I am in my mid 40s,I am 5’10, 220 lbs. I am looking to buy a new kayak. The only kayak I have had experience with is the Clearwater Inuvik. I still consider myself a beginner and like paddling inland lakes. I do however want to do more paddling and may want to expand to larger lakes. I am interested in the Perception Carolina 14’ and the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140. Any opinions and input would be appreciated.
I have Tsunami 145 and the wife paddles the 140, good solid all around boat for almost everything we do, which is everything except white water. I think the 145 would be too big on you. I’m a little heavier than you.
Once you are accustomed to them they are very stable but have enough capability for you to develop skills.
Get a seals 1.7 spray skirt when you’re ready for bigger lakes.
The Carolina is a good boat also, very similiar IMO.
Get a good paddle, Aquabound stingray at a minimum. You will be glad you did. I’d rather paddle a $300 boat with a $150 paddle than a $2000 boat with a $70 paddle.
But, the best advice is to try before you buy.
Find a dedicated paddle shop - not a big box sporting goods store - where you can go for a test paddle in each boat.
My nearest one is well over an hour’s drive away but for a nominal fee - $15 - they will take up to 3 boats down to a local pond with you and you can try them out. It’s the best way to see how well they fit.
It’s also now a very good time of the year to look for close outs and year end sales.
You might also want to
Try something a bit longer just for fun. I would suggest a Current Designs Sirocco which you can often find for not a whole lot more than the boats you mentioned. And for a very good paddle, I still think the Carlisle Expedition can’t be beat for the money.
Once you find THE boat you like best, see if you can rent a demo model for a few hours.
I’m not sure even an hour is sufficient to really get to know a boat. Even if I manage to do a few arm exercises and hamstring stretches, it still takes me about 15 minutes of paddling to get warmed up so that everything is working in synchronicity.
buying new kayak
Thanks for the input! I really do appreciate it!
buying new kayak
I will definetly try to use before I buy. Thanks!
I’d get the 145
The Tsunami 145 may be more suited for your size. The 140 is shorter but also has a lower deck and is much smaller inside. The 145 for me at that weight is an all day comfortable boat.
With the exception of moving on to a larger lake, what kind of paddling do you see yourself doing as time progresses?
Do you eventually want to go out in rough water, expeditions, day trips, navigating tight creeks or marshes,etc?
How important is: stability vs maneuverability vs speed?
Just getting a boat and being on the water will likely make you happy, but finding one that you can grow into is a real benefit.
Fourteen foot boats are great for navigating tight spaces. A good design shouldn’t be too slow either. The Jackson Journey and the Dagger Alchemy are great all arounders you may want to look at. They both have very playful hulls in comparison to others you mentioned.
If you think you’re going to eventually want rough water play, just make sure your willing to invest time to learn safety measures like rolls etc. If not you may want to consider a SOT.
It’s sometimes hard to project exactly where you want to go when you’re just getting started. The boats you mentioned are good and you’ll likely be happy. But if you can refine what you’re looking for a bit, you will likely be in a better position to find the right fit.
Joseph Di Chiacchio