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Reviews for Tsunami 140 Kayak by Wilderness Systems


Rated: 8.72/10 Based On: 46 Reviews


Tsunami 140 Kayak by Wilderness Systems

Length: 14' 0" - Width: 24.00" - Starting at: $1175.00
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10-19-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I absolutely love this kayak! On paddles with other kayakers in the Charlotte area, it is usually one of the faster boats on the water.

I was a bit concerned taking it on an overnight trip on the Edisto River near Charleston. The Edisto is a narrow blackwater river with lots of sharp turns and tree strainers that eat paddlers for lunch. Having a rudder on the back easily allowed me to navigate the sharp turns. I put all my backpacking gear in the storage compartments, plus a cooler of meat and beer!

The only thing I don't like is that the bottom will "Oil Can" when strapping it to the roof of the car. Although I believe that is more due to the material it is made from than the design.

I've had this kayak for 3 years now, and as others stated, I am no longer in the market for another one.

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10-16-2014
Submitted by: BobSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I both have WS Tsunami 140s that we use when leading kayak tours. There is plenty of room to carry all the safety gear and personal items. We also kayak camp with the kayaks and even with the extra gear, they work great. We absolutely love the seats!
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10-10-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased a Wilderness Systems 14' Tsunami after renting a like model for a back country solo Yellowstone National Park trip. This boat is very stable, maneuvers well and hauls a lot of gear. I really like the seat adjustments - which you can custom fit. I ordered mine with a rudder - sure glad I did as I needed this in a wind storm paddling in Glacier National Park summer 2014. Rugged construction, not the fastest boat on the water but who wants to race?

Very pleased with this purchase. A great multi use (day/extended trips) and versatile kayak.

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10-03-2014
Submitted by: CraigSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought the Tsunami 140 3 years ago and have many hours of paddling in this great boat. I live on a lake and go out for 5-8 mile rides every other weekend. T140 goes 3mph with a very easy stroke and 4mph for hours, and I am old and not in swimmer's shape... lol. It tracks expertly into 1' cross waves and wind.

I have had it on the Pere Marquette and both Manistees for day trips and overnight a dozen times. Fully loaded, you have to work some corners, but it is doable and very safe. Holds lots of camping gear, tent, sleeping bag, coolers and water with ease. My fav feature is the seat. I have sat in the boat many times for 4 hours and not been too fatigued. I am 6', 190, and 57yo and can lift the empty boat myself pretty easily. I will not be boat shopping, ever.

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09-30-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had both a Tsunami 145 standard and a Tsunami 145 Duralite, but even at 6'4"/225lbs, I found them to be too "loose". That's nice for flat water trips where there's little chance of capsizing, but it makes rolls quite difficult. But as this is not a review for the 145, I digress.

I got the 140 because I wanted a slightly tighter fit, and that's just what i got. It's tighter, but not too tight to be comfortable. I now feel like I'm "wearing" the boat instead of bouncing around inside it.

Since the 140 and the 145 are identical in design, with the exception of an inch or two (or 6) difference in dimension, I feel confident in giving my review of the 140 even though I've only paddled it a few times (I had 4 years in the 145's).

After a 2 year hiatus from kayaking, I recently took 3 or 4 demo paddles in a 140 at a local outfitter, and ended up buying the very boat I'd rented.

I've always found the Tsunami line to be a terrific all-around kayak, with fantastic primary stability, and very predictable secondary stability: When the cockpit combing touches the water, that's when I go in the water.

I've always opted for the rudder, but as others have stated before, I rarely ever use it. About the only times I've used the rudder is if I'm getting hit with repeated swells from the side and want to reduce the boat's tendency to roll, or when I'm facing a strong headwind that's pushing me sideways and I find I'm getting fatigued from all the counter-strokes I'm having to make.

Storage is good for a day trip or light overnight trip, but I've always wondered why WS failed to install a 3rd bulkhead between the day hatch and rear hatch. It really defeats the convenience of the smaller compartment because what you put in there can easily roll/slide to the stern, making it impossible to reach from the cockpit. My answer to this, of course, is simply to install the 3rd bulkhead myself; an easy task if you're handy with making patterns and cutting foam with an electric bread knife.

In the 4 years that I paddled the 140's larger cousin, I paddled in flat conditions, heavy chop, 5' multi-directional swells, high wind and gigantic, heaving ocean swells that make you feel like an insignificant speck, and never once did I end up in the water. And believe me when I tell you that is not because I have mad-bracing skills.
It's pretty fast, too!

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09-18-2014
Submitted by: JoeWalkupSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 last fall and couldn't be happier. I've only had the boat out a few times, but as far as cargo space it was awesome, I was able to fit all my weekend camping gear and tent. Even with all the dry storage full of gear the boat still tracks beautifully through the water. The rear dry storage is easily accessible from the sitting position. This is great for water bottles and food for the trip.

This kayak is great for trips and day cruising. I would recommend this boat to anyone looking for a decent kayak. The only problem that I foresee is if a person had very large feet they may hit the top of the boat, however for the average paddler its perfect.

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09-11-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I started kayaking several years ago in my mom's Eddyline 16' sea kayaks. So, when I was looking for a boat of my own I was torn between the lightweight uber maneuverable 10-12' recreational kayaks and a sea kayak. I did a lot of searching and comparing, asked questions everywhere I went and sat in every kayak that I thought was a possibility. My decision to buy the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 made perfect sense! From the first time I took it on the water, I knew I had chosen wisely.

At 56 lbs, I'm still able to load it by myself with the help of my Yakima Sweet Roll car carrier. It tracks extremely well without the rudder, in fact I have yet to need the rudder! It moves through the water effortlessly and in spite of having arthritis in both my thumbs, I don't have to dig too deep to have rapid forward movement. It doesn't turn as tightly or quickly as a 10'-12' rec boat, but I love the way it feels and responds. I'm looking forward to kayak camping next spring and summer....it has lots of cargo space!

If you're looking for a reasonably priced, super durable, comfortable kayak that is great for a short trip or longer adventure on choppy waters, this boat has it all! I LOVE my Tsunami! I will have it for life!!!!

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09-03-2014
Submitted by: BudSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have paddled this boat year-round for 5 years; it is a solid performer; tracks, leans and turns well. Storage space adequate for a weekend. With a skirt you get a dry ride in all but the most severe weather. The deck height and shape makes this boat easy to roll, but initial stability is very good. The Phase 3 seating is, for my backside, the most comfortable I've ever found. This is a low-volume boat; for paddlers over 200 lbs or with feet over men's 10, you'll feel a bit squeezed and draw a bit more water than you'd expect.
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08-21-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I have had a pair of Tsunami 140's for about 4 years. We chose these boats after paddling approximately 30 different kayaks from several different manufacturers and designs. The Tsunamis were a great fit for us. We use them for flatwater day trips, fishing, and even the occasional river with class 1+ rapids. We have even had them on Lake Erie in 4 foot waves. They have performed very well for us.
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07-06-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Having begun with a couple of inexpensive, rudimentary plastic 10-foot kayaks from Costco, my wife and I next purchased a pair of Tsunami 14s without rudders. They've proven to be good all around recreational K1s, rugged in roto-molded plastic, stable with two sets of hard chines, and good tracking with a modest width of 24 inches and a keel running the length of the hull.

At 55 pounds, they're not light, but the compromise is the near indestructibility of the hulls. They can be outfitted with rudder systems if desired but we opted out of that in order to have fixed-mount foot braces, and to force ourselves to learn effective paddling techniques for turning and holding a bearing. We purchased spray skirts for rough water, but have rarely had to use them. In time, we added a pair of Epic 16Xs for lightness, speed and their advanced rudder system. I'll submit a separate review on the Epics.

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07-05-2014
Submitted by: nedSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This was probably my favorite boat and I hated to sell it but I moved on to a pakboat in a similar size so I don't need both. I had the 140 with rudder although I rarely needed it. I called this boat "a frigate" because of its mid size and cruising ability. It tracks well, is very stable and at 6' 200lbs I never felt confined.

Even though I consider this a flat water boat I have had good experience with it on twisting rivers and lake Ontario surf. It really does everything quite well. The phase 3 seating is comfortable and I liked the storage both inside and out. I too have had problems getting the rear hatch to fit so that's a major strike. It's not as light as I'd like and although I can do it, getting it on a car could be a problem for smaller and older people. It's been a great boat though and I may get another one someday, for a mid priced boat it does everything well.

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08-07-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have now owned this boat for a number of years now and it has been great. I am a bigger guy at 6' 220lbs, and live in Boston, so having enough room for a boat that will fit me comfortably and still fit in my apartment has always been a challenge that this one met pretty well. Its been fantastic on trips out to the harbor islands as well as on lakes/rivers. Just an overall great boat.
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07-27-2013
Submitted by: SacandagaskierSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I am into my 4th summer with the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 and it has been a great kayak. Going from a 10' recreational kayak to this boat has made a huge difference. This boat tracks well and moves quickly. I generally run it in flat water (lake) conditions, but I find it to work well in all kinds of wind and waves. The storage is sufficient for a multi day camping trip.

I would highly recommend this as an all around good touring kayak.

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07-27-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought this boat from Pro Tackle in Timmins. Sean was fantastic. He allowed me to test on the river a couple of boats that he suggested based on my conversation about using my husband's kayak and our canoe; his suggestions were right on.

It was a hard choice but the Wilderness System Tsunami fit like a glove. It was a very responsive but did not turn quite as fast as the Dagger Alchemy. The seat was extremely comfortable. It was great first ride on Porcupine Lake - saw a bald eagle.
Thanks Sean and Pro Tackle.

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07-26-2013
Submitted by: staktupSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought a used 2009 model 140 as a present for my wife for $750 including the rudder. It was a steal! She is 5'6" and 130 lbs, and in retrospect the 135 might be a better fit. However, she loves it since it is the fastest boat in our plastic navy.

We paddle it primarily in a small(110 s.a. Lake) and sometimes on the Hudson River. It tracks extremely well, has excellent secondary stability, and cruises with long glides after a stroke. I fish from it on occasion (installed a Scotty flushmount in the deck fore of the coaming & one straight flushmount rod holder behind the seat and on the port side) for some run & gun sessions.

The rudder is handy in wind and chop, and when circling smaller coves and islands. I can carry it about 70 yards before I have to quit, so a cart comes in handy. Compared to my Tarpon 140, it is easier to hold being a SIK, but also considerably lighter.

The only negative I think is the tall seat back. A backband would be much better when trying to sit inside, or performing a wet exit re-entry. The pfd snags the seat and it folds forward, preventing quick sitting and could lead to capsizing.
Otherwise, I would give this boat a 10!

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07-24-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just purchased this kayak and paddled 8 1/2 miles. I am extremely satisfied. As a older kayaker the 3 phase seating is terrific. It is very stable and so I feel secure in it. My only complaint is the leg brace material is very itchy and so I can't brace my legs when wearing shorts. This should be an easy fix for an otherwise awesome kayak. I don't know if I'm going to get a rudder for it since it did quite well on my long trip.
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06-04-2013
Submitted by: JaneSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I am 5'4" 118 lbs, relatively new to kayaking and wasn't sure I could handle a 14 ft boat. The Tsunami 140 proved to be stable and easy to paddle. I was a big fan of the rudder system - this was the first time I had tried a boat with one and it made turning and saying on course SO much easier. It's one of those things that if you don't know about it you can do without it but once you have it you will never go back.

The Tsunami has generous storage space which would be great for Kayak camping. Front and rear bulkheads also add balance for safety I'm told. The one biggest drawback for me was the weight. At 53 lbs it was already pushing it at the beginning of the journey but after a long day of paddling when my arms are like jelly, there is NO way I am getting this on top of my car or even more than a foot up onto the shore for that matter.

Although I found this to be an enjoyable boat to paddle, being my size I don't think it's the best boat for me. If you do get something this heavy, I recommend getting the Thule Hullivator which has hydroulic lift assist so you only have to lift it waist height (as opposed to over your head) to get it on your car. I also found it to be a bit wide for my size. I could not comfortably keep my legs up against the thigh braces, it was just too wide.

Good boat overall for a larger paddler. My boyfriend is 5'9" about 150 lbs and he was comfortable but also found it a bit too heavy. We enjoyed the 140 but will continue shopping for the perfect boat!

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09-05-2012
Submitted by: jimbo
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have a 140 with two years now; am delighted with it. Very fast an stable; lovely comfy seat and very light and with such a light shell you must be careful not to start and land on rocky ground keep in two foot of water an no probs. Only gripe is last week spotted the bulk heads have separated away from the hull which is bad if water gets in would fill the boat but i will fix with tek 7 or similar sealant. Over all very happy with it as the fastest yak I've tried and stable
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07-10-2012
Submitted by: Erik BlohmSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Recently bought a Wilderness System Tsunami 140 roto. I am 6'1" 220lbs with 10yrs experience whitewater kayaking. I recently decided to tone down the adrenaline factor but still want to get out on the water. I have a lot of flat water much closer to home than the WW rivers. This past week I have had the opportunity to spend a couple hours in the boat.

I am impressed with the speed and tracking ability of this boat. I have paddled a Glass Looksha IV a bit in the past and this thing feels about as fast and tracks nearly as straight for a grand less! I paddled about 10 miles in Lake Erie with 1-2' chop and protected glass water also. Their is a slight tendency to weathervane but much less so than the Looksha. I have not even used the rudder yet and may remove it. The boat rolls super easy although I have maybe a thousand under my ...skirt... over the past ten years!

All in all great boat easier to load on my own than a 17' boat and nearly as fast. I would note that the Tsunami seems to scratch rather easy. This boat (Tsunami 13.5) was recently used on a well publicized Baffin Island circumnavigation by Jon Turk so I figured It must be pretty tough.

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08-04-2011
Submitted by: JHSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     my husband and I have demo'd Tsunami 135, 140, 145 with and without rudder and I definitely prefer the 135 or 140 without rudder b/c rudder seems to add a lot of weight and I doubt I will use rudder very much (plan to kayak on lakes, slow rivers, or coastal marshes)... but I also demo'd Carolina Perception 14, Inuit 14.5 by Native Watercraft, and Tarpon 120 sit on top and none were nearly as well at tracking or light or speedy as the Tsunami...

I need a boat for day trips and for short overnights... I also really like the phase 3 seating of the Tsunami which is important to me b/c of low back pain at times, and the added wt of a rudder system on demo boats increased my low back pain despite have the same seating system as those boats without rudder...

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06-10-2011
Submitted by: AllanSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had my Tsunami 140 for three years now and find it a great boat! I'm 56 years old, 5'7" tall and weight 180. I go out about every second weekend from mid-May to the end of September.

I really like the Phase 3 seating. The ability to adjust the support under my legs really helps as I have some back problems. When there is chop you do get splashed - not a big deal. The boat rides well in 1' to 1 1/2' waves. I can't say how it handles in "rougher" water as I haven't tried it.

I find it a very stable boat, even in rough water it never feels "tippy". It's very responsive and tracks very well.
For my purposes - touring, weekend camping it's ideal.

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09-13-2010
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     We recently purchased 2 x 140's(Roto)with rudders, after spending forever review every kayak know to man on this site - LOL
We needed something that our teenage daughters could use when we all hit the lake (we have a tandem for me and the wife) but we also want the ability to use them ourselves solo. We are mostly in smaller lakes but 1/3 of the time in a wide class 1/2 river (rocky beaches)
Short story... the WS Tsunami 140 were just the ticket. Exceptionally adjustable seat, great storage (0 problems with hatches they go on and off effortlessly and hold out the water.(I flipped boat and held hatches under for 1 min..0 water)

The workmanship is excellent to really see it put a Necky and a WS side by side and it really stands out. I am 6' and 220lb and can easily enter and exit the cockpit just fine and with the easy of the adjustable thigh brace I can refit the boat to my daughter size in under 60 sec.
This boat tracks great, and yes you can turn it quick without the rudder using some basic strokes but deploy the rudder and it spins on a dime. Wind conditions and chop have so far not saddened our decision to purchase.

I really wanted a Delta 15.5 but after doing comparing paddles back to back the Tsumami just took less effort to keep straight (no rudder deployed)while paddling into headwind with 2 ft chop. I do like the Delta rudder controls better(gas petal style)however certainly not a deal breaker plus I could retro fit Seadogs brand petals if I had to have gas petal style. Finally the seat is the best, I have sat in a few different types but again I recommend you to look at and sit in this seat once and it will speak for itself.

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06-25-2010
Submitted by: Jerome
Rating: 3 of 10

     Shirley, Thank you for your advise. (see previous post)
I tried 303protectorant, as recommended by wilderness's customer service. It only caused the side that was already attached to slide off earlier. I think the earlier ones had a better hatch than the current kayaks with the "redesigned' hatch. I went into another dealer and examined the hatch opening and discovered that the kayak I have has a half inch rise around the rim that the others do not. It is truly impossible to get the cover on. I did not try a tire iron, but everything else. The dealer is sending a replacement. I only hope that after six weeks of waiting the new hatch fits the covering. I was very disappointed with wilderness systems customer service, after requesting photos, and serial nos. they had no reply or further assistance with a customers problem.

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06-21-2010
Submitted by: Shirley FadSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     in answer to Jerome's problem with the hatch:
Simply wipe the outer rim of the hatch cover on the boat with a light covering of WD 40. No need for any forcing and fits like a glove. Had a Tsunami 140 for over 5 years and traveled around the coast line of the UK without any problems of leakage from any hatch. A real pleasurable kayak to paddle.

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06-14-2010
Submitted by: JeromeSend Email
Rating: 3 of 10

     I just purchased a Tsunami 140 after looking at sever kayaks. The fit was excellent, however I was concerned about the reviews on the leaking rear hatches, how bad could they be? When the kayak arrived, it was fine, however the rear hatch is impossible to get on.It does not come close to fitting. Wilderness says on their site that they redesigned the covers, however after forty minutes and a friend helping, we could still not get the cover on. I can't imagine doing this when it is in the water. The hatch cover is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. I would feel safer with a sheet of plastic and a few rubber bands(seriously). I think this is a real product liability case waiting to happen. I would not recommend this boat if you plan on going out in any water other than a swimming pool for fear of flooding due to their defective rear hatches.
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03-24-2010
Submitted by: hans stofbergSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     it is unbelievable that they sell kayaks with such a terrible fitting hatch covers; my one was flooded as well. Just bought the kayak last week but will return it to the shop. I think they are dangerous you just donít want to know what will happen if you are out at sea loaded with camping gear.
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03-24-2010
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Just bought a used 14' with rudder and took it out for the maiden voyage today. I've paddled for 6 years now, WW, Sea, and rec yaks. Owned 8 since starting, currently have 4 including this one.

Enough background, the Tsunami handles and accelerates very nicely for its size. I doubt I'd have any problem staying up with longer yaks. It has ok but not great primary stability and very nice secondary stability. It is easily maneuverable and has nice storage. I took it out on a local lake, calm day so didn't really push the envelope. Never lowered the rudder, no need to. I'm 5'11", 215lbs and felt fine. Plenty of storage which stayed dry. However poor design when they didn't separate the day hatch from the back one. I'm giving it an 8 right now, keeping in mind that nothing gets a 10.
Nice boat for the beginner or intermediate!

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09-04-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've been using a Tsunami 140 Duralite for two years now (my wife has a 120). It is almost perfect for my wife and me, two over-50 weekend paddlers just starting out, with no trips into rough water other than an afternoon of two foot swells on a very windy day on the James River (used sprayskirts for the first time, and my son and I had a great time!).

Every aspect of handling is great. Good acceleration, good tracking, good stability. Plenty of room for day paddling. Comfortable seating, although the seat back is a little too high even on the lowest setting, but this is no big deal (we bought high-back PFD's).

The only reason I didn't give it a 10 is the rear hatch cover. I may have over-lubricated it, but it comes off too easily. When practicing kayak reentry, while crawling up the back and into the cockpit, I was puzzled as to why I seemed to be crawling uphill. Turns out the rear cockpit cover came off as I passed over it, and the rear compartment was filling with water. No big deal, as this was just practice and my son was nearby in the 120. Since then I've been using a solo reentry that does not involve crawling along the back. But a more secure rear hatch cover would help. I'm thinking of adding webbing tie-downs with buckles.

I would highly recommend the Tsunami 140 (or 120) to anyone starting out. We originally thought to by recreational kayaks, but we are SO glad we took the step up into transitional touring. As my son remarked, the rec boats compared to the Tsunami is like slow battleships compared to sleek frigates.

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08-15-2008
Submitted by: johnSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My 140 is my first kayak. I've been more than happy. I kayak twice a week from mid March to mid January in Michigan. I'm 6'7" and weigh 220 and use a spray skirt every time.

The 140 has a lower front deck and tends to take some water over the bow in any chop. (maybe a lighter paddler won't find this happening.) With my spray skirt I stay nice and dry.... and toasty warm in the cold months. I guess I'd probably need a bigger boat if I toured and needed to carry camping gear. Most of my paddling is on rivers as there is more to look at there than on a lake or ocean. The seat is comfortable as heck and after using it at least a hundred times, the seats show no wear.

Glad I was able to get a blem boat and save a hundred over a perfect one as I have added a million more blemishes on it since purchase.

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06-25-2008
Submitted by: SDRSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have had 8 kayaks and had weeded them out to just 3 but was missing a open water boat that I could pack light. I do not do much extended camping from the boat, so this was the size that I was looking for. I just got the Tsunami recently and it was after some research and looking at several other products. I went with the Tsunami 140 after the research and based on who the local dealer is and their expertise. I have spent some time in the boat on a medium to large inland lake, with great enjoyment, the wind was about 10-15 mph, with 1+ chop. It glided through without any issue and was very comfortable.

I will have to agree with one of the other reviewers the Phase 3 seat is very comfortable but I could see where the roll would be awkward as I could not lay all the way back on the back deck like I could on my Valley Skeray. But overall I give this boat a high rating and it is a pleasure to paddle. I am looking forward to a long day on the Lake Michigan to test the big lake ability of this boat. I would recommend it for what I have done with it so far.

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05-23-2008
Submitted by: DMSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have had my Tsunami 140 over a year now. I have been on water with it less than 20 times and I can say that it was the best choice as the first boat. From the kayaks I tried, it had the best combination of price, stability and efficiency.

I have never been capsized unintentionally. I am 5í7Ē and 150 lb (after Ice-Cream) and I feel very comfortable in it, however If you like to roll and you are my size you will need a hip pad. I could roll without it, but not as easily. I got a bit of water in the rear after a wet exit, but some silicon fixed it. The storage space is adequate. The phase III seat is not the best for rolling but they are very comfortable and adjustable.

I have gotten the boat up to 6 knots but comfortable cruising speed is around 3.5. If you expect to paddle in windy and choppy conditions get one with a rudder. The longest trip I have done in an afternoon was 9 miles. If you would like to go on longer expedition trips with a group and you are not afraid of getting wet get a slightly longer narrower boat and grow into it otherwise you will have to work harder to keep up with sleek Kevlar boats in your group. If you expect to be in control of your pace and are not worried about slowing anyone down (not that this is a slow boat) this kayak could last you a life time. It is very tough and it is one of the most beautiful ones you can see on water.

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01-09-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought my plastic Tsunami from OutdoorPlay in July 2007. I waited until now to post a review, because I wanted to really get to know the boat under lots of paddling conditions.

In six months of ownership, I have paddled 869 GPS-measured miles. My paddles have ranged from day trips on my hometown Potomac River and nearby Chesapeake Bay; the rivers, sounds, and ocean of coastal North Carolina; rivers and Gulf Coast of Florida; and a week-long 140 mile paddle down the Des Moines and Mississipi River.

Conditions included up to Class II on rivers, swells up to three feet on the ocean, and chop from 20 knot winds that had the bow submerged from time to time. Currents ranged from 3 knots against to 5 knots with. Nothing severe, but I mention all this to let you know that I have tested my boat and I believe I know it fairly well. Loads ranged up to 50 lbs, with a 20 lb Pelican Case full of camera gear strapped to the deck. I am 5'6" and 140 lbs.

The Tsunami is a very comfortable and friendly boat. The adjustable Phase3 seat can be set with back low and upright, and thigh rests raised for power paddling. And when it's time to relax, raise the seat back and lean it to stern for a floating laz-e-boy. There are a couple of drawbacks to the seat that I will mention later.

The Tsunami tracks well, primarily due, I think, to the molded keel that extends from the cockpit to the stern. It is not quick to turn, but it can be edged with confidence. It has very good primary and excellent secondary stability. It is not a speedboat, but I have little trouble keeping pace with guys in longer boats. Sustained cruising speed in flat water with no wind or current is 3.5 - 4.0 knots.

I did not get a rudder and initially thought I would not want one. I was surprised at how well it tracks, even in quartering winds. However, I often do long days on open water with a decent load and recently I decided that edging for 20 miles to counteract a strong quartering wind was not a lot of fun. So...I installed a SmartTrack rudder kit. I will save that for a separate review, except to say that the installation was fast and easy due to the Tsunami deck and hull being already prepped for a rudder.

Easily adjusted pegs, reflective deck lines, lots of bungees and (so far) completely watertight bulkheads fore and aft round out the package. The day hatch is something I would not want to do without, particularly when paddling with a spray skirt.

At 55 lbs, the Tsunami is not a lightweight, but I'm a small guy and I can toss it up on the Thule J-rack, or carry it a few hundred feet to a launch with ease. Although lusting for a glass or kevlar boat, I have come to appreciate the merits of plastic. How many times would you want to scape an expensive boat over an oyster bar while paddling at four knots? The scraping sounds horrible, but the oysters merely shave long curlicues of plastic off the bottom of the hull.

The only negative I have concerns the Phase3 seat. While supremely comfortable, the seat back fabric began to shred recently. This is a high friction area and needs heavier ripstop nylon. Wilderness Systems was very quick to send me a new seatback under warranty, but I suspect the new one will be shredding in another six months. Because the seatback top is several inches above the coaming, it interferes a bit with a smooth wet entry by folding forward. This is not catastrophic under controlled conditions, but in an emergency you don't want anything to get in your way. Additionally, the seat back could interfere with some eskimo rolls, although I have not yet attempted to roll this boat.

That sums up the negatives and is why I give the Tsunami a 9 out of 10. I have paddled many other plastic boats, none of which I would give higher than a 7 based on very limited experience. I think that the Tsunami is tops in its class. The 140 is great for smaller paddlers. Big folks should try out the 145. I recommend this boat without hesitation. We just bought another one for my wife...

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12-17-2007
Submitted by: Tim
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought my Tsunami 140 3 weeks ago and found it enjoyable to use with the exception of comfort. I am 6ft 4 inches and 240 lbs and size 13.5 shoe. Needless to say my legs seem to cramp fast on the footpegs and my feet are cramped even with wet shoes. The sales guy had me take off my shoes before I got in, so that was a big mistake. Always get in a boat with sneakers on!

Other than that I liked the boat, so I went back and bought a 145 ...big difference for a big footed guy like myself and now my son is happy cause he got the 140. The 145 was advertised as a leftover 2006 brand new , of course when I got home I DISCOVERED IT WAS A 2007 which was great because I bought it for $400 off retail plus they gave me a $100 paddle. Now, even though I had leg comfort issues with the 140, I found it tracked fairly straight and the seat was extremely comfortable.

The boat does seem to have limited speed as with the 145 it seems you get to a certain point and the boat will not move any faster which is fine by me cause I'm not a racer to begin with. Also the gen 2 hull is not made to hit trees just below the surface. I was out in a reservoir and hit a couple of these things and put some nice gouges on my 140.

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09-06-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     After much searching and debating, my wife and I decided to go with the Tsunami 140's. And since they were on sale at Outdoorplay.com, the decision was easier. I have done some kayaking in the past but my wife had only been once in a tandum with me. I am 5'10" and 155lbs and my wife is 5'7" and 150lbs. We took them out for the first time in some shallow inlets and had a great time. They track really well and although I had no problem turning them my wife did but that was mainly because she had no experience. After about an hour she seemed to have a much easier time at it.

The kayaks were very stable, seemed like it would take a good effort to turn them over. Even power boats going by didn't seem to bother them. The only reason we didn't stay out longer was because our arms were getting tired. We are looking forward to going out again and doing some exploring.

The only negative I can give is the weight. At 55lbs, it is kinda heavy. I can lift it but my wife cannot. I thought about the duralight model but at almost $500 more, it was not worth it.

Over all, we are both very happy with the 140's and look forward to more paddling time.

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08-14-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I are new to kayaking. We purchased two Tsunami 140's at the end of June. We love them!!
In early June we went to a Demo day sponsored by Kenco. We paddled boats from Wilderness Systems, Perception and Liquid Logic. We wanted boats that would be stable and track well for day touring.

I am 55 years old and 6 ft. tall and weigh about 195 lbs. My wife is 54 years old and 5 ft. 3 in. tall and weighs 125 lbs.

My wife tried 12 ft. and 14 ft. boats. She kept going back to the Tsunami 140. She liked the maneuverability and stability.

I tried 14 ft. and 14.5 boats. (I tried a few longer boats for comparison sake, but they were out of my price range.) I narrowed my choice down to two boats; the Tsunami 140 and Tsunami 145. I talked to some of the sales people on shore, they felt due to my size, I should go with the 145. I just felt cockpit was too large. The boat is .5 in. wider than the 140 and the cockpit is a little taller than the 140. I found I had to raise my legs too high to contact the thigh braces. The 140 just seemed easier to turn.

When we got home from the Demo day I started reading reviews on this site about the two boats. I was bothered by the reviews that said the 145 was slower than the 140.

When we went to purchase the kayaks, I still had not decided which boat to buy. When I spoke with the sales people they felt that while the 145 would be a better size for me, the 140 would handle like a sports car. They said it would be more responsive. It is!!

We are very happy with the boats. They are easy to paddle and turn. We do not paddle for speed. They seem to have nice glide. We did not get rudders. Instead we got very light paddles. Money well spent!! The Phase 3 seating is great! The seat is very comfortable and adjustable. The footpegs are also very easy to adjust while you are in the boat.

We have only paddled in quiet lakes and other protected bodies of water. I just ordered skirts so that we could venture onto the Hudson River and do some exploring there. I highly recommend this boat!

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07-24-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just took my first ride in my new Tsunami 140 - also my first sit-inside kayak. Have tried a couple of others, but picked this one for the seating and the carrying capacity, plus the thigh braces were a plus.

Well, she's not fast- my top speed was 6.5 mph, and that was while surfing a boat wake. Easy to hold low 4's, and my average was 3.4 mph for almost 5 miles. The boat was much more responsive to my paddling technique than my Tarpon 120, so I spent most of the tour playing with my style. When I discovered that she was no faster than my Tarpon, I headed out into the lake from the sheltered cove I started in to check the seaworthiness aspect. Most gratifying - the boat is really stable, took all wakes, up to 2', from all directions with no problems. In fact, the first large wake to hit me from behind sent me surfing, which was really unexpected, as the Tarpon won't do that. A couple of manly strokes and she was dancing on the wake! I only give her a nine because I expected her to be faster.

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06-22-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     Although typically a river and lake rec-boat paddler, on this particular demo I got to try the Tsunami 140 on an open coastal bay as well as a more sheltered inland creek. I launched the boat from the sandy put-in, straight into a fairly stiff breeze that was kicking up a good 1 to 2 foot chop. Sliding into the cockpit as quickly as I could between waves, I started paddling and smoothly rode over some of the smaller waves and cut fairly smoothly through some of the larger ones. I was planning on heading up a nearby creek that emptied into the bay so I had to make a 90 degree turn to the right and had the incoming waves coming in from my left. The ride got a little rougher, but the boat has enough stability to bob with the incoming waves, although a small amount of water got into the cockpit (no sprayskirt as this was a short demo and I never planned to be more than 100 feet from shore). I passed a small breakwater and turned again into a small yacht harbor at the mouth of the creek. I rode a couple of more waves past the breakwater and into the more sheltered borders of the marina. Another hundred yards in, I turned again and was completely sheltered from the wind and the waves. I paddled about 1/4 mile or so up the creek, stopping now and then to tweak the seat and footpeg adjustments.

The Tsunami 140 has the usual Wilderness Systems Phase 3 seat package which I have always found to be comfortable although it is not as heavily padded as some other brands and models. The cockpit was a little tight getting into at first, but I am more accustomed to open cockpit rec-boats and SOTs. The thigh pads were set just about right for me and, if needed, they can be moved to any of 6 or 8 different positions. There are bulkheads in both the front and back although the front storage area seems a little small. I guess thatís a minor drawback of a shorter touring boat. The hatch covers went on and off cleanly and easily and seemed to hold a good seal. While this is a heavier poly boat, it is well balanced and was easy to get on and off the truck as well as carry the short distance to the put-in. It tracked well and had a good bit of glide when not paddling. It turned better than I expected although you wonít be making any short radius hairpin turns. I had demoed the Tsunami 145 ( a mere 6Ē longer) a few months ago and I think that it tracked and glided just a little bit better and turned about the same. Thereís isnít anymore room in the 145 cockpit although the boat is 1/2 inch wider.

Overall, I feel that the 140 is a good boat but may be just a bit small for me. It sat low in the water and was a little slower than I expected it to be... probably because I am on the upper end of itís weight range (220 out of a maximum manufacturerís load spec of 300). Iím going to give it a 7 for my own use although smaller or lighter paddlers may find it more satisfactory.

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06-28-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I are nearly sixty years old and have been dabbling in kayaking since our daughter went off to college. Recently we signed-on to a demo program at California Canoe and Kayak in Jack London Square, Oakland - where we got excellent service - and tried many kayaks. The Tsunami 140 by Wilderness Systems was quite soon my favorite, by far. Entry and exit were simple and comfortable with no tippiness. The moment I got in it fit like a glove. With serious knee and hip issues that told me a lot. The footpegs were easy to adjust and firm, the seat had convenient straps to make it snug up, and the knee braces worked perfectly. Though continuing to try different boats over the weeks, I always came back to the Tsu 140 as my baseline.

Manueverable though fast with rudder up or down, easy entry and exit, stable, good looking and well built, it's a good deal. I'm 6'1" and 180 pounds, my wife is 5'2" and much lighter, and she likes the Tsunami 120. Which figures.

The only disappointment I had was how long it for my wife to see that Tsunamis; comfortable, well balanced, high performance; were ultimately the best choice for us.

Today I ordered my first kayak, and it is a WS Tsunami 140, with rudder. Next week we'll probably order a Tsunami 120 for my wife and complete our waterborne package.

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05-04-2006
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Nothing short of amazing, the Tsunami 140 is the ideal boat for those people wanting the comfort and ease of a recreational boat while the storage and speed of a touring kayak. My Tsunami is sleek, easy to paddle and stays straight. I find the cockpit comfortable and the storage is ideal for a weekender. I especially love the weight. I can toss it on the car without issue and it is easy to manuever. Overall, this is a brilliant boat worth every penny!
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12-20-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have paddled this kayak for almost a year now throughout lakes, rivers, bays, and the ocean. First off, the kayak is very comfortable to paddle. I give the seat a 9 out of 10 for comfort. This coupled great initial stability makes this kayak a great fishing vessel. The speed is ok. I have gone on a trip in Assateauge where my boat was the shortest and the widest. I kept up, but had to paddle a little harder than the rest. Rolling this kayak is fairly easy despite the high backrest. I have had some troubles with the rudder. I probably should have sprayed it off a little better after going into salt water, because it does stick. All in all this is a tough kayak, with good speed, and good stability.
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08-07-2005
Submitted by: SCOSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     After two months with the Tsunami I would suggest this kayak. I have used it exclusively on rivers and it was exactly was I was looking for. I suggest not having a rudder, when going up river you will not get pushed sideways because of the keel. Going down river you can have fun with the rapids. Your body weight will dictate your agility. It is very easy to portage around damns. I can accomplish this one handed, very balanced.

I took a chance and removed the front bulkhead. I have gone on overnighters on the Mississippi and am able to sleep right in the yak without the bulkhead. Again your body size would dictate this. I am 5' 9" 155 lbs. and can stretch out in a sleeping bag inside the kayak. Leave the tent at home!

For the day hatch buy a cheap 8" diameter container and place in the opening. This will allow you to keep items from sliding away in the aft compartment.

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07-28-2005
Submitted by: SYWSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I only tested the Tsunami 140 on a calm lake. It was a demo boat and I was attracted by its contour. It's a bit heavy so it took me and one of the workers to carry it onto water. Entry is easy. I was surprised by its knee brace, which is rare in rec kayak. Once I started paddling, the speed really, really impressed me. It accelerates pretty quickly and easy to maintain a high speed. I was playing very close to shore and there were a couple jogging in a regular pace right next to me on shore. I was able to go a bit faster than them by paddling just a little harder. The speed is much impressive than my OT Rush. Since I was playing on an open, calm lake, slow turning is not a problem to me. Besides, I would prefer speed instead of easy turning. The WS Phrase3 sitting plus knee brace feel just great. The testing drive almost made me buy it right away. The only reason I hesitated -- its price. It's close to one thousand which I simply can't afford. Nevertheless, the Tsunami 140 has become my dream kayak.
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05-27-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Just purchased and paddled my Tsunami 140 last week. I was debating this versus a Whistler, Dagger, and Zoar Sport. After sitting in several - but not the Tsunami - I was leaning towards the cheaper models but found a great deal through REI on the Tsunami 140. I thought I really wanted the 145 model for the extra room and length to give better tracking and speed, but for the deal settled for the standard yellow in Gen2 poly material.

I'm 5'11" and 200 lbs - so I thought this kayak might be on the smaller side for me, but the cockpit is very generous with space, the seat SUPER comfy, and plenty of legroom compared to other models I sat in. As for design, looks, weight... all very good. After paddling in both a local river and lake I can make the following observations.

PROS:
Tracking - the hull design is super for keeping the boat headed straight. Even with gusting winds about 15 mph, I was barely drifting in the breeze and took only a slight paddle correction to stay on course. This means is harder to turn (than say my friend's Calabria which is much more agile for the same size boat, but he has more trouble holding a line too).

Comfort - the Phase 3 seat is superb. High backrest, quick adjustment straps and quick adjusting foot braces make this a dream to stay in for extended hours.

Looks - The boat had great lines, very sporty looking, and nice graphics on it. The gen2 plastic is very glossy and looks great without showing alot of scuffs and dings. (it was shipped across country on a semi in nothing more than a plactic bag and had a few dings already when I got it but nothing noticeable).

Storage - even though it holds less than the 145 model, it has plenty of space for an overnight and plenty of gear. The space behind the seat is perfect for a water bottle, bailing sponge, a more items you may need while out and about. The space from the top of the deck to the bottom between your legs is plentiful, and begs for an add-on storage bag to hand down for access to fishing tackle, water bottles, etc..

Deck Rigging - the straps are perfectly located on the deck to hold lots of 'stuff'.

CONS:
Low to waterline - the cockpit for me was very close the water but that is probably directly linked to my weight for this size boat. The 145 probably wouldn't have this problem for a person my size/weight. Regardless, this made leaning and waves a bit more of an experience and taught me the art of using the bailing sponge rather quickly.

Seat back - there are 4 screws that are exposed on the back of the seat that hit the rear of the cockpit if you lean back and these nick up the edge of the cockpit pretty quickly. All it takes is a little pad of rubber to fix this, but it's a minor detail that WS should have spotted and corrected to save us all those nicks/scratches right away.

Acceleration/Turning - The same PRO that keeps the boat tracking straight also hinders your acceleration and turning ability. The Calabria model my buddy has was much quicker up to speed and turned on a dime compared to the Tsunami.

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02-17-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I got my Tsunami in late December, and have taken it out 3 times in the 2 months I've had it. I absolutely love it. I previously had a Dagger 11.5 Blackwater, and this is a much-needed step up. The Tsunami is significantly narrower than the Dagger, but I have not had any stability problems. I mainly use it for backwater creeks and rivers right now, but hope to start going into the sounds and maybe even the ocean soon. I have not used the multiple hatches yet, but I know they will come in handy when I go camping in the next few months. The Tsunami tracks extremely well, although I am still learning how to turn the boat better. The boat is great for a beginner or more advanced paddler, but can be difficult to turn and maneuver in tight areas if you are not an advanced. Overall, I think the boat is great, and hope to use it as much as possible in the coming months.
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12-31-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Took out my new Tsunami 140 to the Illinois River today. First, this kayak is rigged great! Lots of deck bungees (fishing rod, etc.) and day access to rear bulkhead - although if you put something in there it can slide out of reach of the day hatch. The hull weighs 52 pounds on my scale (WS website says 48). I weigh 170 and am 5'8".

I carry it on my Honda minivan with 2 pairs of Mako saddles - deck down with the stern forward (this is how the manual from WS recommends) - worked fine with 25+ gusty winds (cross and headwinds). Got to the river (only place I could find that wasn't ice) and met with gusty winds - from 5 to 25. Some waves/chop up to a foot or so.

Kayak has very strong initial stability - you can sit still all day, I fished today and leaning was no problem. Caught 4 smallmouth, never felt shaky casting or playing the fish. Secondary is predictable up to the cockpit (I didn't lean any more than that today). Leaning to the cockpit gives a pretty quick turn with a sweep.

Tracking is easy. Speed was 4.3 to 4.6 MPH on my GPS for cruise - work it hard to get into the low 5's.

The hull wanted to turn to the wind - but pretty easy to correct (I don't have a rudder) - in fact the tendency was pretty minimal as my speed increased.

The hull has plenty of inertia into the waves (doesn't slap or pound) - I didn't wear a skirt today and stayed dry inside even into windblown steep 1 foot chop.

There is a little more squirrelly handling going with the wind and the one foot chop (very short, sharp chop from the gusty winds) - correct early and it never got away. I think the hull has a significant amount of rocker with a very pronounced "keel" to the stern - so leaning is responsive, yet tracking is stable.

With the plastic, the bow is rather blunt - I can't help but think that the boat would be quicker with a more refined entry. For my size and weight, I think I could have gotten away with a little bit narrower boat. The WS website says 21.5 inches width - must be a typo because this is 23 (could be closer to 24).

Overall, this is a great kayak for my needs - mostly casual paddling and fishing. But I need a decent turn of speed to get up river, and occasionally I want to make it perform and the Tsunami will comply. The Tsunami feels biased toward a rec boat, but has ambitions to be a performance tourer - once you are up to speed, holding speed is pretty easy.

It works for me!

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10-22-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     One of the best day-touring kayaks I've ever had the pleasure to paddle! The Tsunami is Wilderness System's newest addition to the family and will be replacing the Cape Lookout series in 2005 season.

Tsunami is an extremely responsive performance oriented day tourer. Its chimes and mild rocker allow great turning ability yet it tracks like it is on a rail. Acceleration is effortless as is cruising speed. The seat makes me feel like Iím sitting in my living room! You donít have to worry about limbs falling asleep in this boat.

Tsunami looks like a full-on touring boat squeezed down into a more compact setup. It features touring style deck rigging and perimeter safety lines. Bow stern hatches and a day hatch! Thigh braces and an optional rudder.

Being an artist I must complement the aesthetics of this kayak. The design is beautiful! A perfect combination of form and function.

If you are some one who wants do a little bit of everything than this boat is for you. Tsunami is a small boat with a big attitude. Perfect for someone just entering the world of paddling. In comparison to other manufacturerís boats in the same class, this boat surely beats them all.

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