Tsunami 12.0 or 14.0

Hi everyone, my wife and I are new to kayaks, I have a bit more experience than she does, having only done it once with a tandom with me. I have been researching kayaks for about a month now and have settled on either the Tsunami 12.0 or 14.0. We will mainly be paddling creeks, river, lakes, sounds, doubt if we will get into the ocean but you never know. I have read many good reviews on the 14.0 but cannot find hardly any reviews on the 12.0, is it very new? The 12.5 is also well liked. I would like to try it out but there is no place nearby to try one. Anyone have the 12.0? Thanks for the help.

Before you get any answers, everyone will ask the same questions? What are your heights and weights, what type of paddling will you mostly be doing (flat water lakes, rivers, seas?) and what length paddles will you be most likely to do (day, weekend, or extended trips?)

As you already discussed the type of water you’d be on, those are good matches for the Tsunami line. But you may find that you quickly outgrow the Tsunamis and want something different. Or you may find they suit your needs perfectly. A test paddle really does go a long way and even better is the opportunity to demo many boats. Your profile says you’re in Eastern NC where paddling is fairly popular. If you can find any local clubs or local shops that have demo days, it really would behoove you and your wife to take the opportunity. You may find that you have very different needs and preferences in boats from one another. There are a plethora of boats to choose from and a ton of folks here who can give great advice.Good luck!-Toddy


– Last Updated: Aug-13-07 8:42 PM EST –

As mentioned above, some physical characteristics are good to know when fitting a particular boat...height, weight, shoe size, etc.. The Tsunamis, in general, are pretty good boats. I've demoed both a 140 and a 145 in the past and almost bought a 145 (I ended up with a Necky Manitou 14 instead for weight reasons). I've never tried the 120 or 125 although I recently watched a couple while they were demoing a pair of 125 and 2 or 3 other boats...they liked the 125s best by far. They are stable, track well and have a really comfortable seat. They are not the fastest (a side effect of beefier stability and a slightly heavier hull) in their class but if you and your spouse have similar boats that's no big deal (although it may be a concern if you paddle with other folks or groups). With the 120/125 and 140/145 the weights and the price is almost identical. For the same money, I'd go with the extra 6" (125/145s) for a little better tracking and little more speed (although probably not noticeable). Also with the 125/145, you don't get any more width or room in the seat but you get a little more leg and foot room if it's needed (long legs or bigger feet).

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As far as size, I am 5’10" and 155lbs, my wife is 5’7" and 150lbs. We will aminly do day trips of 2 to 5 hours with an overnight thrown in on occassion. I did find one place that has them but they have none in stock. They will order them but you cannot chose the color and still get their buy 2 boat discount. I found a site on the internet that has both boats on sale for 25% off but cannot decide which one to buy.

The differences
are pretty basic between the 120/125 and 140/145. Both the 120/140 are supposed to be for the “smaller” paddlers, having slightly tighter cockpits then the larger versions. The extra 6" between the 120/125 or 140/145 will not result in any difference in tracking, maneuverability, or stability.

The choice between the 12x and 14x line should be determined by the type of water you plan on paddling. For larger water where better tracking, or longer trips where more storage space will be more important then the 14x line will be better. If you are a medium/larger paddler the 145, or small/medium then the 140.

If you will paddling more small waterways, twisty creeks or rivers, etc where maneuverability will be more important then the 12x would be best.

For comparison I’m 5’10" 165lbs, slim athletic build, and size 9.5 feet. I fit great in my 120, but I like a snugger fit. I’m kind of a tweener and fit well in the 125 as well, if you are larger then me then the 125/145 will be the best fit, if smaller then me then 120/140 will be a better fit.

Whatever sizes you choose the Tsunami’s are awesome boats, great to learn in, and lots of fun in all kinds of water. You’re making a great choice with the Tsunami.

Good luck!

My husband has a Tsunami 120
and loves it. He wanted the shorter boat for better maneuverability. He likes to head for waves, rapids, and twisty sections of rivers. I think he’s a closet white-water guy who hasn’t come clean yet. His is the duralite, so it’s pretty light. He’s about 5’10/190 lbs for size. A friend of ours has the 125. She thought she wanted the roomier cockpit of the 125, but now wishes she had the 120. Another friend has the 145 that she’s happy with. We paddle water similar to what you mentioned, and the Tsunami’s are pretty popular among our group. It’s no surprise on bigger rivers and lakes the longer boats shine, but on smaller rivers, sloughs or creeks, the 12 footers do better.

Like others have mentioned it’s going to depend on your size, etc. Demo days, if you can get to them, or even better, rent for a few trips to get a really good idea what you like.

Tsunami 120/140
My wife and I both have Tsunami 140s, which were our first boats. They are great boats, but as indicated above, we have outgrown them and are looking for longer touring kayaks. The main reason we are looking to acquire new kayaks is that the places we paddle have changed, now prefering to paddle in the ocean where the winds are always higher. We are intersted in boats that are less affected by wind.

That said, we have loved the tsunami 140s. There is enough storage room for a weekend camping trip, they are reasonably fast, stable, and fairly comfortable. I am 6’ and 175 lbs, and I would prefer the 140 cockpit to be tighter fitting. My wife, who is 5’3, swims in the 140 cockpit. It is my understanding from reading other posts regarding the 145 that it is for a larger person, probably 200+ lbs. I have no experience with the 120/125, but would imagine the cockpit characteristics would be similar.


Consider a year or so out.

– Last Updated: Aug-14-07 2:20 PM EST –

The Tsunamis are outstanding boats, but you'd be wise to consider a few things in selecting the size. I've got a 145 with a rudder and my wife just recently got herself a 140 earlier this season. At 5'10", 175 Lbs I've found that the 145 is actually too voluminous for me; I was surprised to discover that I can paddle the 140 faster. I have to load up the Tsunami 145 to get the waterline down to optimal level. Check out the reviews here, and you'll probably come to the conclusion that the 145 is a boat for bigger people.

That said, I think the 120 might be a tad small for extended trips and camping, so I'm led to believe that the 140 would be right on the mark for both of you.

Secondly, you really should consider the possibility of your paddling preferences evolving. Mine have, and I'm now looking to move up to a 17-18 foot boat with true sea kayak capabilities. I wish I had thought of this at the outset and bought a kayak that I could grow into rather than "out of." As you noted, you don't have much experience, but that doesn't mean that once you get experience you won't be looking for some bigger waters and challenges. Once I got a sense of open ocean kayaking in conditions, I got hooked in a major way. I manage to "get by" with the Tsunami right now, but its frustrating to kayak with groups where I have to work twice as hard as everyone else just to keep up and not hold things back.

Good luck.

Outgrow ?
I hear this being batted around on P-Net all the time. The Tsunami line will serve you well into the future if you are like 90 % of the paddlers out there.

If you intend to paddle in waters of the Pacific northwest, around Newfundland, or similar waters, perhaps not. They are good boats and should serve you well.

Do a search here on P-net with Tsunami as the subject. You should find this discussed several times previously.

Redefine outgrow
Perhaps I should clarify my reasons for choosing to upgrade to a larger/narrower kayak. Cliffjrs is correct, there have been several threads concerning whether one “outgrows” a tsunami. The 140 can be used in perhaps all conditions, or at least those that far exceed my paddling ability. However, as we have decided to paddle almost exclusively at the coast and we would like to cover greater distances, a longer/narrower boat that has a lower volume is what we are interested in.

The Tsunami 140 is perfectly adequate for the locations where we paddle, but if better boats exist for what we want (faster, less affected by wind, etc) then why not switch to them?

Optimal level?
Where do you think the optimal level of performance (water level wise) is on your Tsunami? I recall seeing/reading/hearing from more than one source that they seem to paddle a bit better with a load on them rather than empty.

I seriously considered the tsunami after three months paddling an old town Rush. I was talked out of it and into getting a sea kayak. So I got a used Tempest 170. Best move I ever made. Not only did it do everything a tsunami would do, but it certainly increases you skills range and will never limit you in any aspect other than paddling in little windy creeks in which case you still woudl not want a tsunami but something shorter still.

But again I fell in hook line and sinker. It was as if i had been waiting for this sport my whole life so I am definitely suspect. :slight_smile:


Waterlines and learning curves
I’m no expert. But I can discern a real improvement in ease of paddling and cruising speed when the waterline is at the point where the bow starts to go vertical and the hull makes a transition from the “fixed skeg” to the overhang in the stern. I have to put a lot of gear in the compartments to get it sitting at that level.

I think I would have had a better match in the 140 myself.

That said, the Tsunami line is terrific for what is called light touring. I like them better than anything else I’ve tried in that class.

My issue is that I have, indeed, “outgrown” the class. Even if I was strictly limiting myself to flatwater lakes and rivers, I might not be individually frustrated by the speed limitations but I would still have trouble keeping up with the groups I paddle with.

None of this is intended as a knock on the Tsunami. It’s ocean-capable and a heck of a lot of fun.

Its also a terrific learning kayak that got me “into” the sport. Now I’m ready to graduate.

Meeeee Tooo
I expect to receive my Tsunami 12.5 this week. Hopefully, it will cover all my bases except for the smallest of streams. I have an Approach for those. Don’t plan on paddling the big ole ocean any time soon but if I do, guess I will be looking for a 17 footer.

Funny what you said about hook, line, and sinker. I did not get into paddling until I was almost 40 years old. Let’s just say I am now making up for lost time. :slight_smile:

the 120 is small
I’m 5’7", 155 lbs, and could barely fit in it. Its good for small people 100-130 lbs.

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Ignore Ignore Ignore
Pam 14’s post he is totally incorrect about the size of the Tsunami 120. I’m 5’10" 165lbs, 32" waist with 32" inseam, size 9.5 - size 10 feet, and I fit great in my Tsunami 120. If I were 10-15 lbs heavier, or over 6’ I’d consider the 125, but for my size the 125 was too loose.

The 120 has a tight keyhole style cockpit, not the big open loose cockpit of a rec kayak like say a Pamlico.

For people 100-130 lbs they just released the Tsunami SP, which is specifically designed not just for children but for smaller framed paddlers.

So after
you got your Loon you got an Approach? And now you are finally getting a Tsunami 125?!?! In under 6 months you’ll have a fleet that rivals most here at P.net. At least those lengthy posts about the Tsunami weren’t a total waste :slight_smile: Enjoy it, it is a GREAT boat.

Let’s Just Say
it’s my mid life crisis!! :slight_smile: The Loon is for sale BTW.

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And thanks
for all your input on the TSU 12.5. As you can imagine, I researched this thing ad nauseum and the TSU 12.5 was the one that kept rising to the top. When I saw it on sale,I couldn’t resist. :slight_smile:

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"The loon is for sale…" now that’s funny! So what color is the Tsunami you ordered?