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Ripper Description

The Ripper is a kayak brought to you by Wilderness Systems. Read Ripper reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other kayak recommendations below or explore all kayaks to find the perfect one for you!

Wilderness Systems
Ripper Reviews

Read reviews for the Ripper by Wilderness Systems as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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its a great kayak even…

Submitted by: paddler2872343 on 5/17/2024

its a great kayak even though its a rec kayak i am still able to fish from it


So this is my first and I…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/9/2018

So this is my first and I love it! I need a replacement for the live well cover. Purchased second hand. It is more like a Tupperware style compared to the screw in. Anyone have an Idea where to find a replacement? Thanks


This is Pyranha's entry into…

Submitted by: Wavespinner on 7/5/2018

This is Pyranha's entry into the long boat/slicey stern genre and it's a strong contender. I'd say they checked all the boxes. It's very fast, can punch holes with relative ease and the tail end isn't real likely to get grabbed unless you want it to.

They've front-loaded the volume to give you the bigger water capability. The bow edges, planing hull and continuous progressive rocker provide the tools to build a lot of fun. The build quality is quite good and it's a big plus that it's available in three sizes.

On the downside, the thigh braces aren't as aggressive as I would like. You can opt for an upgrade but I think a boat like this should come locked and loaded. Seat adjustment could be simpler.

A trait of this class is a skinny beam. While I relish the speed, ease of rolling, etc. that this provides, it's not to everyone's taste. Test paddle one before ordering.


I have 3 Rippers, flat water,…

Submitted by: Sjg6 on 7/31/2014
I have 3 Rippers, flat water, moving water, they can handle class 2 water.Will fit inside my caravan with the seats down.Fun to paddle and lightweight.Wish wilderness would put them back into production. A SOLID 10 !!!

I have Ripper from…

Submitted by: Riversoul on 7/5/2014
I have Ripper from Wilderness. I love this kayak. It is my 1st one. A friend didn't use it anymore and sold it to me. I love how it handles and I control it well on rivers.

I am glad I bought the…

Submitted by: paddler235249 on 8/3/2013
I am glad I bought the Ripper, I've had lots of good times with it.. I am 72 and can load it by myself and it handles easily.. The problem is no one at Farm Way told me when I bought this kayak only light weight people should buy it, as you sit in water continually so I can only go on warm days, other wise I get cold..No early spring or fall kayaking for me ..sadly... which I would certainly like to do....

I just bought this little yak…

Submitted by: paddler233767 on 8/17/2010
I just bought this little yak at a yard sale for 120.00. I already have a t120,so the decision was easy. Although I mainly bought this for my kids to use,I couldn't wait to try it in the surf. At 5'10" 220, I am definitely at the max for this yak! I surfed 5-7' waves for 2 hrs and had a blast! At first it was a bit squirrely probably due to being overloaded.But after a few tippings I was able to keep it upright (most of the time). I kept my car keys in the hatch, and never had a problem with it opening, even after flipping it several times. I will however leash them from now on after reading that the cover may come off. I rated a 9 only because it's new to me, and my kids haven't used it yet. They will have to wait until I'm done playing with it. It's 6:35 a.m., and I am waiting for daylight to go surfing again!!

Well, first to the good points: At 8' this boat is easy to…

Submitted by: paddler233725 on 7/29/2010
    Well, first to the good points:
  1. At 8' this boat is easy to carry without the investment in a rooftop system. This is the shortest of the kayaks we own and I still often choose this one for a solo float even though we now have the rooftop system because of its very low transport hassle factor.
  2. It is surprisingly quick and tracks better than one might expect for a short sit-on-top kayak.
  3. Because of its short size it is very easy to maneuver.
  4. Unless you are a larger person, you don't need to be too concerned about its stability. It may be small, but it's a rock.
  5. Seat is comfortable (relatively).
    Bad Points:
  1. Unless you are fairly small and light (say 140 lbs. or less), you are likely to be sitting in some water during your entire float. This makes the boat mostly suitable for warm weather only.
  2. Although I use it for floating and fishing, its short length makes paddling and carrying a rod a bit more difficult than it would be on a longer kayak. The same comment goes for changing bait and/or lure while floating.
  3. The eyelets are cheap plastic making them vulnerable to breaking. One of the pull handles broke off fairly quickly without much strain. Metal eyelets would likely help this problem.
I certainly don't regret buying this kayak and have enjoyed using it because of its good points. I would most recommend it for a single person with a wagon, SUV, or crossover vehicle who doesn't want to invest in a rooftop system. I think it would also be good for a city dweller as it would store easily inside of an apartment and probably be able to be carried in many elevators. It would also be a very nice summer kayak for older children and teenagers who aren't too large or heavy.

This is my second wee little…

Submitted by: paddler233719 on 7/27/2010
This is my second wee little kayak, and compared to the first one (which I got for a song at Dicks Sporting Goods - Never buy a boat from Dicks), it is a dream.

I weigh 200+ plus a beer or two, and water came through the scupper holes like its supposed to. I found a quick wiki how to regulate it a bit. But the boat tracks fine on smooth water, and I can't wait to try it out on some chop. Adding a fishing pole holder resulted in an extra hole, but now it has character. I dig the boat, and it fits inside my Marano with no problem.
Cool boat!!


I bought the Ripper based on…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/19/2010
I bought the Ripper based on needing a smaller boat to accompany my larger Wilderness system tandem. I'm very happy with the weight and size of the boat, but at 160 pounds, the boat doesn't have enough buoyancy to support my weight. Consequently, I'm always paddling while sitting in a pool of water. Otherwise, it handles very well. May be a better vessel for someone lighter. My wife does fine in it at an even 100 pounds.

The Ripper, as with all…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/12/2008
The Ripper, as with all Wilderness Systems boats, is very well made. Carrying this kayak is very simple either using the molded grab handles when carrying on your head or by using the cup holder as a handle when carrying under your arm. Seat and footrest positions are good and paddler height should not be a problem. Weight must be considered however, specifications suggest maximum load of 95kg. I am 75kg and at this weight water was displaced through rear scupper holes with each stroke making progress slow. For paddling suggested maximum should be more like 50kg and scupper holes should be plugged. It does not track particularly well and is best suited to its intended purpose as a surf craft as maneuverability is its strong point. There is a small storage hatch behind the seat with rubber seal which can be a bit fiddly.

Looking for a surfboard with…

Submitted by: paddler232316 on 9/11/2007
Looking for a surfboard with a seat? Get a Ripper! I have had mine all summer and have used it in chop, blackwater, and on the Intracoastal Waterway riding large wakes (whee!).

Extremely stable and maneuverable, and can be launched easily from either beach or dock. My only reason for a "9" instead of a "10" is that even with the suppers plugged, you still sit in water which is a little uncomfortable if you are on a river and not at the beach. I am 5'10" and 145 pounds and this little boat handles just fine for me.


Got my second Ripper for…

Submitted by: APrice on 6/8/2007
Got my second Ripper for Mother's Day and love it. We have two Rippers and two Old Town Otters. The kids are always trying to get the Rippers first. Fun stable boat. My yorkie loves kayaking in the Ripper. Great boat for beginners. One of the best short sit on top kayaks on the market. Scup holes are well placed. I've added a seat cushion for added comfort though a 3 or 4 hour boat ride is fine without.

I bought the ripper for…

Submitted by: paddler232036 on 5/21/2007
I bought the ripper for fishing, and rigged it to do so. I weigh about 180 + my gear about 10 pounds. Its good on a lake, but will take on water if its choppy. I must put scupper plugs in it or I'd be sitting in water all day. Overall its a nice beginner boat, or a daily boat for a lighter person such as a kid. It tracks well, easy to handle, and is lightweight. The hatch is a bit wierd, doesn't hold much,and may take on water. The drain plug is weak as well.

I bought the Ripper last year…

Submitted by: APrice on 4/9/2007
I bought the Ripper last year and have had a great time in it. I'm usually on a river with class I and II rapids. This boat does well through rapids and on still water. I've even taken it through a class III+ and did fine. Its a great little boat. Very easy to manueuver through rapids and in surf. Expect to get wet if you're on a river. I've surfed with it also and it handled better than the Ocean Kayak Venus 10. We had a blast playing in the surf. I didn't have a problem with the hatch though it seems unnecessary. I did notice that some water gets into the hatch. I'd recommend it for kids of all ages. A fun boat and a great alternative to a sit-in (I have an Old Town Otter for cold weather). The price was great and I preferred this model to the Ocean Kayak models of similar length.

We purchased the Ripper for…

Submitted by: paddler231601 on 6/5/2006
We purchased the Ripper for my 6 year-old daughter for use on flatwater excursions. At first I had my doubts, but they were quickly resloved once my daughter hit the water. The boat tracks well enough and can be managed easy enough. I usually leave a 20 foot towline in place just so she can practice paddling. The boat is sturdy and stable and we are pleased with the purchase.

Great little yak! My wife and…

Submitted by: paddler231460 on 2/20/2006
Great little yak! My wife and I got two of them as wedding presents...We have been out paddling in biscayne bay and surfing waves on the beach...theses liitel boats a re fun, versatile and durable. The integrated adjustable seat is really practical and the hatch is enough to carry on-day basics.

Looks like nobody who has…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/5/2005
Looks like nobody who has posted before me has tried this boat in surf. I would advise you not to do so. In flat water this boat is fine - it's stable, easy to handle and such, but when you get it out in surf, it has a big issue. At first I had a blast riding the waves, but the one time I did happen to capsize in the surf, the little hatch lid popped open and suddenly the hull was full of seawater. The boat naturally becomes a beast to handle when it's loaded with water, so you have to get it back up on the beach (weighing a ton, since it has so much water in it) and drain it by the little plug at the stern before you can continue. If you don't drain it, the waves will punish you for being lazy and leaving the hull heavy; the bow won't pop over the waves like it should but instead plunges down into them and you take a beating.

This boat was borrowed - but the owner said he had the same problem with the hatch coming off in rough water. Personally, if I owned it, I would glue the hatch shut (after thoroughly drying it out inside) and apply a watertight seal around it to keep the thing from ever opening again. It's not like that little hatch is very useful anyway - if I needed to bring gear or something along (not when surf-playing) I'd stick a dry bag under the bungee cord in the stern instead.

Wilderness Systems! Fix that hatch issue and you'd have a fun little surf boat! I would have rated it with a 9 or so (not a 10 because it doesn't paddle as fast as some other SOT kayaks I've used) had I not had this hatch thing happen. As it is now, it's just an average little flat water SOT kayak (and a longer boat would track so much better in flat water), so I gave it a 5.


I don't have a lot of…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/2/2005
I don't have a lot of experience with this boat, but I'll add my $0.02. We're looking for a kayak for my son, who is 9, and about 60lbs. This was definitely his favorite. It's small enough for him to launch himself, and he seemed to be able to reach the water easily enough. I was impressed at how well it tracked for such a short kayak. We will be using it primarily in still water, and I was ready to discount it because I didn't think it'd hold a straight line, but it seemed to be fine.

We bought this kayak for mine…

Submitted by: paddler229816 on 7/20/2005
We bought this kayak for mine 9 year old daughter and she absolutely loves it. It's light, comfortable and fun to paddle. One word of warning, WS says the capacity is 225 lbs. I weigh 195 lbs. and there is always water in the boat that can't drain. I can still paddle okay but it's clear it's not designed to handle that kind of weight. I would say 150 lbs is a more reasonable capacity.

I shopped for kayaks for…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/8/2004
I shopped for kayaks for several months before deciding on what exactly I was looking for. I live in Central Florida and have access to many different types for water. We have lakes, rivers, salt water lagoons and flats, the gulf, and the ocean. I have so many hobbies already, that I decided not to invest a lot of money into another. The trick was to find something that was not going to be a burden to use but also not going to be so cheap that would be a toy. I have friends with larger faster kayaks, but always felt they were a pain to store and carry around. After a lot of research and shopping I decided to try the Wilderness Systems Ripper. I have to say that I love it! I got the kayak, paddle, and life vest all for under $350. The quality of the kayak is superb and the maker was cool enough to have an adjustable back rest and storage hatch built in. That was a huge selling point for me. I can stack two on the top of my truck, by myself, no problem. It is fairly easy to carry. My wife carried the kayak, paddle, and water bottle, all at the same time, about a quarter mile, up and down hill, without any problem. I have taken it out in lakes, rivers, and the salt water flats. The kayak performed perfectly. My buddy and I fly fish off these kayaks and he pulled a huge bass while on it. I have not taken it in the surf yet, I prefer my surfboard for that. The kayaks are small and not for everyone. I am 5’11’ and 170 lbs and it is not too small for me. The kayak is very stable and, for a short kayak, moves very well. Turning is very easy. I will not win any races in it, but it’s so much fun it doesn’t matter. If you are looking for long distance and speed, this is not the kayak for you. Also, if you live in a cold water climate you may not want this kayak because your butt will be sitting in a little bit of water. But if you are looking for an inexpensive, low hassle, easy to use, easy to store, general all round sit-on-top kayak, the WS Ripper is hard to beat. I choose to forget the whole mine is bigger and faster than yours competitive BS and got something that was fun and easy to use. I am very happy with the choice I made.

My family of 4 just bought a…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/30/2004
My family of 4 just bought a 4th sit-on-top so we could all kayak together. I have a WS Tarpon 140, my wife has a Necky Dorado and my 10-yr. old daughter has an Ocean Kayak Kea. We wanted to add a fourth for my 11-year old son, but we wanted a boat we could take to the beach and also paddle on the many rivers located here in Central Florida. Our local store had a sale and after some deliberation, we chose the Ripper. Yesterday we took it out on the Wekiwa River and my son loved it!! It paddled faily well downstream and was comparable to the Kea while paddling upstream against a stiff current. I'm 6'1" and weigh 200 pounds and I could navigate fairly well in it as well. We haven't tried it in the surf yet, but expect it to handle fine there. It doesn't track particularly well in a river, but its not insufferable either. It'd be nice to have a cupholder, but wouldn't really expect one on a beach toy. I'd give it a 10 if it had handles to make it easier to load in and out of our vehicle.