Most Recent Reviews
Review of the Tsunami 140 by a beyond 70 years of age, recreational paddler who has paddled one since late summer of 2021. Compared to my other kayak, the Pungo 120, used for photography/fishing, swamp exploration, the Tsunami 140, in lakes, coastal and back channels, allows me to cover longer distances in less time. It tracks straighter and glides more. Turning is not a problem. Seat is super comfortable. Of course it is not as easy to get in and out of my wide open cockpit kayak but once seated, it fits me like a glove. My height is 5"8" /weight 147 lb. Kayak weight is 53 lb. but it feels a bit heavier to me and is not as easy to car top. For other folks these are probably non-issues so I do not fault the Tsunami's weight, it is rugged... but try before you buy. My 84 yr. paddling partner slides his kayak up the rear window of his Malibu on a piece of carpet; I have a RAV4 with a rear spoiler so car-topping is a bit more of chore. Having two bulkheads and a stern skid plate are much appreciated features. Last recommendation: a good paddle, my fiberglass Werner Shuna 215cm is a perfect match for my use and paddling style - sometimes I use a fiberglass Aquabound Whiskey.
Rather than repeat what has already been written, "easy in, easy out", my brief review is that of a previous owner, (over a 19 year period) of a number of Pungo 140s (I reviewed 2006,2008), a Pungo 125. In 2021, due to my age, I downsized with a Pungo 120. Hull design seems a bit different from previous versions and is 2" longer, but still tracks well and moves a bit better, than a previous Pungo 125, maybe due to my weight148 lb. Much appreciated is the skid plate which makes car-topping on my RAV4 a bit easier. Seat is very comfortable and I prefer the new solid grab handles over the old style and the Orbit hinged hatch covers over the "Tupperwares"; the original "deck" with bungee was more useful for my needs than the current snap-on Konsole because I do not have a lithium battery dock, etc. A bow bulkhead would be nice... If it weren't for my age and car-topping issues, I would be still paddling my "140" but the 120 places close second.
Having owned a number of Pungo 140 kayaks over the last 20 years, at age 70+, I purchased the shorter Pungo 125, at Kittery Trading Post. It is "fossil color" and is less susceptible to heating up in sunlight than the colors with black mottling. Same easy in, easy out cockpit. As my photography and occasional fishing kayak, the appreciated improvements are the solid grab handles, the stern skid plate, and the comfortable seat. Being used to the original Konsole and finding it more useful for my needs (I do not have a lithium battery, etc) I ordered an original Konsole (with bungee) from Amazon while the latest version that came with this 2020 Pungo 125, is unused. The Pungo 125 paddles almost as straight and fast as my former 140's, with high angle style and 220cm AquaBound Whiskey paddle; when I pause paddling in calm water/no wind, the Pungo 125 circles to the right. The only missed feature is the bow bulkhead and compartment of the 140.
Over a 17 year period, I have owned five Pungo 140 kayaks: a solid Home Depot orange, a yellow lighter version that flexed a bit. Both had the old rubber snap-on hatch covers. (So if a used boat you are considering fits this description, you have an idea of its age) Since 2010 all my Pungo 140's have equipped with hinged gray Orix hatch covers. 2018 was the last year of production of the 140 - discontinued probably because the 120 version outsold it. There is a new Pungo 125 length marketed as a larger paddler's kayak which might be more manageable than a 14 footer but I would not paddle it to the 2KR Buoy. (I sold one Pungo to a 300 lb. buyer and I thought that was pushing the limit) This kayak took me to where I wanted to go, even into open coastal waters in winter, of course weather/tide permitting. The 140 is not the fastest, but is the most stable/straight tracking kayak I have paddled. I caught stripers, bluefish, mack's, sand sharks, shad, and smelt etc. - it has room for fishing gear and always got me to my favorite spots on time. I paddled the NH coast in winter but with extra care as waves tend to splash water over the bow into the cockpit, In January 2010, I was paddling the Portsmouth back channels when I found a man who had killed himself with a shotgun on the rocky shore facing where he had lived on a boat, years before.
I always paddled my Pungo 140's for a few seasons and sold them for $525 - $625. Now that this kayak is discontinued, it is uncertain whether the resale value of used but not abused Pungo 140's will fall or rise.
Despite 20 years fo paddling experience, I am not a skilled paddler, After 5 WS Pungo 140's, I changed my low suspension Tacoma for a used Toyota RAV4. Due to my age (late 60's) it soon became apparent, it was time for a lighter, easier to car top kayak. I still wanted a craft that would stand up to the conditions /places where the Pungo 140's never made me feel unsafe. (coastal, some open water, occasional strong current) After over 15 years of paddling a chined design craft, the Tsunami 125 (2018 version) seems to satisfy these requirements. The Tsunami 125 is 12' 9" long, has good hull height (15") for wearing boots and waves don't end up in my lap as much; it has two bulkheads, is chined for great maneuverability, stability and being narrower by a few inches, has better speed than my former 14' x 28" wide-load Pungo. The change feels like going from a touring motorcycle such as a Honda Goldwing to almost a "trail bike " - so far the only problem I have had is paddling downriver during the new moon on the Piscataqua River when the current is ripping; it spun me around where I could have kept the Pungo straight with a few moves of my paddle. The Tsunami cockpit dimensions do not allow for as much storage of fishing/photography gear - but it does have bags and rigging to store equipment on the deck. Overall, I am quite satisfied with the Tsunami and it is lighter (51 lb. vs 58 lb.) so it is slightly easier to cart top though I prefer the Pungo style grab handles.
14 years later...
I am still paddling with my Werner Kauai 230cm bought at Kittery Trading Post in 2003! It has held up to much abuse, freeing my kayak stuck against a bridge on there outgoing tide to other tight spots. I went to the KTP Watersport Show two years ago and the younger Werner rep's did not know what a Kauai was...After reading online specifications, I think the fiberglass Werner Shuna is a reincarnation of the Kauai - I do prefer the modern ferrule of Werner's current paddles.