Wilderness Piccolo

Hey you guys! How do you guys recommend the WS Piccolo?! That thread was getting kind of long, and I appreciate all of the responses! This is kind of a split second decision seeing as this post is up on CL. And right after I posted in the other thread I noticed someone else had mentioned CL and this kayak. Me being 5’1 , 105 lbs I think this would be perfect for myself. Not sure what the depth of 9" means on the DIMS of this kayak? As many of you mentioned in the other post, i wan’t to be able to keep up a steady pace and not SO SO much effort on paddling if that makes sence – you know, like be able to glide pretty easily, and just the ease of paddling, and not struggling to do so. Speed is important, but also being able to maintain it easily without having to struggle.

Just bought one
Not for me, I won’t fit in it. Bought it for the grand kids and my wife, she is about the same size as you.

It’s got nice lines and should have you gliding nicely. They are hard to find, and it’s a shame they are not made anymore.


So I’ve heard…
that they are amazing kayaks for women or kids. This individual does still have the kayak and I am going on Saturday to take a look at at it. Is your wife able to squeeze pretty easily in and out of the cockpit? With the cockpit width being @ 15 in, it makes me a bit nervous I would have trouble if it were to ever tip over.

any bulkheads on that Piccolo?
I would take a look at the Wilderness Tsunami 135 as a newer model of a smaller person’s kayak… fully featured with sealed compartments fore & aft, day hatch, deck perimeter lines, adjustable seat and thigh hooks. The dimensions on WS’s site are a bit off (they told me they would remeasure it) but it’s 13’6" long, 22.75" wide, and has 11" height under the front deck, and I think it’s only 3 lbs heavier than the old Piccolo. The cockpit opening is a more comfortable size for small-medium adults.

The Tsunami SP is similarly featured except for the day hatch, and weighs under 40 lb, that may be more attractive than the Piccolo.

You might be able to find either of these used at a decent price, and you’ll get a more capable boat for your money without going big!

There were a couple other threads in the last few months about small / low-volume kayaks so you can find some more in there to research.

Cockpit size
You will probably be just fine with the cockpit size, but with the lower deck height make sure you are comfortable getting in and out of the boat before you buy it. When you are comfortable with a wet exit and a roll a tight fitting boat is actually quite nice. I had a surf kayak with a similar cockpit size and I weighed about 210 lbs - tight fit.


– Last Updated: Feb-02-12 7:29 PM EST –

I'd be shocked if you couldn't get out of a piccolo easily, especially when upside down. My daughter had one and she loved it. It was a fast kayak and an easy kayak to learn to roll. If you learn to roll and brace you won't have to be so concerned with a wet exit if you tip over. My daughter never tipped over accidentally and did learn to roll. You'll need float bags in the bow and stern.

can you demo it?
Might be nice to test what seadart just cautioned about. An less common boat and a nice one to hold onto.

If this is an ignorant question…with the deck h being at 9" …what does that exactly mean and how could that impact me getting in and out? Also are spray skirts absolutely necessary? Going to be kayaking in somewhat calm lakes n slow rivers. I’ve never had one before.

How is the seat comfort?? I plan to be in the water on aveerage 6 hrs per trip. Comfort is a must for me…

9" deck height
should not be a problem for you. You are tiny compared to the average adult sea kayaker. Anything much higher would be cavernous. Sliding in and out will get easier each time you do it. My 5’ 10" 196# husband slides in and out of an ocean cockpit without giving it a second thought. The piccolo is a nicely sized kayak for you.

Seat Comfort
varies for individuals. I found the piccolo seat to be comfortable but my daughter did not find it comfortable for extended periods of time. Many people take original seats out (all kayaks, not just a piccolo) and replace them with something else, either purchased or home-made (closed-cell foam). Sometimes it’s padding (or a ramp) needed under the thighs. You won’t know until you try it, but you can always make modifications until you get it just right.

I am 5 feet tall and

– Last Updated: Feb-02-12 7:23 PM EST –

110 pounds. I bought one on CL two years ago for $350. You should have no trouble at all getting in or coming out if you have to do a wet exit. The cockpit is plenty long and not so narrow as to hold you in. The deck height IS low though. I wear size 6 NRS kickers and can't hold my feet straight up and down because my toes catch on the underside of the deck. BUT the hull on mine is also oil-canned so that limits the space somewhat. The seat is hard plastic. I sit on a gel Yakpad which is more comfortable over a period of hours. Piccolos originally came with float bags bow and stern. Check to see if the one you are looking at still has them and that they hold air. If not, they can and probably should be replaced.

Forgot to add: It's quite fun to paddle.

My ignorance again but what are bow and stern float bags?

Air bags
to prevent the boat from sinking if it fills with water. The Piccolo does not have bulkheads to make waterproof compartments that act as a bouyant force. Air bags are inexpensive.

quick search found this…



For everyone’s help. One last question…are spray skirts absolutely necessary?? I’ve never used one…but looking at some YouTube videos, some kayaks are soo close to the water it looks a bit neccassary for some. Is this so with the piccolo?

you don’t need a sprayskirt, but they are nice to have in rough conditions, rain and cold weather. But if you plan on learning to roll, get a spray skirt made from neoprene.

I think for now I’d feel too confined with a spray skirt. Thanks for all your help…much appreciated. Ha now I’m kind of torn between the tsunami sp n the Piccolo. I’ll prob end up getting the piccolo since its my first kayak and at 400 it’s a decent deal vs spending 800 on the tsunami sp. they are basically the same except the sp is a bit over a foot shorter but more upgraded.

Consider the Piccolo…
a stepping stone. As you gain more experience and learn more and the bug bites…you’ll move on.

is a huge factor. Before falling in love with the boat listed on Craigslist check the age as well as condition. Last digit of the serial number is the year it was made.

Not trying to talk you out of buying but $400 could be considered a bit steep for an old boat that’s been out of production for many years. Look it over well, check the fit and use the old age as a barganing tool.

Reviews can be helpful but that are misleading because that are almost always positive. The worst sit on top tandem will have a huge amount of 10 out of 10 reviews.

That much money? $400 for old plastic? Look at the Episea for a little more


It’s in the kids boat section, but many smaller sized adults find them a nice fit.

Best Wishes