I'm asking this on behalf of a smaller friend looking for her first kayak. She's all of 4'10" tall and I'd guess 120 very athletic pounds. Use would be lakes and slow moving rivers as well as protected inter-coastal waterways, and with the plan to possibly work on skills such as rolling someday. Also the possibility of an occasional over-night or weekend trip.
I've yet to see the Tsunami SP in person but have read good things... Your thoughts on this kayak as well as any other boats she might want to consider (including SOT's) would much appreciated...
Thanks in advance...
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SP a good choice|
Posted by: yaakker on Mar-04-14 8:57 PM (EST)
for a "small" person. I just put my grandaughter in one this past summer. She is 12, about the same height and a little over 90lbs. She has been paddling an Acadia Scout which is considerably shorter and lighter. She has quickly learned she can no longer throw her hips, power stroke and turn on a dime. She'll now have to learn good basic paddle strokes and edging which is a good thing. The SP is a good, stable and well outfitted kayak that is suitable for your enviroments. Read the reviews on this site. Good Luck!
Posted by: 3Sunz4Me on Mar-05-14 7:26 PM (EST)
Thank you Bill for helping me out! I am officially stalking this thread for continued help and guidance...
Posted by: Peter-CA on Mar-04-14 9:26 PM (EST)
My girlfriend is 110# and tried the SP. It was way too low in the water. I think they say 90 pounds max.
Posted by: Fred_Randall on Mar-04-14 9:52 PM (EST)
I was going to say, just get the 120 (or 135).
At her height....|
Posted by: Celia on Mar-04-14 11:24 PM (EST)
I looked at the specs|
Posted by: Peter-CA on Mar-05-14 4:58 PM (EST)
I looked at the specs also, and you are right. It does say 180 pound max. But I do remember my 5'1" 110# girlfriend trying it and the end result was it was too small/low volume for her.
We have a couple in our fleet|
Posted by: BigandSmall on Mar-04-14 11:35 PM (EST)
My wife is 4'11 and also quite athletic, closer to 90lbs though than 120. She fits the boat well, good waterline, the weak point is the size of the cockpit. It's pretty big and the thigh braces leave something to be desired. We put a set back in one of them to attempt to learn to roll. My wife could force her legs under them but she said they are really really uncomfortable. She can balance brace it and transition to back deck easily. We need to practice more yet. The SP is very stable and a solid tracker.
Posted by: medawgone on Mar-05-14 9:33 AM (EST)
Bill, she may also want to look at the Tsunami 135 as well. It it a nice small person's kayak. It should fit a person of the stated size.
Thigh braces are weird|
Posted by: LeeG on Mar-09-14 5:45 PM (EST)
Too low and splayed out
Not the best skills boat|
Posted by: NateHanson on Mar-05-14 10:21 AM (EST)
If she's interested in progressing with skills I think she might want to look at boats with less of a transitional hull design. The Tsunamis are good boats for some purposes, but they don't behave like a true sea kayak for someone interested in learning edging, bracing, rolling, etc. Plus it's a heavy boat.
The CD Raven|
Posted by: Kocho on Mar-05-14 6:26 PM (EST)
Is indeed small and light, but doesn't it have a rather high rear deck for a small person to do layback rolls?
Posted by: NateHanson on Mar-06-14 8:18 AM (EST)
The entire deck is lower than most kayaks for this size paddler, so it generally fits a very small paddler how it ought to. You may not choose it for greenland rolling competition, but the rear deck is plenty low enough for learning to roll.
Two kids have used the SP|
Posted by: Northyak on Mar-05-14 12:04 PM (EST)
I have had two kids work their way through an SP. Your friend's 4'10" height is fine for this boat, but her weight is getting close to what I think is the realistic limit, due to the very small freeboard at 120 pounds. However, if she is willing to wear a good skirt at all times, that is less of a concern and the boat performs well. What I mean by that is: fast for a short boat, tracks well (ours had no rudder), reasonable behaviour on waves, hatch features of larger boats. It certainly is very light and the kids had no difficulty carrying it.
Posted by: willowleaf on Mar-05-14 1:43 PM (EST)
Dagger Alchemy "S"|
Posted by: Recluse on Mar-05-14 3:30 PM (EST)
Not sure you would have to pad it down|
Posted by: Celia on Mar-05-14 3:36 PM (EST)
The Alchemy S is a true sea kayak cockpit and a very, very friendly hull. Comforting for newbies and easy to turn and edge as well, more aggressive thigh braces than the Tsunami line and I think a smaller cockpit. I can't say without seeing it, but you should put her in one. I think there is a good shot that the fit would work. It is likely to be more quickly responsive than the Tsunami line due to the hull profile (what Nate was talking about), so a looser fit still gets a good reaction.
Posted by: Kudzu on Mar-05-14 6:24 PM (EST)
You're welcome to borrow my Alchemy S. The problem is I changed it all around for a bigger person!
Posted by: Recluse on Mar-05-14 9:27 PM (EST)
GF bought, and sold|
Posted by: Peter-CA on Mar-05-14 7:31 PM (EST)
First, those that know me know I love my Alchemy L. Great boat.
5'1" and 110 pounds...|
Posted by: Celia on Mar-05-14 8:45 PM (EST)
Posted by: Recluse on Mar-05-14 9:32 PM (EST)
foot braces can be fixed|
Posted by: NateHanson on Mar-06-14 8:26 AM (EST)
I wouldn't worry so much about the leg length problem. Find a boat that fits her needs and the rest of her body. If you need to move the foot-rails back in the boat, that's a 5 minute job. Plug the old holes with matching machine screws, and it won't even look like anything was changed.
Or bulkhead blocks|
Posted by: Celia on Mar-06-14 9:02 AM (EST)
Against Foam Bulkhead...|
Posted by: Recluse on Mar-06-14 9:42 AM (EST)
Yes, this was my first thought, but I'm not sure how sound of an idea it would be if placed against a foam bulkhead...
Posted by: Celia on Mar-06-14 10:08 AM (EST)
But while pricier a composite boat (with better bulkheads) might also be lighter than a plastic boat... if that argument works to increase the buyer's willingness to part with money.
Posted by: Recluse on Mar-06-14 2:07 PM (EST)
I honestly think SOF is the way to go except for the camping bit and lack of a building space at the moment...
Posted by: Marshall on Mar-06-14 2:26 PM (EST)
Might not help with the bulkhead floatation/storage and Wilderness Systems hasn't made them in awhile but you might be able to scare one up.
Posted by: Recluse on Mar-06-14 2:38 PM (EST)
Posted by: Marshall on Mar-06-14 3:00 PM (EST)
Hey 'ya never know.
Posted by: pikabike on Mar-06-14 4:29 PM (EST)
Piccolo is a good, low-volume kayak, but it's probably not great for 125 to 130 lbs paddler weight. It's intended for kids.
Posted by: Fred_Randall on Mar-06-14 4:17 PM (EST)
Posted by: Recluse on Mar-06-14 4:39 PM (EST)
Fred, I'm in central NC...
Posted by: Fred_Randall on Mar-06-14 4:59 PM (EST)
I haven't measured, but it's pretty low. We'll all hope she doesn't see this lest I disappear mysteriously, but my wife is basically your friend's height but a (teensy, weensy, tiny) bit heavier.
I used one for roughly a week|
Posted by: pikabike on Mar-09-14 4:19 PM (EST)
Nice-handling boat that I got to use in a range of conditions from glassy to surf and tidally influenced rivers with boils, standing waves, eddies. I could edge, turn, roll, etc. but I'm about 5'3". It was still a bigger cockpit than I like; felt like I was rattling around in it and edging was not real secure-feeling. But it CAN be padded out and made snugger.
Posted by: pikabike on Mar-10-14 1:18 PM (EST)
The kayak I paddled for a week was a glass Capella 161, not the 160 RM.
Posted by: sapien on Mar-09-14 4:29 PM (EST)
since I just bought Mr. Randall's 160RM :) I can give you measurements. The under-deck height is 12" up front and 8.5" behind the seat. add 1.5" for measurement to the top edge of the coaming.
This is exactly what she needs|
Posted by: Yakfisher on Mar-14-14 3:55 AM (EST)