Tsunami 120

Width (in)
Weight (lb)

This Product Has Been Discontinued

Tsunami 120 Description

Mid-range cockpit size with shorter length is versatile for day to weekend trips in streams to coastal regions to large lakes.

Tsunami 120 Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit Inside
  • Seating Configuration: Solo
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Wilderness Systems
Tsunami 120 Reviews

Read reviews for the Tsunami 120 by Wilderness Systems as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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This is a great kayak and you…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/21/2020
This is a great kayak and you don’t have to be small. My 6ft plus son enjoyed using this. Great in sea or rivers, very stable, comfortable adjustable seat

I tried many kayaks before…

Submitted by: paddler458008 on 7/31/2018

I tried many kayaks before opting for the Tsunami 120. It is the perfect combination of maneuverability, tracking, and speed. It works well in both lakes and calmer rivers, and isn't designed too much for one to be great for the other. The cockpit size is relatively small/narrow, compared to other kayaks in the same size range, but is a great option for those of smaller stature or women.


Absolutely love this boat.…

Submitted by: paddler443976 on 6/18/2018

Absolutely love this boat. I've had it for two years. I go kayak camping at least once a year and am able to fit everything I need in the dry hatches. Also, the seat is one of the most comfortable seats I've sat in. I am female 5'4 and 130 pounds this boat fits me well, snug but comfortable and I can really control the boat. Other than that, I do wish it had a cup holder or a better spot to put my water bottle, but that's my only complaint!


This is my 2nd kayak and…

Submitted by: dareid5 on 6/18/2018

This is my 2nd kayak and what a surprise when I got in. It's a very comfortable kayak with tons of seat adjustments. You feel very safe in it and confident when navigating choppy waters. I use this kayak on rivers and streams as well out on the Great Lakes.

I purchased it with the rudder and happy I did so. On windy days the rudder helps to keep me on course and makes things easier and more enjoyable.

If you're looking to do long day trips or week long trips this kayak is perfect. I highly recommend purchasing the Tsunami 145 with a rudder.


I'm a smaller female paddler,…

Submitted by: PaddlingCamper on 8/31/2016
I'm a smaller female paddler, and wanted a touring kayak I could reasonably handle and launch myself. While I know longer kayaks are generally faster, at 5'0", anything over 12' in a boat is more than I can maneuver to load and unload, even with a life assist. The Tsunami 120 has been great so far.

The Pros:
-It's incredibly comfortable. The seat system is very adjustable and comfortable, and the foot peddles adjust easily even on-the-fly. The seat back can be moved up/down and forward/back to accommodate many PFD styles (more on this in the "cons" section below), and the seat tilt can be adjusted for thigh support (which really helps with the lower back). The thigh pads can also be adjusted, though this needs to be done with a screwdriver and therefore is something you want to do before launching.
-It's maneuverable. I wouldn't call it "nimble," but it turns well without being prone to tipping. Which leads me to...
-It's stable without being slow.
-The holds are great. This model has two holds, one for and one aft, that are well-sealed and pretty roomy.
-The deck cleats have recessed bolts, which is a huge bonus. It seems like a small thing, but not chipping up your paddle or catching debris on them is actually a pretty great feature.

The Cons:
-Unsurprisingly, it's slower than a full-on, longer sea kayak. So, when paddling in open-water with my (tall) significant other and his 14' sea kayak, he does have to slow down or wait up a bit. The line of the hull isn't as "V" shaped as some kayaks, and is really stable on rollers and smaller swells without being so flat that you can't maneuver (currently, I've not paddled in anything over 2').
-The seat doesn't go quite low enough/is too tall for some smaller paddlers with a full-back PFD. I've discovered I either need a half-back so I can keep the seat back all the way down, or I need to keep the seat all the way up and add something behind me for lumbar support with my fuller-backed PFDs.

All around, it's a great seat system and I wouldn't give it up, but the PFD issue doesn't really become obvious until you go on a longer trip (or, at least, it didn't for me).

All around, it's a great kayak for a smaller paddler, and the Pros far outweigh the cons


The Wilderness Systems…

Submitted by: azrael470 on 5/9/2016
The Wilderness Systems Tsunami 120 is the first kayak I've owned. I've been crazy about it since the first time I got it in the water. The only kayaks I had previously paddled were a W.S. Pungo 120 and a Perception Conduit 12.0, compared to my Tsunami both of those boats are sluggish and lumbering. This boat always tracks well, glides through the water almost effortlessly, and is nimble when turning. Among the group that I paddle with most often I can out perform most everyone else's boats with a few notable exceptions, due more to the paddler's skill that their kayak. While this boat may not be quite as agile as something shorter, it more than makes up for it in speed and grace. The only real complaints I have are that the foot pegs when extended all the way are still a bit too close for me to be truly comfortable and if the deck was about an inch higher I could straighten my feet up. Those two things aside I'm a huge fan of everything else from the color (Indigo), the bulk heads both fore and aft (though not completely water tight), and the seat which I find rather comfortable. I would recommend this boat to anyone that asked my opinion and to those that didn't.

Excellent and versatile…

Submitted by: Deannasteckler on 4/29/2016
Excellent and versatile beginner/intermediate kayak. Two of these can pack enough gear for 4-5 days for two people if you are a low maintenance camper. It's small enough to maneuver tight corners but tracks fairly straight. A bit strenuous on big flat lakes however, as you can get pushed easily by strong wind. That may be a testament to my small size/power as opposed to the kayaks.

The Tsunami 120s that we…

Submitted by: paddler236732 on 4/29/2016
The Tsunami 120s that we purchased 5 years ago have been perfect for us. We are "young at heart" retirees and have used them throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic; next up St Marys GA. Prior to these we had a 17'canoe. These kayaks have provided us with a stable and comfortable paddle on each usage; in addition to allowing each of us to be more independent. Because we usually stop somewhere on the water for a lunch break, the water proof storage compartments have served us well. As paddlers know, viewing and/or doing photography from the water vs. just the shore provides for many unique opportunities. For us because we do not do white water kayaking, this size, weight and length is extremely suited to our paddling needs. Thank you.

My wife has this boat and…

Submitted by: Medlifer on 7/8/2015
My wife has this boat and loves it. She has been kayaking a few years, so she's paddle multiple boats. this is the first boat that she just loves. The seat is very comfortable, the cockpit is roomy and the storage space is very generous. Its a great overnight/weekend camping vessel. According to her, stability is great and allows her a lot of confidence in chop and small rapids. The chines allow for great secondary stability. All in all, it is a very well made mid-level boat. The roto-molded plastic is tough and durable.

Perfect boat? Maybe. I was…

Submitted by: elblis on 7/2/2015
Perfect boat? Maybe. I was looking for a kayak for my son so he could paddle with me in my Tsunami 140. After narrowing the choices down I came across a good deal on the 12' version of my boat, so we took it home.

The Tsunami 120 has nice lines, excellent initial and secondary stability. It is light enough for a smaller person to carry by themselves. It has two bulkheads so if you were to flip (never happened to us except on purpose) water can't fill the entire boat. The two dry hatches are small so a solo camping trip would be more like backpacking, at least when it comes to room.

The biggest surprise came when I paddled this boat while a taller friend paddled my larger 140. Not only did it track like a dream but I had no problem keeping up with the longer boat. Note that I am 5' 9" and 200 lbs and I was not cramped. The only real drawback was that my size 11 1/2 shoes were a little snug inside the cockpit.

Why the 10 rating and perfect boat suggestion? We paddle mainly around north Georgia, TN, Alabama mountains on class 1 rivers and creeks as well as lakes. The size is perfect to negotiating obstacles but the tracking is great in open water. We usually have to compromise to get both types of paddling on single trip. The Tsumani 120 is not a compromise, just a near perfect kayak.


I love this boat! As a…

Submitted by: paddler235984 on 9/16/2014
I love this boat! As a volunteer "flocent" (floating docent) on the Monterey Bay with Team Ocean, I have paddled many different kinds of kayaks. I am always longing to get back in my own sweet little ride! I love my Tsunami 120. It fits me like a glove...so comfortable. Great tracking, rides very smoothly and it is wonderfully stable without giving up performance. Just the perfect boat for me.

The Tsunami is very…

Submitted by: fairsmith on 7/2/2014
The Tsunami is very comfortable for recreational paddling. It is light and narrow with a nice sized cockpit. It is very easy to maneuver, skimming nicely across the water. It has 2 watertight compartments. The foot braces and seat are easy to adjust. It is just right for beginners to experienced kayakers.

I bought this for my teen…

Submitted by: shooter-x on 7/17/2013
I bought this for my teen daughter but I like it as well for narrow creeks and rivers. It is well rigged with perimeter and bungee lines and so far the hatches have not leaked. Little on the heavy side but I guess most rotomolded kayaks are. The seat has a high back rest and is pretty comfortable, good day boat for me.

I have been using my Tsunami…

Submitted by: paddler234423 on 1/30/2012
I have been using my Tsunami 120 for two years now at Lake Tahoe in all conditions. It has proved ideal for my particular circumstances. I only do tours of less than a full day or night, so cargo capacity is not a concern. The relatively short length is an advantage in the short-interval steep waves that develop on the lake. It also lets me keep it on the top of my little car without having it stick out in back. Shores are rocky or have very coarse sand (often frozen rock-solid) so the durable plastic construction is wonderful. My previous boat, which I used since the late 1960s, was fiberglass, which constantly had to be repaired. My preferred conditions are during the high winds and waves of storm fronts during the winter.

Equipped with a spray suit and spray cover I routinely paddle the boat in 2-4 foot breaking waves and sometimes higher, in winds of 25-35 kts with higher gusts. The boat is amazingly stable in these conditions, sometimes with waves breaking over head level, and surfs like a charm. For simplicity I do not have a rudder. A peculiar advantage of this small boat is that my cruising speed matches well my wife's when she is out on her faster lightweight Tsunami 140 with rudder (which she loves).

My only problem thus far is that the raised seat creates a lot of wear on the inside of the spray covers. In heavy conditions I use a neoprene one, but the seat stripped the interior waterproof coating off my nylon cover after only a few trips.


So I'm on my third summer…

Submitted by: dnatured on 8/8/2011
So I'm on my third summer with this boat and I can say that it has served me quite well. I moved to ME from CO a few years back and my wife and I got into kayaking. Had an old town canoe for years, but kayaking lets us do our own thing! Having only paddled an 11' Loon before, the smaller cockpit took some getting used to. For only a 12' 5" boat it tracks extremely well. However one thing you need to remember that this is a step up from a rec boat like the Pungo.

That being said, if you want to get into weekend touring/occasional bay to island hopping, I would suggest a longer boat. If you're getting into light touring, and have a good feeling you'll be spending more than a day on the water, than look for a longer boat. The only real downfall to this boat (and the same as my wife's Pungo) is the forward design. Having a very keel-like front end makes the boat track wonderfully, but as soon as the placid water gets rough, you'd better have a skirt or you WILL get wet!

All in all it was a great first "over nighter" kayak for me, but I have out grown it quickly. I just wish I'd picked up the 145 rather than the 125!


Love this boat! I went…

Submitted by: bigmamamoo on 7/22/2010
Love this boat! I went looking for something I could carry myself so my limit was 50#; I had my eyes on the Tribute by Perception but it was a tight fit for my 5'5" frame. The folks at Mountainman put me into the Tsunami and I am in love!

It tracks almost perfectly and after the initial trial few times out, it is very stable. Great boat if you are ready to move to the next level. I had been paddling an Otter, which is still a nice little boat, but this is the next step. Took a little bit to get used to at first, but now I am very confident that this boat will serve me well for many years to come. Highly recommend this boat.


After my wife decided not to…

Submitted by: paddler233354 on 9/8/2009
After my wife decided not to go with me on adventure trips on a tandem sit-on-top kayak I decided to purchase a single kayak, which I would be able to put on the car roof racks by my self. This boat completely exceeded my expectation. It tracks very well, it cuts the curves between the mangroves in the Everglades easily and it is stable and fast even on 2 ft waves on the ocean. I am 6' tall and weight 155 lb and I feel very comfortable in this boat: three hour paddling in this boat is a "piece of cake". I was so excited about this kayak that I bought another one for my wife, just in case she wants to join me on an adventure trip again.

My first kayak - I looked at…

Submitted by: paddler233223 on 7/9/2009
My first kayak - I looked at several models before deciding on the Tsunami 120. This is a great boat! I have a previous shoulder injury, so I needed something that really cut through the water easily and would track with little need to "brute force" the turning, etc.

This Kayak moves like a dream - I could go for hours - and it is very comfortable. I let my 11 yr old daughter give it a try, and she too was able to control it and move it well through the water. A great kayak!


I bought this boat in early…

Submitted by: jefflove on 10/1/2008
I bought this boat in early August for use on Michigan rivers, lakes, Great Lakes, and ponds. So far I've used it on the Pine River (5-9 mph current w/ several Class I rapids) and several small lakes in Oakland County. I would compare this boat to a great all mountain ski... it's probably not the best for any single purpose but it does everything very well. It's very comfortable, handles well, very stable, accelerates and stops well, does fine in light chop, cross winds, speed boat wakes, etc.

This boat is just plain fun! And it's a great looking boat, too (mango). I am 6', 185 lbs., size 11 shoes, and fit in it very well. People over 6' and 200 lbs. will want the extra room of the 125. Overall, a great value.


I bought a Tsunami 120 in…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/11/2008
I bought a Tsunami 120 in March. It was a 2007 leftover, so got a good deal and was able to afford the duralite model. I can't say enough good things about this boat. It would be hard for me to believe that this kayak is not the best in its class. the fit and finish; superior; hardware superior. plenty of storage and very comfortable seat.

I've used this boat on rivers, lakes, and the bays and lagoons in New Jersey and Delaware. The tracking is superb even in stiff 8 - 10 knot winds crossing the bay. on flat water or even small waves or a heavy chop the boat just glides with each stroke. On my vacation, I spent 5-6 hours a day for 5 days paddling the Tsunami without fatigue.

The footbraces and the seat are easy to adjust while you're in the boat. for me it was worth getting the duralite for the 10 pound weight advantage. I'm 5' 7" 170 lbs and I can get the boat on top of my Subaru Tribeca fairly easily. with kayaks i think lighter is better in most cases.

In Delaware, I was able to launch myself from 2 1/2 ft above the water line at low tide without the boat plowing under water. the bow never went under the water. the stability is excellent. Due to the v-shaped hull the boat will not sit flat on your lawn or the beach but once in the water it feels solid as a rock and inspires confidence. my wife, who was never in a kayak before tried it and was tracking straight from the first stroke.

If you want a rec/tour boat that you won't outgrow in one season, this is the one. Also the duralite in my opinion is quite durable. I've hit rocks at slow speed and beached my self on rocks and sand at high speed with only minor surface scratches on the hull. I bought the boat to use - not to keep pretty so the little scratches and scrapes are to be expected. If you're over 200 lbs, you might want to consider the Tsunami 125; I think the 120 might be a little tight. these are just my opinions but I have absolutely no complaints. And I LOVE to complain!!!


Excellent kayak, tracking is…

Submitted by: paddler232087 on 4/30/2008
Excellent kayak, tracking is phenomenal, handling is great, tears through swells and wakes in the bay from powerboats like they're nothing. Would strongly recommend this kayak to anyone looking for a moderately priced ($800-$1000) beginners level kayak that handles like something an expert kayaker would paddle.