Tsunami vs Manitou 14


I’ve been lurking here, reading & learning all I can. I’m looking to purchase my first kayak. I’m completely new to all this. I’m a short, chubby female, 5’2" and 160 lbs (shhhh. don’t tell) I’ve tried a number of boats and have narrowed it down to the:

Necky manitou 14 and the WS tsunami.

I rented a Tsunami 120 that was nice, but I would prefer a longer boat (maybe the 140?). I thought the thigh bracing & seat were better on this kayak. I also had a chance to demo a 145, that just felt a little too big.

I really like the necky Manitou, although I might have to fuss some with the thigh bracing.(Hard to tell how things should fit -being new to this.) My gutt reaction is that I just love the manitou. It just feels right. Don’t know if that’s a good reason to choose a kayak though.

Any thoughts on either of these kayaks?

And How do you ever decide which is the perfect boat for you?

thanks for any help


why not the 13?
If it feels right that’s a good reason.

These boats are very similar in terms of
the kind of paddling they would be good for. They each have their strong and weak points. I think what feels right is ultimately how everyone chooses one boat over another.

About the 13
I haven’t tried the 13, but have considered it. One thing I do like about the 14 is it has a hatch/bulkhead in the front and rear (bow & stern?) Not sure that I need both, but it makes me feel better, somehow.

your height
I’m thinking you would benefit from a low coaming height, light hull and efficient(easy to move) hull. You will be very stable in any kayak so I wouldn’t worry about tippiness, which none of these boats are. The front bulkheads are a good idea but it doesn’t appear you’d be learning to roll or go where waves/capsize is likely. For 6’ 200lb paddlers who want stability the Manitou14 would be worthwhile consideration over the 13 but you’d be more stable in the 13 than the 6’ guy would be in the 14. I’d take the money difference and get a light paddle.

Manitou 14
Kari - I am built very similar to you, just an inch taller. I paddled the Manitou 14 at a demo day when my husband was looking for a new boat, and I’d say that if you like it and it feels right for you, then go for it. I really liked it, and it did not feel too big for me at all. The Manitous are all nice boats, and in reality, the 14 (listed at 49 pounds)is not that heavy compared to the Necky’s other day touring boats, the Zoar and Zoar Sport. The skeg is a nice feature that the 13 does not have.


I am a new paddler too and looked for a year before I purchased my first kayak. I went with the Tsunami 140 in the duralite version and absolutely love it. It’s light enough to handle and it tracks wonderfully.

Good luck with your decision!!


Thanks Everbody!
Hi Everyone,

Haven’t been able to get back & post to the msg. board till now (though I did cheat & read at work.

Thanks for all the input on the kayaks! This evening we went to the shop & I ended up getting the Manitou 14. Of all the different ones I rented or demoed, in the end this one was still the stand-out for me.

Dh was also looking for a kayak. He ended up getting the Tsunami 120, so, strangely enough we will have tsunami coming home with the manitou anyways.

Can hardly wait for the weekend!