Wilderness Systems Ride 115 vs Tarpon 120

Wilderness Systems Ride 115 vs Tarpon 120

If you are to select between Wilderness Systems ride 115 vs Tarpon 120, what will be your choice model?

Many first-time paddlers want to know why people pick one model over the other. In this article, we have made it easier for you with detailed information about these kayaks.

 Wilderness Systems Ride 115 vs Tarpon 120
Wilderness Systems Ride 115 vs Tarpon 120

Wilderness Systems Ride 115

Wilderness Systems‘ new Ride 115X MAX has the latest seat in the Phase 3 Air ProMax seat models.

The Air ProMax is simply perfection personified. The seat is designed to retrofit every newer model. There are two molded-in tracks on which the seat slides into the boat.

The seat is secured by two Bungees at the back and a strap at the front which makes it easy for the paddler to adjust his position forward or backward.

Padded mesh is used in covering the back and bottom of the seat. This mesh stays dry and cool and provides support to the paddler in the right places.


  • The hull is made of high-density polyethylene that can withstand many years of use. The hull is highly durable too.
  • The seat of the kayak is AirPro Freedom Elite which has a forward / after trim range and an adjustable backrest.
  • Its foot brace system is adjustable and enables the paddler to maintain proper and efficient paddling posture.
  • The kayak has a full-size bow hatch and a small midship hatch covered with watertight Orbix lids. It also has a molded in stern well with adjustable bungee that can contain a milk crate or bait box.
  • It has a stand-up assist strap that helps to keep the kayak stable when you want to be in a standing position.
  • There is a Slide Trax accessory system at the bow which provides an adjustable attachment point for fishing accessories. However, the kayak does not come with these accessories.
  • It has a USA-made rudder-ready design into which a Wilderness Design rudder system can fit.
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You can look at other MAX’s angling attributes if you think the new seat is good. The boat is built on a tested two tunnel-hull design. This design improves the stability of the boat by moving the weight out, towards the sides of the kayak with the help of a Center keel.

The Center keel improves the tracking of the kayak. We discovered that at a length of a little above 11 feet, the Ride 115X MAX paddles on a straight line even when you are paddling while standing.

The top side of the kayak is also impressive. Wilderness Systems used their rich and wide pro-teams fishing experience to build an inshore boat that is good in many ways. The tank well of the boat can easily be reached.

Features like footpads, gear cubbies, rock-solid foot braces, and waterproof center hatch are molded into the deck.

The Flex Pod removable console is one of the best features this boat has. This console makes it possible for the paddler to install or remove the fish finder display, battery, and transducer within seconds.

The paddle holder on the bow secures the blade when the paddler is fishing.

Added beauties of the Angler model are YakAttack Mighty Mounts, Gear-Trax, Rod holder, VisiCarbon light, and other accessories that cost additional 80 dollars.

The Ride 115X MAX is built with quality materials like an aluminum bow, stern holders, super tough gunnel handles, and premium fit and finish. This material makes the boat a long life span.

The Tarpon 120

Tarpon 120 is a sit on top kayak that can perform many functions. It is the second smallest in the Tarpon family. The kayak compromises stability, speed, tracking and maneuverability. It weighs 63 pounds and is easier to load on top of a car than Tarpon 140.

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Tarpon 120 is a great sit on top kayak in many conditions because of its maneuverability. The

performances of the kayak in small lakes, still waters, and gentle rivers are outstanding. However, the kayak finds it difficult to perform well in windy conditions or on longer paddles because of the increased maneuverability. The best-selling sit-on-top kayak made by Wilderness Systems is Tarpon 120.

The reason is that it is the best kayak for fishing and the most solid sit on top kayak that can serve you in many ways. Tarpon 120 is the best among its class of kayaks.


  • Versatile
  • Fast on water
  • Dry storage
  • Comfortable
  • It paddles well


  • Its capacity is somewhat limited.
  • It is a bit heavy

Size and Weight

The length of Tarpon 120 is 12.3 inches  (373 cm). Its width is 31 inches  (79 cm). The deck is 13.75 inches  (35 cm) high.  Its weight is 63 pounds  (29 kg). This weight is within the average weight of a sit on top kayak of its size.

The maximum carrying capacity of Tarpon 120 is 350 pounds  (159 kg). This capacity can accommodate many kayakers and their equipment, however, more people may have to go for alternatives.


The front carry handle of the Tarpon 120 is very heavy. It is fixed into place with two screws. It is so strong that it can serve as a mounting point for straps when the boat is transported.

There is a short bungee cord with a small roller on the deck behind the handle that serves as a paddle holder. You can use this bungee if you want to quickly set down your paddle to fish, use your phone, or want to go on break and leave the boat to the current to carry.

Tarpon 120 has a dry storage compartment at the front.  This compartment is accessed through a big hinged hatch that has a double lock.

There is a magnetic cup holder in front of the cockpit. There is an integrated magnet that holds in place a strap meant  to hold all kinds of beverage containers.

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There are adjustable footrests on both sides of the kayak.  The footrests are adjusted by locking leaves. The footpads are made of soft foam on a stiffer plastic frame.

These footpads enable you to have a solid point of contact you push against while you are paddling. It also gives you comfort, especially when you do not have your footwears on.

How do I choose the right kayak?

You have to be sure you properly fit inside your kayak to have a good padding experience on the water. For instance, a 12 feet long boat will be more comfortable for a 6 feet tall paddler than a 10 feet long boat.

Your height can be accommodated in a kayak with the help of adjustable footrests.

Where are Wilderness Systems kayaks made?

Wilderness Systems has its factories located in Greenville, South Carolina where they produce kayaks.

Wilderness Systems Ride 115 vs Tarpon 120

Wilderness Systems’ Tarpon 120 is worth buying. Tarpon model has been upgraded and modernized many times over the past 20 years. This is the reason it has always remained relevant. Tarpon 120, 2019 model is the latest in Tarpon models. The kayak is relevant because of its outstanding sporty performance and smart features.

The Bottom Line: If you are a beginner in angling and paddling or you are searching for a sit-on-top kayak that performs well and has better maneuverability, the longer Tarpon 120 is all you need.