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Gear Review: Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 Kayak

Gear Review: Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 Kayak

Gear Review: Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 Kayak

Value Rating: 10
Durability Rating: 10
Overall Rating: 9

Location of Test: Scappoose Bay to Cunningham slough
Duration: One day

Product Name: Tsunami 165
Product Brand: Wilderness Systems
Best Use: Seas, big rivers, lakes
Sizes Available/ Specs:  Available in five colors: Indigo, Lime, Mango, Red, and Saffron
16'6'' long, 23.75'' wide, 66 lbs, max weight 350 lbs

Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 Kayak

The Full Review

I've had a hard time finding a kayak to fit my size at nearly 6'4 and 210lbs, many touring kayaks are just difficult for me to either get in or keep stable. I took the Tsunami 165 out yesterday on my day off, loaded my Next Adventure drybag with snacks, water (lots of it) a longsleeve shirt just in case the weather took a turn. I thought getting in this beast would prove difficult, I was completely wrong. Getting in off a dock was super easy. I got in the kayak, sat there for a minute testing its hard chine and stability. Then grabbed my paddle and shoved off. I wasn't planning on a very long paddle in an unfamiliar kayak, but once I got in it and started to paddle the anxiety of a new boat shifted towards excitement. I paddled out about a mile and it took no time at all to go that distance, explored between some pilings, paddled under low hanging tree limbs, past some osprey nest and before I knew it I was at the channel ready to cross to Louse Island and up Cunningham slough. Not once during that entire test slash exploration did I feel unconfident in this Kayak, as a matter of fact I became slightly aggressive and pushed it to its limits. Edging it as hard as I could, using pilings as an obstacle course to test maneuverability. I love this kayak and all it has to offer. I hope wilderness systems continues the Tsunami for years to come as they have nailed it with this beast.

The Good:

Ample cargo space, comfortable seat, amazing tracking, superb primary and secondary stability, excellent edging capabilities, easy to get in and out, great colors, well built and sturdy construction. Excellent for taller paddlers.

Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 Kayak

The Bad:

The only complaint I have is the back strap, it digs into you a bit but that could just be me because I'm an aggressive paddler.

The Bottom Line:

If you're looking for a great touring kayak I highly suggest the Tsunami series. This boat has the capacity for multi day trips, easy to paddle, and despite the online reviews stating it's hard to maneuver, I disagree with that. Proper paddling techniques and some strength and this kayak will turn on a dime and go right where you want it to go. It does weathercock so the rudder would definitely be useful in windy conditions, but that's with most kayaks of this length. Then the price: you really cannot go wrong, it's worth every penny. I work here at Scappoose bay and I'll tell you, this will be my boat of choice whenever I paddle a long distance. It's easy to recover from a roll, great looking, and did I mention fast!

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