Wilderness Systems, Ride 135
Length 13.3' (4.05 m), Weight 64 lbs (29 kg).
Maximum weight capacity 328 lbs (149 kg) depending on water conditions.
The all new Wilderness Systems Ride 135 is a redesign of the original Wilderness Systems Ride, redesigned, but maintaining the stability of the original.
The Ride 135 hull and fittings are of the usual high Wilderness Systems standard, along with some well thought out design features, simple things that help make your day a float that much better.
Ride 135 ready to launch.
The width of the Ride 135 first became apparent after loading onto the roof rack alongside the Synergy 14 throwing a strap over the hull I realised that it wasn't going o fit! This width and the pontoon style hull is what gives the Ride 135 its excellent stability, enough to allow the nimble footed to stand and cast (not that I have ever seen the need), this extra width does however mean that the Ride 135 is not the fastest kayak out of the blocks.
Topsides there is the standard WildernessSystems 18.5" bow hatch. Forward of the hatch is an elasticised rope stretched across the bow, centrally on the rope a small rubber wheel, combined they make a paddle keep which is a simple but very nice touch, the rubber wheel aids the blade under the rope… genius. There are also a pair of paddle straps either side of the cockpit, these are integrated with the cockpit handles.
Seating is provided by Wilderness Systems Comfort Seating System, an adjustable padded back rest and separate built in gel base pad, the seat is raised on a platform slightly above the smooth cockpit floor to reduce the amount of water reaching this area, although heavier paddlers can expect to get a little damp around the buttocks. Whilst paddling and sat faced forward the seat is very comfortable, if you like to sit side on, then a bit of wriggling is required to find a sweet spot.
Comfort Seat, day hatches and tackle box recess.
Directly in front of the seat is a 6" day hatch with integral bag, this remained dry during our testing even in the harsh Dorset swell that we encountered, although we would suggest using an air tight container to keep valuable items protected. Feet rest against an adjustable Trigger Lock™ Footbrace.
Towards the bow there is a short centre console which incorporates a cup holder and Scotty baitcaster/spinning rod holder. Either side of the centre console are a pair of moulded slots, these are designed to hold a rod blank when laid in the cockpit, a bungee cord forward of the day hatch keeps your rod secure, another simple but brilliant idea which has been shared with the Mad River Canoes Synergy 14.
Moulded rod slot and cockpit showing, Trigger Lock™ Footbrace, centre console, Scotty rod holder base and rod bungee.
To the rear of the cockpit is an 8.5" hatch flanked by a pair of flush mounts with rubber bungs to prevent them filling with water when not in use. Close behind the seat the tankwell has a recess for a tackle box with elasticised security cord, behind the recess a volumes tankwell with scupper hole drainage.
A 1.75kg anchor and line in a canvass bag completes the package.
On the water the Ride 135 feels very secure, side onto swell she just floats up and over with little fuss or roll. However heading into the swell the low bow does little to stop water coming over the top and into the cockpit, making for a wet ride in rougher conditions. The wide hull doesn't cause any problems with your paddling technique the low gunwales reducing its effect; this said the Ride 135 requires a bit more effort from the paddler.
In flat conditions there is a little hull slap, which surprisingly comes from below the tankwell.
If you require ultimate stability, a kayak to fly/lure fish over short distances around inshore marks, enabling casting from a sitting, kneeling or standing position, the Ride 135 could be worth a test paddle.