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It took a major operation six years ago to convince me that it was time to try a kayak. I demoed them and rented them and read about kayaks for over a year. However, the Tsunami was among the first that I paddled and loved. I remember thinking, "I doubt that I could ever stitch myself into something like this and hunt seals among the ice flows, but this sure beats a canoe."
I had my first "Zen of Kayaking" moment when I realized, "Hey, my bottom is below the waterline! Aside from swimming, this is as close as you're going to get to 'becoming one' with the water."
(I would recommend Anna Levesque's excellent article, "The Yoga of Kayaking" which is available here on P.Net. It is not just for women, nor those interested only in whitewater.)
Choosing a kayak is a very personal endeavor. Like Goldilocks, you're looking for "not too big, not too small, not too hot, not too cold...but just right." The Tsunami was "just right" for my six foot two inches and one hundred and ninety five pounds. During the past two years we have been together on the water over ninety days, and I have wished for a rudder on only two of those. I have never longed for a sippy cup holder.
I deducted two points from the rating of my beloved Tsunami because I wrote to Wilderness with a bulkhead question, and never received a reply. However, that point has been awarded to P.Net, because the question was posted and answered and the problem was solved. (Many have wondered if there are factory reps lurking in the wings of these pages.) One additional point was added because lhartje did exhaustive research and discovered that this amazing plastic boat holds Ten Thousand Cubic Inches of Stuff in water protected bliss. Aren't you amazed and impressed? I am!
Many who contribute to these pages live for the opportunity to pilot their boats when winds pick up and waves start to roll. I am not among them. On a very large boat I crossed the Irish sea in a force nine gale, and remember it as the night I would have welcomed death.
I never plan to take my Tsunami anywhere near a tsunami.
If you need to go really fast, I still recommend a bass boat. But we often forget that kayaks allow us to go places where power and even sailboats cannot. We never need to worry about fowling a prop or running aground. We can essentially go where "no boater has gone before." Yes, I know, if they did, it was probably in... a canoe.
I though, "I can't imagine how she can like this little yellow 'thing' that looks like the creation of someone who fell asleep on their CAD keyboard while trying to design a cross between a plastic drift boat and jon boat"....but....she LOVES IT!
TLYCK is a lot of boat for the buck. The company that makes Equinox must have taken to heart the advice given to Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate" about the future and plastics. (They make everything from storage bins to furniture.) TLYCK has a bulkhead and is unerringly stable. She happily bounces over boat wakes with her feet out of the cockpit and resting on the front deck. My over six foot frame finds it cramped and clunky, but her five foot frame finds it divine.
The seat has been a continuing problem. (The 2013 models have a new seat.) I corresponded with Melissa at Equinox, but after sending pictures, she declined to send a new seat. (With a drill and some cable ties, you can remedy the seat problem.)
I don't think she'll ever say, "Gee, I think I'd like to paddle with Freya Hoffmeister," or even, "How do I roll this thing?" But, you never know. Stranger things have happened. TLYCK and the big mango Tsunami...that's us.
You gotta love the journey.