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Old 09-16-2013   #1
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Wilderness Tsunami 125 vs. Wilderness Pungo 120?

Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125 vs Wilderness Pungo 120?. I found a really great deal on the Tsunami but i wanted to get some feedback before i purchase. Any thoughts?

Found the Wilderness Systems Tsunnami 125 for $699 at the this link:

Or I could spend a little more:
$849 for the Wilderness Pungo 120??? Thoughts from owners of both kayaks?

geargirl1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2013   #2
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1966
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 427
on what you are using them for and your size.
The Tsunami is a safer boat in that it has more perimeter lines (for self-rescus attempts) and front and rear bulkheads (so the boat doesn't sink or "needle" (bow fills with water and points straight down). The Tsunami 125 is larger than the Tsunami 120 (same length of 12 feet) and may not fit you (my wife's first kayak was a 140 and I demoed a 145 (again same length) -- I even thought the 145 was a bit big for me (6'2" 175lbs.) opted for a Necky Manitou 14. We both have different boats now, but keep those around for guests and sometimes rocky rivers (up to about class II-).
The Pungo has a huge cockpit opening (can you even get a skirt to fit?). Only you know if any of these dfferences matter to you. A kayak that doesn't fit is a real waste of potential. If the Tsunami 125 fits well, it is most likely a better choice. Maybe say more about your intended use and your size.
( has a great forum for discusing these kinds of boats -- mountian buzz is more about technical whitewater kayaking.)
Sorry, I'm not an owner of these kayaks, but I hope I have been a little bit helpful anyway.

johnovice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2013   #3
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Thanks for the response John. I live in Jackson as well! I will post to and see if I'm able to get more feedback on this subject. 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'll definitely see which one fits better before purchasing. Thanks!
geargirl1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2013   #4
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1966
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 427
Ah, southeast river; let me also suggest then the boatertalk forum. They may be able to give you an idea of how those boats might perform on your particular stretch of river.

Neither of those boats are designed for whitewater. You will see that they have pointy bows that help you track well in flat water, but will be significantly harder to "turn on a dime" than a whitewater boat (as you might have to do in a shallow rocky river). If you are talking about a narrow river where you will swim to shore (vs. a self-rescue involving climbing back into your boat on a big lake), the deck lines I mentioned earlier are not an issue -- whitewater boats don't have deck lines. Assuming you won't be rolling, you just need to be able to hold onto the boat as you swim to shore (not necessarily fun if the water is fast and the rocky bottom is close) -- deck lines would help a little for that, but are not crucial.

You might actually consider a whitewater boat since you mentioned class II - III rapids (like I said neither of the boats you mentioned are whitewater boats). What you give up with a whitewater boat is flatwater speed and tracking -- I don't know if the river segment you speak of has a lot of flat, slow sections.

If you don't know, there are a few boats that are designed to be crossovers, that is, they are not dedicated whitewater boats, but they have hull designs that will turn easily -- many of them have skegs that you can drop when you want better tracking. I have not kept up on all the options there, but I know of the Liquid Logic XP 9 or 10 (size difference) and the Pyranha Fusion (I know there are a few more -- searching crossover kayak will turn them up i bet).

I really don't recommend a boat with a cockpit opening so large that you can't get a skirt to fit. The skirt will keep you dry in the rain and waves and if you tip a bit -- also keep your boat from filling with water and swamping. If the river and air temps are warm, this might not matter -- if so, there is the "sit-on-top" kayak option, too.

Even another option, depending on the river, is an inflatable kayak like an AIRE Tributary Tom Cat, great value, even more so if you get a used one (Leisure Sports or Rendezvous River Sports might be getting rid of their rentals, or maybe they did already).
So many boats! So many rivers! Good luck.
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