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Reviews for Tsunami 135 Kayak by Wilderness Systems

Rated: 9.55/10 Based On: 11 Reviews

Tsunami 135 Kayak by Wilderness Systems

Length: 13' 6" - Width: 23.00" - Starting at: $1175.00
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Submitted by: I.R.Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Purchased a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 135 new from our local shop. Being a smaller male paddler (5ft 6"), this boat fits me perfectly, with one of the most comfortable seats out there. Very stable, tracks well, (I never use the rudder), and the hatch covers have kept everything dry so far (and they are not impossible to take off). I have been out about 10 times so far, including a couple of full day (6-8 hour) paddles on the West Coast of B.C. Mostly calm ocean water, but a couple of times in strong current and 2ft choppy water.

I rented about 15 different boats over the last couple of years before purchasing, and as soon as tried this one out, I knew it was what I wanted! This one suits all my needs so far.

The only issues was a 2 month wait for the boat, when we were told it would be a 1 month wait, but our local shop gave us a couple of free rentals to cover for this. Also my wife's boat (a Focus) came the wrong colour...
Anyways, really enjoy paddling my Tsunami!

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Submitted by: Steve W.Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have a good amount of experience in canoes, but until recently little experience in kayaks. I purchased a Delta 12.10 and was pleased with its maneuverability, stability and workmanship. It was a thermoform kayak. But it was work to paddle and tracked poorly. It had no glide.

Demoed a rotomolded Wilderness Tsunami 135. The difference was evident with one paddle stroke. The boat took off and went straight and the glide made me smile. The Delta got returned. Since I purchased this boat, I have had the Tsunami in dead calm lake water, loaded up on a 3-day 2-night paddle in upstate NY, in turbulent and swift Ohio River water, and in choppy ocean swells off the coast of Nova Scotia. The boat is stable and glides well. It has been a good platform for my wife and I (each of us own a Tsunami 135) to learn on. Although the boat takes work to maneuver in tight spaces, I find that it does what I need to do as I learn to edge and carve my turns. The boat tracks well. It does weathervane somewhat, but only in stronger winds. I rolled the boat in active ocean water (my mistake) and found self rescue was easy without a paddle float. I was surprised, expecting some kind of epic, but the boat let me roll it up, hop on and climb in. Surmounting the seat back was the only challenge in the process.

I am in my middle 60s and can easily handle this boat, putting it on my car by myself, getting it in and out of the water, etc. The seat is comfortable and super adjustable.

I may want a longer, faster boat with more storage for some serious multi-day touring at some point, but for now this boat is simply great. I can see myself picking up some real skill before I move onto another boat... IF I move onto another boat.

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Submitted by: rluSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I'm a canoe guy but spent quite a bit of time paddling a friends Tsunami 135 on the Kalamazoo River in Plainwell, MI. I have owned a WS Manteo and a WS Pamlico in the past and the Tsunami is a much better boat than either of those. It's faster than either boat, a lot lighter than the Manteo and surprisingly easy to turn.

My friend and I would paddle two Tsunamis upstream on the Kalamazoo Mill Race to a control dam, portage around the dam and paddle downstream back to town. The upstream portion was a serious workout but the Tsunamis blew away all the boats we paddled with for speed and handled well against the current.

Any boat is a compromise but the Tsunami 135 checks a lot of boxes.

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Submitted by: C.M.Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This is my first year for serious paddling and after shopping around a bit, I chose the 2013 Wilderness Systems Tsunami 135 as my first boat. Since putting my boat in the water in late April, I have paddled rivers, lakes and some coastal waters.

This boat is awesome. It has given me the feeling of security I needed to really get serious about paddling. We typically paddle for 2-3 hours each time we go out and this boat is very comfortable. It is stable and more than capable of handling anything from flat water to 'active' coastal water! It instinctively cuts through waves and allows the paddler to relax and enjoy the ride. I took a couple lessons early in the season and was taught assisted rescue and self rescue. The hardest part about the lesson was actually getting my boat to flip over! For this boat, that was counter intuitive!

My husband has the WS Tempest 170 and although my boat is not built for the same speed as his is, I don't usually have any trouble keeping up... the Tsunami 135 is a real work horse and will give back whatever you put into it. While this may not be my 'forever' kayak, it certainly was THE kayak to get into the sport with. As I become a more skilled paddler, I may move up to sleeker boat - more of a true 'sea' kayak, but for now, I'm loving every minute I spend in my Tsunami 135.

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Perfect for small frame people, this kayak cuts through waves and wind as if they are not even there. I now have no fear of not being able to get back to where I started if the wind picks up. Seat is very comfortable. Not a problem on long trip. Highly recommended kayak!
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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Absolutely LOVE this kayak. Priced right, it moves through wind and waves with little extra effort. Previously I had to worry about wind direction, how rough it would get, and if I would be able to get back to where I started. Even had to get towed in a few times because of the wind changing direction after I got far from where I started. With the Tsunami 135 I can confidently kayak by myself without worry about returning to my vehicle.
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Submitted by: JoePaddlerSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife absolutely loves this boat. Seat is real comfortable, perfect size for a 5'4", 118 lb paddler. Easy to turn, tracks well, fairly light for its size. Recommend to people who want the versatility of a long boat, but turning ability of a small one.
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Submitted by: Anne Saxby - Rating: 9 of 10
This review courtesy of

     This boat tracks well and has a very nice glide. The boat fits me well, too (I am 5'5") and I felt comfortably snug in the cockpit. Plenty of room around the hips and just the right amount of tight fit with the thigh pads. It has great initial and secondary stability. It feels a little heavy in the water, but this does not effect its performance, glide, or ability to get up to speed. I like boats that go fast and this boat was fun and enjoyable to paddle. Ultimately, this is the kayak for you if you want a stable, day cruising boat that fits well (snugly, but not wedged in there) with a sea kayak kind of feel!
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Submitted by: Lorraine Umbarger - Rating: 10 of 10
This review courtesy of

     Finally, a boat that fits me perfectly! At a bit over 5ft tall I have a hard time finding a stable boat that doesn't feel like a bathtub. Well, here it is! I was looking for a fast boat that wasn't a full-on sea kayak but that had some length to it for some camping gear storage for an overnight or two. I also needed a cockpit opening that wasn't too big that I couldn't touch the sides with my legs for better control. This kayak is stable, yet sleek, and something that I can improve my paddling skills in. Everyone told me to get a Tsunami and I now understand why!
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Submitted by: Esther Wayne - Rating: 10 of 10
This review courtesy of

     As one of the few women-specific kayaks out there, this boat has a lot to offer. It's 13.5 feet, keeping the Tsunami 135 relatively light and easy to manage. It also has an optional rudder, allowing the kayak to be controlled a little bit easier on windy lakes or open ocean. It tracks very well and yet is still easy to turn. The Tsunami 135 is lower in volume, fitting a smaller body better then other kayaks in this family. The lower deck makes it easier to reach my deck bag, too. This boat is a joy to paddle!
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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     A Near Perfect Match...
As a former WW paddler, and canoe sailor, I needed a kayak with decent performance for the purposes of exploring the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately I had a few pre-requisites that narrowed the field a bit for my selection of kayaks. I needed a length sub 14' so it could be brought indoors and stored reasonably, I needed the hull to be poly (all my property is subjected to use not unlike a demolition derby), the boat would have to hold my 200lb 5'8" (size 12 shoes) Welsh mountain goat of a body, and I needed the design to be narrow enough to offer performance without compromising reasonable stability (I anticipated adding a sail and doing some photography). I settled upon the WILDERNESS SYSTEMS TSUNAMI 135, and have found I made an excellent choice.

Firstly, among the TSUNAMI line (described as transitional touring), the 135 had one of the narrowest hulls, which translates to better speed to some degree. The TSUNAMI 135 boat is rather hard chined, so initial stability is quite good (this helps when I use my 2.2 sq meter sail, and with climbing in and out on the water). The kayak paddles well, tracks quite well (hard to turn sometimes... DON'T BOTHER WITH THE RUDDER), and the hatches are sufficiently water tight by comparison.

Unfortunately I could call it perfect except for the following:

  • PHASE 3 seating - worthless, and gets in the way during re-entry on the water (needs to be replaced with a backband).
  • COCKPIT TOO ROOMY - the TSUNAMI 135 is listed as a boat for women and small paddlers. I'm fairly wide but had to install hip pads to keep my bum from sliding around while rolling this kayak.
  • HARD CHINED - this is a blessing and a curse. The hard chines make this a labour to roll, but to add stability for sailing and relaxing.
All in all, I find it a fantastic kayak for my purposes, a veritable 9 out of 10.

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