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Submitted: 03-30-2006 by mctec
We have two WS Tsunami 145's with rudders. Red and Orange for high visibility. Before purchasing these, we'd been kayaking on SOTs in Hawaii and in traditional yaks like these at home here in New England. We bought these on the recommendation of our son (who worked at a major outdoor equipment retailer, and could have gotten similar discounts on Perceptions, Esky's, P&H, and a whole range of major brands on special order.) His reasoning has stood the test of experience:
1) They are remarkably stable even in the ocean chop we sometimes find ourselves. Haven't been tossed yet (Yeah, I've come close....
2) The move fairly easily -- speedy enough for us, even if it takes a little effort to keep up with skinnier, composite hulled craft. They hold their own.
3) They are amazingly roomy -- tons of room and storage for camping. With the right equipment we can head out for up to a week or so. On overnights, we can pack everything but the car.
3) The hull is quite rigid for a poly design. I don't know what the previous poster is talking about when he or she says that he found the hulls "soft." Doesn't make sense or match my comparisons at all. These yaks track well and make a sleek imprint on the water...and did I mention that they seem quite speedy...
4)As noted by nearly every other poster, the Wilderness Systems seating design is the most comfortable and adjustable available. It's a huge advantage over the other brands. I particularly like the thigh supports and the ability to fit my very average 5'9 170 Lb body perfectly to the roomy cockpit. It provides the best "hip" response of any seating system I've tried, and I simply do not get lower body fatigue when I'm out.
Negative issues are minor.
1)Yeah, the standard high-quality poly hull is a tad weighty. Hasn't been a problem for me to hoist up on top of my van though. (Built up the lower back and biceps last summer....
2)The rudder foot controls can be a little finicky - you have to find the sweet spot for positioning them to your legs in order to keep them them gliding smoothly. Once you get used to it, it's like magic, however.
This isn't a true sea kayak...and its not meant to be. That said, its taken me comfortably and safely out on the cold, open ocean in variety of conditions...and it moves like a high performance tourer in the bays and estuaries.
Verdict: outstanding for its intended light-touring purposes, quite functional for some heavy touring gigs, and simple fun to paddle.
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