Tuesday, January 7, 2014

WS Ride 115x

I recently purchased a new kayak that I've had my eye on for a while now, the Wilderness Systems Ride 115x. For me this kayak is the total package for paddle kayaks. Previously, I had the last Ride 135 from Wilderness Systems and didn't think that I could be happier with another kayak, but I was wrong.

I was hesitant at first going to a much shorter kayak than my 135, but so far it has proven to be a non-issue. I originally bought the much larger Ride 135 thinking that I would be venturing out on long multiple night camping trips and all day excursions but that was never the case, especially after the baby came along. Time was precious so I limited myself to four to six hour trips and hurried back home. This pattern is where I think that my new Ride will serve me best.

For one the 115x is much easier to handle than the 135 when it comes to loading and unloading. It is also slightly wider than my 135 by two inches, which adds to the overall stability. The other bells and whistles that I love about this kayak probably will pass by unnoticed by most people, but having a previous generation Ride, I greatly appreciate the subtle changes.

The first improvement I noticed is the rigid front and rear carry handles (A). The new handles are so much more convenient for strapping the kayak down in the truck as well as for carrying. They have also added molded storage trays on the side walls of the yak. I find these are really helpful for throwing extra tackle in there for future use. A huge improvement is the now standard 8” Slide Trax on the rear tank well(E). A stand assist strap has been added now for increased help in standing and sitting, when accompanied with the high seat proves really easy and stable(F). New scuppers were added in the standing area for added drainage and support(B).

Now for the main attraction, the removable Lowrance ready fish finder console(D). For me this is a game changer and well worth the upgrade in kayaks. This console has a large pass through hull opening for easy transducer installation as well as a large built in battery storage area. There are molded in inserts for easy installation of the transducer and head units. This system eliminates the need for hull wiring, liberator arms, or space used up on your Slide Trax. It is definitely the next generation in fish finder set up. I love it.

If you’re in the market or thinking of upgrading check out the Wilderness Systems Ride 115x, you won’t be disappointed. Mariner Sails of Dallas now has them in all original colors plus the new Desert Camo or Dusk.

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