Done with Mtn Biking and WW Rafting(back problems).Now in mid 50s and looking into kayaking/camping to “stay off the couch”.As far as I can gather from kayaking reviews The Tsunami has very comfortable seating and is a good beginner boat.Comparing the WS 140 with the Delta 12.10,the Delta is more seaworthy in hazardous conditions( Lake Powell can blow up in a hurry),considerably lighter to car top and more maneuverable than the Tsunami 140. Delta has greater capacity and more seaworthy and efficient than the WS 120.I believe I am too heavy for the WS 120 @ 210 lbs/ 5’ 10" and I read (Frontenac Outfitters site) to skip the WS 125 as it is a poor performer compared to the WS 120,140 and Delta. Can demo the WS boats but have no way of trying out the Delta as the nearest dealer is 18 hours away.Wife is 5’7"/160 lbs so she may be OK for the WS 120. If I was confident the Delta had comfortable seating (back injuries)I would go with this boat for both of us over any of the WS Kayaks based on reviews.Any experienced advise would be appreciated.
I'm pretty sure that a number of people will weigh in that the seaworthiness of the Tsumani hull is just fine.
There are things to consider if you are worried about a sudden change blowing up, but that is more a matter of features than either hull. At 12 foot you get some of these features but not always all of them.
Features that can make the diff between being able to solve the issue of a capsize or risk a dangerous swim:
Having learned and practiced on-water rescues (you)
Flotation front and back, either via float bags you add or sealed bulkheads in both
Perimeter rigging - static lines not bungies - all around the front and the back of the boat.
End toggles or loops that are easy to find and grab when the boat is upside down and you are both bouncing around.
FWIW, it can be easier to car top a longer boat because you can slide it up. As the boats get quite short, that's not an option. Get a basic cart to carry from car to launch.
Bigger waves than this ?
I owned a Delta 12.10 for a couple years before upgrading to a Delta 16. My friend eagerly purchased my 12.10 from me I might add. The 12.10 is a great little boat, it tracks well for it’s size, very maneuverable and extremely stable. It was a great boat for coastal cruising, it surfs really well and holds a fair amount of gear in water tight bulk heads that are easily accessed. The thermoformed Solar Kote used keeps the boat looking pristine, yet very durable against scratches and dings. I found the seat to be comfortable, it allows you to adjust forward and back, as well as having a fully adjustable seat back. The WS does have a great 3 phase seating system. The Delta is easy to car top and shoulder to the water at 43 pounds. I love my Delta boats and I am a very big advocate of their boats. There are not as many distributors for Delta’s as WS, but Mark Hall and his crew makes a great product and offer wonderful customer service.
Why kayak - Back Problems ???
Anyone that paddles knows kayakers use back muscles.
You'll be constantly rotating your torso left and right.
Leaning forward is crucial to proper technique and form.
Might want to re-evaluate your choice of sports....
Back problems are just one of a thousand reasons to choose a canoe over a yak.
You can’t play on waves with a sea kayak ; ) J/K Nice shot!
kayaking and back issues?
Thanks for the input. I guess I will need to rent a kayak for a few days of paddling before purchasing. The back issues for me were upper back and neck problems due to crashing Mtn Bike.As long as I maintain an upright posture with lumbar curvature I should be fine. Nothing like the bent over with head tilted back of cycling. Will keep my fingers crossed.I have friend with back injuries and he claimed kayaking has helped him build back strength and flexibility.Good to read the Delta has comfortable seating. It looks like a high quality boat for the money.
What I had thought…
You indicate what I was suspecting from a biking background, with issues in upper back and neck. Most of the changes I made to my first road bike were to change that configuration - getting a shorter handlebar stem, improving the access to my brake levers etc. The second one was a quasi-custom job that had those issues fixed.
As to kayaking with back/neck issues - it’ll be particularly important for you to get some help early on to make sure that you are paddling with good rotation in the torso. Otherwise you could fall into arm paddling and beat up the same area of muscles.
You will also want to look for add-ons or extras for a rack that’ll make it easy to slide the boat up and down rather than ever carry the full weight of the thing. One such device is the RollerLoader (http://www.amagansettbeachco.com/indexrl.asp?type=RL), and some rack makers have devices to accomplish the same thing. Which will work best depends on the rack and the roof that you’ll have to deal with - the current trend of putting the backup lights into an extra thing that juts out beyond the rear window doesn’t make life easier.
But - done right it should be plenty safe, or even help, your back to go double bladed.
Flatpick’s not mine.
What is your budget?
If you’re looking at thermoformed Deltas, would you be able to afford an Eddlyline?
I’ve demoed most of the Deltas. The seat is quite comfortable, better than most. The 12 is an excellent little boat—faster than you would expect for its short length, quite zippy, maneuverable, and maintains the legendary Delta stability. But no 12’ boat is designed for big water.
I didn’t enjoy the Delta 14 or 15—slow, bulky. Eminently stable of course, in fact amazingly stable, and they have huge storage capacity. But the stability comes at a price here, especially in the 15. Getting both stability and maneuverability requires some design finesse that I don’t see in these two Deltas.
The Delta 16 has very good reviews—fast, stable for its width, maneuverable. I don’t know if you would fit in the cockpit. Try it and see. And definitely demo it to see if it suits your paddling level—note the 22" width.
If roominess is an issue I highly recommend the 15.5’ Eddyline Journey—large cockpit, seaworthy. The 14’ Eddyline Equinox is another boat to consider. It is definitely slower than the Journey and in fact has no real advantages over the Journey.
Best out of that lot: the Delta 12 and the Eddyline Journey. Two quite different boats. For the conditions you describe I think the Journey would be better. Quite a bit more money than the Delta 12.
Both Delta and Eddyline will give you personalized service.
Overcoming back problems
There are things you can do to make kayaking easier on your back and neck. I was able to adapt to kayaking after a head/neck/shouler compression injury from skiing.
Tips from my experience:
- Get a comfortable seat with a fully adjustable back and a well-designed lumbar support. The best lumbar support supports you in the middle of the small of your back, not at the sides (in my opinion).
- Pay attention to the depth of the kayak. With a bad back I find it important to be able to change position frequently, especially to be able to lift a knee up. The knees shouldn’t be crammed under the deck or thigh braces, angled down—That will create muscle and joint strain from the knee on up.
- Take frequent breaks both in and out of the kayak. Get out and stretch.
- Get the best paddle you can afford. A light paddle along with a light kayak will be easier on joints and muscles.
The seat in the Tsunamis is great. I suggest you go with the 145 Tsunami as you are about my size and that is the one I felt most comfortable in. the 140 is more for smaller paddlers according to some sales people/reps.
I highly reccommend that you try out kayaking and different kayaks before purchasing one. As they all fit alittle differently.
"smaller’ is a little general
When Wildy introduced the Tsunamis, that’s how they pitched the 140 vs 145 too, but my experience selling them over the years is that for almost anyone under 5’11 and under 200 pounds, the 140 is actually a better fit.
Not sure if that qualifies as “smaller” for most of us, since a 5’ 9, 170 pound guy would be considered “average”, but there ya have it.
I was in a similar position two years ago when trying to choose first kayaks for me and my wife. The Delta 12.10 appealed to me (and still does) due to it’s sea kayaking pedigree and light weight.
While we could not try the Delta locally we did demo several other (plastic) cross-over kayaks and we kept coming back to the Tsunami, largely in-part due to the comfort of the seat and cockpit. We ended up with the Tsunami 140 for my wife (5’3", 150#) and the 145 for me (5’7", 215#). We also opted for the rudders which (while not needed most times) do come in handy on long trips or when fighting river currents. We are also in our early fifties and take our kayaks everywhere we can including local lakes, rivers, and Lake Erie (protected areas). While the 140 is actually a better “fit” for me, I appreciate the extra weight and volume capacity of the 145 for our frequent camping trips. In order to get a better fit in these boats I added the Harmony hip pads to both and switched the standard high back Phase3 seat in my 145 for the Harmony Phase3 backband.
The 14/14.5’ Tsunamis have been a good all-around choice for us these couple few years although the lighter weight of the Delta would be an advantage loading on and off my 4Runner!
This year I got a great deal on a Nordkapp RM and am anxious to get some lake time and stretch out of my current comfort zone. Unfortunately my wife is not interested in pursuing the next level so I will use my Nordkapp for longer Great Lakes trips with other paddlers.
Good luck in your search!
Narrowing my search to thermo formed boa
Thanks for the feedback.Sounds like core conditioning is as important if not more important than upper body conditioning. In preparation for this sport I Have started push ups and sit ups with lateral crunches.
As far as the boats are concerned I do not want to spend over $1500 so the Edyline Journey or Equinox are out.The Edyline Skylark is a possibility as is the Hurricane Expedition 128.The Delta 12.10 is still my preference based on no personal experience and reading reviews(used off the west coast of Vancouver Island to teach kayaking in surf.)All three are under 45 lbs, are thermoformed,have 2 bulkheads.The poly WS 140 is less expensive but not if the ruder option is added.Possibly more efficient and better tracking but possibly less maneuverable in side canyons and at 55lbs it is a little heavy for car topping.
The Delta cockpit is 32.5"X18" and the Hurricane 128 is 38"X21".The Edyline cockpit is 35"X18.“Is the Hurricane cockpit too large? My assumption is it is comfortable with room to move around but possibly prone to swamping without large spray skirt and difficult to lean for turning.Is the Delta cockpit too confining?
BTW I weigh 200 to 210 lbs and am 5’10”. Max capacity of Hurricane is 250 lbs and the other three boats are rated around 300 lbs. Mostly day touring on protected lakes with some overnights with 35 to 40 lbs of gear on Lake Powell AZ/UT.The lake has lots of side canyons,and rocks to get on the leeward side when it blows up but seaworthiness is a primary safety concern.
Cool boat worth checking out…
Comparing your choices
Chan, it sounds like you’re leaning toward a thermoformed kayak. Excellent choice—many advantages, only one vice that I know of (cracks in very cold temperatures if you hit a rock with force).
So Eddyline is out (although I would keep my eye out for a used one) and you’re down to Delta and Hurricane. The clear winner for overall quality between those two is Delta. The material, design, and outfitting are better, significantly better. I also think the 250 lb weight capacity of the Hurricane is not enough for you plus the gear you’re planning to take.
Cockpit size is quite important. You’re a large person, but not humongous. The cockpit of the Hurricane Expedition is clearly in the recreational category, meaning it could definitely swamp in waves unless you’re wearing a sprayskirt—which isn’t expected with a recreational cockpit.
I think you will fit ok in the Delta cockpit. 32" is about average. Longer than that would be needed by large people or older people with joint problems (stiff hip or knee joints). I prefer the 35" cockpit of the Eddyline Journey for that reason. Note however that once you’re in the Delta you will be comfortable—the 32" opening affects only getting in and out, not your comfort in the boat.
Comparing the Delta 12.10 to the Eddyline Skylark, I think you will get better performance (speed) out of the Delta because it’s 10" longer and 1.5" narrower. That added width in the Skylark is significant.
I’m not sure why the short little Delta is marketed as a “sea kayak.” Please be careful about that moniker. The reviews don’t say much about its sea worthiness, but I did find this: http://www.boatcraft.com/Review%2012-10.htm. Frontenac seems pretty enthusiastic about the Delta 12.10.
Having paddled it, I have to say it’s an impressive kayak for its short length. It has a good combination of stability and speed that is rare in such a short boat. It’s the best kayak I can think of in that length.
It’s hard to compare the Delta 12.10 and the Tsunami 140. They’re really different boats. The quality of the Delta is definitely better.
My experience with a 12’ kayak in big water was unsuccessful. But that kayak had a poor design for stability, nothing like the Deltas. So the conclusion from the reviews is that the Delta 12.10 can handle bigger water than expected due to its very stable design.
So my vote is for the Delta 12.10 over the Skylark (too wide) and the Tsunami (too heavy).
If you can only have one kayak, it needs to cover most of your needs most of the time and never get you in trouble. Personally I wouldn’t get a 12’ kayak for touring, but it might do for the short trips you have planned.
same background/age as you (ok, slightly older), and still riding mt. bikes (29er rigid SS & hardtail) and have some back issues too. I have a 15.5 Easky sit inside that I love, but my favorite for comfort is my 15’ sit on top. After a long paddle, it’s easy to unsnap seat and lay completely flat to stretch out…and certainly much easier to get in/on a SOT. A good seat with support on a SOT is really more comfortable than any sit inside yak seat for me, maybe due to my size 12 feet and being 6’2". Have no problems keeping up with sit inside yaks for a few hours, but anything longer than that is where the efficiency of a sit inside is better. That said, I paddled a Kaskazi Dorado sit on top (about 15’), that was as a absolute joy for speed and effort…made in S. Africa and run about $2k delivered here…my want kayak! Current Designs also has a pretty fast sit on top, the Altura made with a composite material, out of production, but some dealers still have them around $1500. Just throwing this out on SOT’s if an option for you. And welcome to an addicting sport, but nothing beats a day (or a few overnights) on the water.
The Tsunami 145 is great!
I’m a couple weeks from 56 with all the typical sports injuries. I’ve been paddling a couple of years. I’ve paddled many of the T’s and enjoy them for our local lakes and rivers in Atlanta. I was looking for a Tsunami but got such a great deal on a little-used Necky Zoar Sport that I couldn’t pass it up.($400 including paddle, PFD, cover, carrier, and a few other items) We rented the Tsunami 145 in the keys recently and it was great on a long day trip. I don’t prefer the rudder system but my girlfriend used hers fighting the tides. She’s very small at 5.2 & 125lbs and she handled it well.