I have been using my Tsunami 120 for two years now at Lake Tahoe in all conditions. It has proved ideal for my particular circumstances. I only do tours of less than a full day or night, so cargo capacity is not a concern. The relatively short length is an advantage in the short-interval steep waves that develop on the lake. It also lets me keep it on the top of my little car without having it stick out in back. Shores are rocky or have very coarse sand (often frozen rock-solid) so the durable plastic construction is wonderful. My previous boat, which I used since the late 1960s, was fiberglass, which constantly had to be repaired. My preferred conditions are during the high winds and waves of storm fronts during the winter.
Equipped with a spray suit and spray cover I routinely paddle the boat in 2-4 foot breaking waves and sometimes higher, in winds of 25-35 kts with higher gusts. The boat is amazingly stable in these conditions, sometimes with waves breaking over head level, and surfs like a charm. For simplicity I do not have a rudder. A peculiar advantage of this small boat is that my cruising speed matches well my wife's when she is out on her faster lightweight Tsunami 140 with rudder (which she loves).
My only problem thus far is that the raised seat creates a lot of wear on the inside of the spray covers. In heavy conditions I use a neoprene one, but the seat stripped the interior waterproof coating off my nylon cover after only a few trips.So I'm on my third summer with this boat and I can say that it has served me quite well. I moved to ME from CO a few years back and my wife and I got into kayaking. Had an old town canoe for years, but kayaking lets us do our own thing! Having only paddled an 11' Loon before, the smaller cockpit took some getting used to. For only a 12' 5" boat it tracks extremely well. However one thing you need to remember that this is a step up from a rec boat like the Pungo.
That being said, if you want to get into weekend touring/occasional bay to island hopping, I would suggest a longer boat. If you're getting into light touring, and have a good feeling you'll be spending more than a day on the water, than look for a longer boat. The only real downfall to this boat (and the same as my wife's Pungo) is the forward design. Having a very keel-like front end makes the boat track wonderfully, but as soon as the placid water gets rough, you'd better have a skirt or you WILL get wet!
All in all it was a great first "over nighter" kayak for me, but I have out grown it quickly. I just wish I'd picked up the 145 rather than the 125!Love this boat! I went looking for something I could carry myself so my limit was 50#; I had my eyes on the Tribute by Perception but it was a tight fit for my 5'5" frame. The folks at Mountainman put me into the Tsunami and I am in love!
It tracks almost perfectly and after the initial trial few times out, it is very stable. Great boat if you are ready to move to the next level. I had been paddling an Otter, which is still a nice little boat, but this is the next step. Took a little bit to get used to at first, but now I am very confident that this boat will serve me well for many years to come. Highly recommend this boat.My first kayak - I looked at several models before deciding on the Tsunami 120. This is a great boat! I have a previous shoulder injury, so I needed something that really cut through the water easily and would track with little need to "brute force" the turning, etc.
This Kayak moves like a dream - I could go for hours - and it is very comfortable. I let my 11 yr old daughter give it a try, and she too was able to control it and move it well through the water. A great kayak!I bought this boat in early August for use on Michigan rivers, lakes, Great Lakes, and ponds. So far I've used it on the Pine River (5-9 mph current w/ several Class I rapids) and several small lakes in Oakland County. I would compare this boat to a great all mountain ski... it's probably not the best for any single purpose but it does everything very well. It's very comfortable, handles well, very stable, accelerates and stops well, does fine in light chop, cross winds, speed boat wakes, etc.
This boat is just plain fun! And it's a great looking boat, too (mango). I am 6', 185 lbs., size 11 shoes, and fit in it very well. People over 6' and 200 lbs. will want the extra room of the 125. Overall, a great value.I bought a Tsunami 120 in March. It was a 2007 leftover, so got a good deal and was able to afford the duralite model. I can't say enough good things about this boat. It would be hard for me to believe that this kayak is not the best in its class. the fit and finish; superior; hardware superior. plenty of storage and very comfortable seat.
I've used this boat on rivers, lakes, and the bays and lagoons in New Jersey and Delaware. The tracking is superb even in stiff 8 - 10 knot winds crossing the bay. on flat water or even small waves or a heavy chop the boat just glides with each stroke. On my vacation, I spent 5-6 hours a day for 5 days paddling the Tsunami without fatigue.
The footbraces and the seat are easy to adjust while you're in the boat. for me it was worth getting the duralite for the 10 pound weight advantage. I'm 5' 7" 170 lbs and I can get the boat on top of my Subaru Tribeca fairly easily. with kayaks i think lighter is better in most cases.
In Delaware, I was able to launch myself from 2 1/2 ft above the water line at low tide without the boat plowing under water. the bow never went under the water. the stability is excellent. Due to the v-shaped hull the boat will not sit flat on your lawn or the beach but once in the water it feels solid as a rock and inspires confidence. my wife, who was never in a kayak before tried it and was tracking straight from the first stroke.
If you want a rec/tour boat that you won't outgrow in one season, this is the one. Also the duralite in my opinion is quite durable. I've hit rocks at slow speed and beached my self on rocks and sand at high speed with only minor surface scratches on the hull. I bought the boat to use - not to keep pretty so the little scratches and scrapes are to be expected. If you're over 200 lbs, you might want to consider the Tsunami 125; I think the 120 might be a little tight. these are just my opinions but I have absolutely no complaints. And I LOVE to complain!!!