Ride 115 or Tribe?

I am 5’-8", 250 lbs, and my wife is 5’-6", 220 lbs. We are torn between the Wilderness Systems Ride 115 and the Perception Tribe 11.5.

We are mainly interested in just recreational use on rivers and lakes, fishing might happen but isn’t the sole basis for our decision. We live by the beach so inland waterways, bays, bayous, etc are mainly where we would paddle. I’m worried the Ride is more than we need but I love the stability of it and all the storage and capacity it has. It is a bit heavy considering we’d be carrying 2 at around 79 lbs each.

My concern with the Tribe is it’s too basic, to the point that I feel like it’s a beginner kayak and we would probably end up upgrading to something else if we bought that one. I should also add, my local paddle dealer is giving me an amazing price of $750 each for the Rides and the tribe is elsewhere for about $650. For the money I feel like the Ride is the better deal.

Any help in making a decision would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

I’ve had a …

– Last Updated: Mar-03-16 9:36 AM EST –

Tribe 11.5 for several years.

It is a great all-purpose boat for lakes, rivers, class II rapids, and the surf. It is very stable, tracks super straight, and handles chop and boat wakes & waves like a dream. Considerably cheaper than a Ride and weighs a lot less! Who needs all the bells & whistles! Based on your size the Tribe 9.5 may be doable.

Go with a narrower boat

– Last Updated: Mar-02-16 4:44 PM EST –

The ride is 33 inches, tribe is 30 inches, OK scrambler is 29 inches and 47 lbs. A narrower boat in the long run will paddle faster. What seems like good stability in a big wide boat is actually a liability in rough water. The extra weight of the Ride is going to be a real hindrance in getting the boat loaded and out to the water and back. I would suggest you take a look at the Ocean Kayak Scrambler - I believe the Tribe is an inflated copy of the Scrambler. Scrambler is a well tested and proven design for coastal paddling. List for about $450 new, $300 used.



– Last Updated: Mar-03-16 11:18 AM EST –

Ride is more of a platform for fishing than a multipurpose kayak for paddling. Tribe is a better handling kayak. Sure it's basic but optimum shapes for moving through water don't have to be complicated. The Ride hull shape is for stability and capacity, period
. Only problem might be whether the footbrace indents match up well to your respective leg lengths. I would suggest other general use SOTs than the Ride115 for your use.
Also if the Ride you were looking at was built sometime between 14 and 8 months ago it might have footbraces that break easily due to design and materials flaw. It's not something a small person would discover but the size of person the boats were designed for could easily break them. For shops without a rental fleet this might not be discovered until customers come back with them.

Thank you
You just confirmed every concern I had about the Ride. I was worried it would be too much of a fishing boat to be used as recreational as we will probably use it.

There’s not a lot of options in the area to actually demo kayaks or see them. There’s a rental place 70 miles away that has tribes and some others we could demo and we are going tomorrow to demo the tribe. The local place in my town only carries wilderness systems and hobie. I’m looking to stay below $1,000 per boat and that seems impossible with a hobie.

Aside from ordering a boat without testing it, I don’t know what else to do. The Ride and the Tribe seemed to be the most stable and could hold the most weight. What others do you recommend for a SOT? Stability matters more to us than speed. We’re never in a hurry when we go places, we just like to enjoy being outside on the water.

Thank you for the help.

More options to consider:

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 and 120

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11

Hurricane Skimmer 128

Native Watercraft Slayer 12

Prowler 13
One thing to be aware of is that weight capacity numbers should be knocked down 30% to reflect max paddler weight. The Ride is good for what it is but WS has a bad habit of designing for sales/features more than function.

The wide SOT with high seat position may be stable to a degree but you’ll fall off long before the kayak will ever tip over. Imagine being on a sailboat standing on the cabin floor below the waterline and the difference between standing on the cabin top. The boat won’t tip over but you can be tossed off. That’s why it’s worth developing postural muscles for sitting up on a kayak w feet at same height as seat so you can get the most stability without getting a super wide kayak. Btw women don’t need as stable a kayak as a guy as their cg is lower.

Tarpon 120
I’ve been surprised by the number of heavy paddlers, beginners, who feel unstable in the Tarpon 120. The higher seat combined with the arched bottom gives less sense of stability than Ocean Kayaks hull shapes.