WS Tsunami 120 vs Tsunami 125 (and other

A kayaking newbie here and first post. Like many other beginners, I’ve been researching on the web, talking to sales people, sitting in kayaks… working toward a short list which I’m hoping I can prehaps rent before I buy.

I checked out a WS Tsunami 120 today. I really liked it. Reviews on this site are extremely positive. My size (6’1", 205, size 11 feet) suggest I might be better suited to the Tsunami 125, however, I came across this remark on a dealer website (Frontenac Outfitters which left me in doubt:

“after extensive test paddling by Frontenac Outfitters team members we could ‘NOT’ justify stocking it! Although only slightly wider than its siblings (Tsunami 120 or 140) the 125 is a much more sluggish & less responsive craft.”

Is there anyone who can support or challenge this remark based on personal experience?

Overall comments on my short list would also be appreciated. Intended use is for recreational/day touring on a local slow river perhaps with occassional small lake use. I’m currently looking at a WS Tsunami 120/125, Necky Manitou 13, Riot Enduro EXP or Riot Voyager EXP.

Cheers mates!

Length is inversely proportional

– Last Updated: Jul-31-08 8:20 PM EST – manuverability between 120/125 and 140. Different boats for different tasks. I'm going to the 125 which has a smaller cockpit than the 120 and is less stable.

Decide what you want and get it but Riot would not be one of my choices.

Paddlin' on

this company has had a number of remarks, comments and opinions that were…somewhat off track, IMO.

The 125 is going to handle very similar to the 120 BUT built for a bigger paddler. PERIOD.

The 140/145 comparison is another story. 12 vs 14.


“this company has had a number of remarks, comments and opinions that were…somewhat off track, IMO.”

That’s a very useful observation since their comment also flies in the face of numerous other member reviews.


What Flatpick said
is on the money - the guy should know he helped design the entire Tsunami line.

I have a 120, I’m 5’10" 165lbs, 32" inseam, 32" waist, size 9.5 mens shoe. I’m just about in between the 120/125 size wise, but the 125 just felt like I was wearing pants that were a 35" waist - tighten the belt enough and they fit. For me the 120 was a perfect fit, some may think it a bit tight, but I prefer the snug fit.

Go with the Tsunami 125 - it should fit you perfectly, and it will be a wonderful first boat for you.

Now if you’re looking to go to 14’ then you’d have to look at the 140/145. If I remember the specs correctly either one may fit you, but you’d probably find the 145 a bit more comfortable.

Try to go and test paddle them all before making a final decision.

Good luck!

manitou 13
I’m a fairly large guy (6’2" and 205) - I own a Manitou 13. I think it’s the ideal small boat - light for a poly, stable, turns easily when on edge, tracks well, has plenty of room, and has to be among the fastest rec boats. It doesn’t have a rudder or skeg, but it doesn’t seem to need either one.

My 2 cents
Im 6’2 210 and I paddle a T140. I sat in a 145 before I bought my boat, and it felt way to big. I could even get away with a smaller boat and still be comfortable. Go with the 120.

Why not Riot?
Just curious why you would not go with the Riot? FWIW, I’m definitely leaning toward the Tsunami, but I was reasonably impressed with the Riot ones I sat in.


“I’m going to the 125 which has a smaller cockpit than the 120 and is less stable.”

Don’t think so. I had a 125 for a while and I am quite sure that the cockpit on the 120 is slightly smaller. The biggest difference was the height of the deck ahead of the cockpit. No difference in stability or maneuverability that I could detect.

the 120 IS smaller (cockpit wise)than a 140 by a touch. Depends on what fits and is comfy!


Tsumanis designed for different folks…
I’ll add my two cents here. I’ve got a Tsunami 145 w/rudder.

It is truly a great kayak…but at 170 lbs, 5’9’ I’ve come to the conclusion that I should have gotten the 140 (or the 160 or 165 …which were not available at the time.) Simply put: the Tsunami 145 is a big person’s boat…and, yeah, it seems pretty slow in comparison to the 140…for ME. I believe the same applies across the line. I now stuff all sorts of gear into my compartments just to get the waterline down, especially in the bow, and it has made an enormous difference in my cruising speed.

Don’t be dissuaded here…the Tsunami line is outstanding for advanced recreational or general touring. They are also amazingly good in open ocean conditions; I’ve been surprised at how well my boat handles.

The trick is to get the right model for your purpose and your size.

I love the Riot boats. I’ve owned three and liked them all. They’re different from the Perceptions and Daggers, but different in a way I like. Test paddle and that’ll help you figure out if it’s right for you.

for what its worth
I also have a Tsunami 120, I am 6’2"-ish, 180lbs, 34" inseam, 33 waist, 11.5 men’s shoe.

I think I fit into the 120 quite easily - even find it a bit roomy. I would be thrilled if WS made a kayak between the 120 and the SP in terms of width. There is a difference in handling between the 120 and the 125, but certainly not as big of a difference as Frontenac suggests.

The 125 is a ‘big guy’ boat. Because of my slight stature I find big boats a bit sluggish and unresponsive, but that is because I am not a big guy paddling a big guy boat.

I am not a fan of Riot’s hull shapes - they just aren’t my style.

I like the Manitou’s but I think the Tsunami line is a bit better. If WS made them out of recycled plastic they would be the hands down winner for me.

Thank You
all for your comments and advice!