Name: tfschroth

Most Recent Reviews

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.

Great boat. Fast, light, tracks well with rudder down.

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 own an EPIC 16x (16' x 23"), which I've had for five years. It is my go-to boat for flat water such as lakes and reservoirs. The EPIC brand was created by two champion kayakers/canoers, The one I had the pleasure to meet is Greg Barton, the most decorated U.S. kayak Olympian (4-time medalist). The brand also boasts some serious ocean distance records, such as Freya Hoffmeister's record circumnavigation of Australia in an EPIC 18x. I like the hull design (vertical bow and stern) because it has a longer wetted length than other longer ocean kayaks. This enhances speed and paddling efficiency. I also like the unique Track Master Steering System with an integrated and articulated tail section that houses a drop-down/kick-up rudder. Lastly, I favor the combination fixed foot braces with tip-in steering pedals above the fixed braces. The boat has a rounded hull with no chines, so paddling and bracing skills are more important than with a chined-hull boat. The boat is agreeably maneuverable, but also tracks well with the rudder down. My $3k bought a fiberglass/kevlar/carbon fiber model weighing 41 lb. There are lighter versions for additional $$$, There are also 18x models (18' x 22'') that are narrow enough that you need to pay attention lest you get tippy. The 18x is marginally faster for a strong paddler going all out, but is also a bit more cumbersome to handle out of the water. The pricing has been the same for the 16x and the 18x. Along with the boat, I purchased an EPIC carbon fiber paddle that is adjustable for length as well as feathering. I tend to not feather the paddle because, unless one is paddling hard into a stiff headwind, the paddle blades don't met with substantive resistance when out of the water. I periodically spray some purpose-made protectant on the boat to help protect it from sunlight, and the coating also renders the hull more slippery. Of my six kayaks, this is my favorite.

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.