Read reviews for the Ride 135 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!
Great Boat very stable. (Wilderness Systems Ride 135 max)
In follow up to my previous review I have had my kayak out several times and am still in love with this boat.
First let me say it is comfortable I fished 6 hours and did not even feel it.(other than the paddling part)
Second conditions were terrible 10-15 mph winds 2-3 foot chop and still a stable ride. I felt very confident even in those conditions that I was safe. The boat tracked well even in the wind and wasn't terribly hard to paddle against the wind.
Third very stable I jumped out in 5 foot of water and got back in the first try without baptizing all my gear. Even in the rough water.
I am very happy with this boat as I said before I am 6 foot and 300+ pounds.
So from this big guy and for all the others that like to kayak thank you Wilderness Systems for providing a stable fishing platform for us big kayakers
I received my 2015 ride 135 today. I must say it is a beast, but it is easier to handle than I expected. I took it out right away taking only an anchor life vest and a paddle, oh and a friend. I preceded to test the tipping points and the stability. I must say I am impressed. I'm 6' 310 lbs and the cockpit does not fill with water so to my delight no need for plugs. I took in out in windy conditions 1-2 foot swells in shallow water. It tracked well even in the wind. I turned sideways to the waves and rolled over them just fine. I even stood up in that rough water. But only for a short time till a wave threw me. I purposely tipped the kayak several times getting back in from the water was easy enough considering my size. I then padded to calm water where I stood up and paddled for a while. even standing on one foot once I got my balance. So very stable boat looking forward to taking it fishing.
As for the seat I got the max and I think I could live in that thing very comfortable. Overall great boat a little on the pricey side ( for my budget anyway) but does not disappoint. I would recommend to anyone in my weight class.
This kayak is very heavy and hard to handle and transport to and from the water. It feels much heavier than the listed weight. It wasn't particularly good at anything. It has two pretty comfortable seating options in the regular high seat and the Max seat (this is its best feature IMO).
It paddles like a barge getting up to speed and had a tendency to snake but as soon as you stopped paddling it wouldn't track very straight and would turn in circles. The stability wasn't terrible but its initial stability felt below average for a wide fishing kayak. It's listed at 31.5"" wide but I measured it at 33" wide (250 cm paddle is needed to paddle comfortably) The front two sets of scuppers are very noisy and shoot up water like geysers when paddling (scupper plugs are a must) Both orbix hatches leaked water (these are supposed to be the new improved hatches btw)
The deck flexed very easily and unacceptably underfoot IMO. This is supposed to be a stand and fish easy kayak. For the high price and timeframe this kayak has been around to make improvements on the design
I'm left very underwhelmed and highly disappointed given it's mostly positive reviews. It's shortcomings overshadow it's strengths which are few. If you are looking for a good fishing kayak pick something else, anything else.
The seats cannot be changed out, as they're built into the yak, and they dig into your tailbone during a long paddle. You really need a PFD's thickness between you and the seat for it not to happen, and it's still not that comfortable.
More importantly, however, is the failure of the small "hatch" between your legs. I mean, in particular, the model with the small round hatch with the fabric bag inside that is right between your legs. If the kayak is loaded, and that can mean simply a heavy person using it, the kayak scupper holes admit water - of course. However, the small hatch is very low in the boat, and does not seal well. It's lower than any other hatch, and even lower than the seat itself. Water gets into the hatch, and into the yak, making it ride lower, which lets in more water, and it rides lower still, etc. it is a serious design flaw, which is probably why you won't find it on the newer models.
If you're looking at buying a used, 1st generation Ride 135, please be warned. If you keep it light, you may not have the problem, but we've seen that hatch cover get looser over the years, so that may exacerbate the problem.
Other than that, it's still one of the smoothest riding kayaks I've had the pleasure to paddle. See my earlier review [4/17/2008] for other comments.
You can stand and fish and the design allows for all types of people to almost effortlessly stand. Very impressed. being able to throw my paddles in the front hatch is also a major plus! Thanks Wilderness Systems!!
I highly recommend this boat for anyone that does a lot of casting while fishing. I fish mostly bass and pike and the Ride is perfect.
One of the main features I wanted was lots of dry storage, which this kayak has. There is a large compartment in the bow that is easy to access while on the kayak. There is also a small hatch in front of the seat and another one behind the seat. I haven't done much fishing out of it yet, but I expect I will love all the room that I have in this kayak. It is stable enough to stand on as well.
I believe this model weighs approx. 70 lbs. I am a 45 year old woman and am able to load it on my SUV by myself. (However it is a bit easier if someone is there to help.) This kayak maneuvers well and moves quickly once you get it going. After about 3 strokes it starts to really glide. I am very happy with this kayak.
I fully expected to get wet, both from splash and tipping over. The only water that touched me was drip from a cheap paddle's drip guards not working. Obviously, I am not an expert so my opinion is extremely limited. But I loved the stability and maneuverability so much, that I bought one for myself that afternoon.
Very impressed with this "ride"... pun intended. Fish, look out.
If you are interested in this kayak I would go check it out and see if you are able to move it around with ease or not. Even though I love this kayak on the water I wasn't able to utilize it like I would have liked to because of the difficulty of loading, unloading and storing it. Please remember, a lot of what is good about a kayak comes from personal preference so please try one out whenever possible before making a decision.
This yak weighs in about 100 pounds. I'm a big guy and its challenging for me to load up on my car alone. It would be easier for me if I had a pick up truck or trailer. With this size, Ride 135 holds up to 500 pounds. I've had my girlfriend's dog in the back storage area, my dog in between my legs, and my girlfriend seating on the bow of the yak facing me. It held up to the weight of us, but I wouldn't recommend kayaking far like this. I did it just to test the weight limits. This means you can hold a lot of gear. Great for day trips and overnights. My next challenge is a 2-3 trip and a week one after that.
Despite the weight of the yak, she moves. It does take a few paddles but moves swiftly after that. Turning can be challenging but that's due to the length. A rudder would help with turns.
My Ride 135 is the 2012 model and comes with the new hatches. A flip of the two levers and the hatches pop open. Plenty of room in the bow. The other hatch is located between your legs for easy convenience. Plenty of room in the rear of the yak. I can slide my seat up and put even more gear in that space. I'm often the mule and get to carry everyone's gear.
The seat is adjustable and a big selling point for me. As I stated before, you can adjust the seat if you want. You would want to do this to balance your yak depending on your gear. Other perks, slide the seat all the way back and you have a standing platform. The seat works better than most but after a few hours you will start to cramp. I stand up and paddle like a Stand Up Paddle board. Standing helps you cast your fishing pole and increase your field of vision. sliding the seat all the way forward gives you room between the seat and the rear compartment. storage area. The seat does get uncomfortable after a few hours but that is expected. The newer models have different seats that should be more comfortable.
After many months I am still satisfied with my Ride. I can't wait until I take her out again.
I love this barge. Heavy, stable, only complaint? Cup holder hard to reach. Had a steaming beverage just out of reach. I am new to kayaking but I like this design over the sit in.
The Ride is super stable, so I thought it would be super slow. To me the yak does not feel slow at all. It is not close to being as fast as my wife's Pungo 140, but seems fast enough. With rubber golf balls in the scuppers, I had a perfectly dry ride.
I agree that the seat bottom needs more padding. After a few hours out I started to get a bit uncomfortable, so I pulled a cushion out of the dry hatch and solved the problem for the rest of the day. The height adjustment on the backrest slipped a couple of times. I might be ordering one of those 2010 replacement backrests. We will see.
The Ride 135 is perfect for fishing. It has a huge capacity and lots of room for coolers, crates, tackle boxes, etc. I like the grooves in the bow to place your rod tip while rigging the line. Another nice touch is the wealth of bungees located in strategic places.
Wilderness Systems quality is evident in the fit and finish of this yak. My good friend has two Ride 135s and swears by them. I am glad that I listened to his advice.
Very stable platform for standing to sight cast or scout river hazards. Lots of storage space and storage options. Orbix hatches are easy to operate and have a solid closure. Seat back gives good support. Tracks well in flat water and tends to coast once you get it up to speed. Hull material stands up to rocks. Scupper holes are well protected inside the tri-hull design. Shallow drafting.
Hard to turn. Not the best kayak for a novice in class 2+ water. Not the fastest kayak on the water. Tends to slap and punch through waves rather than ride over top. Seat bottom could use a little more padding. No scupper holes near the seat. Water will collect there.
Overall, it is a very good boat, but there are trade offs. You give up maneuverability for stability. What sold me is its durability. Ask the guys at Austin Kayak which boats in their rental fleet stand up to abuse.
I agree about the footpegs; they didn’t work great at the demo. I am considering reinforcing them in the center. My calves also rest directly on the plastic, which hurts after a few hours. The boat is wide so you will need a longer paddle. It is also very heavy. Limitations aside, I bought this because I can move all around it, which is impossible in a sit-inside. You can swing your legs off the side to reach items behind you, you can slip into the water to cool off and easily reenter the boat. I can even turn myself around and lay down on my back in the footwell, if I need to try and catch some rays.
It has tons of storage space, and is great for fishing. The boat is super stable and is surprisingly agile. Some sit-on-tops feel like a barge. This one can perform. It is also much easier to get in and out of, as compared to a sit-in boat. Overall, I am completely satisfied. The complaints I have cannot compare to the benefits of this type of boat.
Less well designed, however are the cheap footpegs. The tracks for the pegs are only screwed in at the ends, causing the middle to bow out and twist over time. The seat is bothering the both of us, as well. The hinge where the back meets the seatpad at the boat sticks out, denting my butt after about a half hour's ride.
It's a wide boat; which can be good and bad. It holds a lot of stuff, but it's darn heavy - 65lbs. It takes the both of us to get each boat onto the truck. The width also makes it harder to paddle; my girlfriend keeps banging her hands against the side handles. We had to purchase longer paddles than we'd originally thought - 240cm's for the two of us.
Those nitpicks aside, however, it's a great boat; a pleasure to paddle. Its stability makes it easy to get back in after jumping out for a dip in the middle of a lake in the summer. It tracks well. The spacious tankwell fits a cooler easily. The seat's up a bit high, even for a SOT, and I like that, as my arms are long - and my butt stays pretty dry, considering.
As stated in an earlier review, the mango color scheme is beautiful - and safer, let's face it.
The Heritage Redfish is a very good yak, but I preferred the 135. I did not try the Heritage 14 because I didn't like the front hatch on it. I have stood and fished from my 135 and have pulled over some flooded marshes and have thrown a cast net while standing also.
The maneuverability of the Ride 135 is good. I tried it out the first time in fresh water creek here in eastern NC. One of my concerns was that I needed my kayak to be maneuverable because of the tight situations you can get into in some of our creeks. To look at the bottom of the hull, you wouldn't think the maneuverability would be good, but it will surprise you.
I have an ofice crate behind my seat and a 28 quart ice chest on the very back. I will usually carry about 4 rods and other fishing gear with me, as well as my cast net. I am loving fishing in it.
The Ride is very stable, has tons of space for storage. My husband loved this kayak, while I was not crazy about it. He is 6'3 and I am 5'5, and the Ride was very comfortable for him, but felt clumsy for me. It is extremely stable and rode the rapids very well; he didn't have any trouble navigating around the rocks but I did. Sitting on top and letting your legs hang on the side was absolutely stable. Our boys took it for fishing and said it was great. Plenty of room for a small cooler in the roomy front storage area. Lots of neat features and places to store stuff. We didn't take in any water at all in this kayak, which is the primary reason for the SOT decision. Very sturdy and well built kayak.
We were considering the Tarpon 120 but our kayak dealer recommended this one as being a lot more responsive. We have the beautiful Mango color! My husband loves it, and so do my two college age sons. If you are smaller, you might try something different.
The boat is very easy to turn, but does not track tremendously well. The low profile keeps it out of the wind.
The unique hull design is not as much of a speed detriment as one would think and the boat is capable of comfortably making trips of 10 miles or more. When sprinting the flat hull between the sponsons actually planes a bit.
Some unexpected drawbacks are that anyone over about 140-150 pds will be sitting in water. Also, the deck around the scupper raises due to flex in the plastic trapping water in the deck. Other wise the scupper will completely and efficiently drain the cockpit when the boat is moving.
(A tennis ball makes a perfect plug for the oversized scupper.)
The manufacturers capacity estimates are , if anything conservative. I have had 400 pounds in it with out any problem.
Fred disliked the Tarpon 120 a lot. The Tarpon 160 didn't seem especially fast to either of us but was very difficult to turn. The Drifter and Prowler 13 both dumped me unexpectedly during paddle strokes. Both almost dumped me several times, perhaps the center bottoms had been deformed by stacking or by hauling in and out with people in them.
The Ride was just fantastic. Very stable even leaning out over the side. It was easy to move around in and easy to turn. The Ride kept up with the Tarpon 160 unless Fred paddled really hard in the 160. Acceleration was much better in the Ride than in the other boats. Tracking without rudder was good in the wind and current. We both thought the Ride was far superior to the other single seaters.
Then we both tested a used Malibu 2, paddling solo. The Malibu 2 is also a superb kayak. Solo from the rear seat left the nose very high, solo from the center seat was excellent. The Malibu 2 was almost as stable as the Ride and seemed to be about as fast. Tracking without a rudder was the best of any of the boats tested and turning from a stop was also the best. This Malibu 2 did not have any hatches so there is no possibility of flooding the interior. All storage would be on deck on the front and rear seat positions and there is a lot of storage area. The Malibu 2 can carry two people but it is heavier than the Ride. Seating is dry in the Malibu 2.
In summary, both the Ride and the Malibu 2 are excellent boats. They don't look alike but do perform alike in many ways. They were pretty much tied for the best kayak we paddled yesterday and they were vastly superior to the other boats.
Just to give you an idea of my size, I'm about 6' 2" and weigh in at around 285 (yeah yeah -- trying to get rid of a bit of that now!).
I'd also like to add that this kayak, while it's not the lightest thing in the world, is fairly easy to move around with the nice handles on the sides. Much easier than my brothers Aquaterra he's got. (8->
The ride is so stable that I put a 2' poling platform on it and I pole it more than I paddle it. I am planning to add a sail and two outriggers at the front to be able to extend the poling platform to 3 or 4 feet. The highest you are, the easiest, you will be able to spot fish in fairly deep water with a sun not at its zenithal position.
The ride is the best kayak ever made for fly fishing and the flat deck is really important as it allows the fly fisherman to store his fly line easily.
The ratio stability/speed is the best one can have. Off course, it will be slower than a scupper pro or another kayak with slick curves that does not allow you to stand. So, if speed is your concern, this is not the kayak to chose. On a flat, you want to move slowly and look around carefully for any shadow that might be a fish. I paddle the yak 5 km an hour and this is enough.
This kayak is primarily good to fish the shallows while standing on it for a better sight fishing. You guys will love it for that specific purpose.
I am extremely pleased with the stability, ease of paddling, and comfort of The Ride. I do not have a rudder and find the boat to track very well in light to moderate chop. The boats handles easily and is much dryer than I would expected from a sit-on-top kayak. Everyone of my friends who have tried it out are hooked. I look forward to the years to come and cannot imagine replacing it anytime soon. I highly recommend The Ride.