Outfitting Tsunami 125


Just wanted to know how other paddlers who own a Tsunami 125 (or similar Tsunamis) have outfitted their kayaks.

I’m about 5’7" and find that:

  1. I hardly ever use the thigh braces… they’re just to small and are in the forward most position. Consequently, my kayak doesn’t feel snug when I hit any chop. I end up pressing really hard on the foot stops instead to control the kayak… which feels like a bad habit now.
  2. The seat starts hurting my butt after a few hours, as does the lower back support, and I end up trying to lean backwards to get some more support. (It’s not easy to try and tighten up the seat in a more forward position with the sprayskirt in place)
  3. My hips feel like they can move left/right whenever I put any significant pressure on the foot stops… and doesn’t really control the lean of the kayak… something I’d like to learn to do.

    I’m a relatively novice paddler and would love any advice on the subject… especially if any is specific to the Tsunami 125 or similar Tsunamis.



well now…
1. you might try moving the thigh braces aft and see if it helps. others have added more foam to bring them down a ways. The 125 thighs are quite generous. Do you use the leg lifters to get your legs/ thighs UP a bit?

2. you might retrofit a tempest style (or other make) backstrap instead of the P/3 backrest. gives a more ‘athletic’ fit.

3. there is an accessory hip pad system OR make some minicell hip pads for more contact.

hope this helps


what about those leg-lifters?
I’ve been wondering if such a thing exists – either commercial, or custom – to help with fit, and to help those with wider cockpits keep their knees more upright.

Tsunami 120

– Last Updated: Dec-30-08 2:57 PM EST –

maybe you should have bought the 120 instead of the 125? the 125 like the 145 has a very generous cockpit sized for larger paddlers. I'm 5'9" and found the 145 not to be huge but I had difficulty making contact with the thigh braces, the 140 was a sportier fit.

Sorry! Second try
If you saw my first post - I confounded your identity with another person asking a boat question. So to start all over again…

On outfitting the boat -

As flatpick says, move those thigh braces as far back as possible. You may also want to consider whitewater braces, which can be gotten longer and of varying levels of aggressive grab. From the photo it appears to me that the thigh braces anchor on the Tsunami 125 is similar to those in older WW boats like the Inazone.

You also need to have the foot pegs close enough to you that your thighs come up into the braces. I am not sure if you have done that from your post.

Once you have decent thigh braces above where your thighs lie, you’ll probably still have to build up minicell foam under them to make them come down a little lower. The boat is planned for someone larger than you.

Take flatpick’s suggestion to lose the seat back for a back band. The seat is probably hurting because you are just way to tense in there trying to maintain good contact. And leaning back is about the worst position you can be in.

Finally, you can also glue squares of minicell into the sides of the seat/boat to make the seat narrower. Look st the kits flatpick mentions or at outfitting kits from whitewater places - it’s a normal adaptation so there are a number of pre-cut shapes available.

Minicell glues in nicely via a product like DAP Weldwood Contact Cement by the way, available from big box and local hardware stores.

All that said, it’s worth asking if you should oufit this boat or move on to one more suited to your size. Even if you fix the contact issues, this is a boat for a larger paddler and has a capacity of 300 pounds. Even fully outfitted, you’ll have to work harder than the target paddler to get this boat to do what you want.

It sounds like you are trying to move on in your paddling with a boat that was acquired before you understood the issues of fit and volume. If that is the case and you can put together some cash for a used boat more suited to your size over the winter, that may be a much better solution than trying to retrofit this boat to your present needs.

Wrong boat
I am 5’10" and received a Tsunami 125 in error last year from REI. I didn’t even realize it until after I’d paddled it, silly me, there it was on the decal. Just to be sure, I measured the cockpit, depth, etc. Sure enough a 125. REI was great, they sent me the correct boat (120) an I returned the 125. The 120 was a MUCH better fit. I took out the seat back and installed a Bomber Gear back band, BIG improvment. I use the boat on class I and II rivers and am tickled pink in its performance.

Thanks everyone for responding! Especially Celia and Flatpick and Okole.

I’m a 5’7" 180lb guy… and the dealer (who did have the Tsunami 120 as well), said that the 120 would be small for me. After eyeballing the 120 and 125 side-by-side, it seemed to me that he was right. In hindsight, I should have perhaps at least tried it out to be sure. In any case, I ended up with the 125 a few months ago. I tried a number of other yaks in the same size range and the Tsunami seemed to have the best glide and required the least effort to move through the water. A 14 foot kayak is a bit too long for me to keep comfortably in my garage… so I didn’t try the Tsunami 140.

I’ve been taking it out to Austin’s Town Lake and it’s been doing fine… just that I didn’t know enough about fitment and it didn’t matter as much for 2 hour paddles on flat water. Recently, I took the yak out to Corpus Christi and paddled in some choppy water, when it become more apparent that I needed to sit a little more snug and control the roll with thigh braces… which resulted in this post.

Anyway, I had my kayak on the floor this morning and moved the thigh braces about 2 inches closer to the seat. I also raised the lip of the seat by about an inch so that the bottom of my thighs are in contact with it, when my legs are in this slightly bent position. My knees now rest against the padded flat inside portion of the thigh braces as well. I’ve moved the foot stops a few notches inward as well so that my feet rest against the stops in the bent position. The only thing remaining seem to be an inch wide gap on either side of my hip. I’ll probably fill these somewhat with minicell. I’ll have to be mindful that they’re not so snug that I can’t do an emergency exit. I’ve repositioned the seat back to right just a bit higher (the curve of the back seems to match the curve of my back in this position) although it makes it a shade harder to put on the sprayskirt (its new and still very tight).

Next, to learn to edge the kayak for tight turns and to learn to roll when the water gets a little warmer).

Thanks again!

If you have more comments/suggestions, I’ll be more than happy to read them… so please keep them coming in you have more.

hip gap

– Last Updated: Dec-31-08 2:45 PM EST –

Don't worry about how filling the gap will affect ease of exit unless you go very tight with an aggressively contoured pad. When you're upside-down, gravity, adrenaline and water tend to make it much easier to get out...

The hard part for a lot of folks is staying in so they can roll and NOT falling out too soon.

You will notice a difference in control when you're not sliding side-to-side. It makes it easier to relax and let the boat move with the waves.

If the gap is only an inch…
I’d agree with above to not fill that in until you’ve had time on the water to see how the other improvements work out. There is an approach to edging that says it should happen first and as much as possible by shifting your weight, only go to the more artificial thing of aggressively lifting a thigh when you need more than that’ll give you. The weight shift alone, in an ideal state, should get you pretty close to a point of stability on the boat that can be very secure because you are still able to be relaxed. An inch on each side of your hips will allow you to do that shift.

Good luck - it sounds like you are doing all the right things within your storage capacity. If you decide to try and stretch that though, consider hanging a longer boat at an angle up the wall of the garage. That way you get the hypotenuse (sp?) of the right angle triangle. We have a 15 plus ft plastic boat stored on a maybe 13 ft wall in the basement and it fits fine that way. It’s supported by straps and sits into foam blocks on each end.