Currently I have a pungo 120 and I feel that I have outgrown it. I am looking for something faster, but something that offers a lot of stability. I am wondering about the tsunami 120. Has anyone paddled the tsunami 120, what did you think? Also has anyone paddled the tsunami 125, did you notice much of a difference between the 120 and the 125. Any advice you have to help would be much appreciated.
What size are you?
The Tsunami 125 is designed to fit larger paddlers than the 120. Performance should be similar with proportional paddlers.
The 135 would be much faster if it fits.
The Necky Manitou 13 or 14 would also be worth a look.
Size and fit
As above, given that you are a female it isn’t unlikely that both of the boats you mention would be too large and barge-like for you.
Also, if you’ve outgrown the Pungo you will find, as you try other boats, that you have also outgrown the level of flat-water stability of the Pungo.
I own a Tsunami 125 and find it to be quite roomy, but I’m not sure if it would be too big for you or not. I’m perfectly comfortable in it and I’m 6’3 and 220lbs. I wouldn’t go bigger than the 125 just because I use it on smaller streams and it would be tough to handle. I also do not paddle on flatwater other than the slower sections of a river so I’m not sure the performance you would get. I love mine as it tracks pretty well for what I need- it doesn’t turn on a dime, but it’s easy enough to manuever, I love the 2 dry hatches and the decking is covered with bungeees.
Agree w/ Eric_Nyre and Celia…
You are looking at a minimal step up with the boats you list…
Why not take it to the next level?
Perhaps a short resume of the types of paddling you plan on with new kayak could elicit more definitive selection from which to choose.
Is the length restriction due to racking concerns?
Or maybe you only like slow moving rivers and creeks where greater length can be a hinderance?
You want a boat that rocks your world.
Believe it or not a boat that feels tippy at first is actually better for paddling in rough water, waves, choppy conditions. Best to try some boats with experienced paddlers and open up to some new possibilities.
still needing advice.
I guess I should’ve been more clear on my size etc… I am a 5’2" female 140lbs. I have not been paddling long, I love paddling, but don’t particularly enjoy swimming, thus my reason for the stability. LOL.
I paddle mostly just in lakes because the rivers in my area are too large, too fast and I live nowhere near the ocean. So lake paddling will be what I will be doing. Unfortunately there is no place to try out kayaks in my area, so I am relying on the information and the knowledge of you veterans. As for the size of the kayak, I want something that I am able to load on my own, I have racks up the ying yang so that’s not an issue, it’s the loading alone once you have paddled for a few hours is the issue. So with all this new info for you guys to go by…whatcha think??? I have heard many good things about the tsunami 120 and I am sure it is quicker than the pungo 120 I currently have, but I’m open to suggestions. Thank you
T120 will be quicker
But thats not the end of it. How large are the lakes you paddle? Where do you see yourself, as a paddler, in the next year. I have a couple of the Tsunamis and use them for “river tripping” and find that they do a decent job of it and are even fairly decent on flat water.
Other questions that might help provide advice would be: How do you transport your boats and what area do you live in (don’t have to be too specific if you don’t feel comfortable, but it would help people get a feel for your needs now and in the future).
If a tsunami…
this one, Tsunami 135. http://www.wildernesssystems.com/tsunami-135
At 5"2" I’d argue that a 13" depth may still be too much for you, but this one is a heck of a lot closer than the others you mention. As to loading it after a paddle, a slightly longer boat is actually much easier to slide up onto the back of a hatch-type vehicle than a shorter one. If you have a sedan and are sliding your boat up over something like a rack extender, a slightly longer one is still easier. You can prop the bow up then push, something a shorter boat often doesn’t make easy.
At 5’2" and 140 pounds, you are small and have a low enough center of gravity that you could probably paddle a 2 by 4 board and not capsize it. Once you get past the Pungo you’ll find that most all of them will be very kind to someone of your stature in terms of returning to upright.
Here’s One … Valley Avocet …
The plastic is nice for early beginner/intermediates, the composite version boat comes in a version even better for smaller paddlers.
And here is another shocker ... a 16 ft boat is easier to load on a roof rack than a 9 foot boat.
You lift one end and then slide the other up. With shorter boats you end up lifting the whole weight of the boat.
Speed & size
At 5'2", it's important to find a boat that fits you. A boat that's comfortable for an "average" paddler is going to be too wide and too deep for you to paddle comfortably and efficiently.
A narrower boat lets you put your strokes in closer to the boat, which is more efficient. It also lets you use a shorter(lighter) paddle. A boat with a lower foredeck puts your hands in a more comfortable position, and won't be as affected by the wind.
Being able to lean and edge the boat when you want to gives you more control and maneuverability.
As for stability: given your size, you'll be much more stable in a given boat than an average-sized male, so be careful when listening to other people's perceptions. Also, most folks here who move to a narrower boat report that it miraculously becomes more stable after a few hours on the water.
The "trick" to feeling more stable is learning to relax and let the boat move under you as it responds to waves instead of tensing up and fighting to stay perfectly upright. If you can stay loose and let the boat rock under you waves become much more fun. The confidence to relax comes with time in the boat and learning some basic skills, including braces.
In the Tsunamis, the 135 would be a better match for your size than the 120, and it actually weighs slightly less.
Focus on boats for "smaller paddlers".
thank you everyone for so much great information. I’m learning alot being still pretty much a NEWBIE!!! I am leaning towards getting into a longer yak, the comment made about how a longer boat is easier to load really makes sense. I am forever having to lift my pungo because of it’s short length…never really thought about it until the length thing was mentioned. I look forward to any more advice you may have.
length offers initial stability…
Added length in your waterline will add the initial stability you need…as most probably said…Go Longer.
The longer thing totally makes sense to me. I checked out the tsunami 135 after Angstrom’s suggestion and I really like what they had to say about it. I think the fact that it’s built for a women would probably be really nice for someone my size. Although I have loved the stability of my pungo…it has always seemed quite cumbersome, never really gave it much thought, being new at it. But what everyone has said regarding my size and the size of the kayak, it just makes sense. It’s Fall here in Canada, only have a few more weeks of paddling b4 I have to put it away, so I am going to do my research and try to find a place that offers try b4 you buy and hopefully I will be able to try out one of the tsunami 135’s.
If you’re sliding around in the cockpit, as I suspect you are in the Pungo, you’re going to feel less stable. Fighting to hold yourself in place doesn’t help you relax. A good fit gives you more control.
Think about driving a twisty road in a big car with a big bench seat vs. a smaller car with a bucket seat.
Experienced paddlers will often add foam inside the cockpit or make other modifications to get a good fit. Here’s an example:
Many newer boats have adjustable outfitting.
Tsunami a great choice…
For a new paddler feeling their way, this series gives you stability with the ability to negotiate lots of different conditions. Whether you go with the 120 or the 135, you should find that the boat will suit your needs for a good while. I have a 125 that has done everything from whitewater to open salt water. Very forgiving boat.
You will not find
...anything more stable than the Pungo 120.
You could go to a Pungo 140 but speed really comes from the paddler.
Going to any other boat you will give up some stability.
I have paddled the 120 and the 125. Which are not as stable as the Pungo.
Personally I love the Pungo 120 and I don't own one but I paddle all the time. I'll take a Pungo 120 and give anyone in a reasonable kayak a run for their money any day of the week even though I may paddle harder and take more strokes the Pungo will move.
BTW I would take a Pungo 120 over the Pungo 140.
Here are a few to consider
When you say you have “outgrown” your current kayak, I take that to mean you are looking for a more “performance” oriented kayak. Your current kayak is very wide.
As far as loading the kayak on the car yourself, you are limited to fairly light weight kayaks unless you are very strong. Here are four to consider that are all about the same size and weight and appropriate for your size and what you plan to do with the kayak.
Impex Mystic, 14’ x 21.5", 43#;
Tsunami 135 in Duralite, 13’5", 22.75",43#,
Eddyline Merlin LT, 13’5" x 23", 42#.
I think Necky made the Eliza (15.3’ x 22") in a light weight composite, but I can not find info on that right now.
I have a WS Tchaika, which is a great kayak for a small woman, but they are hard to find. I also have a CLC 14 that is a nice kayak that you could build yourself if you are so inclined.
I’m also about your size and I’ve found that many kayaks just don’t “feel” right. My first kayak was found through the classified ads right here on this board. A plastic older Capella w/square hatches in fantastic condition. My first outing was on an aligator infested lake. Talk about not wanting to flip over. This boat was “tippy” at first but as soon as I forgot to be scared, and started enjoying myself, the boat seemed to become more stable. This Capella is about 16.5 feet long and pretty narrow. It probably wasn’t the “smart” thing to start my kayaking out with but it sure did make me learn real quick how to paddle it. I love that boat and I’ve bought several other boats after that one, all used. I’ve reciently bought my first NEW boat, an Impex Mystic. Now that’s a boat that’s just made for our size!!
outgrown the pungo
HA HA HA…yup “outgrown” in the sense that I want something that will allow me to move quicker and with more agility!!! HA HA, not outgrown in size. I REALLY HOPE I don’t ever outgrow my pungo 120 in size. Actually my 12 year old daughter is really excited for me to get a new kayak because she loves the stability of my pungo and she knows that she will be paddling along beside me. What a great family sport.