Submitted: 09-14-2006 by hackpiper
A updated review of the Tsunami 145 w/ Rudder - now at 2 seasons experience.
First a caveat: I believe that my skills and potential have now outgrown this wonderful kayak. I'm essentially still a learner but I routinely paddle with an enthusiastic band of people who are nearly all intermediate/experts in real touring sea kayaks. It's all I can do to just keep up with them. I can handle wet exits and self/assisted reentries with great ease...but rolling the Tsunami with its wide beam and high seatback is an exercise in high comedy for my compatriots.
I'm now looking to move up to a genuine tourer with some speed and big-water capability. The WS Tempest 170 is high on the list...along with a few from the Necky, Eddyline, P&H, Impex, and Nigel Dennis lines. That said, I think the WS Tsunami 145 is a remarkable kayak, especially for those who just want to enjoy the experience and are not really interested in flying from point to point performing all sorts of cool moves in crazy water.
The pros: Very stable...WS knows what it is doing with the hull design. Tracks well. With the rudder down it goes straight as an arrow through chop, following seas, and angular currents. You won't find a more comfortable seating setup anywhere. Its amazing. Dials right in to your comfort zone. Tons of room and storage. We've been camping for days out of this thing. Very safe and easy to reenter with a paddle float if it goes over.
Cons: Not a true sea kayak or tourer designed for speed. Not a flaw...but you should know that of this inherent limitation. Seatback is very high for comfort...but it gets in the way of reentry and especially rolls. Again, that's not the purpose of this kayak...but you should know about it. Hatches leak a little if not put on very carefully. Need to pay attention when sealing. Hull design is quite high --tends to catch a lot of wind. It moves along, but the relatively rounded bow entry point impedes speed. On the water, the top speed is obviously lower than genuine touring kayaks. That stable bow design gets wet. Where refined sea kayaks just cut through things, the Tsunami 145 creates some splash. All in all a fine light touring kayak...probably the best out there. If that's what you want, this is probably the kayak of choice.