03-27-2013Submitted by: shortmarie
Reviews for Tsunami 125 Kayak by Wilderness Systems
Based On: 28 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've owned about 50 kayaks and the one boat I will not sell is my 125. It's a comfortable, stable ride and handles like a dream. I'm 62 yrs old and have paddled all my life. This boat makes it easy for me to continue my favorite activity. I like it so much, I just purchased a tsunami 145 to add to my fleet.
07-15-2012Submitted by: Steve in Cleveland
- Rating: 10 of 10 So, I've had my Tsunami's (yes, plural) for about 3 years now. I cannot speak highly enough of the boats. I have paddled a few other boats and even strayed from the brand once to try others and... I came back.
The Tsunami 125 is very stable... ridiculously stable, in fact. For its size, it is pretty quick but as a stronger paddler, I can keep up with the folks in the 15-16' boats in my little 12'6" guy here. The cockpit is very roomy... The seats are so comfortable that you can sit in this thing for 8-10 hours and never get uncomfortable. The boat is very easy to get in and out of both in water and on dry land. Tracks straighter than you'd expect, and if you can edge it properly, it will turn very well.
I give the boat a 10/10 because it's very versatile, as I've done some rapids, Lake Erie, and any other type of water in between and have always been comfortable with the boat. Comfortable enough to buy three of them, in fact
03-27-2012Submitted by: drchip
- Rating: 8 of 10 I got my Tsunami 125 about a year ago. I've used it primarily on local streams. I also seriously considered the Native Watercraft Inuit. I've found the Tsunami to be great for the sort of kayaking I do, which includes fishing for smallmouth bass. As someone new to kayaking, I think this is easy enough for a novice to use. The one downside to this kayak is that the foot pegs in the Inuit (and other Native Watercraft kayaks) are MUCH more comfortable. I find my feet get numb pretty quickly in the Tsunami. I'd give the Tsunami at 10 if it had the Inuit foot pegs.
12-10-2011Submitted by: Anonymous
- Rating: 8 of 10 The Tsunami is a great sit-in kayak that is easy to use and great for all levels of paddlers. It is both quick and maneuverable and isn't too heavy to carry alone. I bought mine from oceankayaksales.com and have used it nearly every day since.
08-08-2011Submitted by: llukin04
- Rating: 10 of 10 My Tsunami 125 is 2 years old. I got it because it's lighter than my long boat and figured it would be great as a rec boat. It's fast, keeping up with 16 &17 footers. This boat has been around the Statue of Liberty where swells can be up to 3 feet. She rolls nicely and turns easily. Wind is never a problem. The boat tracks well, and no rudder is needed for correction. The design is perfect.
12-20-2010Submitted by: rfs2
- Rating: 10 of 10 I recently took this kayak on a 12 day trip on the James River in Virginia. We went from the source in the mountains to the Chesapeake Bay. This boat handled all my camping gear easily. It also handled class III+ rapids, flatwater and 3 to 4 foot seas in the Bay. It does not excel at anything, but handled everything. We covered from 20 to 38 miles a day and comfort was never an issue. I have sea and whitewater kayaks. If you had to have just one boat, this is a strong candidate.
11-23-2010Submitted by: Live4Kayaking
- Rating: 10 of 10 This kayak is hands down exactly what I was looking for. I knew i was going to buy it long before I did. Where to start. It's fast as all get out and its superior tracking is a must. One of my favorite things about my tsunami is the seat. It is adjustable in every way to give you maximum comfort for that long paddle. I have taken it on extended paddles and back is never sore. You just have to sit in one to understand. The cargo is watertight and there is enough room for a week or 2 of supplies. This boat is stable enough for a beginner though I don't recommend any rapids over class II. Highly recommended.
11-03-2010Submitted by: WHD
- Rating: 4 of 10 My wife & I each bought a Tsunami this spring and spent a good bit of the spring and summer both on rivers in Virginia and along the coast of Maine.
These are great boats that we have enjoyed -- they have good stability, nice speed and maneuverability.
When my seat broke after less than four months, it was a major ordeal to get it fixed. "They" (whoever 'they' are) decided that his breakage was 'the seat user error' (funny, 'they' never talked to me about this). 'They' then graciously sent me a part to fix the seat saying that it was easy to fix. Well not so fast. I am an airline pilot and flew for the Navy for decades, so I am very good at all things mechanical. This 'easy' fix required a special tool for installing plastic rivets, now plastic 'snaps' to hold the seat cushion to the seat and a Dremel to remove the old rivets.
Do NOT get this boat if it part of it might break -- you will be left up a creek without a paddle when it comes to getting it fixed.
04-19-2010Submitted by: svavrek
- Rating: 10 of 10 Well I gotta tell ya... We decided this year with our tax return to get new Kayaks, upgrading from a Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable 'thing'... We read review after review on here, talked on forums, and everyone had some negative opinion one way or another so...
We said forget it. We went to the Backpackers Shop here in Sheffield Lake, Ohio and just decided to try Kayaks. Sat in them, found comfy ones, nice deck rigging and we knew the basics of what we wanted... At least 12' length, front and rear sealed bulkheads, and comfortable seating.
I looked at the Current Designs Breeze and some other CD boat and this one - the WS Tsunami 125 and sat in them all for 15-20 mins each and in the way of comfort, the Tsunami took the Gold. The design of the boat, now I'm not an engineer, but the Tsunami just LOOKED like it would cut thru the water a whole lot nicer than the other two boats in our price range... Very nice deck rigging, BOTH front and back sealed. We were sold. WITHOUT these reviews, we bought the Tsunami's.
The night we got them home, we sat them in our family room, sat IN them for 3 hours watching a movie and it was never uncomfortable...
Tonight, we took them on the lake for the first time. We went to Hinckley Lake which is a smaller inland lake within the Cleveland Metroparks. It just stormed all over the place and it was about 15 mph winds, so we actually saw waves that looked closer to one foot as they were capping over and curling... Kinda scary but the boats handled more than well... very stable, very easy to maneuver, and most of all very comfortable on the water. It was easy to adjust the foot pedals once in the water.
I give this boat a 10 because they are our first real hard Kayaks and the stability, size, price, sealed front and rear bulkheads, and comfort make this a hands down perfect choice for an entry level to intermediate level touring kayak!! Enjoy your paddling adventures! We know we will!
04-19-2010Submitted by: svavrek
- Rating: 10 of 10 Update!!
Just got back from paddling the Chagrin Lagoons up here in Ohio and the boats are fantastic. We could not have asked for better boats. Easy to turn, easy to propel, just all around fantastic boats and would definitely recommend them to anyone who wants a great starting boat for the money!
10-14-2009Submitted by: Walt
- Rating: 9 of 10 I am a novice kayaker and had rented a kayak last year for the first time and loved being out on the water so much with it that I decided to buy my own. My girlfriend and I bought a pair of red Tsunami 125s from Sportsmen Marina (good service and very knowledgeable)in Hadley, MA after a lot of Internet research on different kayaks. I have not regretted our choice.
We took a five hour lesson from an expert to learn the way to do different kayak strokes properly and some rescue maneuvers. The kayak handles well, paddles easily, and is very stable. The Gen. 2 polyethylene shell is very durable. I like the bountiful deck rigging and use it to secure our pump and some other gear within easy reach. We have paddled on the largest reservoir in Vermont and the Connecticut river in Western Mass with no problems. The kayak handled chop and power boat wake with ease.
I plan on getting a spray skirt for cooler weather and some rougher water (ocean bays, etc.). I am 50 years old, 212 pounds, and 5 foot eleven inches with real long legs and this kayak gives me plenty of room. Love the adjustable foot pegs, thigh braces, and comfy seat - I feel like one with the kayak and the water. Love observing all the wildlife while out on the water! Always wear your life preserver and don't litter! You will have fun with this kayak! I can load and unload this kayak to my car roof top cradles by myself with a little effort, but if this kayak had been 5 or 10 pounds lighter I would have gave it a 10 rating.
07-14-2009Submitted by: emartn
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought my kayak (a Tsunami 125 made by Wilderness Systems) last December (2008). I have been exploring lakes, creeks, rivers, and the near coastal Atlantic. This boat does it all. I have been in chop and strong current and prevailed without having to overwork myself. I have used it in Winter, Spring, and Summer. I am looking forward to Fall.
This boat has performed well under varied conditions and I would recommend it to all averaged size males (6', 180 lbs). It is OK to carry for about 50-100 yards; any longer and you'll want wheels. I transport it on the roof of a SUV so I load it alone over my head which is doable even after a rigorous paddle.
No reportable problems with this kayak. I recommend it for anyone that wants a mid-range touring kayak. The "W" decals fell off pretty quick but I didn't buy it to advertise for Wilderness Systems. Overall this is a great kayak and I wish I was in it right now.
07-01-2009Submitted by: Shep
- Rating: 10 of 10 I hesitate to write this because today was the first time I have ever even been in a kayak, but then I thought maybe that is good because it will give perspective for a first time buyer looking for a user friendly boat. I had my Tsunami 125 out for three hours today in the bay in moderate chop with an occasional white cap and ten plus knots of wind. I felt like I have been happily married to this boat for a long time. It fit me like a glove, (5'8" @ 200 lbs) and felt very stable getting in and out along with hitting chop head on or from the side.
The boat tracks straight as an arrow and while I was having some difficulty turning at first, by the end of the outing I had started to get a feel for getting her around on demand. The seat is really very comfortable even with a bad back. Both the bulkheads stayed dry as a bone and the people I was paddling with were very surprised at the speed of both a novice and a 12.5 footer. I look forward to giving another review in the fall after many hours in her but for now if you are sitting on the fence about this boat, just jump down and get it. You will not be disappointed.
09-16-2008Submitted by: floater
- Rating: 10 of 10 I wanted a kayak that I could carry and was comfortable. Something that tracked well enough to paddle across a lake but also make it down a class I-II river. Sound impossible. Not for the Tsunami 125. I bought it on Craig's list for $500. Sure it has a bunch of scratches and I'm the third owner. Doesn't matter. It works great. I can carry it with one hand. The seat is amazingly comfortable with two adjustments; one for the back and one to bring up the knees. The cockpit is roomy and my 6' 180lb body fits in easily. My backpack fits through the oval hatch. My paddle is secured by the bungie. If I buy another Kayak, it will be from Wilderness Systems. They rock.
08-01-2008Submitted by: Don
- Rating: 3 of 10 I bought the Tsunami a little time ago, and at first was pleased with it. I really like the performance of the Manitou from Necky over my boat, but liked that they gave this boat a lifetime warranty. After a little over a month, I pulled the boat out of the back of my truck and the back of the boat hit the ground, popping open the plastic, so I took it back to the dealer. He inspected the boat and said the plastic was paper thin where it cracked and should be covered under warranty, but all Wilderness is saying is nature of the product and since it was "dropped" the would not cover it under warranty. According to the dealer this is not uncommon, he claimed Wilderness is the only manufacturer he has had warranty issues. Think this is the last one I will be buying...
07-25-2008Submitted by: NewPApaddler
- Rating: 10 of 10 We went down to southern NJ from about 10am to 6pm on Saturday and had a blast. Three of us went, and we found that it was surprisingly easier to pick out "our" boat than we had thought it would be. Thanks to the advice given by some members of the PCC we got there with good research already done.
We started off by trying the WS Tsunami 125, 120, and Carolina 12, then moved into the Necky Manitou 13 and sport. We then tried the Tsunami 135 and 140, and Blackwater 10.5 and 12. There were a few Old Towns mixed in, but I don't recall which models. Oh, and for giggles (for which we really didn't get any) we all tried the Pungo, Pamlico, and Prodigy.
In the end, I had a very tough choice between the Tsunami 135 and 125. I loved the low profile of the 135, and it's width, ease and speed, but for my size, I was afraid that it would be too cramped on long days - there was no real ability to bend my knees, and my feet, with shoes on, were seriously overlapping... ugh, still a very nice boat and wanted it to work. So, the 125 it is.
We've taken the boats out now and are thrilled with them. They are light enough to be able to put them up on the car by myself, and easily fits in our shed. I'm 6' 190lbs, and this boat gives me what I need: room. Enough room to stretch out my legs without having to press on the forward bulkhead. Enough room to lift my knees to get them stretched. Enough room to be able to turn around and access the rear dry well.
Another nice feature about this boat is it's flexibility with regards to people. My father is 5'10'' and 220 - got right in and made it move. My grandfather at 6'2" didn't have any problems. My wife at 5'7" chose the boat for herself! Lots of flexibility. Oh, the foot pegs, thigh braces, and seat are all very nice. We are looking forward to taking them out on the Delaware very soon.
07-23-2008Submitted by: notyomonky
- Rating: 10 of 10 Ok, I've been paddling this boat for several months now. It is by far the best boat I've ever been in. The seat is extremely comfortable, easy to adjust on all levels, and dries quickly.
Where this boat shines is in the handling. It tracks extremely well, has great secondary stability, the thigh braces give you a firm sense of control of the boat and it rides very well. I paddle small tight and fast rivers, do multiple day trips and also paddle the Great Lakes and this boat does it all. Looking to 'surfing' those high wind summer days that should be starting soon.
07-02-2008Submitted by: grottolord
- Rating: 10 of 10 coming out of a Perception dancer white water kayak, and wanted to boat with a rec/touring boat, I use this kayak for fishing on lakes and streams, the seat is completely adjustable and very comfortable, I'm used to thigh braces on white water boats so the thigh braces on the Tsunami make the transformation to touring yaks very smooth
Now onto the handling: very smooth tracks very well, and has more than enough speed for a 12.5' yak, within 5 min I was completely at home in this boat, the paddle holder on the side works very well as a rod holder and the deck rigging is more than ample. I rigged the boat with an anchor trolly system and flush mount rod holder and the yak suits my needs perfectly. The foot peg adjustment is very nice and easy to adjust during use. Adjusting from power stroke to casual paddling with ease, the yak is very stable and slices though the water with ease aprox 4mi/hr without fatigue...
All in all, I am very satisfied with this kayak 20% off for $805 including tax at Eastern Mountain Sports in June of 2008. If you're thinking about buying a rec touring boat I highly recommend this yak
05-24-2008Submitted by: notyomonky
- Rating: 9 of 10 I've just received my 125 yesterday and took it out on my river immediately. I've been using a Loon 100, which I wrecked a few weeks ago (there's a reason they make whitewater boats). The tsunami is much faster and more stable. It tracks very well. The only reason I've given it a nine is because I've only spent 30 minutes in it, but I'm already in love. By the way LL Bean did an excellent job of getting it to me quickly and unmarred for a reasonable price. If you know what you want it's not a bad way to go.
05-02-2008Submitted by: Lorna
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have been kayaking for almost 10 years, but the Tsunami 125 is the first kayak I've actually bought. I demoed it on a misty rain, windy day one year ago, and I haven't looked back since!
It tracks very well, has excellent secondary stability and smalls waves are no problem. The seat is absolutely amazing, a must since I am prone to back problems. It has more padding and strap adjustments than I knew kayak seats could have! The 125 is the perfect length to fit on my 14' Jetta, and it's weight is very manageable for me when I'm alone (5'9", 170# woman). The thigh braces are adjustable, and have great padding.
The only thing I have a problem with are the foot pedals. I have size 11 feet, and they tend to get a bit scrunched when wearing sneakers in colder weather. Barefoot is no problem, although the screws on the pedal tend to poke the sides of my feet. That's the only thing I see wrong with this kayak! You will not regret buying it.
08-21-2007Submitted by: allsky7
- Rating: 10 of 10 I am 6' 220#. I have looked high and low and think I have finally found the perfect boat in the TSU 125. OK, at least the perfect boat for me, keeping in mind that I am a rec paddler moving to the next level. I mostly paddle lakes and rivers up to class II rapids. This boat has the best seat in the industry, it has good speed, tracks well, is very stable, ample dry storage, deck rigging, and at 12.5' and 54#, is easy to manage out of water.
I only have a couple of minor complaints that seem rather petty when compared to the positives of this boat. A drink holder would be nice and for my build, an inch or so more of length to the cockpit would would have made this boat perfect. The width is fine but where the thigh braces mount to the boat (an inch or so overlap) makes the cockpit feel a smidge confining. I must add that I have mostly gotten used to this already.
All in all....WELL DONE and still a 10 as far as I'm concerned.
08-14-2007Submitted by: David C
- Rating: 10 of 10 I'm 6'1", 195lbs, experienced and comfortable on the water, but moderately new to kayaking. I shopped everything, and found that the Tsunami 140 and 125 fit me perfectly and had all of the features I wanted (the seat is the best I could find.) I opted for the 125, and have been absolutely pleased with it.
I have had it out in still water several times, and this past weekend took it to the Outer Banks to blast through the surf for some true ocean paddling. This 125 cruises faster than the comparable Necky and Perception kayaks that my friends were paddling. Mine was the boat that everyone wanted to try out.
Design: so much better than those of my friends. This boat needs no skeg, tracks very well, and has fairly good roll stability.
Features: It has everything I need, and several features found only on much more expensive boats.
Only complaint: I usually were shoes, but when going barefoot, my feet hit against the screws holding the foot braces.
To summarize, I am extremely pleased with the Tsunami 125. The Wilderness Systems web site blows, so don't bother going there for much info. (I think they have wisely spent their time designing and manufacturing excellent kayaks with lifetime warranties!) Find one at a local retailer. Sit in it and adjust that great seat. See if they'll let you put one in the water, and you'll buy it!
06-28-2007Submitted by: snaps
- Rating: 10 of 10 I'm sort of new paddler and I tried no less than 8 different boats on two demo days recently and found- hands down that the Wilderness Tsunami 125 was the most comfortable- at least for me. I did try the Tsunami 14 but couldn't quite get my knees in a comfortable position as that area is a bit shallower than the 125. The Phase 3 seat is truly the most comfortable seat I sat in.
In the running for my purchase was the Necky Manitou 13, Current Kestrel 14, and Boreal Ookpik 14. The Tsunami just fit me perfectly. I'm 5'8" @ 190 lbs. Great decking and I love the dry storage space. Tracks very well. I'm a lazy river, creek, small lake kind of paddler (so far), but looking forward to expanding my trips. I would definitely give the Tsunami 125 a thumbs up.
06-26-2007Submitted by: Shawna
- Rating: 9 of 10 I just bought the 125 Tsunami, as a first time Yaker - it's incredible. I demo'd many... and the next closest to this that I enjoyed was the Necky with its narrower cockpit. It is very stable, great for a first timer -- and it glides very well through the water. I demo'd on a very windy choppy day, and I was convinced that day that this was the one for me. The seat is very comfortable and I love the extra deck rigging all over, and it has 2 storage hatches. My only complaint to date, is that one of my foot braces tends to stick when I adjust it for my husband to use, hopefully it'll work the kinks out. Great purchase!!!
06-19-2007Submitted by: clauderbaugh
- Rating: 10 of 10 After a year of test driving and paddling other boats, I settled on the Tsunami 125, mainly because the cockpit is a bit larger than the 120. I'm 6'5, 200, with a size 13 shoe and it fits me like a glove - almost. Depending on the shoes/water shoes I have on determines how well my feet take advantage of the foot braces.
Tracking and speed are excellent for the type of boat this is. Front and rear storage plus a great on deck space make overnight trips very fun.
Perhaps the best part is the Phase 3 seat. This was the selling factor for me as long hours spent in a kayak often lead to back pain for me. The Phase 3 seat is like a Lazy-boy on the water. I can easily spend a full day on the water with no sign of stress on the back at all.
04-09-2007Submitted by: Lonewolf212
- Rating: 9 of 10 I just purchased this yak after paddling the shorter Old Town Rush for a year. This is a sweeeet boat. I tried it in 15 mph winds with a good chop on our nearby reservoir. It is very stable, great tracking without a rudder, and easily maintains a respectable speed. It also glides nicely between paddle strokes. I often explore the swamps and creeks here in Mississippi. It turns slower than the "Rush" of course but that is to be expected. The seat is hands down more comfortable than any yak I've ever sat in. I ordered it from LL Bean and received it in 4 days! I would highly recommend this boat to anyone.
08-29-2006Submitted by: SSC
- Rating: 10 of 10 We're Hooked! One sunny weekend into our new GEN 2 Tsunami's with nothing negative to report about these well designed Kayaks. Very stable, easy to handle and comfortable. I'm 6', 200lbs and my lovely bride is 5'6", 125lbs. The initial setup was a breeze for both of us. Being new to the Kayak world, I don't have much experience with other hulls for comparison but I have to admit my 1st impression is very positive. Who wouldn't enjoy paddling in Puget Sound on a sunny day watching Bald Eagles feed their young !
08-25-2006Submitted by: Alkasazi
- Rating: 9 of 10 I'm 6', 200lbs, size 11 feet. I've been paddling the Tsunami 125 for a year now, and may have found my perfect boat. It tracks well, turns easily, and the outfitting is head and shoulders above anything else I've tried. I've had it on rivers, lakes, and along the coast. It's handled every condition imagineable, and has been rock steady through everything. Even 3' swells and 40 mph winds don't affect it much. It windcocks slight, but was easy to correct with paddle strokes. I only have two complaints - the top deck seems to dent in easily (although the dent pops right back out in the sun), and the rear hatch cover doesn't seal well. Other than that, I don't think I'd change a thing. If you want a boat you won't outgrow, and don't want to deal with the off-water hassles of a longer boat, I'd give the Tsunami 125 a long look.
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