This rotomolded 14' kayak is very tough, stable, tracks well, is reasonably fast, turns with relatively ease and is not too expensive. It can be equipped with a rudder. If you have just one kayak, this is worth considering.
Might not deserve a perfect 5 but it fits my needs perfectly, so it gets a 5. I paddled a Carolina 14 1/2 and the cockpit was just too big and the Yak was "not fast". Had a Necky Manitou that I liked but wanted an operational rubber not just a skeg. It was also fiberglass and that is not the best material for shallow Texas rivers and the rocks and debris you encounter. Bought a W/S Focus as it was said to be fast and it was. Could keep up with the 16/17 Yaks without wearing myself out. Wasn't the most user-friendly boat as without chines it would roll over fairly easily, but it was and is a nice poly kayak. Then comes the Tsunami. It is not as fast as the Focus and much faster than the Carolina. Started with the 14 1/2 and again the cockpit was cavernous. If you are a big person, then this or the Carolina are your boats. Moved to the 14 and now I am a happy camper. I am a recreational kayaker on Texas rivers for the most part and the Yak is fast enough to keep pace with the longer boats but they might skip a stroke or two to let me catch up but that could also be my age. Seat is extremely comfortable and can be adjusted on the fly, so you can change positions on those 20+ mile runs easily. Can carry "stuff" in the bulk-headed hatches but not much of an overnighter so for recreational purposes there is more space than I need but no one complains about too much space. Keeps items off the deck with all the space. I do wish the day hatch was in the front like the Focus instead of behind the cockpit. If W/S is listening this would be a nice improvement. Is is very user friendly with initial and secondary stability and that is something I look for as I don't like cold water dunks. I use the rudder as I am not a purist just a weekend kayaker and makes turning the boat on winding bayous mush easier and less wear and tear on the shoulders as the long sweeping multiple strokes are needed. can't discuss weather cocking as the rudder is always down so there is no weather cocking. That will make the purist cringe but this is an opinion review so those are mine. For the record, 6'2", 36" inseam, 188 lbs. and 67 years young. Looking for a second one as a throw down Yak for friends who might want to join me.
I was looking for a sit in kayak for trips that included longer distances on lakes than we typically go with our sit on fishing yaks. I want to go farther without wearing myself out, but still wanted more stability than a longer, narrower touring kayak. The Tsunami really fit the bill for what I was looking for. There are tons of adjustments in the cockpit- Foot braces (of course), thigh braces, and the seat all adjust for a comfy and secure fit. It does have a smaller cockpit than many recreational kayaks. This kayak really tracks well, but also is easy to maneuver. I did not get the rudder yet ,although it is rudder ready, so it does want to turn bow into the waves. Overall, it has preformed fantastic in all conditions we have put it in and best of all, I'm not falling behind the group as we paddle along!
I have enjoyed a Tsunami 140 for nearly 13 years on a bay and inland river that leads to the Atlantic Ocean. The craft handles really well and is both extremely stable and resistant to rolling or tipping as tracks exceptionally well, yet turns on almost, but not quite a dime. It's very responsive, planes easily and has good speed. We do get ocean like conditions and some nasty, sometimes 2 foot whitecaps in which I got stuck more than once. Obviously conditions such as this, especially with a head wind and into the current slow you down considerably but I was amazed at how well this kayak was able to confront such a challenge. I am sure that a more expensive Kayak would be faster or handle better but for the money this model is exceptional.
What I wanted to mention is that my inlaws also enjoy these Kayaks and the last few many years, asked us to just leave them on the beach at their house which is on the water. It's an incredibly rocky beach, you cannot step anywhere without your foot touching a rock of some size. Plus the Kayaks get left out for months on end. In short we've done everything you're not supposed to do to a paddelcraft, and never maintained it or took care of it but once. We weren't trying to be destructive but eventually these kayaks held up so well that if they broke tomorrow I would do things the same because given how much they were used and abused, I feel that I got my money's worth and the convenience of not having to ever worry or take care of it, especially when we had very small children, was a huge plus!
The storage compartments are quite large, the seats very comfortable and also adjustable and the rubber and materials have held up incredibly well despite being left out for months on end since the mid 2000's. They look a little beat up now but anything used this much and left outside won't appear to be museum quality. They still paddle, and the hatches and fixtures still work and move and seal as well as the day we got them brand new.
It's not too bad hauling it around but again we don't ever load it on the car, just enjoy it off the back yard. I would probably have more reservations about hauling it around and at the end of the day I always do it with my wife in tow helping as even at this weight it's a bit much to safely drag or haul around such an incredibly rocky beach. I think it I had to carry this Kayak alone on a flat surface without risk of slipping I can, as once I make it to the yard and put it away for the winter (or take it out for the spring) then it's not too bad indeed but probably at the upper limit of what I can comfortably carry for more than 10 feet.
If you want a solid, stable, fast ocean kayak that is exceptionally durable, will survive harsh conditions, and doesn't feel cheap you have to pay to play. This model really gives you just enough of a high end feeling with its performance, handling and good ocean manners without costing like a kayak that gives these qualities in spades. While there are more affordable models as well, the Tsunami, especially at this pricepoint, doesn't leave you wanting much more. Well, maybe a few more feet in length and a second cockpit, but now they make the Polaris!
This is a very good all-purpose, affordable, and nearly indestructible (rotomolded plastic), solo kayak. It is reasonably fast, a manageable weight, turns well (with edging skill), and is very stable due to primary and secondary chines built into the hull. It can be had with or without a rudder, and a rudder can be retro-fitted if desired (I did this on one of mine). The boat is a good choice on lakes/reservoirs and rivers. I haven't had it in the ocean, so I can't rate it in that respect. In my kayak 'stable', two of these boats are sandwiched, in size, between two plastic ten-footers (for small rivers) and two longer boats, a 16' K1 and an 18' K2, both with lighter, more exotic layups. Lastly, the Tsunami is an appropriate boat to put a novice guest in, since it is stable and you won't need to worry about it being damaged. These boats are keepers, but aren't most kayaks if we have the room to store them? Room for only one or two boats? The Tsunami 14 would still be a practical keeper.
i'm 6'3" 250 and can fit into this boat. it is a fast boat with great stability. the seat is extremely comfortable, and the boat tracks very well...even without a rudder.
My wife has the Tsunami 140 and loves it.... but the hatch cover design is greatly flawed. We had to replace the large oval hatch 3 yrs ago and now need to have it replaced again. The rubber shrinks and causes it to cave in on itself and no longer seal. I hope they remedy this design. I have had a 14' Carolina for 10 years and have had no issues with my hatch covers.
The Tsunami 140 is a perfect boat on rivers for someone around 140lbs-160lbs and less than 5'11" tall. If you are a big person you might want to look at the Tsunami 145 or 160. It is not very easy to get into this boat but once I am in, it is perfectly snug and I feel in complete control of the boat. It accelerates quickly and has very good primary stability and excellent secondary stability. The way the boat is shaped makes is very stable. This boat tracks very well. Some people had told me that it doesn't turn easily but I have had no problems turning the boat. You might have to lean a little to turn.
This boat weighs a little over 50 lbs. I am not someone with a lot of upper body strength. I got Yakima J cradle and can easily put the boat in my Honda Accord by putting up half the boat at a time. One other way is to get the boat loader. This way you can even put it up on bigger cars with having to lift only half the boat at a time.
I have been on paddling for up to 4 hours and the seat has been very comfortable. I felt I could go for another 4 hours without much trouble. The seat is adjustable and the back lifts up. However, if you plan to have a spray skirt on then you cannot lift up the back.
There is plenty of storage. I have a 45L dry bag and a 20L dry bag along with food and water that I could easity store. I have not tried camping yet, but there is space for a camp as well.
All in all, this is an excellent all round boat where you can do both short and long trips.
I find that the Tsunami is an excellent kayak for Lakes or rivers. I also have a Dagger Axis 10.5 and I use it mainly on rivers and bought this for primarily for lake. The boat has good primary stability and excellent secondary stability, edges well and glides through the water nicely. Easy to accelerate. It is a tight fit getting in compared to a crossover kayak, I am 6' 175 lbs and I have to get my legs in and then slide down. Once in it feels great, the adjustable pedals for me are not of much use as I can brace my feet on the bulkhead, but if I am doing any maneuvering I use the pedals and the knee braces.
The seat has multiple adjustments and the back can be raised to support better, easy adjustments on the cockpit sides and front of the seat. Very comfortable for long paddles. Lots of storage space for your gear although the quick hatch right behind the seat would have been nice if they had put a net in there to retain your stuff. I bought used so it is possible there originally was but without one your stuff has the capability to slide clear to the back of the boat. This is a 2014 model.
Lots of rigging for tying down stuff on top and behind the cockpit to rig your paddle as an extra leg to stabilize the kayak to get in. Boat weighs about 55 pounds so kind of heavy.
Finish is smooth shinny. Carry handles on each end but would be nice if they had provided a hard attachment point for tying down when transporting.
This boat sets low in the water so if doing any river trips I would definitely recommend using a spray skirt to keep water out
This is one of the best 14' sea light touring kayaks you will ever paddle. Workmanship and quality is top notch. Other similar kayaks I have paddled are:
WS Focus 145 - Fast but won't go trait without a rudder and not as fast as the 145 Pro.
Necky Manitou 14 - Fast and stable but not as fast and too long to use in my class.
Steller S14 - Fast, stable, and light but it is actually longer than the class I race in and without the skeg, impossible to keep straight. Also it isn't much or any faster than the 145 Pro.
Perception Expression 145 - Too long and not as fast as the 145 Pro.
So, if you are looking for an efficient 14' light touring kayak with speed and stability, this is the yak.
When i first started looking at these i was leaning towards the 145, but most of my experience was in a pungo 140 so i was liking the huge cockpit. In the interim i got into a full scale sea kayak passion and went through 3 of them playing around. After getting used to those smaller cockpits i went back and looked at the 145 and felt like i was going to fall out. So ended up doing a 140 due to the better feel. Get rid of the big backrest and get the backband. totally changes the feel. She rolls up easy when you want to play using pretty much any stroke. With the backband i can lay my head on back deck comfortably. And it has pretty reasonable speed. done many 20 miler days already with it on rivers, lakes and a full out ocean run down in Clearwater, FL. i trust her that much.
Have been through a lot of kayaks over time, all the way from fat little rec kayaks through Necky Chatham 17. I still love a full blow sea kayak for the speed and pure sexiness, but I can't think of a better do it all boat than this. Easy 10 for me. Had no complaints whatsoever.
For the record I'm 5'10 240lb guy. Former marine, big chest, big thighs. Fit easily and can get really snug when its time to goof around. But my wife who is 5'2 and 110 likes it a lot also. She likes her Dagger Alchemy more but she's a kayak snob.
The most outstanding thing about the Tsunami was the comfort of the seat. This is more important than it seems. If you're out all day doing some real distance a seat like this could make a difference. Some have complained about the high seatback interfering with reentries and rolls. I didn't try either, but I could see no problem with reentries. The backrest adjust really low and I am sure that I could slide over it.
The other strong point of the Tsunami is tracking. It wants to go straight even if your paddle strokes are not perfect. This is also a weakness for the boat because it does not turn easily. It took several sweep strokes on edge to come full circle. The boat I was in had a rudder and when I used it the boat turned tighter. Of coarse, a purest will point out that isn't what a rudder is for, but so what. It weathercocks a little but the rudder stops that completely. As for its famous stability, yes it does have solid initial and secondary stability.
Another detriment of the Tsunami is speed. This is not a fast ride. It was much slower than the Alchemy that day. Read my Alchemy review to get more detail on how I compared the speeds.
The Tsunami would be a great kayak for anyone who just wants to get from point A to B in comfort, without making a great effort with paddling technique. In the end, I purchased the Alchemy. Please read my review of the Alchemy to know why
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.
Very pleased with this purchase. A great multi use (day/extended trips) and versatile kayak.
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.
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!
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.
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!!!!
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.
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.
I would highly recommend this as an all around good touring kayak.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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...
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
I have never been capsized unintentionally. I am 5’7” 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.
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...
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 that’s 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 won’t be making any short radius hairpin turns. I had demoed the Tsunami 145 ( a mere 6” longer) a few months ago and I think that it tracked and glided just a little bit better and turned about the same. There’s isn’t 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 it’s weight range (220 out of a maximum manufacturer’s load spec of 300). I’m going to give it a 7 for my own use although smaller or lighter paddlers may find it more satisfactory.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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!
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 I’m sitting in my living room! You don’t 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 manufacturer’s boats in the same class, this boat surely beats them all.