Submitted: 05-27-2005 by Tango
Just purchased and paddled my Tsunami 140 last week. I was debating this versus a Whistler, Dagger, and Zoar Sport. After sitting in several - but not the Tsunami - I was leaning towards the cheaper models but found a great deal through REI on the Tsunami 140. I thought I really wanted the 145 model for the extra room and length to give better tracking and speed, but for the deal settled for the standard yellow in Gen2 poly material.
I'm 5'11" and 200 lbs - so I thought this kayak might be on the smaller side for me, but the cockpit is very generous with space, the seat SUPER comfy, and plenty of legroom compared to other models I sat in. As for design, looks, weight... all very good. After paddling in both a local river and lake I can make the following observations.
Tracking - the hull design is super for keeping the boat headed straight. Even with gusting winds about 15 mph, I was barely drifting in the breeze and took only a slight paddle correction to stay on course. This means is harder to turn (than say my friend's Calabria which is much more agile for the same size boat, but he has more trouble holding a line too).
Comfort - the Phase 3 seat is superb. High backrest, quick adjustment straps and quick adjusting foot braces make this a dream to stay in for extended hours.
Looks - The boat had great lines, very sporty looking, and nice graphics on it. The gen2 plastic is very glossy and looks great without showing alot of scuffs and dings. (it was shipped across country on a semi in nothing more than a plactic bag and had a few dings already when I got it but nothing noticeable).
Storage - even though it holds less than the 145 model, it has plenty of space for an overnight and plenty of gear. The space behind the seat is perfect for a water bottle, bailing sponge, a more items you may need while out and about. The space from the top of the deck to the bottom between your legs is plentiful, and begs for an add-on storage bag to hand down for access to fishing tackle, water bottles, etc..
Deck Rigging - the straps are perfectly located on the deck to hold lots of 'stuff'.
Low to waterline - the cockpit for me was very close the water but that is probably directly linked to my weight for this size boat. The 145 probably wouldn't have this problem for a person my size/weight. Regardless, this made leaning and waves a bit more of an experience and taught me the art of using the bailing sponge rather quickly.
Seat back - there are 4 screws that are exposed on the back of the seat that hit the rear of the cockpit if you lean back and these nick up the edge of the cockpit pretty quickly. All it takes is a little pad of rubber to fix this, but it's a minor detail that WS should have spotted and corrected to save us all those nicks/scratches right away.
Acceleration/Turning - The same PRO that keeps the boat tracking straight also hinders your acceleration and turning ability. The Calabria model my buddy has was much quicker up to speed and turned on a dime compared to the Tsunami.