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Sun, Sep 25, 2016
Wilderness Systems "Ride 135"

Wilderness Systems "Ride 135" Hot

 
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Wilderness Systems Ride 135

Kayak Make & Model

Brand:
Wilderness Systems
Model:
Ride
MSRP ($):
969.00
Length (ft):
13.5

The Wilderness Systems "Ride 135" Kayak is a unique, pontoon-style hull offers unmatched stability for anglers. Stand up and enhance your visibility or increase casting distance with ease. From flat to surf to small water, The Ride 135 has the innovations anglers have been demanding, like the tool-less SlideTrax accessory system, the large rear tank well, and the easy to access front and mid-ship Orbix hatches. The AirPro Freedom Elite seating system, new for 2013, adds comfort and easy adjustability. Every detail has been fine-tuned; from the wider, flatter standing platform, to beefed-up outfitting, to an intuitive layout that easily handles milk crates, all types of rod holders and gear in incredibly accessible locations.

Features:

  • AirPro Freedom Elite
  • Removable/Elevated/Sliding Seat
  • Keepers Foot Brace System
  • Orbix Bow, Midship, and Stern Hatches
  • Tankwell w/ Bungee
  • Bungee Deck Rigging
  • Comfort Carry Handles
  • Paddle Groove with Bungee
  • Rudder Ready
  • Self-Bailing Scupper Holes
  • Cupholder
  • Performance Control with Sliding Seat
  • Slidetrax on Bow

Specs:

  • Width: 31.5" / 80 cm
  • Max Capacity: 550 lbs / 249 kg
  • Deck Height: 16.25" / 41 cm
  • Weight: 87 lbs / 39 kg

 

Photos

Ride 135 Cooper River
Ride 135 trailer
Ride 135 Cooper River
Ride 135 trailer
Ride 135 Cooper River
Wilderness Systems Ride 135

User reviews

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Overall rating 
 
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Ratings (the higher the better)
Speed
Stability
Durability
Features
Value
User Info
Pros & Cons
Comments
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
5.0

Ride 135 One Year Review

Wilderness Systems Ride 135 One Year Review

I know there are tons of reviews out there, but just like every kayak is not for everyone, not everyone experiences the same things on every kayak. When I first started shopping for my first yak, everyone would mention how “not every kayak is for everyone.” At the time, I did not understand, but after a full year of fishing off my Ride 135, I now understand. I’m 6’2” 260lb, and I concentrate on inshore fishing as well as freshwater lakes and canals. Given this, the Tarpon series wouldn’t have been ideal for me, and I do want to eventually do some offshore fishing so the Commander wouldn’t have worked for me either. Here in South Florida, when it comes to inshore and freshwater fishing one needs a stable boat, one where you can easily stand to sight fish for Redfish, Peacock , Snakehead, Snook, etc. Finally, after a lot of research, I made up my mind and purchased my first kayak, the Wilderness Systems Ride 135 in Olive green. Man, was I excited, little did I know I would end up falling in love with this boat. Sure, it’s the only kayak I’ve ever fished off of, (with the exception of a Wilderness Systems tandem I rented in Flamingo with my girlfriend once) so I don’t have a lot of basis for comparison, so I will simply tell you what I like and what I don’t about the Ride 135, 2013 model.

Like I mentioned before, I sight fish a lot. When I’m not tangled up in a fight with a Red in Flamingo, Everglades National Park, I’m harassing Peacock and Largemouth Bass in freshwater canals near my home in Miami, FL. Being able to stand and spot fish before I cruise over them is crucial to me. Especially so in Flamingo, where Reds are sometimes only showing a little bit of their tails (if any at all), having that slightly higher vantage point can be the difference of making the cast at 40 feet where they haven’t seen you yet, or 10 feet where the fish might have already sensed you. I upgraded the standard AirPro for the AirPro Elite High seat nearly out of the gate. This made a HUGE difference in standing for me. If you’re a bigger guy, I highly recommend the high seat, if you’re not, then try the regular seat (unless purchasing with new AirPro Max in which case, all this is irrelevant) and see what works best for you. However, the high seat does provide you with a few more storage options. There are little pockets behind the seatback where you can keep lures, or snacks. There’s also some shallow pockets near the straps on either side where you can keep loose hooks, tournament tokens, etc. Lastly, below the actual high seat, there is another bungee and a small compartment to keep a tackle tray stored for easy access. I recently switched to putting my drybox under there, since I keep losing it inside my kayak when I forget to strap it down.

Lets discuss the weight of this boat. I’ve taken my Ride into urban canals near residences as often as I’ve had a nice convenient ramp to launch from, and at 82lb, it’s a bit heavy, but again, I’m not a small guy, and I can muscle it on my own when loading and offloading off my truck. It’s nice to have help, but I can do it on my own. One of my friends is not quite as big as me and can’t maneuver the Ride 135 on his own as easily as I can, so if you’re a smaller guy and plan to do a lot of solo fishing, perhaps think about either purchasing a kayak cart right away or maybe looking at the lighter Commander 120 for the same type of fishing (although keep in mind, the Commander is not self-bailing, so be mindful of that if you ever take on water from an unsuspected storm).

That leads me to my next point, while I haven’t yet gone truly offshore on it, I have taken on water from either pouring rain or a few waves here and there, it’s nice that the Ride 135 is self-bailing and you need not worry about taking on water. Just make sure the Orbix hatches are all shut prior to hitting the water or after accessing them.
That brings me to the hatches. The mid-ship hatch isn’t as accessible (in terms of size) as the one on the new Thresher, which means you probably wont be able to get a lot in or out of there while on the water, but it’s great for keeping your first aid kid, dry box, and any other lose items you may not want exposed to the elements. One important thing is, whatever you put in there will slide all over the place. I can’t count the times I lost my drybox (with my wallet and keys) because it slid all the way to the stern. Make sure you use the little latches that are provided to secure your items so they won’t slide away, especially that very important first aid kit!

Next, I love that I have never had to drill into my kayak. The Ride 135 is outfitted with slide tracks on the starboard and port sides, near the pilot. The newer models are even bringing them on the walls near the tank well, so you may in fact never have to drill a hole into your kayak. This is good in two ways, it can keep it in “like new” condition if you decide to sell it or give it to a loved one or friend, and it maintains the original watertight integrity it was engineered with. – Although drilling holes into a kayak is not hard and very easy to do correctly, so if that’s your thing, don’t be afraid to do so, just know you don’t have to with this boat.

Moving on to the tank well, which is the perfect size. I can fit my milk crate with rod holders, and my soft-cooler back there without any problems, then I simply strap them down with the provided bungees. Once I get a kayak cart, I will bungee it back behind all that, as there is still tons of space to be used. The excess space is also amazingly convenient when you go camping. This boat has a 550lb capacity, and quite a bit of that is taken up by my mass, yet, I can carry a ton of gear on it and simply adjust my seat positioning to trim the boat for proper tracking. Also, when you are taking your boat from point A to point B on your vehicle, remember that the front hatch is VERY large and accessible, I love to keep stuff organized, so I often throw my fishing rods, PFD, paddle, cooler all in there, and then take everything out at my destination. Keeps my truck bed nice and organized when carrying more than one boat.

Overall, the Ride 135 is a very versatile boat, you can take it fishing, you can take it camping or simply take it out and get some exercise while kayaking, although this should be a secondary use, because after all it is intended to be a fishing kayak and you may not need to spend as much if you simply want to paddle around. If you do take it fishing, just know that you’re going to have the best all-around boat in the market. Whether you’re going to fish salt, fresh, standing, sitting, on your knees, whatever, this is the boat that will enhance your fishing experience without breaking the bank! – Plus, it’s a really good looking boat!

-Sam De La Torre
Wilderness Systems Pro Staff
Heroes On The Water SoFla Chapter Secretary
Dirty Badger Fishing Team

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Stability, durability, versatility, looks
Cons:
none
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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Speed 
 
5.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
5.0

My Ride 135 Review

I bought my ride in March 2014. At 6'8" and 250 lbs. I'm a pretty big guy. My requirements were that the kayak have enough leg room that I would not feel scrunched up when paddling or fishing. Also, it had to be a dry ride. I did not want a case of swamp butt each time I took it out. The ride did not make my original short list of prospective kayaks, because of the pontoon style hull. My paddling experience includes a bit of whitewater and to me that hull said barge. However, after contact with other ride owners and reading reviews of the ride I learned that the hull allows the kayak to in water too shallow for kayaks with more conventional hulls. For those concerned with stability, this hull design makes flipping over very difficult. Unless you're in fast water, you'll probably fall out of the kayak before it flips. Next on my list was speed. The first rides had a reputation as slow kayaks. I wasn't looking for a speedster, just a kayak that will get me where I want in a reasonable amount of time without leaving me feel whipped.

I've taken the ride on rivers and lakes. The kayak has proven to be a very capable platform for fishing and I'm sure it would be a good kayak for camping. It has a 500 lb load capacity and a lot of storage room. I have not used the hatches. Instead I have kept the things that I want to remain dry in a dry bag secured in the tankwell. The hatches do keep the water out and are easy to use. The forward hatch should be large enough for whatever you want to store under the deck. The center hatch would probably be best used or small items. I'm thinking about getting a pouch for this hatch to keep my keys, wallet, and phone in.
The recessed gear track is a nice feature. When paddling, I'll slide my rod holder forward, out of the way and slide it back within easy reach when actively fishing. Having the track recessed gives a cleaner, more finished look and reduces the chance of snagging things, including yourself, on it.
Two of the biggest selling points for today's fishing kayaks are the ability to stand up and comfortable seats. I touch on standing first. The ride's stability is legendary in the world of kayak fishing. A search on YouTube will bring up plenty of video's of people standing in rides. You will not find one of me standing in my ride though. I want to be clear that this is not a reflection of the boat, I have complete confidence in the rides stability. I just enough of a klutz that I would probably fall out of the kayak if I tried to stand in it.
My ride has the phase 3 seat. This seat has a lot of adjustability. Spending a bit of time making changes to the seat will be time well spent. I really like the leg lifters. They raise the front of the seat giving you thigh support if wanted. For me this greatly increases my comfort. The other thing about this seat is that you can slide it forward or aft. This is more of a performance enhancement than a comfort feature. Sliding the seat affects the kayaks trim. Slide aft to raise the bow in chop and waves. Slide forward in fast water to improve maneuverability.
One of my concerns with the ride was, how would it perform on rivers? This is not a whitewater boat by any means. However it does good on class I rivers. I would be willing to try it on a small stretch of class II just to see how it does.
The quality of the build is solid. I expect this boat to last a very long time.
My impression of the ride 135 is that this is the ultimate fishing kayak.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Excellent kayak for fishing
Cons:
Heavy
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(Updated: May 03, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0

Wilderness Systems Ride 135

This was my first kayak. I can say I was really impressed. The Ride 135 is a great value and although it has been said before, a jack of all trades.

Speed: Average, this kayak does well on flat water. The Ride 135 it easy to get up to speed and tracks well without a rudder. Not to take away from its stability, but with moderate chop and light to heavy wind, you feel mother nature put the brakes on.

Stability: Excellent. The first day I got this yak, I paddled into Charleston Harbor and setup right outside the shipping channel. I waited for the biggest center console to approach and stood up. I braced myself and got ready to turtle, to my suprise it rode over both swells from from the boat wake and leveled back out. I have been in some hairy situations in this boat and have never felt like I was going to tip over.

Durabilty: Bulletproof. I don't abuse any of my yaks, but this boat is tough. I have dragged it up boat ramps and paddled right over oysters. It was hard to find any sign of rash on the bottom, even after a year and half of hard fishing.

Features: Good. The Ride comes already equiped with creature comforts that are normally reserved for more expensive yaks. Internal storage is cavernous. I could fit 6 rod and reels easily into the front hatch. There is also a center hatch btween your knees taht is good for storing a dry box or your lunch. Midship Wilderness provides you with Slidetrax grooves that make it easy to mount rod holders and fishfinders. I only wish they would have added an additional set of Slidetrax aft of the cockpit like the Tarpon models. The seat is very comfortable and adjust fore and aft to accomadate different size paddlers. The only bad thing I can say is that the scuppers are really noisy, they drain quickly, but slosh and spit when you paddle fast or through some slop. Its only a minor annoyance.

Value: Good. I think this kayak is good value for the cost. It is probably the most popular kayak in our local kayak club and with good reason. The Ride 135 is a good value and can do it all.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Extremely durable, great for standing.
Cons:
Heavy, noisy scuppers.
Ride 135 Cooper River
Ride 135 trailer
Ride 135 Cooper River
Ride 135 trailer
Ride 135 Cooper River
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
5.0

Great Kayak, Stable and Large capacity

I have had my Ride 135 since 2012. It is a great kayak. Stable, fast and reliable. Please get out and demo one soon.

Yaknms

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0

Stable, Affordable, Versatile

I purchased mine in May of 2012; it is the first year of the redesign with the removable seat that allows you to trim the kayak for more even weight distribution or to change the trim of the kayak to allow you to be more maneuverable. Overall, I like the kayak; it's stable, very durable (and the skid plate helps with that) and surprisingly easy to get up to speed and maintain that speed. It does will even against moderate current and has no issues handling Class II water. However--the first generation Phase 3 seating leaves a something to be desired in the comfort department. My lower back starts aching after 2-3 hours in the kayak and I have to either stretch my legs out, dangle them over the side, change seating position, or just stop and stand up. If I spend all day on the water, I have to spend a few minutes stretching my lower back after I get out before I am able to load my car with my gear. But, the boat is made entirely in the USA, which is an important value to me.

The included slide trax will accept Ram or YakAttack products, they leave you plenty of versatility and room to rig as you need. This is a stable, versatile premium kayak that is relatively affordable (at under $1,000), is mostly durable (hatch covers will fade in the sun) and is usable in many different angling environments. I would recommend it, even with the comfort issues.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Stable, affordable premium kayak. Versatile platform for fishing in multiple envrionments.
Cons:
Sun fade on seats and hatches. Some 'leakage' around hatch covers, comfort level of Phase 3 Seat, a bit heavy for cartopping.
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