Model: Wilderness System’s Tsunami 125
Material: Poly RM
Length: 12′ 6″
Weight: 51 lbs.
Max Capacity: 300 lbs.
Class: Light Touring/Transitional
The Tsunami 125 provides a unique, efficient, and clean ride on the water and responds well to forward strokes and reverse strokes. At twelve and a half feet in length, the Tsunami’s hull design provides an exceptional primary and final stability which makes for a perfect fit for an entry level paddler looking for a light touring kayak. Me and my kayaking colleagues all seemed to agree (without much deviation) that the Tsunami 125 paddles as if it is “on rails.” This analogy is often used in the industry to describe a kayak that holds true to its tracking, and tracks straight through the water without the use of a rudder or skeg. This feature is not a negative facet on the 125, in fact, it gives the kayak a unique advantage over its competitors in the light touring class. The light touring class, from a pragmatic perspective, is infamous for offering overly maneuverable kayaks.
In terms of maneuverability, the Tsunami 125 is a little less responsive. Because the hull design has a lot of emphasis on tracking, its maneuverability and responsiveness to turning is compromised. This will not hinder the kayak’s ability to explore tight rivers or estuaries, but may require more time to get familiar with the 125’s desire to remain straight on the water. In addition, broader sweep strokes and putting the kayak on edge (lean turns) are a necessity when making tighter turns. The Wilderness System’s website claims that the Tsunami 125 “excels in tight, twisting environments.” With intermediate to advanced paddlers this statement may be true, but I would call it a bit of an over statement for novice paddlers.
Overall, the Tsunami provides a comfortable and forgiving quest on the water. Its spacious open cockpit allows for easy entry and exit, and allows enough space for those who want to give their legs some breathing room. With adjustable thigh braces (easily moved with a Phillips head screwdriver), the Tsunami is able to accommodate a wide range of paddler sizes. The Tsunami 125 would be best fit for coastal day paddles or exploring inland lakes or estuaries.
Pros: front/rear bulkheads and hatches, affordable price point, tracking, made inUSA, spacious cockpit, stability
Cons: less agile maneuverability
Demo notes: The Tsunami 125 was tested in calm, flat water conditions with no wave or wind action.