Read reviews for the Tarpon 100 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!
Overall, the Tarpon 100 is a great boat for the money. It weighs about 55 pounds and is listed as 30.5 inches wide. Hull is made of high-density polyethylene which has proven rugged and durable. It came with a comfortable seat, two flush-mounted rod holders behind the seat and slide trax on the gunwale in front of the cockpit and along the rear cargo area for mounting accessories(none included with boat). Slide trax are a great way to add rod holders or a go-pro mount (or whatever else you might want) without putting holes in the boat.
Also standard with the boat was a bungee system in the rear well to hold your cargo and two in-hull storage areas (one in the bow and one in the cockpit) with excellent locking lids. Hatch covers feature a hinged design and locking lever; to open hatch, simply slide lever to unlock cover and flip open to access gear. I have gone on multi-day solo camping trips in this boat with no problem stowing all of the gear I need.
The adjustable foot rests are much better than boats with molded in foot rests.
Now, for performance. It is very stable, even in light choppy water. Although it is not designed for white water, I use it in class II rapids and like the maneuverability as well as the self-bailing scuppers -- sometimes water comes over the bow or the gunwale in a steep drop or in roiling water, but it just drains right out.
It's short length brings pros and cons. In some circumstances, a shorter boat is helpful when trying to get into a fishing area with downed trees or other obstacles, and it is easier to turn than a longer boat. But when you are paddling to get somewhere on flat water, you work a lot harder than even a 12 foot boat. You have to paddle harder and when you stop, the glide does not last very long. Tracking is also an issue. I am not an expert paddler, but I have enough experience with my 12 foot boat to know there is a pretty big difference. In particular, my Tarpon 100 tends to drift to the right regardless of other variables. This my not be unique to the Tarpon 100, maybe all 10 foot yaks track poorly, but this is the only one I have experience with. That is why I rated it at 7 rather than higher.
Still, I would recommend it, especially for fishermen or newer paddlers. If I know I will have a long, flat paddle, I take my 12 foot boat. If I am going on a river trip with current to help do some of the work, I take the Tarpon 100. It is a good boat with great features for the money.
I am 6' tall @ 220 lbs and have no problems with this 10 footer at all.The four accessory tracks are ample & very versatile, this is standard on the Tarpon, so I opted not to buy the angler version, I'm going to add my personal favorite rod holders & accessories to customize as I see fit.My wife is 5'6" weight unknown by anyone & she also loves this kayak. This Wilderness tarpon will be a hard one to beat in this price range.
Thanks, I hope my 2 cents helps out.
Weight. Hard for a 115 lb female to put on top a car in a rack. Hence, bought a trailer, much easier to manage. Tracking. A friend has the same kayak but 120. I wish I had bought the 120. I did not as I thought the extra length would make it even harder to put car top. Now that I have a trailer, would not matter. The 120 tracks so much easier. I am a stronger paddler on the right so the kayak tends to shift to the left stopping the smooth forward glide.
I would definitely recommend the Wilderness System Kayak. Do not go smaller than 120 unless you are only planning to basically fish and tracking is not a big deal.
Last... a girl thing! LOVE THE LIME GREEN COLOR!!!
I love the fact I can carry my cooler and tackle box behind me. I use the scupper holes as my rod holders. And the locking storage areas are great for putting things that need to be kept drier and are easy to access while going down the river. The front storage area is harder to access but can be done while kayaking.
Overall I just love the comfort and storage of the Wilderness Tarpon 100. I am even thinking of having the flush mount rod holders installed in the areas that are already there for them.
The new models have a phase 3 air pro seat with 3 levels of adjustment that make it a real comfortable ride. It tracks great, can take a beating if you run it hard and I'd never buy anything different.
Stability is great. Weight carrying capacity is above average for a 10 foot boat. It is easy to put on top of the truck, a big benefit over the older Tarpon 140. The wife paddles one also. We are very pleased with this little boat.
I have recently acquired a new Tarpon 100 (my first Tarpon 100 was confiscated by my spouse who refuses to return it). Some observations and suggestions for all interested, but especially for older folks like me with serious back problems. I have ankylosing spondilitis with some significant curvature of the fused spine)... the factory seat in the newer Tarpons has some contour but not much paddling for my boney buttocks... so, first thing I do now is put a Skwoosh pad in the seat bottom... not much extra padding, but your butt will not go numb and the feeling is rather like riding on a cushions saddle. Second, I use electric wire bundle ties to afix a simple air cushion like hunters would sit on to the seat back of the new Tarpon seat.
I really do not like the new seatbacks that have a spring and rise up or down as you move in the seat, so I tighten the seat back down to the bottom with the ties as well. This arrangement turns out to be remarkable comfortable for hours at a time.
Next. WS did something to all of the smaller round hinged hatches, probably to lessen leakage. But they are nearly impossible to open new and don't get much better with use. Also, the metal clips that hold the wire brad in the hinge tends to pop out of them. So, brand new put marine silicon on the little wire hinge brads and they will stay in place. Then spray a lubricant all around friction surfaces of the hatch interior. this hels a great deal but they will still be quite tight.
Now for the good things: the little Tarpons handle a good sized body (I weigh 190 mostly muscle still) and will track exceptionally well for a ten foot yak. Take a small 12 quart hard sided ice chest and afix a dual plastic rod holder to the left side if you are right handed... then set the ice chest in the tank well where it open from the right as you are facing the bow. Thus, your rod holder will be on the left to reach back to and not obstruct your casting. Use the electrical ties to afix the bungee cords to the ice chest handle to keep the ice chest from migrating or whatever. This set up is very easy to launch and if you must carry it a little farther than desired get a C-tug yak cart. It fits like a glove and you can use two fingers to pull the Tarpon wherever you wish.
The Tarpon 100 is very stable even in rough chop, glides well for a sort yak, has zero hull slap, and is extremely rugged... Use scupper plugs if you like dry feet and gear... Compared with the price of today's modern sexy yaks with all kinds of accessories and heavy weight, the little Tarpon as modified above is affordable, very handy for fishing in salt or fresh water, and a pleasure to load up at the end of a long fishing day... and your butt and legs will not be numb or sore...
This is likely the last yak I will acquire as it does everything and more that I need and it does it very well indeed.
This boat has all kinds of straps and gewgaws which get in the way of the paddle stroke, and it's too wide, which causes me to bump the paddle against the boat unless I do a very wide, shallow stroke. I do like the adjustable footrests, which give lots of latitude as to length, but they are cheaply made plastic and will probably be the first thing to break on this boat. The boat is also slow. The side-mounted, non-recessed carry handles bump my hands as I paddle.
I suspect whoever designed this boat is not a serious kayaker, with all these added gewgaws, because simple is usually better, and Ocean Kayak, as a brand, designs that way with much better success.
The storage on this is great, under both hatches you'll find loops to clip off your bags or whatever, making access very easy, even on the water. The side pockets are great for the most reached for items. The seat is incredible, very adjustable, very dry. My first trip was over 5 hours and I had no issues at all.
Once you get use to it, the Tarpon is very stable. I was able to sit side saddle and hang my legs in the water after only an hour out. I can reach everything I have in the rear well area without issue. Leg room was fine, I'm 5'11, 220 lbs. It tracks better then a 10' yak should, and gets a fair amount of glide. You are not going to win any races with it, but you'll keep up just fine. My better half took it for a lap or two, and now I in the process of ordering another for her. ACK will of course get that business.
The only draw back is the tracking. It tracks ok because it is only 10 foot and for a 10 foot kayak it tracks well. I would recommend it to anyone if they were limited to the 10 foot size.
We opted for Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 (10 foot) model and we've been constantly delighted with our choice. One of the great features of sit-on-top yaks is that, if you should tip over or get swamped by a heavy wave, you don't have to reach for your bucket – the scuppers are self-bailing.
The roto-molded Tarpon is available in a number of configurations in lengths from 10 to 16 feet depending on what type of usage you have in mind – anything from day-tripping to fishing to back-country camping and what type of venue you prefer – flat water, rapids or saltwater bays and inlets.
We'd say they are an excellent selection for a beginner and an all-around perfect choice for a more experienced paddler. They are essentially for recreational use rather than serious white-water challenges or open ocean paddling. That said, we found that they performed flawlessly in class III whitewater. They are quite beamy which gives them remarkable stability and the hulls/keels are sharply defined which means they track well even without a skeg and carve nicely into turns. They have a large well in the after-deck with bungees for gear storage plus two water-tight hatches – one conveniently located right by your knees. On top of that, there are a bunch of high-quality extras such as adjustable footrests, a very comfortable and multi-adjustable seat, water bottle pockets, paddle keepers, tie-downs, beverage holders and so on.
At around $700, the Tarpons aren't the least expensive ten-footers on the market... but they are worth every penny!
Pros: Incredible adjustable seat (super comfy for hours), water bottle/gear holders on each side of the seat, perfect design and functionality in diverse conditions, light weight, ideal "all purpose" sit-upon kayak. Also, this thing is STABLE...I have tried tipping it and it's almost impossible under normal circumstances.
Cons: molded cupholder down by your feet (fairly useless for that purpose), that's really my only complaint.
I had the opportunity to try several brands of sit-upon kayaks, and the Tarpon design is just pure perfection. I have a LOT of hours in this boat and it never ceases to amaze me.
My experience has been positive, and I would recommend this this kayak for beginners and intermediate riders. The flip-up "hard" seat is very comfortable; even on long trips. There are two storage compartments, one small for wallets, glasses and personal items. And a large compartment to store gear/ lunch, extra clothing etc. Bow and stern, and side handles make this kayak easy to move and transport.
Overall I would recommend this kayak. Although it's list price is at $699.00 You can usually find it around $550/599 at the end of season.
The boat has good glide and excellent stability. If you do flip it, some water will get in the hatches but not a lot. I highly recommend this boat for any experience level paddler.
The real beauty of this 'yak is it's versatility. It's as capable in tight water as it is in the open. I've no hesitation going to sea on short range fishing sorties when weather permits and it really excels in creek and estuary exploration.
This boat is a lot of fun and quality is excellent. Would I buy again? Absolutely!
Overall, great boat and I'm hooked on Tarpon and WS.
It's dry... drier then my Tarpon 140 and Trident... I simply love that small but effective Tarpon 100... by the way, the seat is very nice.
This S.O.T. is great fun and I highly recommend it. But if you have the storage space, I'd recommend the Tarpon 120
The boats are very maneuverable in tight places track well and make a pretty good platform for wildlife photography. I now feel confident taking my DSLR and associated gear out on the water with me. (in a pelican case when not in use of course....). I highly recommend the Tarpon 100.
If you are looking for a beginner SOT recreational kayak, this kayak is well worth the extra cash. It has many convenient features and with the dual rail system, room for expansion; great for the angler that wants to customize. Also, fits pretty well in the bed of my Ridgeline (tailgate down) with only a couple feet sticking out.
I am giving it a 9/10 because I haven't put it through the test of time. However, 10/10 for starting out.
There are probably 100 or more reasons I love 10' SOTs (10 foot sit-on-top kayaks). Too many to list here but if you try one you'll wonder why you never did sooner. Don't let any more time slip by; go and get a 10' SOT and BE HAPPY.
The Tarpon 100 tracks straighter than any other short yak I have paddled. The new seat lacks much padding, but it has so many adjustments that I found I could fish five or more hours without my butt going numb on me. The stability is very good; not a floating pier like my larger yaks, but very decent indeed. The speed will not set any records, but it is actually much faster that I expected for a short yak, about the same as my Prowler 13 when loaded with fishing gear. Short fishing rods (5'6") will fit in the hatch by the seat if pointed to the stern.
It is a dry yak with the scupper plugs in. It tracks exceptionally well and even has some decent glide to it which is rare for such a short yak. It did not weathervane in stronger winds. And it fits easily in the bed of my Tacoma truck. Easy to load and unload even in windy conditions. If you are looking for a shorter grab and go yak, the Tarpon 100 is very hard to beat. I am 6 feet tall and weight 190 pounds at 64 years of youth. I am pretty well fit for a fossil so more youthful or female paddlers will find the Tarpon 100 ideal for play or fishing. I previously had the older model of Tarpon 100 and the new one is considerably better in my opinion. Given its price and forgiving paddling characteristics, it is now very high on my list of very good fishing yaks.
Other than that it is a very nice kayak, it is stable, the seat is the best of the other kayaks I have tried, I like the adjustable footrest. I have done everything with it, went fishing, surfing, paddled for a couple miles straight, took my 2 year daughter for a ride on my lap...it is a perfect all around kayak.
If it wasn't for the defect, I would have given it 10. I like it better than the sit-inside I also have, and I am planning to sell the sit-inside and buy a tarpon 120 as a second kayak.
I've taken it on small rivers, lakes and even on the St-Laurence River. Its 2 closed hatches + open storage space in the back even allows for short camping trips. It is very stable in choppy waters. I never even got closed of turning over.
Pros and cons
We have mostly used them in Canaveral National Seashore, but have also tossed them in the back of the truck and gone to other locals such as Cracker Creek, Rose Bay and Alexandria State Park. In all cases they have been very stable, give a dry ride and have been comfortable to paddle for hours on end. We use them as recreational kayaks, and are really out to enjoy nature and go for kayak rides with friends.
No they are not the fastest yaks out there. If you want speed, get something longer and narrower. But if you want a stable, comfortable, dry ride, I recommend you look at these small kayaks.
I think these are great boats for what we do, just casual touring and sightseeing. We plan to carry on our boat with us, so when on the hook we can tour around the creeks and waterways. They are very stable, easy to paddle, keep us relatively dry and handle with ease. Have a couple of compartments and rack on back to carry things along. They are a little heavy for 10 footers, but may account for stability and tracking?
So far I would rate them a solid 10 for what we want.
It is a fast kayak for a SOT that is 3 meters long. Every boat or kayak has a maximum speed which depends on hull length, this kayak is 3 meters so the maximum speed is not like one that is 4 meters.
I love this kayak... by the way, it is very good looking as well.