Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125?

Wilderness Tsunami 125?

I’m thinking of purchasing the wilderness tsunami 125, but I dont have much experience when it comes to picking out a boat. I’m looking for a boat to keep at my parents in Georgia for when i visit. They live on the Chattahoochee, which is pretty mellow, there’s only one section that has a couple II-III class rapids. It’s pretty rocky, and can get pretty shallow during summers without a lot of rain.

I live in Wyoming and have a boat that is better suited for technical runs here, so i don’t want to spend too much on a boat that i only get to use occasionally, but i dont want to make the mistake of buying a boat that doesn’t fit or isn’t appropriate for the Hootch either.

I’m 5’8 and weigh 140

Found a reasonable price on the Tsunnami:


Does this look like it will be good for my needs?

I LOVE the 125!
It’s a decent rec boat that will do day-trips and short multi-day camping. you can easily do 4day-3night in one.

The nice thing about the 125 over the 120 is the raised deck.

If you have a small dog, he can crawl under the deck easily for shade. And you can stretch your legs easier in the 125.

My only complaint is that I cannot find one to buy in my area.

A bit roomy
The 125 is quite a bit roomier than the 120. The deck is noticeably taller. I’m a big boy and I find the cockpit a little cavernous, so much so that I had to add some hip pads to get good contact.

That being said, if you’re just out there dorking around and not edging/leaning, it will serve you just fine. I love my 125. Very easy to car-top my myself, it’s outfitted very well, a fun boat to paddle.

One more thing…
My only complaint about the 125 (and all Tsunami boats) is the seat. It’s comfortable as hell, but re-entry on the water is quite a bit more difficult than in boats with backbands. Having to “hump over” the seat back every time is a giant pain and frequently puts me off balance if I’m not really careful.

Large people
That model is made for large people. You’re not!

Somewhere recently I read
a review of this boat that suggested steering away from the 125 in favor of the 120. The reviewer’s opinion was that the 125 is very sluggish compared to the 120 without providing any substantial benefit. I have no opinion myself never having paddled either boat - but I thought I should pass this on for your consideration. You might want to do some searching around for reviews and maybe paddle both.

I have a 140 and a 145
My son is about your height and 20 # heavier and he prefers the 140 over the 145. Too much volume in the cockpit means poor fit and he complains about the deck being up in the way.

The high backed seats do make it a little harder to climb back in, but they are sooooo nice on long paddles.

The Tsunami 125 is a great boat
I bought a Tsunami 125 as my first kayak this past June. I come from a background of canoeing, and I quickly felt comfortable in it. Now, possibly too comfortable. I am 6’, 210. My only real complaint is that when I push it to probably 95% of my potential, it begins to plow in the water. I understand this hull is compromised by its short length, and I think they did a great job of creating an all around boat.

It is also great that the 125 is outfitted at the same level as their more expensive boats. The seat and on-deck fittings are top notch. Well thought out, at least from the perspective of a beginner-beginner intermediate. The seat back began to feel like it was in the way as I began to add mileage. I ordered and installed the back band kit, as in their other boats. I like it better. I don’t miss the seat back. I found I can still lean back and rest against the rear cowling, and the band slips down some out of the way.

I have learned a lot in the three months I have had it. I took a self rescue class in it, completing the paddle float rescue. This would have been difficult to do with the original seat back. I would probably get the optional hip pads if I was not planning for another boat. However, it seems like I am able to edge the boat to within a few inches of the cowling fairly easily.

I plan to demo, and probably buy a Tempest 170 next spring. WS seems to really have the seating figured out.


go with the 120
it’ll fit and turn better and is a couple pounds lighter; I’m over 180# and the 120 fit me perfect. (Kinda regret selling it but I had too many boats.) It’s a great choice for the river or lake and makes a good guest boat. You would even fit in the low-volume Tsunami 135.

The seatback is fine for most folks but if you want to swap it, take a look at the Immersion Research Lounge band.

She said river only,
so (w/o having knowledge of that specific river) I have to wonder if a more river-oriented boat would be better for maneuverabulity; a whitewater hull design like an actual whitewater boat or a crossover.

When I had only 1 boat, my 14’ touring kayak did multiple duty (lakes, river). Now that I have more than 1 boat, I almost always grab my XP10 for river duty; I love the maneuverability. It is of course less versitile, but if river is the only use…

A couple of thoughts:

The 125 will be huge on you. At 5’9’, 160 I thought the 120 was big. The best fit for me in the Tsunami line was the 135.

The Tsunamis generally favor tracking over maneuverability. I’d want something easier to turn for the rivers I’d like to paddle.

May be Too Big
I’ll second the other posters on probably too big. I had a Tsunami 125 as my first boat, 5’8" 170, and it was too big for me. You might look at the 120. That’s what I should have gotten, but my fear of not being able to get out got the better of me (know how that works now…)

My edging could definitely be better, but it was not a nimble boat for me: I agree with the poster who stated that this WS line favors tracking over maneuverability.

I found the seat super comfortable once I was in. I need a lot of leg support. However, that high back does make getting in and out a pain.

After several years I sold the Tsunami 125 and got something more small river/large creek oriented as that’s the kind of paddling I’ve settled into.