This is a fishing platform that delivers. The hull design offers stability, and enough speed and ease of paddling to keep you fishing once you get to your spot. The design offers easy modification and growth potential to keep upping your game...and even "out of the box", it will get you hooked. The quality of construction will keep you fishing for years. Change your target species. Change your techniques. Change the waters you fish on. The Wilderness Systems Radar 135 will keep up...maybe even lead the way. It seems to have endless potential to adapt -whether you get there by paddling, pedaling, or go all-out and power your way there.
I purchased my Radar 135 (a retail demo) from the great folks of Dolphin Paddlesports (Sarasota Florida) in the summer of 2017 and have enjoyed the experience. The 135 is a well-built kayak with unbelievable stability and efficient lines that allow the craft to cut through the waves with effortless efficiency. Fishing, of which the majority of my time is spent in the 135, is also a pleasure with the included rails allowing you to place various accessories (i.e. rod holders which are not included) where you need them. Ample space is built into the design to allow unimpaired movement yet the craft feels as if it's an extension of you when it really counts. The included Airpro Max seat is a joy and allows a productive full day of fishing at the end of which a person of average fitness will be able to get out and not feel years older than they truly are. The Flex Pod console provides a versatile mount for my electronic accessories while allowing me to remove the whole assembly and securely without disconnecting wires etc. Several rods can be stored on the inside of the hull, a valuable asset when transporting.
Overall the features of the Radar 135 are unbelievably intuitive and well designed..............however pricing and customer service leave something to be desired. First off, when purchasing the Radar 135 you have the option of three propulsion choices of which the simple paddle might be the average owner's first choice. When choosing to upgrade to the relatively simple peddle drive things get interesting when you have to purchase it. While most manufacturers have recognized that there are viable competitors out there it seems that Wilderness has chosen to ignore this fact and continues to offer their peddle drive for more than $1000, keep in mind however that in order to purchase the Radar you're spending upwards of $1400 as it is. The top-selling Hobie Mirage drive depending on the model can retail for hundreds of dollars less and this can be a key component in the consumer's decision. Even the Perception drive retails for far less and it's a stripped down version of the Helix peddle drive. One of the biggest things that any business can make or break a purchase on is in the way they conduct customer service. Now while this may be relatively insignificant to others I personally would like to know that when I need the help or that when I purchase anything I will be taken care of. This has been a shaky thing when purchasing directly from the Wilderness Systems shop. In my relatively recent experience, I purchased the lithium power cell from Wilderness 3 weeks ago and have been told several times that the battery system would be on the next truck for shipment..... NOPE. This makes me wonder a little because if I need a spare part in the future will I have to go through the same bait and switch? Something to think about. Don't get me wrong, overall the product is A+I don't intend to get rid of my 135 anytime soon.......but Wilderness needs to revamp their pricing if they want to capture more of the market in my own humble opinion.
This is an awesome kayak and performs superbly. I have a lot of fun with this kayak and it is a wonderful way to have fun on the lake or river with the family. Many times the power is not needed and if not you can just take a break and let the operator do the work and take in the surroundings. The top thing about this kayak is it can be used in rough weather and you do not have to worry about getting blown around because of the extra control that you have when operating it. Very durable, maneuverable, and an all around awesome multitask kayak.