Move seat or different kayak?

I recently bought a used Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145. It’s a big upgrade from my Walden Vista :slight_smile:

I’m pretty comfortable in the kayak, but feel I could use some more leg/foot room. My feet feel constricted and there isn’t much travel for the foot pedals to turn the rudder.

We did a few 1 - 1.5 hour paddles and I found that I needed to take my feet off the pedals and stretch my legs out straight to get some relief once or twice during the trip.

I’m 6’1" with a 34" inseam. It looks like I could move the seat back about 2". It would mean drilling some holes (no big deal).

I’ve read a few posts here that say moving the seat made a big difference. My question is - is this worth doing or would I be better off looking for a kayak that fits me better?

The size and weight of it are good. I’m a little concerned about getting something much bigger.


Chrispaddles, I’m not dure you’ll find a longer fit. I’m 6’ 1" at 235 lbs and the Tsunami was one of the best fits for me.

There is a thread on the forum about adding a new hole and moving the seat frame back (front moves to back bolt hole and a new hole for the back. I boeve it was specific to the Tempest. Several padflers have donevit and say it improved made room and also tamed the tendency to weather cock. Hopefully, someone will remember the thread and guide you.(

I’m considering it myself, not for more legroom, but to make it easier to enter and exit, and to reduce a bit of the strong tendency to weather cock. My 175 is ruddered, and the length makes it necessary at times. The 145 is rudderless.

Drilling holes and moving back the seat will affect your trim and raise your bow (which means less tracking). If you remove the thigh pads, that might give you the extra room you want.

Thanks Jyak - I had seen that thread about the tempest. I was wondering if anyone had specific experience with the Tsunami. My 145 has a rudder, which makes the foot room all the more important!

Most of the reviews said it helped, so I’ll give it a shot. I can always move it back if it changes how it handles.


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Thanks Ben - I’ve seen those warnings about the trim. I think I’ll take my chances and see how it works. I can always move it back if I don’t like the results.

I tend to trust that a boat design is well tested and set up to perform best, as it is. However, the Tempest owners and other contributors seemed to have made valid points about improving performance. As you say, the seat can always be returned to the original spot. Pick up a pair of stainless nuts/bolts from the boating store to fill the holes if cosmetic concerns about holes.

CP, I also have a 34" inseam and haven’t found a boat yet that my legs comfortably fit. Almost but not quite. On one I removed the foot braces and glued in minicell blocks. Obviously that doesn’t work if you need to operate a rudder.

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I get numb feet in my Delta 15.5GT unless I put something under the front of my thighs to lift them up a bit. But I have the same problem in cars - I need the seat bottom angled up to do the same thing.

I’ve started using a paddle float to put under my thighs (over the very front of the seat) and it seems to do the trick. There may be better solutions but this kills two birds with one stone.

Hard plastic seat?

Hard-ish, but it does have some flexible foamy padding on the bottom. I wouldn’t call it plush, but it’s definitely not a hard plastic seat.

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Eddyline seats are hard and horrible. Didn’t know if it was like that.

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I’ve moved seats back on WS boats and had no trim issues. No holes drilled, either. (Sometimes you DO need to saw some excess off the rear of the seat base.)

Just move the seat back one bolt hole. Instead of four bolts holding the seat in place you just use two. It works fine. This makes getting in and out much easier. Good luck.

Thanks Rex, that’s a good place to start, just moving it one hole.

You might want to contact WS & see what they say. There may be some reason that the engineers put the seat where it is. There is the chance by moving the seat you could throw the balance or something off & it wont handle correctly in the water.

I moved my Tempest seat back to make it easier to get my legs in and out. I was warned about messing up the trim. I asked Flatpick about it and he said no big deal. So I moved the seat back about 2” expecting the worst but knowing that I could move it forward again.

The only difference with my Tempest was that I could get in and out of it. I know that moving the center of pressure should have lightened the bow but I couldn’t tell the difference.

I’m sure that there are designs that are very sensitive to that and the Tsunami may be one of them. I have no idea but I learned that the Tempest is not one of them.

Its a chance to learn. I’m going to try the clever suggestion to move the front to the rear hole and take it for a test ride before drilling the boat. The distance on a Tsunami is 1 1/2 inches. That can’t make it worse that a slight trim inbalance when loading for a trip. Changing the anti-sway bars on my car corrected the overstear. Not sure why the manufacturer didn’t spec the proper size to dial it in from the factory.

I ran into Steve Scherrer at a boat demo around 2015. He designed the WS Tempest 170, which I believe dates from around 2002. I had owned my Tempest 170 composite for about a year and had read where others were moving the seat back for better cockpit access. His reaction was pretty laidback, and said go for it, it won’t upset the trim.

I moved it back as far as I could, even having only one bolt on each side. I did not want to drill new holes through the deck. It still seemed pretty solid and I did a number of wet recoveries in it with no problem. Looking back I probably would have added another deck hole. Everything is so precious when you first get it.

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Great info, pbenter. The only drawback I can think of is that I start out with one or two, 2 liter bottles of water behind the seat. Then I move them to in front of the seat as I use them. Hope they still fit.

Seat is not a Swiss watch movement.

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Can we all assume that this question follows close to whether to sell your house because your easy chair or couch isn’t just right?