Ocean Kayak’s Trident series is the love child of the original sit-on-top kayak. Almost 45 years ago, Tim Niemier designed the first surfski and sea kayak hybrid that started the Ocean Kayak brand. Through the years, that boat has been tweaked, modernized and improved. For 2017, Ocean Kayak again updated their popular Trident series with modern amenities to stay relevant.

Ocean Kayak Trident 13 Specs
Length: 13’6”
Width: 29”
Weight: 79 lbs
Capacity: 355 lbs
MSRP: $1,299.99
www.oceankayak.com

Ocean Kayak Recasts the Trident 13

The hull on Ocean Kayak’s Trident 13 stays true to its predecessors. Its rocker, rounded chines and soft entry are just as seaworthy and stable as the original Trident. This makes it a great boat for carrying heavy loads and an all around fishing machine that is at home in open water and backwater flats. The only change to the hull is the addition of a larger fishfinder transducer scupper to accommodate new side-scan sonar pucks.

The changes in the updated Trident are on the topside. Starting in the bow, one of my favorite new features is a rubber flap in front of the bow hatch to hold a paddle blade and rod tips. The newest model features molded handles for years of dragging and carrying.

Forward of the cockpit, a plastic plate provides access to the through-hull transducer scupper and a nine-inch gear track to hold a fishfinder display. The battery goes in a suspended hammock inside the hull.

man fishing out of an Ocean Kayak Trident 13
Kayak Angler’s editor fishes out of an Ocean Kayak Trident 13. | Feature photo: Ric Burnley

Ample Features and Active Comfort

The biggest improvement comes in an updated cover for the center hatch packed with cool features. The new Mod Pod cover includes two six-inch gear tracks, a covered compartment and electronics mount. I loved the addition of a high-powered magnet under the hatch that will hold tackle and tools in place. Don’t worry, the magnet won’t affect your compass so long as you don’t rest it on the boat. The hatch cover folds open in the middle to expose two dry compartments. Remove the drop-ins for access to the hull.

Trident 13 Fish-Friendly Features
  • Molded Bow and Stern Handle
  • Seven gear tracks
  • Two flush-mount rodholders
  • Mod Pod with gear magnet
  • ACS low-profile seat
  • Paddle holder on bow
  • Through-hull transducer scupper
  • Battery bag in hull

The star of the show is the Active Comfort System (ACS) seat. The Ocean Kayak guys stole the popular seat out of their sister company Necky’s sit-insides to make a low-profile seat with an adjustable and elevated seat pan, 3D mesh padding and adjustable lower back support to rival a frame seat. By keeping the low-profile saddle, Ocean Kayak stays true to its roots as an open-water boat. These updates carry over to the long-range Trident 15 with the addition of a stern hatch and a compact Trident 11 model.

Trident 13 Test-Drive

On the water, the boat performed as expected. It’s fast and seaworthy. The new features were a welcome addition without getting in the way—and I love the seat. So comfortable that I forgot it was there. The scuppers drain water so I stay dry and the leg and back support provide solid foundation for hard paddling without getting in the way.

man launching an Ocean Kayak Trident 13 fishing kayak from beach at dawn
On the open water, the Trident 13 is fast and seaworthy. | Photo: Courtesy of Ocean Kayak

I put the boat to the test chasing big reds along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. The hull performed as expected, taking choppy seas and paddling comfortably. The round, soft hull lines provide a nice ride and I was able to load the boat to its teeth. Thanks to a pronounced rocker and narrow beam, the boat remains nimble enough to dart in and out of the bridge pilings.

Open Water Awaits in the Trident 13

I’ve been a fan of the Trident for years—my first kayak was an OK Prowler 15, the predecessor of the Trident series. With the latest redesign, Ocean Kayak brings modern features to this classic favorite. The redesigned Trident 13 has become my go-to boat for everything from skinny water sight casting to big water paddling. Ocean Kayak’s updated Trident series puts them in the lead on open water, again!

Video Review of the Ocean Kayak Trident Series:

Kayak Angler’s editor fishes out of an Ocean Kayak Trident 13. | Feature photo: Ric Burnley

 

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“Thank God my dad wasn’t a podiatrist,” jokes Ric about following in the footsteps of a famous outdoor writer. After graduating from Radford University and serving two years in Russia with the Peace Corps, Ric returned to Virginia Beach and started writing for The Fisherman magazine, where his dad was editor. When the kayak fishing scene exploded, Ric was among the first to get onboard. His 2007 book, The Complete Kayak Fisherman is one of the first tomes to introduce anglers to paddle fishing and hundreds of articles and seminars have brought countless anglers into the fold. When he’s not chasing every fish that swims, Ric teaches English at a school for at-risk teens.

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