Read reviews for the Tsunami 125 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!
I bought this at the beginning of summer and had it out three or four times. It has excellent stability and tracking, two important factors I was looking for. I would have given it five stars but one of the thigh braces has become detached at one mounting point, something I'm still trying to figure out how to fix. I'm 5'11" and weigh 200 lbs., this kayak fit me just right for the lake and river kayaking I do.
With 2 years now with my Tsunami 12.5, I'm even more in love with this boat. Very stable, very maneuverable, paddling lakes, streams, rivers; good weather or bad, rough or smooth conditions. This was my second kayak and (funny thing) after taking advanced lessons and spending more time with it, the boat got better and more efficient! In rough and windy lake sometimes I wish I had a rudder, but find that with strokes and balance it responds nicely. I took out the tall backrest and put in a backband, which makes wet rescue entries much easier and find it gives me better support and torso rotation. It's not as fast as a 15 footer, but it keeps up nicely now that I am more efficient with my strokes. It's my take anywhere kayak (have not had it in ocean) but I would recommend this kayak to anyone. And it's easy to tote vs a bigger boat. No wonder few people ever sell one - I'll keep mine. I've since added a Tempest 170 (completely different for sure) but 8 times out of 10 I'm taking the Tsunami. I'm 6' and 220 and it fits me perfectly.
If you can own only one? The Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125 may be the best choice. If you paddle mainly flat water, with some Class II (patches of III) then this boat could be just right. It is the most comfortable seat I've ever paddled from, and it is a little larger (depth) for larger paddlers like myself (I'm 6'1", 200lbs). With fore and aft bulkheads, and plenty of storage, this boat is also a good choice for weekend trips, up to a week. Very stable and tracks extremely well.
At 12.5 ft it is a good length for touring as well as navigating some river currents. I have a total of 4 kayaks, from 10 to 17 ft, and I did some extensive research before deciding to buy the Tsunami 125. It fits me like a glove, and I can paddle for hours on hours without having to get out and stretch, both very important for a paddler with some miles on him (or her)! At 51 lbs, its not the lightest boat to load/unload, but the industry makes lots of helpers so those tasks are easier. All in all, the Tsunami is a great choice!
The 125 is a roto molded polyethylene boat and is 12.5 feet long. It's stable on entry and exit and a dream to paddle. As my skills have progressed, it's gotten much easier to handle tight turns and close quarters. She's stable in the water and handles chop nicely. I also don't have any troubles with speed boat wake. It has a spacious cockpit and a very comfortable seat that is easily adjustable while underway. It took me some time to understand my own needs when it comes to foot peg placement but adjustments can be made easily while on the water. The padded thigh braces are very nice and keep me comfortable. It has two bulkheads and plenty of storage in the two compartments.
She's fast and tracks very well. I've considered installing a rudder but have decided that the boat just doesn't need it. If you're looking for a boat that will TEACH you to paddle a kayak, this is the boat for you.
I'm 6' 200 lb and can turn and edge with ease. Waves break easily over the slightly higher cowl of the 12.5 and it's easier to get in and I feel very centered (the added room helps with self rescue too). The more I take it out and the more I ask of it, the better I like it and the size is easy to transport. I may add a 14 or a 16 but I will keep the 12.5 as my go-to rec boat.
I am one those oddities who is deathly afraid of going under water but loves to be in a boat on top of it. My kayak is so stable I never fear of tipping and even without a rudder tracks wonderfully. Even on the Upper Iowa River near Minnesota where the rapids were enough to spin me around I never came anywhere near tipping. We also took them to Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks this last 4th of July and held our own on the swells with the help of spray skirts. I have to admit I was a little freaked out there with my fear of going under and all but no need, never even came close to tipping.
It also has plenty of storage for our adventures up and down the Mississippi and is made to be drug over rocks. It can easily hold everything you need for 3-4 days of camping and the bungies on top are great for sliding in an umbrella chair.
My 125 model is also made a little wider than average which is nice for those a little wider in girth or, as in my case, a bit wider than average in the bum. There are also adjustable foot pegs inside and the seat is padded and adjustable as well. A rudder can be added. Love my boat!
One thing I noticed is that in small creeks, I got hung up on the bottom a little more than my kayaking buddies, so maybe it sits low in the water, don't know. I weigh about 165lbs. Also, I remember wishing that it was just a little bit longer, but that's probably just a personal pref, not relevant to this review...
I think my next purchase might be the Tsunami 135 although designed for ladies, I'm also small framed... I might go sit in them at the dealer...in any event, also wanted to note that I seemed to get numb legs after a couple hours, and usually didn't with other kayaks. Could be the foot pegs, could be user error. Although the rudder was nice, sometimes it's nicer to have fixed foot pegs for really aggressive paddling... There were several times I wished I didn't have the rudder, even though I'll probably get one again....thanks for reading...
Complaints...not much. Lot of scratches, but that is to be expected. The "lids" can be difficult to re-seal especially when on the water. My particular boat tracks left which appears to be a manufacturing defect (the kayak is not perfectly symmetrical) so inspect your kayak before buying.
The Tsunami 125 is very stable... ridiculously stable, in fact. For its size, it is pretty quick but as a stronger paddler, I can keep up with the folks in the 15-16' boats in my little 12'6" guy here. The cockpit is very roomy... The seats are so comfortable that you can sit in this thing for 8-10 hours and never get uncomfortable. The boat is very easy to get in and out of both in water and on dry land. Tracks straighter than you'd expect, and if you can edge it properly, it will turn very well.
I give the boat a 10/10 because it's very versatile, as I've done some rapids, Lake Erie, and any other type of water in between and have always been comfortable with the boat. Comfortable enough to buy three of them, in fact
These are great boats that we have enjoyed -- they have good stability, nice speed and maneuverability.
When my seat broke after less than four months, it was a major ordeal to get it fixed. "They" (whoever 'they' are) decided that his breakage was 'the seat user error' (funny, 'they' never talked to me about this). 'They' then graciously sent me a part to fix the seat saying that it was easy to fix. Well not so fast. I am an airline pilot and flew for the Navy for decades, so I am very good at all things mechanical. This 'easy' fix required a special tool for installing plastic rivets, now plastic 'snaps' to hold the seat cushion to the seat and a Dremel to remove the old rivets.
Do NOT get this boat if it part of it might break -- you will be left up a creek without a paddle when it comes to getting it fixed.
We said forget it. We went to the Backpackers Shop here in Sheffield Lake, Ohio and just decided to try Kayaks. Sat in them, found comfy ones, nice deck rigging and we knew the basics of what we wanted... At least 12' length, front and rear sealed bulkheads, and comfortable seating.
I looked at the Current Designs Breeze and some other CD boat and this one - the WS Tsunami 125 and sat in them all for 15-20 mins each and in the way of comfort, the Tsunami took the Gold. The design of the boat, now I'm not an engineer, but the Tsunami just LOOKED like it would cut thru the water a whole lot nicer than the other two boats in our price range... Very nice deck rigging, BOTH front and back sealed. We were sold. WITHOUT these reviews, we bought the Tsunami's.
The night we got them home, we sat them in our family room, sat IN them for 3 hours watching a movie and it was never uncomfortable...
Tonight, we took them on the lake for the first time. We went to Hinckley Lake which is a smaller inland lake within the Cleveland Metroparks. It just stormed all over the place and it was about 15 mph winds, so we actually saw waves that looked closer to one foot as they were capping over and curling... Kinda scary but the boats handled more than well... very stable, very easy to maneuver, and most of all very comfortable on the water. It was easy to adjust the foot pedals once in the water.
I give this boat a 10 because they are our first real hard Kayaks and the stability, size, price, sealed front and rear bulkheads, and comfort make this a hands down perfect choice for an entry level to intermediate level touring kayak!! Enjoy your paddling adventures! We know we will!
We took a five hour lesson from an expert to learn the way to do different kayak strokes properly and some rescue maneuvers. The kayak handles well, paddles easily, and is very stable. The Gen. 2 polyethylene shell is very durable. I like the bountiful deck rigging and use it to secure our pump and some other gear within easy reach. We have paddled on the largest reservoir in Vermont and the Connecticut river in Western Mass with no problems. The kayak handled chop and power boat wake with ease.
I plan on getting a spray skirt for cooler weather and some rougher water (ocean bays, etc.). I am 50 years old, 212 pounds, and 5 foot eleven inches with real long legs and this kayak gives me plenty of room. Love the adjustable foot pegs, thigh braces, and comfy seat - I feel like one with the kayak and the water. Love observing all the wildlife while out on the water! Always wear your life preserver and don't litter! You will have fun with this kayak! I can load and unload this kayak to my car roof top cradles by myself with a little effort, but if this kayak had been 5 or 10 pounds lighter I would have gave it a 10 rating.
This boat has performed well under varied conditions and I would recommend it to all averaged size males (6', 180 lbs). It is OK to carry for about 50-100 yards; any longer and you'll want wheels. I transport it on the roof of a SUV so I load it alone over my head which is doable even after a rigorous paddle.
No reportable problems with this kayak. I recommend it for anyone that wants a mid-range touring kayak. The "W" decals fell off pretty quick but I didn't buy it to advertise for Wilderness Systems. Overall this is a great kayak and I wish I was in it right now.
The boat tracks straight as an arrow and while I was having some difficulty turning at first, by the end of the outing I had started to get a feel for getting her around on demand. The seat is really very comfortable even with a bad back. Both the bulkheads stayed dry as a bone and the people I was paddling with were very surprised at the speed of both a novice and a 12.5 footer. I look forward to giving another review in the fall after many hours in her but for now if you are sitting on the fence about this boat, just jump down and get it. You will not be disappointed.
We started off by trying the WS Tsunami 125, 120, and Carolina 12, then moved into the Necky Manitou 13 and sport. We then tried the Tsunami 135 and 140, and Blackwater 10.5 and 12. There were a few Old Towns mixed in, but I don't recall which models. Oh, and for giggles (for which we really didn't get any) we all tried the Pungo, Pamlico, and Prodigy.
In the end, I had a very tough choice between the Tsunami 135 and 125. I loved the low profile of the 135, and it's width, ease and speed, but for my size, I was afraid that it would be too cramped on long days - there was no real ability to bend my knees, and my feet, with shoes on, were seriously overlapping... ugh, still a very nice boat and wanted it to work. So, the 125 it is.
We've taken the boats out now and are thrilled with them. They are light enough to be able to put them up on the car by myself, and easily fits in our shed. I'm 6' 190lbs, and this boat gives me what I need: room. Enough room to stretch out my legs without having to press on the forward bulkhead. Enough room to lift my knees to get them stretched. Enough room to be able to turn around and access the rear dry well.
Another nice feature about this boat is it's flexibility with regards to people. My father is 5'10'' and 220 - got right in and made it move. My grandfather at 6'2" didn't have any problems. My wife at 5'7" chose the boat for herself! Lots of flexibility. Oh, the foot pegs, thigh braces, and seat are all very nice. We are looking forward to taking them out on the Delaware very soon.
Where this boat shines is in the handling. It tracks extremely well, has great secondary stability, the thigh braces give you a firm sense of control of the boat and it rides very well. I paddle small tight and fast rivers, do multiple day trips and also paddle the Great Lakes and this boat does it all. Looking to 'surfing' those high wind summer days that should be starting soon.
All in all, I am very satisfied with this kayak 20% off for $805 including tax at Eastern Mountain Sports in June of 2008. If you're thinking about buying a rec touring boat I highly recommend this yak
It tracks very well, has excellent secondary stability and smalls waves are no problem. The seat is absolutely amazing, a must since I am prone to back problems. It has more padding and strap adjustments than I knew kayak seats could have! The 125 is the perfect length to fit on my 14' Jetta, and it's weight is very manageable for me when I'm alone (5'9", 170# woman). The thigh braces are adjustable, and have great padding.
The only thing I have a problem with are the foot pedals. I have size 11 feet, and they tend to get a bit scrunched when wearing sneakers in colder weather. Barefoot is no problem, although the screws on the pedal tend to poke the sides of my feet. That's the only thing I see wrong with this kayak! You will not regret buying it.
I only have a couple of minor complaints that seem rather petty when compared to the positives of this boat. A drink holder would be nice and for my build, an inch or so more of length to the cockpit would would have made this boat perfect. The width is fine but where the thigh braces mount to the boat (an inch or so overlap) makes the cockpit feel a smidge confining. I must add that I have mostly gotten used to this already.
All in all....WELL DONE and still a 10 as far as I'm concerned.
I have had it out in still water several times, and this past weekend took it to the Outer Banks to blast through the surf for some true ocean paddling. This 125 cruises faster than the comparable Necky and Perception kayaks that my friends were paddling. Mine was the boat that everyone wanted to try out.
Design: so much better than those of my friends. This boat needs no skeg, tracks very well, and has fairly good roll stability.
Features: It has everything I need, and several features found only on much more expensive boats.
Only complaint: I usually were shoes, but when going barefoot, my feet hit against the screws holding the foot braces.
To summarize, I am extremely pleased with the Tsunami 125. The Wilderness Systems web site blows, so don't bother going there for much info. (I think they have wisely spent their time designing and manufacturing excellent kayaks with lifetime warranties!) Find one at a local retailer. Sit in it and adjust that great seat. See if they'll let you put one in the water, and you'll buy it!
In the running for my purchase was the Necky Manitou 13, Current Kestrel 14, and Boreal Ookpik 14. The Tsunami just fit me perfectly. I'm 5'8" @ 190 lbs. Great decking and I love the dry storage space. Tracks very well. I'm a lazy river, creek, small lake kind of paddler (so far), but looking forward to expanding my trips. I would definitely give the Tsunami 125 a thumbs up.
Tracking and speed are excellent for the type of boat this is. Front and rear storage plus a great on deck space make overnight trips very fun.
Perhaps the best part is the Phase 3 seat. This was the selling factor for me as long hours spent in a kayak often lead to back pain for me. The Phase 3 seat is like a Lazy-boy on the water. I can easily spend a full day on the water with no sign of stress on the back at all.