I recently bought a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 160 and have been paddling a Perception Shadow Sea Lion. I am having trouble deciding between the two. Any advise?
so you actually have both now?
if so the obvious question is how do YOU feel about paddling each? That would depend on where you paddle, what your skills are and what you want to get out of paddling. Is it comfortable. Are you snug enough you don’t slosh around but loose enough be comfortable? Does it go straight as you like? Does it turn as you like. Is it as stable as you like? Does one seem faster than the other.
It is, IMO, all about which you prefer. Every boat is a compromise and has different performance characteristics. There will be times when you want to fun play boat or, perhaps, a fishing platform, instead. Don’t let anyone snob you into using/buying a boat that doesn’t fit your personality/mood.
My sea lion is really old, but the design hasn’t seemed to have changed since then.
What it does well:
-fun in waves and surf
It may feel like a dog when wallowing on the back side of a wave or when initially starting a high brace in a broach, but this is deceptive. Lean it over, angle the paddle for a sweep and you will go from broach to facing into the next oncoming wave almost instantly. (this is lots of fun to do, btw). Tracking isn’t great (there are boat that track better), stability is decent (it may feel tippy to first timers, but experienced paddlers may feel it’s too stable), secondary stability goes from edge to to tipping point in a very narrow envelope, but this is what braces are for. Relatively quick, but there are faster boats. Boats I liked more were much more expensive and less generally useful (better for surfing or so designed for touring that they were dogs in the surf). It’s a solid boat in a storm and I have never had difficulty in such conditions.
Over all, there are few hulls I’ve found that are more flexible and general purpose than the sea lion. It’s a good boat with a lot of fine qualities, but it isn’t a particularly excellent in any aspect of performance, though it is above average in some.
But, that’s all my opinion.
Shadow Sea Lion?
I didn’t know the Shadow was ever called a Sea Lion. I thought there was a 1’ difference in length between a Shadow and a Sea Lion.
The Shadow came in a 16.5 and a 14.5. Were there any other sizes?
I have kevlar versions of the Shadow 16.5 and the Eclipse 17 Sea Lion and they are VERY different in volume from each other.
Please be sure which boat you have.
Whichever one fits you best and feels
most comfortable when paddling.
Experiment, if you have them, with different paddles also as this can also determine which may be less tiring and more enjoyable.
Have fun, no matter what your decision is!
shadow vs. tsunami
Thanks for your reply, it was very helpful. Now I gotta take it surfing!!
i enjoy the tsunami
One of the kayaks in my growing fleet is a Tsunami 160. While I cannot compare it to the other kayak in question I will say I find it a very versatile boat and I have no regrets owning it. It is extremely stable, has perhaps the most comfortable seat of my yaks, and can carry a decent amount. It is also reasonably quick given its stability.
I like the fact that I can loan it to less experienced paddlers and they can enjoy stability while still gaining a speed advantage over most recreational yaks.