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Submitted: 02-25-2009 by quebraregra
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A Near Perfect Match...
As a former WW paddler, and canoe sailor, I needed a kayak with decent performance for the purposes of exploring the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately I had a few pre-requisites that narrowed the field a bit for my selection of kayaks. I needed a length sub 14' so it could be brought indoors and stored reasonably, I needed the hull to be poly (all my property is subjected to use not unlike a demolition derby), the boat would have to hold my 200lb 5'8" (size 12 shoes) Welsh mountain goat of a body, and I needed the design to be narrow enough to offer performance without compromising reasonable stability (I anticipated adding a sail and doing some photography). I settled upon the WILDERNESS SYSTEMS TSUNAMI 135, and have found I made an excellent choice.

Firstly, among the TSUNAMI line (described as transitional touring), the 135 had one of the narrowest hulls, which translates to better speed to some degree. The TSUNAMI 135 boat is rather hard chined, so initial stability is quite good (this helps when I use my 2.2 sq meter sail, and with climbing in and out on the water). The kayak paddles well, tracks quite well (hard to turn sometimes... DON'T BOTHER WITH THE RUDDER), and the hatches are sufficiently water tight by comparison.

Unfortunately I could call it perfect except for the following:

  • PHASE 3 seating - worthless, and gets in the way during re-entry on the water (needs to be replaced with a backband).
  • COCKPIT TOO ROOMY - the TSUNAMI 135 is listed as a boat for women and small paddlers. I'm fairly wide but had to install hip pads to keep my bum from sliding around while rolling this kayak.
  • HARD CHINED - this is a blessing and a curse. The hard chines make this a labour to roll, but to add stability for sailing and relaxing.
All in all, I find it a fantastic kayak for my purposes, a veritable 9 out of 10.
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