Submitted: 09-15-2006 by HankP88
Now that I've had my Tsunami 145 w/rudder for 3 months--it's my first boat and I'm absolutely a beginner!--I must say that I'm very happy with my choice.
Physically, I'm 6 ft. tall, weigh 190 lbs., and in my late 50's. I had rented several different recreational and "light/touring" boats and kept coming back to this one mainly because of it's interior space, great comfortable seat; and for it's overall stability that really instills confidence in a beginner.
I had rented and paddled Tsunamis without rudders, but when it came time to actually make a purchase, the two closest dealers only had ruddered boats in stock. I am happy I got the rudder, though, as it's been useful in the tidal water I paddle in. (The salt water rivers and bays near the ocean in NJ usually are choppy and/or full of power boat wakes.)
I must agree with the previous reviewer's statement that this kayak is on the slow slide and really takes some extra effort to keep up with people in faster boats, but the comfort level afforded by it partially makes up for the lack of speed. (My wife bought a Hobie pedal-drive that really flies across the water, so trying to keep up with that one can be a real effort!)
To sum up, at this point, I'm very happy with the Tsunami overall, and would recommend it to a beginner or mid-level skilled paddler who wants a stable, comfortable kayak with room to spare for a paddler and his/her stuff. I think this boat is a much smarter buy for a beginner than something like a Pungo, for example, because there's room to "grow" into the boat as your paddling skills improve and you want to use the boat for longer trips, etc.
While I may grow out of this boat in the future--though I doubt I would ever want to do anything I couldn't do in this kayak--it would not be as soon as I would outgrow a so-called recreational boat, so therefore I feel you get more bang for your buck out of the Tsunami.