Tsunami SP "kid's boat"

I saw this boat at the GLSKS and had my eye on it for a friend’s son. Anyone besides the one posted review have any seat time in this?

I have to say, a kids boat with f/r bulkheads and hatches is a pretty neat thing.

I’ve crammed myself into one
just to see what it is like. It is a small person kayak, which could be kids or adults. This winter I will add a couple to my fleet so smaller persons can have a better fitting kayak.

IMO, the Tsunami is a great kayak for its type. If they could get the hatch cover situation under control it would be so much better.

It handles good and smaller people do enjoy it. I enjoyed it even though I am way to big for it.

The “Smaller Person” Kayak

– Last Updated: Jul-26-07 10:23 PM EST –

My 10 year old niece is big for her age and has been paddling a Perception Acadia Scout for the last two years (daily!). When it came time to "move on up" this was the obvious place to go. The surprise was that the SP is definitely a boat for smaller adults as opposed to just a "kids boat." It moves along really well, with good handling and a decent seat. The test paddle at Rutabaga resulted in a very big smile and an immediate sale. It is a nice boat, reminding me a bit of a boat from Wilderness Systems in the mid 90s called a Piccolo, another pretty "real" boat meant for smaller people.

great kayak
I tried one at a demo last month and loved it. I probably only paddled it for about 15 minutes but it seemed like a great kayak. If I had both the money and the need for another kayak (already have 5) I would have brought it home with me. I’m about 5ft and 110lbs and it fit like a glove. I think it would be a great kids kayak with plenty of room to grow in both size and skills.

My son loves it
I got it for my son (9yo, ~65lb?) this summer, and he loves it.

Background : He learned to paddle on a rental, Wilderness Systems Piccolo. Piccolo has no hatches, about the same length and width, no skeg or rudder. It can be a bit tough to track straight, but he liked the boat enough that he wanted to rent nothing but Piccolos. I couldn’t find a used Piccolo for sale, then I learned about Tsunami SP and got him one.

I haven’t in the cockpit of SP so can’t tell you my first hand opinion, but my son likes the fit. It has enough room to grow, so he can use it for years to come. He didn’t like Acadia because the cockpit was too big, boat was too wide. He likes the boat narrow so he doesn’t bang his knuckles to have to reach far out when paddling. He says Tsunami SP tracks much better than Piccolo. It has an integrated skeg, so I doubt a rudder is necessary.

Having hatches also gives me the peace of mind when I’m out there with him. First time out, he wanted to bring lunch in the hatch. Can’t tell you how it rolls since my son doesn’t know how to roll yet. Haven’t done a leak test on the hatches yet, either. We were in a large lake with wind and enough jet skis, and he was comfortable riding the waves. I think I was more nervous for him than he was when one dork teenager zoomed by us on a jet ski.

The boat is good looking, like a miniature version of an adult sea kayak. Easy enough for me (I’m not big) to cartop on a minivan as well. If I’m not mistaken, WS website’s spec is wrong. It looked like it has same info as Tsunami 12 spec. It should be 12’ long, 21" wide, 35lb weight.

It seemed to me like SPs were selling well. A close-by store that I know had a few didn’t have any left, so I had to drive ~40 min to pick up their last one.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend one to someone who likes feel and ride of Piccolo. If you like Acadia’s feel and ride, it may not be the right one… yet.

"Can’t tell you how it rolls since my son doesn’t know how to roll yet."

When I tried one I got to roll it a few times and its amazingly easy to roll. It was easier than my whitewater kayak and almost as easy my 19in wide touring kayak and for me the back deck was low enough for some layback rolls.

she was designed as a ‘serious’ boat that fit small persons (SP) :wink:

the prototyping of this boat was actually quite FUN. (I love my job!) it was used pretty hard in all kinds of conditions by a number of folks.

Notice the weight limit is 180. That happens to be my weight and YES I fit. My feet are on the bulkhead but I FIT! If it had a touch more rocker it would be a sweeeet rock garden/surf machine.

we have had alot of great responses from everyone from 60 lbs to 150lbs.


Weight of the boat
Is it 35? 43? I see different websites citing different numbers. I know it’s not 53.

flatpick - capacity of the boat is 180, so 180 - boat weight = paddler weight limit, is that how you figure it?

35 or 43, I think I’m too heavy… unfortunately.

Oh, I figured it’d roll well, just didn’t have any info.

pretty sure
43 but I maybe wrong. I’ll check.

180 is 180 and would be total weight capacity before it starts losing considerable performance. the biggest loss is drag as the chines bury. stability is better with more weight and I actually did some tests with tons of weight AND me and it’s amazing how solid the stability is.

we also did some testing with a SP (small person) AND gear up to 180 and found that even a SP at 100lbs and a load of 80lb was a great combo.

I used SP to define the tester- a Small Person. :wink:



Small boats are fun…

Flatpick and WS…
…did this boat right! My son (7yr, 55lb) and daughter (11yr, 80lb) absolutely adore this boat.

I tried it (6’2 x 182lb) and though my legs were too long to get into it, I was able to actually sit on the seat and put my legs feet on the front deck and paddle around! It was so stable that even with my weight up high it was no problem.

This is really a great boat - but short of surgery I just can’t use it for - you got it Steve - rock gardening…

Highest recommendation as a S(mallP(ersons) boat!


Glad to hear
that the 120 paddler weight is only a suggestion. I am 5’9", 160, size 10shoe. I have been looking for a boat to do rivers, class I & some easy II. The SP and the 120 looked promising but no local dealers :frowning: I have to try before I buy.