the water; I found that by straddling the kayak I could easily slide forward to access gear from this compartment.

The deluxe seat was extremely comfortable for extended fishing trips and the foot holes provided sufficient support.

Stability, Manoeuvrability, Tracking & Speed

The RTM Tempo’s most outstanding feature is its ability to hold a straight line, even in windy conditions. Most 4.5m kayaks will start to ‘weathercock’ when confronted with wind from the side (This is a term that describes the sideways slippage of the back end of the kayak, resulting in the kayak tending to turn up in to the wind.) Due to the Tempo’s hull shape and balance in the water it will track in any direction even with wind up to 20 knots.

It is quite a fast kayak; in fact, it is the fastest of all the kayaks I have reviewed so far. It is also very stable, even for bigger paddlers and not too bad in the manoeuvrability stakes. Leaning the Tempo over on its side a little while turning releases the ends of the kayak and improves its turning circle.

In the Surf and Cruising

The Tempo excels in the surf. Its speed is advantageous for getting out through the waves and its large volume in the bow allows you to come in without burying the nose. The rounded chine on the side of the hull makes it very forgiving once sideways (broached) on a wave.

It has good speed for trolling or cruising and maintains a very dry ride, even in small chop. This is due to the flared lip along the edge of the deck along the bow of the kayak.

The Wash-Up

I think the RTM Tempo has great potential as a fishing yak, particularly if you are looking to cover some distance at a good pace. It doesn’t have an option of a rudder but in my opinion doesn’t need one. It tracks a straight line better than most kayaks and performs well in all conditions. The deck has space for other rod holders, lip grippers and tackle box to be secured. Even if you’re not catching any fish this is an enjoyable yak to paddle!

Want One?

The RTM Tempo retails for around $1100. However, the distribution of RTM is undecided at the moment. For more information contact your local kayak shop and ask about the RTM range or view their website at www.rotomod.com. – Craig McSween

Review conducted by Craig McSween of Splash Safaris Sea Kayaking. Craig is also a Sea Kayak Instructor with Australian Canoeing. For feedback on this review you can contact us at Adventure Outlet (Kayaking, Camping & Outdoor Store) in Southport on (07) 5571 2929 or --e-mail address hidden--



The Tempo from RTM is stable, fast and able to cope out in the surf.

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