Submitted: 06-28-2006 by Atollman
Update to previous review. I going to raise the Tsunami to an 8.5.
After paddling it hundreds of miles in lakes, rivers, and choppy bays, as well as in the Texas Water Safari, I think I've go a pretty good feel for what this boat is all about.
Speed - I was still hoping it would be faster, but the flat water hull limit is around 5mph. I can get it going faster with a lot of effort, but since figuring out that the Tsunami doesn't really want to go any faster, I've learned to paddle just hard enough to keep it at 5mph and conserve energy over long distances. 5mph isn't bad for a recreational kayak.
Stability - very good. I was able to take a more aggressive line through some junky parts of the river, and even run a few rapids that other boats had to portage. The stability gives you confidence in big water too. Haven't had it out on the open ocean, but it handled fine in a choppy bay, and in the wakes of all the ski boats when paddling in the local lake.
Manueverability - It wasn't just a first impression, this boat prefers to go straight. My big concern was whether I could manuever in current. I was relieved to find that I could stay out of trouble fairly easily, even without a rudder. I was able to 'thread the needle' in some pretty nasty spots.
Comfort - lots of adjustability, and easy to change foot rest positions and seat height/tilt, even as you're paddling along. Definitely made the miles go by easier. I've gotten a lot better and jumping in and out, but the cockpit is still a bit tight for someone 6', 180lbs.
Toughness - I have a Duralite, which definitely helps the weight, but does make the sides feel flimsier. That said, I bounced my Tsunami off of every log and rock in central Texas, and it is holding up nicely. If I had been paddling fiberglass or kevlar in this recent race, I'd be looking at some expensive repairs right now.
Gripes - The hatch covers could be a bit tighter, and the strap that controls seatback angle keeps slipping. The plastic buckle needs some teeth. I'm holding it in position with a safety pin (which defeats the point of having adjustability). One of the seat straps also ripped from its attach point when I leaned back hard against the seat. I was able to fix it, but I think they should have had a tough connect point, maybe with a grommet.