Is a WS Pungo 120 considered high end?

-- Last Updated: Oct-26-16 6:32 PM EST --

I had always been told Wilderness Systems was top of the line as far as rec boats go and recently found one on clearance for the same price I paid for my Dirigo, $720 but I've recently read multiple reviews on both here and other reputable paddling sites that compared the Pungo 120 and the Old Town Dirigo 120 head to head and rated them as pretty much equal with many favoring the Dirigo. I was shocked after everything I had been told on here unless WS is also not taken that seriously. I know WS uses higher quality materials, that much I've confirmed. But multiple sales reps at REI and a few local high end outfitters basically said that I would notice very little difference in the performance of the two and that if anything the narrower width of the Dirigo would give it the nod in tracking. I'm puzzled lol.

Not by me !

– Last Updated: Oct-26-16 6:17 PM EST –

High end kayaks are made from Kevlar, or carbon Kevlar and are between fourteen feet and twenty feet long

Jack L

Oh wow lol
Well in the league I’m in w these rec boats is it considerably better than the Old Town?


– Last Updated: Oct-26-16 6:36 PM EST –

The Pungo is a pretty good rec boat; my first kayak was a Pungo Ultralite. Wilderness systems uses good quality fittings and comfortable seats and the company stands behind its products.

It's nowhere in the class of, say a Current Designs Kestrel, and many other really high quality boats though.

Rec boats generally have limited use. They won't handle rougher conditions and won't let you develop your paddling skills.

Also, don't get hung up on individual kayak specs. All kayak designs are compromises. A boat that tracks well could also be a boat that doesn't turn easily, maneuver without some effort and not feel lively on the water.

Oh ok
Sounds like I’ll eventually get into some higher end stuff. I just wanted to start small. Do you do white water at all?

Wow I’ve been on Current Designs webpage
Those are some seriously beautiful boats. What is the difference between British Touring and Am touring?

other high end boats
Look at these sites, too. Only a few of the many makers of “high end” kayaks, some of which cost as much as $5,000:

As to your question about “British” and “American” style touring kayaks, this article from Frontenac Outfitters (excellent shop in Ontario that I’ve visited) has on their website explains some of the basics of design and outfitting. The explanation is about halfway down under “Kayaks with Style”:

To your question:
Pungos are great boats but the thing that sets them and other WS boats apart in the Phase 3 seat.The most comfortable seat of any kayak I have owned, which is many.

The 140 will go most places abeginner wants to go with stability and decent speed.

All these boats you are adking about are made to go in a straight line. That is not whitewater.

The Frintenac website’s description is pretty good.

Generally - but not quite universally - British designs use a skeg and the seating system uses a backband. American designs use a rudder and a regular (higher) sear back. British hulls have less volume, more rocker and are designed for more confused seas. American hulls are more designed for straight line travel.

In many respects British designs are somewhat in between American and Greenland styles.

But, again these are just generalizations and there are plenty of exceptions.

Apples and oranges
Speed is not quality. All rec boats are on the slower side compared to something a sea kayak. But some have better seats, use better plastic etc. Liken WS compared to Old Town. That is where the quality shows when you are talking about rec boats intended to be wide and stable on flat water. Eg, slow.

Frankly I don’t see why you would be interested in a skinnier boat given your plans in another thread to put holes in it to mount something intended to hold a fishing rod.


– Last Updated: Oct-26-16 11:59 PM EST –

In the other thread he basically said he doesn't want a "good" boat because he likes the boat he has for fishing, fishing, and fishing.

Now we're interested in speed and tracking?

That’s because he’s a troll

Wilderness Systems
The Wilderness Systems Pungo is a quality boat. I’ve paddled one a few times, and I also own a Tsunami 14.

The fit and finish is generally good for a rotomold PE kayak, the hardware has lasted and the seat is well made and comfortable. Both boats are durable, stable and paddle well.

The pungo in particular is a “recreational” kayak and fills that niche well for what it is intended. I also own long skinny boats for paddling out into the deep blue sea, but I would recommend the pungo for sheltered lakes and rivers where neither distance nor rough conditions are a concern.

An excellent video…
All that trolls ever need to know about Pungos:

Nick (an intermediate paddler…)

Depends on your definition of distance.
To me, 5 miles is hardly worth the effort , 10 miles is a nice moderate paddle, and 20 is a really good day, all of which are no sweat in a Pungo. I’m talking lakes and rivers.


I went thru this area on the way to a Solstice Titan.

design sophistication…a more expensive mold/layup …is not pinnable to either as more r less.

West Coast paddlers strongly suggested Brit hulls over American or Great Lakes hull design…appearing in retrospect influenced by the tsunami group and kayak surfers

In that Brit hulls turn on the wave more effectively than American hulls

American hulls are more energy efficient for long distance ( whatever numbers are yours) paddling n equipment hauling.

So play n land on the beach or travel forward.

There is a bicycle analogy. MTB to cyclocrossers turn around stumps, sports touring road frames move more effectively in a straight line …

so are you running around stumps on the way to school work play or traveling in straight lines with an occasional tight corner.

there is a huge difference in energy wastes choosing the wrong hull for your application.

now Jack …

be patient with the Tupperware group …

to be racist or stereotyping or profiling ?

No, applying a statistics observation

the time/place/$$$ they enter into …Tupperware

averages experience/knowledge/and intelligence…

into a lower levels articulating the subject into communicable print.

Probably true of product reviews both commercial and private … as to where is the commercial directed ?

the highest or lowest common denominator ?

approaching the Tupperware hoard as waterway clogging detreatus should be avoided.

ok jbernard has convinced me
Well, Ohioguy convinced me that jbernard is right.

I’m not a troll
I do want my boat for fishing but I also care about speed and tracking. I just didn’t think I could find another one new that was better in these categories than the OT at that price.

Don’t know what you don’t know
You have enough time thinking about kayaks to be satisfied with the one you got. That is about as much as anyone can manage for their first boat.

You don’t have time in the saddle to be certain of any fastest, trackiest etc comparisons. It is not a problem that you don’t know a lot yet - no one new in an activity does. What is grating is your insistence that you must, like coming back on this round to restate that you got the fastest and best tracking boat possible for the money. When you only really ever looked at one boat to start with, unless you want to call it two for the 10 foot version you sent back.