Ugh! My aching back. My aching legs. My aching butt! The Achilles heel for any kayak angler is his seat. Recognizing that, kayak manufacturers have raced to design the ultimate throne that provides support, keeps the angler cool, stays dry and adjusts up, down, forward and back. Wilderness Systems‘ new Ride 115X MAX features the latest in the line of super seats, the Phase 3 Air Pro Max.
The Air Pro Max is a textbook example of perfection in simplicity. Designed to retrofit in all newer Ride models, the seat slides into the boat on two molded-in tracks. Two bungees in the back and a single strap in the front secure the seat and allow the angler to adjust his position forward and back. The seat back and bottom are covered in a padded mesh that stays dry and cool while providing support in the right places.
To adjust the seat height, I simply grab two straps on the seat bottom, lean slightly forward and lift, lower or recline the seat. After a few trial runs on dry land, it’s easy to perform this maneuver on the water. Or, fold the seat down and sit on it for extra height. Changing the seat height and angle not only provides a better fishing position or paddling position, it reduces fatigue on the angler’s legs, back and butt. The seat can even be removed and used as a chair.
If you think the new seat is impressive, take a look at MAX’s other angling attributes. The boat is built on a proven twin tunnel-hull design that improves stability by moving the volume out towards the sides of the kayak with a center keel that improves tracking. At just over 11 feet long, I found the Ride 115X MAX paddles in a straight line even when standing and paddling.
The topside is equally impressive. Wilderness Systems tapped their pro-team’s immense and varied fishing experience to design an inshore boat that does it all. The tankwell is easy to reach, the deck is molded with foot pads, gear cubbies, rock-solid foot braces and a waterproof center hatch.
One of the coolest features is the FlexPod removable console, which allows the angler to install and remove the fishfinder display, battery and transducer in seconds. My favorite gadget: the paddle holder on the bow that secures my blade while I fish.
As icing on the cake, the Angler model includes YakAttack Mighty Mounts, Gear-Trax, rodholders, VisiCarbon light and other goodies for an extra $80. With quality touches like aluminum bow and stern handles, super tough gunnel handles and premium fit and finish, the Ride 115X MAX is built to last several lifetimes.
This article first appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Kayak Angler magazine. For more great kayak fishing content, subscribe to Kayak Angler’s print editions and digital editions and digital editions, download issues on your device or view the Spring 2015 issue for free on your desktop.