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Submitted: 09-04-2008 by ewolin
I've been using a Tsunami 140 Duralite for two years now (my wife has a 120). It is almost perfect for my wife and me, two over-50 weekend paddlers just starting out, with no trips into rough water other than an afternoon of two foot swells on a very windy day on the James River (used sprayskirts for the first time, and my son and I had a great time!).
Every aspect of handling is great. Good acceleration, good tracking, good stability. Plenty of room for day paddling. Comfortable seating, although the seat back is a little too high even on the lowest setting, but this is no big deal (we bought high-back PFD's).
The only reason I didn't give it a 10 is the rear hatch cover. I may have over-lubricated it, but it comes off too easily. When practicing kayak reentry, while crawling up the back and into the cockpit, I was puzzled as to why I seemed to be crawling uphill. Turns out the rear cockpit cover came off as I passed over it, and the rear compartment was filling with water. No big deal, as this was just practice and my son was nearby in the 120. Since then I've been using a solo reentry that does not involve crawling along the back. But a more secure rear hatch cover would help. I'm thinking of adding webbing tie-downs with buckles.
I would highly recommend the Tsunami 140 (or 120) to anyone starting out. We originally thought to by recreational kayaks, but we are SO glad we took the step up into transitional touring. As my son remarked, the rec boats compared to the Tsunami is like slow battleships compared to sleek frigates.
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