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Reviews for Tsunami 145 Kayak by Wilderness Systems


Rated: 8.93/10 Based On: 60 Reviews


Tsunami 145 Kayak by Wilderness Systems

Length: 14' 6" - Width: 24.50" - Starting at: $1175.00
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09-03-2014
Submitted by: BL - ScaremanSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I find the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 to be a great all around boat that gets me on the water. I am a big guy at 6'2" and 250, and I fit well in this kayak.

I use this Tsunami 145 kayak just to get out on the water as well as train, rather than take out my larger expedition kayak. I also add ballast to help get the kayak lower in the water, even at my weight.

I selected the Tsunami 145 after traveling to many kayak festivals and trying on kayaks in Charleston, SC and Madison, WI. I settled on a Go With The Flow near Atlanta because of their expertise, customer service, and best price.

I have paddled this back and forth across Tampa Bay in bigger wind and waves and felt good and the hatches kept the cargo areas dry.

If you are looking to find a comfortable kayak to paddle on leisure cruises on lakes rivers and creeks, I recommend this kayak for bigger folks.

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09-03-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is my second year with my Tsunami 145 and I really like the boat. It's roomy and the seat is very comfortable and I like the adjustments that can be made to suit your needs. I am 5'10" and 180 lbs and the cockpit is plenty big which I like for the kind of paddling I do which is small rivers and lakes no big waves or rapids. I do have the rudder but I have yet to use it as I haven't had any issues with tracking. The storage is more than adequate and would be suitable for overnight excursions although I have not done that yet.

It is a pretty fast boat for its size and compared to my Current Designs Whistler its pretty comparable in speed. My girl friend had a Dagger Alchemy 14L and hers is a little bit faster but it's also a tighter fit for me and so is the Whistler for that matter. Out of the three boats the Tsunami wins in the comfort category hands down.

The Tsunami boats do pop up on CL from time to time and if you can find a seller that's not too proud of their boat you can get them for a decent price, you can also find them for a discount from retailers selling off their inventory at the end of the season in the Midwest anyway but for the most part they do not discount the Tsunami model. This is a very popular boat and after enjoying mine for two seasons I know why.

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08-11-2014
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     You can't do better than this. Overall performance, handling, comfort and stability, the 145 has it all and it's plenty of room for the average man to be enjoy the fit. I paddle coastal, big open water lakes and rivers. I am never disappointed. You'll love it too!
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07-02-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've bought about 50 used kayaks, always looking for a good deal. I finally broke down and bought a new 14.5 Tsunami. I had to buy new, because NOBODY ever sells their Tsunami. That should tell you a lot. If I had bought this boat first, I wouldn't have bought the other 49...
Great boat, very stable, easy to maneuver

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06-13-2014
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     In May 2014 I upgraded to a poly Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 with rudder from a WS Pungo 140 without rudder. When I test paddled a Tsunami 145, I noticed it had the same initial and secondary stability, the incredibly comfortable Phase 3 seat and storage capacity as the Pungo but the overall handling and turning ability was different. I found that it responds quicker to turning strokes better, I think, due to the upswept bow and hull as well as the fact that it is 3.5 inches narrower. It handles waves somewhat like the Pungo but has more slicing ability to cut through the large waves. Like any other boat, it will weathercock into the wind but the rudder helps you correct that problem.

I found the foot pegs to be uncomfortable while using the rudder so I have ordered the WS Keepers Padded footpegs. I had a spray skirt for the Pungo but did not enjoy using it as it was difficult to put on the cockpit. I bought a Seals brand size 1.7 spray skirt for the Tsunami but I found it too difficult to put on the coaming of the cockpit so I borrowed a Harmony brand Large size from a local dealer until my new spray skirt comes in and it is much easier to put on. I love the secure feeling a skirt gives me while paddling in rough waters. I arrive at my destinations dry and no bilge pumping needed.

I rate the WS Tsunami 145 poly a 10 because it is an all purpose kayak. One drawback is its weight of 59 lbs (with rudder) but I think that it is a good thing because it means the polyethylene hull is thicker than most kayaks and can withstand bumping the odd rock or log resulting in minimal damage.

A good quality kayak by Wildy. Just remember that every kayak comes with basic features and needs to be outfitted for your personal comfort and style. Happy paddling!

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04-24-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Purchased this boat about 16 months ago and have paddled the FL Intercoastal as well as NY's Adirondack's. The boat is stable but still reasonably fast with ample storage for day trips to a week of camping. Suitable for paddlers 200+ pounds as it has a large cockpit. The newer version has an improved seat backrest, albeit the one I purchased works fine.

The only reason I gave this boat a 9 in lieu a 10 is that as on paddles more frequently a slightly narrower boat may be desired, but this boat will serve me well for several years to come.

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10-14-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased this boat to do expedition like kayaking. I recently took the boat on a 4.5 day trip down the Delaware River. I carried all my gear in the boat for the entire trip. The boat had sufficient room.

We had significant rain the first night out and the river went up about a foot. The boat did well in all of the rapids on the river which I believe go up to Class II. I never felt at risk of flipping the boat. It seemed to mainly shed water well and there were some waves probably 4 ft.

The boat takes a bit to get going, but it cruised well particularly with the large load of supplies. I was able to do ~40 miles 3 days in a row. I completed the 160 trip in 4.5 days.

I don't know the below deck storage capacity but I wish that I did. I'm not sure why Wilderness Systems/Confluence Watersports don't provide this information. I've asked them through their website. No response from them. Disappointing. I also have asked another question about registration and warranty and they didn't respond to that question either. Otherwise, I'm totally pleased with the boat.

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08-09-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Picked up a used Tsunami 145 with rudder last year and have to say it's a wonderful multi-purpose kayak. Very stable, has decent speed, rather light for it's size and comfortable for 3-4 hour trips (my longest to date). Have not had to use the rudder for flat lake or class II river rapids. Though the one time I did need it came in very handy to keep me pointed in the right direction on a high-sierra lake that had ocean like swells and high surface winds. It gets a big 10 from my experience so far.
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07-29-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I always hated canoe's. I found them uncomfortable, unstable, and clumsy. (However, if you have spent more than the past few moments at P.Net, there are those that would love to have me bound with birch bark and taken to the place where Jimmy Hoffa has never been found.) I also passed on a trip to the Arctic because I was terrified of kayaks.
It took a major operation six years ago to convince me that it was time to try a kayak. I demoed them and rented them and read about kayaks for over a year. However, the Tsunami was among the first that I paddled and loved. I remember thinking, "I doubt that I could ever stitch myself into something like this and hunt seals among the ice flows, but this sure beats a canoe."

I had my first "Zen of Kayaking" moment when I realized, "Hey, my bottom is below the waterline! Aside from swimming, this is as close as you're going to get to 'becoming one' with the water."
(I would recommend Anna Levesque's excellent article, "The Yoga of Kayaking" which is available here on P.Net. It is not just for women, nor those interested only in whitewater.)

Choosing a kayak is a very personal endeavor. Like Goldilocks, you're looking for "not too big, not too small, not too hot, not too cold...but just right." The Tsunami was "just right" for my six foot two inches and one hundred and ninety five pounds. During the past two years we have been together on the water over ninety days, and I have wished for a rudder on only two of those. I have never longed for a sippy cup holder.

I deducted two points from the rating of my beloved Tsunami because I wrote to Wilderness with a bulkhead question, and never received a reply. However, that point has been awarded to P.Net, because the question was posted and answered and the problem was solved. (Many have wondered if there are factory reps lurking in the wings of these pages.) One additional point was added because lhartje did exhaustive research and discovered that this amazing plastic boat holds Ten Thousand Cubic Inches of Stuff in water protected bliss. Aren't you amazed and impressed? I am!

Many who contribute to these pages live for the opportunity to pilot their boats when winds pick up and waves start to roll. I am not among them. On a very large boat I crossed the Irish sea in a force nine gale, and remember it as the night I would have welcomed death. I never plan to take my Tsunami anywhere near a tsunami.
If you need to go really fast, I still recommend a bass boat. But we often forget that kayaks allow us to go places where power and even sailboats cannot. We never need to worry about fowling a prop or running aground. We can essentially go where "no boater has gone before." Yes, I know, if they did, it was probably in... a canoe.

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07-26-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had the Tsunuami 145 for several years now and I love this boat. It's definitely not the fastest boat on the water, but it has tons of storage space for overnight trips, is exceptionally stable, tracks well and is plenty fast for my purposes.

I've had it loaded down with camping gear, including firewood on a 5 day trip without coming close to submarining the thing. I've used it on small lakes, large lakes (Lake Powell) and the ocean and it has handled everything well. I find it to be very comfortable as well. I've put in a 26 mile day in this boat without any more discomfort than one would expect just sitting for that long. I now have 4 kayaks and this remains my favorite.

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07-25-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I purchased 2 Tsunami poly kayaks 9 years ago. The seats are very comfortable for long paddles, very stable boats in a variety of conditions. Great kayak for a small lake and short trips.
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07-24-2013
Submitted by: AlSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have several kayaks (Perception Expression 145, Pungo 120 and 140 Dagger 10 and an Ascend 10) and bought the Tsunami 145 for comfort and speed and a little more stability than the Expression. I am very pleased with the handling capabilities and with and without the tracking system.

I've had it over 6 months now and finally got in some big waves and swift current the other day ... other than a splash here and there it glided through the turbulence with ease and grace. I was with a party of folks that had mostly Ocean Kayaks (sit on top) and was able to watch them approach the rapids ... they got very wet .. I did not.

This kayak is going to be my horse except maybe for very small creeks. It's excellent on smooth lakes, big rivers, and fast rivers with rapids ... Class III's are pushing it for me but I'm sure that it would do well with a more experienced person in it.

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07-24-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Great boats. My husband and I have had ours 7 years. Indestructible! A very stable boat yet tracks well. The only reason I don't give it a 10 is because it is a little heavy. That might be my problem and not the boat's!
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07-15-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had the Tsunami 145 for a few months now and couldn't be happier with it. I shopped all last winter to find a used one at a good value. I'd buy a second one in a second if one comes my way. Extremely stable, tracks great and I really never use the rudder except if I'm just playing with it. I have a back band kit I plan to swap for the seat back, just a preference really. You cannot go wrong with this boat.
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06-21-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I'm very much a beginner at kayaking and didn't want to buy one kayak only to find out I wanted something different. After much research I finalized it down to three different makes and models. I ended up with the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 with a rudder and I couldn't be happier. It is a good combination of stability and speed. The boat is very stable and the rudder system makes tracking easy. Even with the rudder stowed tracking is pretty good. I would recommend this kayak.
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05-30-2013
Submitted by: ScoutSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had many boats in my day, but I am down to two. My fist good kayak is a Tsunami 15.5 UltrLight. I say, "is," because it still is my number one boat for camping. It holds a week of gear without complaint. I hesitate to admit this, but the Tsunami flew off my car at 100kph, and it suffered only minor injuries. The rudder and port were only scratched!!!!! I just returned from an Adirondack trip, and had a great time. By the way, I'm 65 years old. I'll drive this boat forever.
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05-27-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Tsunami 145 is my first sit inside boat. I will probably never paddle a sit-on-top again, if I have a choice. The 145 is stable, very roomy in the cockpit and the hatches seems to be very much watertight. The kayak cuts through the waves and seems very stable, it likes to be on edge. It's light enough to carry and load solo.
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03-15-2013
Submitted by: GordonSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I ordered the Tsunami 145 with rudder from L.L.Bean last year during their big kayak sale. This is a great kayak. I have paddled it through the ocean in 4 to 6' seas and everything in between, it handles great. The rudder is a great option and worth every dime. In rough currents and waves that sweep you sideways in a minute you will be glad you bought the rudder.

The Tsunami 145 is so much more than my Carolina 14 was. Waves would pick up the stern of my Carolina 14 and stick the bow under water. Not to say that it still doesn't happen but I feel much more stable with the Tsunami hull design. I owned a Boreal Ellsmere 17' fiberglass kayak last year, what a Cadillac, but it was a little too tipsy for me. I also have a Hobie Revolution 13 that is fun if you are in the mood to paddle, peddle or sail. If you buy a Revolution 13 get the optional Turbo Fins, the Sailing Rudder and the Sail. You really will have a blast.

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09-05-2012
Submitted by: lecSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My wife and I both have 145 Tsunamis with rudders. Spent a week in 2006 paddling Everglades. Great storage, tracking and speed no one else in the group could keep up with us. Still have both boats and after almost 7 years still enjoy them
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03-04-2012
Submitted by: JRWSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I recently bought a poly Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 for small rivers and lakes. My other boat is a Romany Explorer, too large and heavy for day paddling in small areas. I love the Tsunami, it is extremely stable, tracks well (I don't have a rudder) and surprise, it also turns well. Weather cocking can be corrected easily with a paddle only, no rudder necessary. However the boat comes setup for the optional rudder so if the paddler required it the retrofit should be cheap. I would recommend it as a great beginners boat or as a backup for experienced paddlers.

Two problems: first this not a fast boat, second the aft hatch leaks as does almost every other 145 I know of. I have tried several new and used hatch covers and am now working on modifying mine to include a strap around the circumference. I still like the boat and I knew the hatch would probably leak when I bought it. The boat is that good otherwise.

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10-03-2011
Submitted by: benSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I purchased the 145 duralite tusnami to meet my needs for a larger entry and storage potential in 2006. It is well worn and still floats but is not the boat I had wished for.

The duralite hull is flimsy although it has ridden over its share of rocks and logs and is has only surface scratches. The oilcanning and warp are more noticeable and yet it still tracks well in mild current and wind. The cockpit is comfortable for me and I use the sealine deck bag to hold goodies. The deck bag has blocked water when it comes over the deck in rougher water, but the low rim allows water to come in. This is a particular concern when going with the wind/waves. The hatch covers do not seal that well and when the material dries with age it becomes even more a concern. The foam bulkheads are cheap and have broken seals so the water flows the length of the boat. I could reseal them but the flexibility of the hull with foam bulkheads seems to indicate that will always be an issue. The few pounds saved on duralite probably was a mistake.

Over all I think it is a good boat for a mass produced rotomolded plastic product, but some shortcuts in the foam bulkheads and the increased problems the duralite has added would cause me to rethink my purchase.

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09-13-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I purchased WS Tsunamis a couple of months ago. I purchased the 14.5, she purchased the 14, both with rudders. We bought these boats after taking lessons and trying several different boat types and sizes as well as doing extensive online research. We live in western Washington and paddle on lakes and in Puget Sound a couple of times a week.

We love the boats, very durable, excellent stability, great storage capacity. Have nothing but praise for the boats, we find them easy to use, maneuverable, efficient and tons of fun. We note our ability to paddle past most other recreational boats we encounter and far more comfortable. The adjustable seats are superb. Great choice.

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08-19-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I have Pungo 140's. This year we stepped up to Tsunami 145's and we have no regrets. The boat handles great on the windy lake here in Texas. I would suggest any one who paddles a rec boat now give the Tsunami's a try.
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05-31-2011
Submitted by: David Yeager - Rating: 10 of 10
This review courtesy of www.outdoorplay.com

     I received my Tsunami 145 in May and enjoy it a lot. I've had it on inland lakes and took it on overnight excursions on the Muskegon River and the White River. I also purchased the optional rudder kit which I recommend for anyone who plans on using it on big water or in tight areas. The most fun I've had with it though was fishing on Lake Michigan for salmon. These monsters of the deep will take you for quite a ride, but if you're going to try this make sure you have the rudder kit and the paddle kick stand with a paddle float. These power houses can turn on a dime, and keeping them between the bow and the kickstand can be a real exciting workout. The stability of this kayak is phenomenal and takes on the big lake rollers without dipping the bow. I can easily pack a tent and light bag a change of clothes in the front hatch leaving the whole rear hatch for provisions. I'm 6' 2" and go 225 and have ample room without getting too sloppy in the pit. The easily adjusted seat makes for continued comfort on that all day paddle. My only complaint is that Wilderness didn't put screws of sufficient length with the rudder kit to penetrate the hull, hold the washer and meet the nylon lock in the nut. But I overcame this by purchasing 4 stainless steel screws from the local hardware for a mere $.77 (including tax)
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05-31-2011
Submitted by: Mark T Beam - Rating: 9 of 10
This review courtesy of www.outdoorplay.com

     I have owned my Tsunami 145 for a couple of months and I love it. The boat tracks like a dream and turns very well. The boat is well set up and has plenty of room for me (5'10/200 lbs) and the phase 3 seat is the most comfortable and easiest to adjust that I have ever used. You can lay the seat back or pull it forward, adjust the backrest height, and pull the sides up for side support all while sitting in the yak. I go on some pretty long trips and have never had any thing go to sleep yet. The plastic used to make the boat is very tough as the river I frequently go to is full of tough debris just below the surface from the hurricanes last year. I constantly am powering over logs and getting jammed by submerged stumps and it doesn't even leave a mark on the hull. Primary stability is good although it can be a challenge getting into the boat in some places, but you can lay the boat over all the way to the cockpit without feeling like you are going to go over. I like to lean way into turns and the boat is great for that. The thigh braces are great for supporting you when you are powering into tight turns. The boat turns very well and has ample speed even at a leisurely paddling rate. I agree that the day hatch should be separated from the rear hatch but I usually put anything I need while I'm in the boat in a dry bag behind the seat. There is plenty of room there and it is easily accessible. I put my water bottles, sunglasses etc. on the deck under the bungees in front of me. I have had no problems with the hatch lids and they are water tight. You can even see them sink down when you put the boat in cold water and the air cools inside the compartments. If they are air tight, water is no problem. Overall, no part of this kayak has gone unnoticed by WS. Great, light boat that looks great and functions even better. I am constantly getting complements on it wherever I go. I love it and would highly recommend it to anyone for a great all purpose kayak.
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09-29-2010
Submitted by: Doug RobisonSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I was in the market for a stable touring kayak for calm coastal and river paddling on the west coast of Florida. After researching numerous manufacturers and models, and test paddling quite a few, I purchased a WS 145 in August of 2010. On my maiden voyage I noticed that I could not get the rear hatch cover to stay on. I took it back to the dealer and he said that I needed to "stretch" out the hatch by forcing it on and then putting some weight on it to hold it down for a few days in the sun. I tried this and it did not work. The dealer then gave me a new hatch cover and I had the same problems. I finally took the whole boat back and the dealer concluded that the hatch opening was slightly too large or warped. He said that rotomolding is not a very precise manufacturing method, that WS has had issues with their oval hatch covers, and that they redesigned the rear hatch unit in 2009 (my boat was a 2006 model). He said WS would warranty the boat and gave me a new boat (a 2008 model) on the spot. I was impressed with the dealer's customer service, but asked him why he was selling inventory that was 4 years old. He said that my boat was discounted by $50 because it was an older model, that he keeps all his inventory inside, protected from the elements, and that it is not uncommon for kayak dealers to sell models that are several years old. I don't know about that, but oh well.

Anyway, my new 2008 model has been fantastic, and I have had no issues with the hatch covers at all. Since this is my first touring kayak I don't have much to compare it to, but I love this boat. Initial and secondary stability are great, and I can still effective edge turns. I am 6'1" and 200 lbs. and this boat fits me perfectly. The Phase 3 seat is very adjustable and comfortable for long paddling outings. The boat does weathercock into the wind somewhat, but it can be overcome by corrective paddling and edging. I do, however, plan to buy and install the optional rudder system in the near future to minimize corrective paddling. I have taken the boat out into to small surf and choppy conditions and it performs very well. The high front deck provides a sense of security, and I am confident this boat can handle anything I might get into in my local area. Finally, the storage capacity is very large, and I can easily fit all my wilderness camping gear and ample food/water into it. I plan to do several extended day trips this fall and winter.

In summary, although I had some issues with my initial purchase, WS and my local dealer made it right without any hassles. The WS 145 is a solid, well designed, touring kayak suitable for beginner and intermediate kayakers. I am an intermediate paddler and don't plan on needing to learn how to roll this kayak. It is perfect for my needs.

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08-11-2010
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have owned the Tsunami 145 for three months and have done 11 paddling trips this summer. I am really pleased with my purchase. Being 6'3" I have plenty of leg room, which I did NOT have in the 140. I weigh 200 lbs so the cock pit is a bit wide for me, but I was able to stay firmly in the boat while kayaking class 3 rapids in northern Wisconsin. I adjusted the foot rests one notch closer and all was fine. That said, this is probably not the best boat for class 3 rapids simply because of the length, but it tracked really well and I did not tip. Minimal water splashed over the hull and into the boat while going through these rapids, and both hulls stayed dry. I like how the third smaller hatch is accessible while sitting in the boat. For someone who sometimes has lower back pain, the seat is perfect for back stability and comfort. A great boat for long day trips or weekend trips because of the large amount of storage in the hulls. With the boat weighing 56 pounds, I advise using a step ladder when loading it by yourself onto an SUV because loading it from the ground by yourself can be a bit cumbersome. A great buy!
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08-31-2009
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had a Tsunami 145 for a little over a year and before that I paddled a Tsunami 140 of a friend's.
I am a large guy (6'3" 205lbs) and I did not have enough legroom in the 140. My feet went past the foot pegs and I had to use a foam block in front of the bulkhead which was not ideal. Also I wanted a larger cockpit opening. I didn't need any extra width but the extra length and height of the 145's cockpit made getting my legs in so much easier.

I have no trouble maintaining 4-4.5mph in the 145 for long stretches, although the power required to go any faster is logarithmic in scale. I can reach 6mpg but only at the risk of cardiac arrest! I use a Greenland style paddle.

I absolutely love the boat. I've only been paddling for two years but I've tried several other types of boats (17' fiberglass boats, and one skin - on frame) and none are anywhere near as comfortable and versatile. I love the amount of gear I can put in it. An 8 day trip down the Suwanee river was no problem. I don't have to worry about scraping it on rocks or oyster beds.

Mine has the rudder which I recommend. Once I got used to it my feet almost subconsciously steer the boat while I concentrate on padding most efficiently. Very effective also in windy conditions as well as side currents in winding rivers.

You cannot beat the seat in this kayak. No other boat (except the Tusnami 140) I've tried approaches the same level of comfort and this makes being in the boat for hours a non-issue. The boat is also very stable. I have not even attempted to learn to roll in this boat. It is so stable I don't think it would roll well and unless I put myself in a very stupid situation, I don't think it would ever be necessary.

I have not had any rear hatch problems with my 145, although we had 2 140s and had trouble with the rear hatches on both. One thing I do not like is that the seat does not move close enough to the rear of the cockpit opening making attaching the spray skirt quite difficult. I find it almost impossible when attempted solo in rough conditions.

Another thing I would change is that the cockpit is too wide for me. I need the extra length in the 145 but I have trouble becoming "one with the boat" due to the wide cockpit. This is exaggerated by the fact that one has to have space for the legs to move to work the rudder rather than have the knees firmly wedged against the sides of the cockpit. I still think the rudder is worth it for the environments I typically paddle. This is not a problem with the boat itself, just things that are challenges for me.

If you like to paddle for extended lengths of time and/or kayak camp the Wilderness Systems Tsunami is hard to beat. I recommend the 140 for normal size paddlers and the 145 for large or tall paddlers.

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08-24-2009
Submitted by: Kurt S.Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I chose the Tsunami 14.5 because I wanted a boat with the capacity to support multi-day trips but could still be used in smaller streams with serious class II (and maybe easy class III) rapids. I am also a larger and older paddler and wanted a roomier cockpit for easier in and out. In my two years with this boat I have paddled tight little streams with rapids, 4 foot surf in the Gulf of Mexico, and in blowing winds on choppy Chesapeake Bay. Now that I just completed a 115 mile 6 day trip fully loaded with gear and food, I am happy to say my Tsunami has lived up to all my expectations.

Of course nothing is perfect and neither is the Tsunami 14.5. The primary issues have already been described in previous posts; that being the rear hatch, boat speed, and occasional shipping of water into the cockpit. Of these, the hatch problem is the most significant. Whether it is the size, shape or design this large hatch is difficult to seal well. Personally I donít think slow speed is an issue; but you have to remember that this boat is designed to haul a bigger paddler with a big load. I have had no problems keeping up with other length Tsunamis, and I think this boat is actually faster with a load. The final issue of shipping water is that if you are paddling in choppy waves over one foot high or in class II whitewater, you need to have a skirt. Hey, but itís a kayak not a canoe!

On the issue with the rudder, if you can afford one buy it. The Tsunami 14.5 tracks perfectly straight in normal conditions, but like any boat, it will try to turn up into the wind if there is a strong breeze or following sea. While this tendency can be overcome with paddling stroke, on a long tour you can waste a bunch of energy trying to keep the boat straight. A rudder gives you that extra control in more extreme conditions and saves those arms for propulsion rather than steering.

In conclusion, unless you are a whitewater wizard or a sea going Viking, the Tsunami 14/14.5 is the perfect boat for the touring enthusiast. It is fully capable of handling any water the average Joe wants to go, and it will get you there safely, comfortably and with all your gear. If you are a skinny wiry dude, go for the 14. If you need a bit more capacity and a few more inches in the cockpit go with the 14.5. Either way, you will never paddle a canoe again.

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05-27-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought a Tsunami 145 w/Rudder this past February, I since have paddled this yak a couple hundred miles, I paddle this boat average 2-3 times a week on Creeks and lakes and my average trip is 10 miles. I also did a few over nighter average 33 miles. I am a novice paddler; the only other Kayak I have paddled and own is a Old Town Dirigo 106, this not a bad yak either, but it is a tub by comparison.

Now onto the Review
I love this boat for my novice usage. I don't feel a rudder on this boat is all that helpful since it tracks straight as an arrow and turns fine.

The seat is very comfortable and easy to adjust on the go. This boat is also easy to wet exit, yes I have had it upside down goofing off now that the water has warmed up. The boat is seriously stable I felt comfortable the first time out. The hatches are ok the front never leaks; the rear leaks a little but nothing major, and I believe the leak is around the rudder cables where they enter the boat. I am working on sealing them but you know it's not enough of a leak to really bother with more like condensation at the end of the day.

Over all this is a very functional yak and very easy to paddle. I have no complaints for a step up away from dedicated rec yaks this yak is perfect.

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04-17-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have owned a 145 for about 18 months. I like the boat a lot. I am 64 and have paddled mostly rivers for the past 30 years, moving from canoe to kayak about 7 years ago.

I bought this boat for week-long river trips. Some of these trips are flat water like the Green in Utah, and some have whitewater. We just ran the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande about two weeks ago -- ran some IIIs. This boat is not a whitewater boat, but it did okay. It won't make those quick turns in a rapid, but it's not meant to. It is comfortable and stable, and reasonably fast, and I can put a lot of gear and supplies in it. I am 5'10", 195 lbs. and not the most agile person in the world, but the cockpit fits me fine and the seat & thigh braces are just right. I never used a rudder before, but it's very helpful on flat water with a cross wind.

My main complaints are: The boat badly needs a place for my water bottle and snack/sunscreen bag that is convenient and not just bouncing around on the floor between my legs, and the back hatch cover doesn't fit well or seem secure -- I had to put clips and shock cords over it. My other complaint is that in standing waves or small white water the boat takes too much water over the cockpit edge under my arms where the cockpit edge is lower in the back. I know I can wear a skirt at those times, but most of the hours of those days are spent on flat water in warm climates, and I find the spray skirt uncomfortable and difficult to put on -- you know the drill -- the other end pops off, and I envy my smaller friends who have spray skirts with large zippers that they can leave on the boat and enter thru. I have one like that, but I can't enter the boat with it on without popping it loose, and it's still too confining to leave on all the time -- so, there I am free and comfortable, and then here comes a bend and a bit of white water! The water goes right through the back bulkhead (I reseal it but it still leaks) and into the back hatch, which means pulling out gear to get at the water later. Does anyone have a line on an easier spray skirt for me? I had a "1/2" skirt on the old yak, but it's not the front of the cockpit, but the back that takes on water. I don't need (or want) to roll the boat, I just need to repel most of the spray. I can imagine a skirt with two or thee zippers that radiate out from the center. I could open it way up, get in and zip up. Anything like that around?

Thanks for listening. I am paddling rivers until I can't put the yak on top of the truck. That's when I'll know to quit. My four grandsons can take over the boats then...

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03-17-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I am 5'6" 235lbs. I tried this yak and LOVED it. It was the first time I paddled touring yaks. I tried the Perception Carolina14 and really didn't like it. I got into the 145 and it felt great as soon as I sat down. It was stable, fairly fast, tracked well, and was really comfortable. I ALMOST bought it but went with the Pungo 140. I am going to get a Tsunami165 soon. Great boats!!
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01-19-2009
Submitted by: MLSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've owned the Tsunami 145 since the end of last season, and have only gotten to take it out once. I (being 5'11" 125lbs) still rated it a ten because I had it through strong currents and calm bays, it handled beautifully in both. Just one thing you should look for, mine is a pre-used (3 times one being me) and I noticed the stern compartments dry seal lid isn't connecting tightly. I can only fit it over but it is still loose. The store I bought it from said "this spring if it is still a problem they will replace the lid." I'm only saying this because not all stores will be so generous. Make sure before you purchase any new kayak check it over and make sure you are happy with all the appliances. Other then that the Tsunami handles beautifully and tracks great. I love having the rudder system for the strong currents.
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11-25-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Fantastic Boat! I should never has sold my '06, I was an idiot for doing so. =(~
I can't say anything bad about this boat, not even its tendency to pearl under larger waves and swells. It's no biggie 'cause it just pops back up and you're on your way again.

I found the Tsunami 145 to track very well but turn nicely if you leaned it properly. It also had great stability and never made me feel like it was going to flip over on me. It's not the fastest boat on the water (I managed about 4.7 to 5.1 mph on my GPS) but it's fast enough and a lot faster than my friend's SOT's. It also has a ton of leg room, fully adjustable, Phase 3 seat (I can't say enough good things about that seat), and TONS of dry storage space.

All in all it was a really nice boat and I should have kept it .

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09-26-2008
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have a Duralite. Great boat only problem is no leg room due to foam support beam. I should have gotten the heavier version of this boat.
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09-16-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I thought I'd add some useful information to this thread rather than the typical review since there are so many already. I own a Tsunami 145 plastic kayak. Don't get me wrong, I really like this boat and rate it an 8 out of 10 because of the weight, its shape and speed (top speed of approximately 5 mph by GPS), all related to the roto-molded plastic construction. This is a great boat, just not the greatest boat.

What I can share with you is something I learned about the 145, something Wilderness Systems wonít tell us, its dry storage capacity. I wanted to know how much the bow and stern compartments would hold so I calculated their volume.

First I weighed the kayak on a doctor's office quality balance beam scale. My 145 weighed 59 lbs (ouch) without a rudder which I have on order. Next, I blocked one end of the kayak so one hatch was over the scale with the boat level and weighed it again. Then I filled the compartment with water and recorded the weight. I subtracted the empty balanced weight of the kayak from the water filled weight to obtain the weight of the water in the compartment. I did this for both ends of the boat.

Water weighs 8.34 lbs/gallon so I divided the water weight by 8.34 to determine the number of gallons per compartment. Then I converted gallons to liters, and gallons to cubic inches. The results are as follows:

Front compartment: 155 lbs of water, 18.61 gallons of water, 70.4 liters, 4299 cubic inches

Stern compartment: 210 lbs of water, 25.21 gallons of water, 95.4 liters, 5824 cubic inches

Total dry storage:, 166 liters, 10,123 cubic inches

That's the equivalent of two 5000 cubic inch backpacks worth of dry storage, more than enough space for a week's worth of camping gear and food using backpacking equipment. I sleep better just knowing my 145 holds 10,000 cubic inches of stuff and keeps it safe and dry.

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09-12-2008
Submitted by: EMSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Just got the yak last night seems fine. New to kayaking have been in the that other boat for years. I got this yak based on my size 6'4" 270 and it seemed to be the only one to fit that was not a SOT. Hour paddle my feet fell asleep hope to figure this out. I was able to keep up with wife in a Necky and my buddy in an Ocean SOT with little effort. In fact had to slow and wait for them a few times. more to come hope to paddle more before the ice hits in Mich.
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09-06-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 2 of 10

     Great design and paddles well.
Reason for the low score is poor quality of the bottom. New spring '08 and developed major ripples. Contacted dealer, he advised Wilderness Systems who did not follow up. Watch quality and poor warranty followup

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12-31-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I would rate the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 Pro/rudder (fiberglass) as 9 out of 10.
I have had this kayak out on the rivers of South Dakota for the past 3 months now and it is one of my favorite kayaks to paddle. Both me (6í 240 lbs) and my girlfriend (5í2Ē ...we wonít go there) find it has plenty of room and is just the right size to accommodate both of our needs. The rudder really adds to the experience, although some of my friends find that it tracks so well they donít use the rudder.

This was my first fiberglass kayak, and boy what a difference. The composite boats seem to slice the water a bit better than the polyethylene ones do. They cost a bit more, but once you try a Fiberglass or Kevlar boats you will be hooked.

Things I like: Stability.... this kayak is a nice blend of speed & stability. Granted itís not as quick as my W.S. Tempest 170 (FG), but then again it wonít roll on me either when I venture out on a cold water winter run in January. This is a kayak you can trust.

The Wilderness Systems Phase 3 seating system included is ďOutstandingĒ. You can adjust the seat & back to find that perfect comfort zone for those long river runs.

Things I donít like: Havenít found it yet.

In summary... the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 Pro/rudder is an excellent all around kayak for beginners to intermediate paddlers. It is truly a joy to paddle & own.

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10-05-2007
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     It's been a year since I last submitted a review of this kayak. At that time I had only had the boat for about three months, and I was a total beginner. Now, with another year's paddling under my belt, I have modified my opinion(s) on a couple of issues that may be of value to others.

Let me start by saying that I still consider myself as being new to the sport/activity, so what I'm writing is still pretty basic. As to my opinion about the Tsunami 145, I've had enough experience with it and some others to write an "update."

First, I agree with many others who have written that this boat is slow. When I first bought it I wasn't concerned and/or didn't realize the difference between paddling this kayak and some others out there over a few hours' timespan because I didn't paddle with a group or actually take a three or four hour demo day. But my son recently bought a Tsunami 140 and the difference in speed and effort required to paddle that boat compared to the 145 is significant.

Out of the water, the 145 also feels considerably heavier (even though it's not), and more ungainly to handle when loading and unloading than the 140. (Both boats in the family are the basic roto-molded plastic ones.) Once you get it going, you can move at a good clip, but if you slow down or lose your momentum for any reason, getting back up to speed takes a good effort.

On the plus side, however, the overall stability, interior volume, and seating comfort--my main reasons for buying the 145--of this boat is excellent! I would also wish that the foot pedals/pegs for the rudder controls had more travel, though. (When shopping/demoing I found the footpegs on the rudderless boats had more forward travel adjustment than boats with rudders.)

Finally, my hatch covers have not given me any problems. The front hatches have NEVER leaked; and the rear has allowed a little bit of water in only a couple of times when I didn't realize I hadn't replaced the cover completely from the previous trip.

Overall, I'm still very satisfied with my purchase and know I'll still get a lot of use out of this boat before I'd "need" to move up to something longer and leaner (although I might "want" to do so sooner than later.)

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09-24-2007
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I am not going to write a lengthy review because pretty much all the good and bad has been said. In Summary, the 145 is slower than the 140, very stable, tracks good even without a rudder, the hatches leak, and is, overall, a very good buy for the money, especially when it goes on sale.

What I want to address is the hatch covers. When I took my safety class, we used the 145 and the Tempest 170 with the same problems on both. Whether doing an assisted rescue, or a self rescue, it was very difficult to get back in the kayak without going over the top of the rear hatch, and invariable, the cover came off, collapsed, or the seal was broken, and on the next go around it leaked very heavily. I ended up including in my rescue, the step of replacing or re-sealing the hatch while laying on my stomach with my feet in the cockpit before I could turn around and slide into the cockpit. This alone makes it totally unsuited for serious touring of any kind, because if someone were to go over in rougher waters. It would be easy to swamp the back end and quite a chore to balance on the back trying to fix the hatch before securing oneself into the cockpit. If they were to fix this, I could probably give this kayak a much higher rating.

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08-21-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is a great kayak. But its lack of speed is sometimes a problem. As others have said here, it seems really slow. It gets going up to a fair speed, but then it hits a wall where I feel like I'm just pushing water in front of me rather than paddling. I thought it was me until I read the reviews here. I've been paddling it for several seasons now, and its helped me improve my technique. I just wish it would be faster when I paddle in groups.

Pros: extremely comfortable, stable in rough water, and great for easy touring and camping. I think the seating and thigh braces are excellent.

Cons: It's very hard to keep up to speed with others. That's the only drawback. Otherwise, I give it an excellent score.

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08-07-2007
Submitted by: RCBSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought a plastic 14.5 Tsunami 3 months ago to step up from my 12.5 Perception Antiqua. After six years and many miles on that tugboat (I say that fondly) it was time to move up in class. I wanted something longer and faster that I could use on class 1-2 rivers. After 60+ hours paddling on lakes and bays of the Potomac, I couldn't be happier with my choice.

I am a big paddler 5'11/250 and the Tsunami fits me fine. Very stable and fast in comparison to my Perception. It tracks superbly. The writer of the previous review is right - this boat is built for larger paddlers and maybe my weight makes it move faster through the water.

Even though I have a rudder I haven't had any need to use it. Even in wind and 1-2 foot chop on a big deep inland lake, Mullet Lake in northern Michigan, I could keep on track simply by paddling technique. The boat cut across the top of the waves and I remained perfectly dry (no skirt). The Wilderness seating system is great. Comfortable and easy to adjust on the fly. I like the fact that there seems to be a bit more space behind the seat and the edge making it easier to reach back for water stowed behind the seat.

I'm looking forward to our annual 3 day trip next week on the James River in central Virginia and see how it handles in small rapids and some technical rock gardens.

Two minor complaints already noted in earlier reviews ... no bag in the small hatch and the rear seat adjustment slips. Been meaning to get a clip or pin to keep it in place.

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08-02-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     We have four kayaks in the family and this one is the most puzzling. One one hand, it is a fantastic knock-around kayak for camping and general sea-touring. It's really excellent for getting out on the ocean and learning how to handle conditions up to moderately choppy. Not really suited for major stuff, though we've felt as secure and stable in it than our two full-on sea kayaks.

The problem is this: it is really S L O W ! My wife has a smaller Tsunami and all of us can easily paddle that much faster than this 145. We've done some experimenting by loading it up and, sure enough, when we have lots of cargo in the compartments, especially up front, the 145 definitely picks up some cruising speed, though still pretty pokey in comparison to other kayaks.

My thought is that this is really a kayak for a very large or heavy person... not average or smaller people. For an average sized paddler, I think the 140 or the 160 would be a much faster and more appropriate boat. The difference is striking. So if you are a big guy, take a look. Otherwise think smaller... or longer.

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04-04-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is my first Kayak. I bought it for the Missouri Ultra Marathon race in July 2007. See Rivermiles.com for details on the 340 mile race in 100 hours on the Missouri river. I am a very large paddler 285# and this Kayak holds me with plenty of waterline left to spare. It is very stable. To me it is very fast and easy to get up to speed and stay there, but again it is my first one and I have only limited canoe paddling experience. I got mine with a rudder and am very glad that I did. I have owned it for 3 months and been out in it 8 times for 2-3 hour paddles so far. The seat is very comfortable and seems well made. It can be raised or lowered easily while underway with no problem. The rear day hatch as noted by others is not separate from the main rear hatch which is really not a major problem but would be nice if it was. I have had no leakage in my hatches or bulkheads and have fought some very big waves in this thing. I paddled with a Carolina Perception and felt that it was equal to it in speed and handling.
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03-28-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Bought this boat last summer after having an OT Adventure 139. Pros - I like the smaller cockpit and higher deck, much better in choppy conditions. Boat tracks good, turns fairly well. Ample amount of storage. Cons - Rear Day Hatch should have its own pouch (similar to that on old Pungos) or bulkhead, so smaller items can easily be found. I think the Phase 3 seat is generally poorly constructed and I'm concerned about the durability of the various cords. Boat is not fast for going A to B as quick as possible, but adequate for easy crusing and relaxing paddles.
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10-02-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     An updated review...and a mystery about this kayak. My better half has a Tsunami 140 w/ Rudder. Just 6 inches shorter. She likes it a lot.

We have both been noticing that the 140 seems noticably faster than the 145. My wife just cruises in the 140...and seems to work a lot harder in the 145. Yeah, I know, that doesn't make sense...the 145 should logically have more inherent speed. We thought it might be just us...but then we had some friends do a comparison, and they came away with an even stronger impression in favor of the 140 for speed. Are we ALL nuts? Anyone else notice this?

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09-15-2006
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     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.

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09-14-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     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.

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06-28-2006
Submitted by: AtollmanSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Update to previous review. I going to raise the Tsunami to an 8.5.

After paddling it hundreds of miles in lakes, rivers, and choppy bays, as well as in the Texas Water Safari, I think I've go a pretty good feel for what this boat is all about.

Speed - I was still hoping it would be faster, but the flat water hull limit is around 5mph. I can get it going faster with a lot of effort, but since figuring out that the Tsunami doesn't really want to go any faster, I've learned to paddle just hard enough to keep it at 5mph and conserve energy over long distances. 5mph isn't bad for a recreational kayak.

Stability - very good. I was able to take a more aggressive line through some junky parts of the river, and even run a few rapids that other boats had to portage. The stability gives you confidence in big water too. Haven't had it out on the open ocean, but it handled fine in a choppy bay, and in the wakes of all the ski boats when paddling in the local lake.

Manueverability - It wasn't just a first impression, this boat prefers to go straight. My big concern was whether I could manuever in current. I was relieved to find that I could stay out of trouble fairly easily, even without a rudder. I was able to 'thread the needle' in some pretty nasty spots.

Comfort - lots of adjustability, and easy to change foot rest positions and seat height/tilt, even as you're paddling along. Definitely made the miles go by easier. I've gotten a lot better and jumping in and out, but the cockpit is still a bit tight for someone 6', 180lbs.

Toughness - I have a Duralite, which definitely helps the weight, but does make the sides feel flimsier. That said, I bounced my Tsunami off of every log and rock in central Texas, and it is holding up nicely. If I had been paddling fiberglass or kevlar in this recent race, I'd be looking at some expensive repairs right now.

Gripes - The hatch covers could be a bit tighter, and the strap that controls seatback angle keeps slipping. The plastic buckle needs some teeth. I'm holding it in position with a safety pin (which defeats the point of having adjustability). One of the seat straps also ripped from its attach point when I leaned back hard against the seat. I was able to fix it, but I think they should have had a tough connect point, maybe with a grommet.

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04-25-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Forget about the Rating, here is what I like and dislike about this boat.

Me: Paddling for two years and also own a Impex Assateague. Larger paddler: 6' 6", 210 lb, size 12.5 shoes. I bought a demo Tsunami 145 (Model year 2005) with rudder a few months ago. Have had it on slow moving rivers/creeks, class II+ whitewater/fast river water and a big lake. I bought for it's initial stability for photography and as a boat for my wife, who doesn't paddle a lot, so we can go together.

PROS:

Good stable boat in slow water and fast water. Paddles straight easily (even without rudder). Turns okay (w/o rudder) with some lean and sweep stroke. Accommodates Big Feet and Long Legs. I can put my 36" legs on the footbraces, but I can not use the rudder as the foot braces are at their limit. If you have 35" legs or shorter, you should have no problem. Very gernerous cockpit to get in and out. Everyone should be able to get in and out easily.

Decent speed for a wide body. Not a speedy demo, but not a real slug either. My Assateque is faster and quicker to accelerate, but it is 3 feet longer and two inches narrower. Three hatches for storage. Good for a overnighter in sheltered water. Super comfy seat (Phase 3) with lots of adjustments.

CONS

Has three hatches, but the day hatch and the rear hatch are not separated by a bulkhead. Slow, but then again, if you are looking for speed, you shouldn't be looking at this boat. Large volume in the thigh area. High deck (16"). Foam bulk heads instead of ABS. High seatback would make layback rolls problematic. Typical persons buying this boat aren't looking to roll it often though.

I wouldn't bring this out into the big ocean unless it was a super calm day and I was staying close to shore. It handles wind okay (little weather cocking w/o rudder), but is slow and if conditions change for the worst, it could be a tough ride.

So far I like this for what I want it to do. It has performed admireably. I was thinking of trading up to a Tsunmi 160 or 165 when I can get one as a used/demo for a little more speed and a little more versatility.

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04-17-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     6'0, 185lbs, paddle mostly lakes and rivers in Central Texas, including some marathon canoe races.

I moved up from an Old Town Loon 138 to a Tsunami 145 in Duralite. I like the Tsunami, particularly the light weight of the Duralite. It is 13lbs less than the Loon, despite being a bit longer. There are a few reasons I'm giving it a 7 (so far).

1. I thought it would be faster. My first time out on an 11 mile flat water course , I matched my previous best time in the Loon. My second time out, I knocked 5min off. I was hoping to be 15-20min faster. Maybe my paddling style is still dialed in for the Loon, but after a few trips out, it is clear I'm not getting an automatic speed up over the wider, shorter, heavier Loon.

2. I thought it would be more comfortable. The phase 3 seat is really nice, but between the narrower cockpit of the Tsunami, and the 'traction' the phase 3 cushion has on my posterior, there is less opportunity to shift and change position. For anyone moving up from a Loon, Pungo, or equivalent rec kayak, it might not be as comfortable as you'd expect. I'm sure it is way more comfortable than the plastic bucket seats with no back rest of many touring kayaks.

3. I thought it would turn easier. The Tsunami tracks nicely, but it doesn't turn willingly. I test paddled one with a rudder, but decided I could live without it. I'll have to see what happens when I get on a river, but my impression from the lakes is the rudder might not have been a bad idea.

4. Ease of entry. This isn't a tippy boat, but the cockpit is small enough that if you're 6', you won't be able to just jump in and out. If you paddle in places with a lot of low water than requires walking the boat over a gravel bar or shoal, you'll need to practice your mount/dismount. Might not be the best choice if your primary use is fishing.

Positives: stability is good, even coming from a 30" wide Loon. Storage hatches are really nice. Good space behind the seat for water jugs, etc. Easy adjustment of the foot braces, seat back height, seat tilt, etc. Cockpit is small enough to keep out paddle drip and cut back on some of the sun, large enough to provide ventillation. I don't think I'll need a full or half skirt unless I start taking it out into the Gulf.

I'm going to use the Tsunami in the Texas Water Safari in June (260 miles, rivers, small lakes behind the dams, and a crossing of San Antonio Bay). Will add more comments after that.

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03-30-2006
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     We have two WS Tsunami 145's with rudders. Red and Orange for high visibility. Before purchasing these, we'd been kayaking on SOTs in Hawaii and in traditional yaks like these at home here in New England. We bought these on the recommendation of our son (who worked at a major outdoor equipment retailer, and could have gotten similar discounts on Perceptions, Esky's, P&H, and a whole range of major brands on special order.) His reasoning has stood the test of experience:

1) They are remarkably stable even in the ocean chop we sometimes find ourselves. Haven't been tossed yet (Yeah, I've come close....)

2) The move fairly easily -- speedy enough for us, even if it takes a little effort to keep up with skinnier, composite hulled craft. They hold their own.

3) They are amazingly roomy -- tons of room and storage for camping. With the right equipment we can head out for up to a week or so. On overnights, we can pack everything but the car.

3) The hull is quite rigid for a poly design. I don't know what the previous poster is talking about when he or she says that he found the hulls "soft." Doesn't make sense or match my comparisons at all. These yaks track well and make a sleek imprint on the water...and did I mention that they seem quite speedy...

4)As noted by nearly every other poster, the Wilderness Systems seating design is the most comfortable and adjustable available. It's a huge advantage over the other brands. I particularly like the thigh supports and the ability to fit my very average 5'9 170 Lb body perfectly to the roomy cockpit. It provides the best "hip" response of any seating system I've tried, and I simply do not get lower body fatigue when I'm out.

Negative issues are minor.

1)Yeah, the standard high-quality poly hull is a tad weighty. Hasn't been a problem for me to hoist up on top of my van though. (Built up the lower back and biceps last summer....)

2)The rudder foot controls can be a little finicky - you have to find the sweet spot for positioning them to your legs in order to keep them them gliding smoothly. Once you get used to it, it's like magic, however.

This isn't a true sea kayak...and its not meant to be. That said, its taken me comfortably and safely out on the cold, open ocean in variety of conditions...and it moves like a high performance tourer in the bays and estuaries.

Verdict: outstanding for its intended light-touring purposes, quite functional for some heavy touring gigs, and simple fun to paddle.

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12-20-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I LOVE this boat. Speed, tracking are excellent (with no rudder) and absolutely the most comfortable seating system I have ever sat in. The boat is poly and very durable. The only drawback is the weight. It is a bit heavy. My next wilderness system will be the lightweight poly (14 lbs less).
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10-03-2005
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 2 of 10

     I have had my Tsunami for about 5 months now, I can not tell how the boat will handle because the bottom of the boat is so soft it changes each time I use it. The factory says it is a defective boat but I have seen other Tsunami's like it. If you transport the boat right side up the bottom of the boat caves in and stays that way, it won't support its own weight. I tried to transport the boat upside down and this helps but the bottom still caves in while the boat is being loaded. Perception-Wilderness Systems says they will ship me a new boat but the can not say when, I have been waiting 3 Months so far. The Bulkheads are leaking badly (We All Know How Dangerous That Is). So this Saturday I will spend my day removing and re installing the bulkheads (lucky I know how). I give this boat a 2 because it still floats, so-far.
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10-03-2005
Submitted by: DelainSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My son and I both have Tsunami 145 Gen2 kayaks that we got in August. My son is 6'2" appx 200lbs and I'm 5'11" and appx 230lbs and feel real comfortable in the cockpit. No problem with room.

They seem to be fairly quick and track real well even without using the rudder. We've been out in heavy wind conditions that kicked up 1-2 foot swells and white caps. The Tsunamis were very stable and nimble. They have great initial and secondary stability.

The Tsunami's 14.5' length makes it easier to navigate the smaller streams we like to go on as well.

The deck rigging is real handy. I really like the paddle bungee on the left side of the cockpit. The hatch covers seem to do their job well. But I've had a little water get into my rear hatch. A little of the right kind of caulk applied to the bulkhead should take care of that. I wish WS would separate the day hatch from the main hatch / storage in the stern. Maybe they'll make a retro-fit kit for that at some point. Even so, there is room behind the seat for water bottles etc and plenty of room in the bow and stern hatches for gear and food for multi day trips and an overall weight capacity of around 500lbs according to WS.

We love the Phase3 seating - had to mention that. Hours in the seat and no complaints.

Living near Chattanooga, TN, we have a lot of choices of places to paddle. We are planning on paddling the 40/50 mile Tennessee Riverís BlueWay soon.

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08-23-2005
Submitted by: sushiboySend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     My wife and I rented a pair of these on the Sunshine Coast for a quick paddle. She took the 140, I took the larger 145, which I had been considering buying.

The boat felt great. The Phase 3 seats are fantastic, particularly the ability to raise and lower the backrest. I'm not sure why other kayak companies don't add this feature. My back almost always aches after paddling but I felt great after with this boat.

Stability felt great. We had the rudders down most of the time, so no problems with tracking and turning. One feature I like was the tabs on the deck line that lowers the rudder. I was surprised at how well the boat moved into the wind, given the relatively high deck.

Still, the 145 felt like a "fat man's boat" (as it was once described to me) and even at 6'0, 210 lbs, the cockpit seemed way too loose.

Ultimately, Iím going to bypass the Tsunami and move up the to the Capehorn 170. I'm pretty sold on WS and Phase III. I just don't want a 14 ft boat, but if I did, I would seriously consider the 140.

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08-15-2005
Submitted by: OrenSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     After reading some reviews - particularly the one in Canoe and Kayaking magazine which said "Don't paddle the Tsunami in a Tsunami", and even more so after speaking with Ben from WS customer service who recommended against the Tsunami for what I needed - I was REALLY worried that I had made a mistake and ordered the wrong kayak.

I can tell you now that they were both wrong. After paddling the Tsunami 145 Gen2 (no rudder though I did buy the SealLine SmartTrack Rudder but haven't installed it yet) for about 4 weeks not - This kayak is EXACTLY what I needed, and I am very happy with it.

Here is the whole story:

I am a novice paddler. I live by the Mediterranean Sea and wanted to paddle solo along the coast in varying weather conditions. My goals for paddling are: Fun, fitness, relaxation and maybe some fishing if I really wanted to.

I am 6'1", weighing 230lbs, and - since some people considered it worth mentioning - size 11 shoes...

My primary requirement from a kayak was: confidence. Since I planned on mostly solo paddling in diverse conditions in the open sea, I absolutely had to feel confident in the kayak I chose. So stability - both primary and secondary were critical. The Tsunami 145 has both. I sit in it and paddle, and - except for 6' waves, don't really care about what is ahead of me since the kayak stays stable no matter what. When I do lean it for turns - it holds the angle without feeling like I am about to roll over. However - when I practiced self rescue with the club I now paddle with - I had no problem tipping it all the way over and rolling back up again using the "Eskimo Roll" technique we practiced.

I have to emphasize this point further: Before getting the Tsunami I rented a RTM 17' from the club I just mentioned, and also borrowed the guide's WS Tempest 170. Both felt like I had to work hard to stay upright. The WS more than the RTM - of course. I felt like I couldn't enjoy the workout since I always had to fight to stay upright.

With my Tsunami - I found that I could paddle along side my club mates and talk to them in pretty rough conditions without even looking where I was going. I didn't have to - the kayak simply stayed stable and I didn't feel that I was at risk of being surprised by a sudden swell or wake as with the previously mentioned kayaks.

On this feature I give the Tsunami a score of 10. It is perfect for enjoying the workout without worrying about capsizing all the time.

My second concern was - I have had a serious lower-back problem for several years now which really limits my physical capabilities - I have Spondylolisys and disk protrusion in verts. L4-L5. Because of that, the kayak had to at least not cause me greater pain than I already have. I can tell you that the lower-back support of the RTM and also the WS Tempest actually made me feel better during and even up-to 48 hours after paddling them. So much better that I stopped going to my Chiropractor and Shizau therapy sessions which had much less effect than paddling did. I know it is incredible - but I can tell you that it is true in my case.

In that respect, I - surprisingly enough after reading all the praise about WS's seating system, have to give the Tsunami a score of 5. The high seat might be comfortable for some people, but I found it to completely lack lower-back support as provided by the strap back rests of the RTM and WS Tempest. This seat back was so bad for my back - I was unable to walk or turn my body side-ways for hours after I paddled with it until I fixed the seat.

What I did was fit a RTM back-rest used in their strap back system over the lower part of the original WS Tsunami back rest. That made all the difference and now I feel as good as with the RTM and WS Tempest + I have the added bonus of all the adjustment capabilities the WS seat offers along with its high back rest which extends over the RTM back-rest which I latched over it.

My third and final concern was - in light of what I heard and read - sea-worthiness.

The review in Canoe and Kayaking magazine labeled this kayak as un-worthy for real sea conditions. A boat for calm lakes. WS customer service basically said the same and recommended the WS Cape-Horn 15 instead. Since I am a novice, I had no idea what that meant - Where and how would I feel that? Does this mean this kayak is not good for me?

Yesterday I have paddled for 5 hours in conditions that included 5' to 8' swells - some of which broke into waves of similar height. People from the club who paddled with me and were in the RTM capsized several times. We had to go back and help them back up several times. My Tsunami did not capsize once. And better yet - It never felt like it was going to - and I paddled along side the swells and waves with the kayak lifting over the wave along side it as well as into the waves nose first and getting a smack full of water in my face since it is - after all - a 14.5' boat and not exactly "Greenland Style".

Other than getting the water in my face - which I don't mind so much and wasn't really that bad considering the height of the waves - the experience was absolutely fun and felt safe and in control the whole time. Oh - those three hatches the kayak has? They stayed bone dry.

On that I give the WS Tsunami 145 a score of 10.

My needs did not include speed - which this kayak obviously lacks compared with the RTM and WS Tempest people paddle in the club I go to, but it is no turtle either.

To summarize - This kayak is exactly what I wanted and hoped it would be - it's fun, it's safe and stable, it is (now) comfortable for my back, and it is great in both calm waters as well as rough.

WS should consider beefing-up the lower back support on the Phase3 seat back. While it is highly adjustable - it simply lacks rubber material in the particular area. Since this was so simple to solve - the grade of the over-all review has not been significantly reduced:

My over-all score for the WS Tsunami 145 Gen 2 is 9. Great Kayak.

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04-20-2005
Submitted by: JeremySend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have owned my Tsunami 145 for a couple of months and I love it. The boat tracks like a dream and turns very well. I have mine outfitted with a Seal Line toe pilot system and smart track rudder, which in my opinion is the best rudder for the boat. I highly suggest it instead of the standard rudder for the same reasons the previous reviewer gave.

You can go hard on the pegs with no chance of the rudder falling off. The boat is well set up and has plenty of room for me (5'10/200 lbs) and the phase 3 seat is the most comfortable and easiest to adjust that I have ever used. You can lay the seat back or pull it forward, adjust the backrest height, and pull the sides up for side support all while sitting in the yak. I go on some pretty long trips and have never had any thing go to sleep yet.

The plastic used to make the boat is very tough as the river I frequently go to is full of tough debris just below the surface from the hurricanes last year. I constantly am powering over logs and getting jammed by submerged stumps and it doesn't even leave a mark on the hull.

Primary stability is good although it can be a challenge getting into the boat in some places, but you can lay the boat over all the way to the cockpit without feeling like you are going to go over. I like to lean way into turns and the boat is great for that. The thigh braces are great for supporting you when you are powering into tight turns. The boat turns very well and has ample speed even at a leisurely paddling rate.

I agree that the day hatch should be separated from the rear hatch but I usually put anything I need while I'm in the boat in a dry bag behind the seat. There is plenty of room there and it is easily accessible. I put my water bottles, sunglasses etc. on the deck under the bungees in front of me. I have had no problems with the hatch lids and they are water tight. You can even see them sink down when you put the boat in cold water and the air cools inside the compartments. If they are air tight, water is no problem.

Overall, no part of this kayak has gone unnoticed by W.S. Great, light boat that looks great and functions even better. I am constantly getting complements on it wherever I go. I love it and would highly recommend it to anyone for a great all purpose kayak.

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12-09-2004
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have only had this kayak for a couple of weeks and only paddled it a few times but I consider this to be an excellent kayak. Tracks like a dream. I can edge the kayak quite far before it starts to roll over. It is fairly fast (you won't win any races, but you won't be left in the dust either) I had no problems overall keeping up with a Current Design Gulfstream.

The three hatches keep everything dry no matter how much water gets on them and I have given them a bit of abuse on a few occasions. I do wish that there was a bulkhead between the day hatch and the rear hatch but that is a minor detail overall. The hatch covers are somewhat difficult to close, you must make sure to press them down all the way around. Once you know this they are excellent covers.

I am not a big rudder fan but I am learning to adapt to the rudder as I go. So far I really haven't had much reason to use the rudder except to play around with the turning in some small and confined spaces. I don't like the foot pegs on the rudder equipped boats. They are still way to mushy even with the rudder up and in the parked position. I have had the rudder come loose from the parked position when I was doing a low brace turn. Not a lot of fun. I am in the process of replacing the foot pegs with Seal Line Toe Pilot foot pegs .I think this will help tremendously.

As everyone knows the Phase 3 seating is fantastic. I have had no problems with any part of my lower body falling asleep or hurting after paddling. I would prefer a lower seatback but again this is a minor detail overall. I may remove the seatback and install a shorter backband at some point but I am not in a hurry to do that. We will see how well it rolls and then I will make a decision from that point.

The cockpit is a little on the large size for even me. I am 6ft, 200 lbs. I will be adding some hip braces and I have adjusted the thigh braces as well to suit my needs. The thigh braces are extremely easy to adjust. Wilderness Systems even gives you a screw driver to adjust the braces.

Overall an excellent kayak for those of you looking for a smaller touring kayak. I had storage issues and don't have enough room to store a 16 or 17 ft kayak. I can't give it a 10 but it is very, very close.

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