Wilderness Systems Aspire 100 Kayak

A hybrid boat that tours and tackles a bit of whitewater.

Unlike a host of other hybrid boats hitting the water, the Wilderness Systems Aspire 100 Kayak takes a touring approach and throws in a twist of whitewater for a wickedly versatile boat. Hitting the river just prior to peak runoff and sneaking out for a pre-dawn paddle on a tranquil lake no longer require two boats when you have the Aspire 100 in your possession. The shallow hull means maneuvering over class II water is simple, and the drop-down skeg makes tracking a tight line in choppy water nearly effortless. With this slick ride, you get the stability of a touring boat with the frisky attitude of a whitewater boat for a wide variety of paddling situations.

The rugged polyethylene hull will weather rocks, sand, and even the occasional aggressive sea animals. Even pro kayakers make an occasional mistake, and this sturdy boat manages to forgive all but the most hard-hitting incidents. The slightly arched hull makes navigating chop cheeky fun as the upswept bow bounces merrily along up and over the waves. Signature Wilderness Systems chines blend into the sidewall for incredible stability.

Smaller paddlers will find the cockpit sized just for them, with a slightly shorter length and wide, easy access. The Phase 3 AirPro outfitting can be tweaked for a custom fit, and the sliding footbraces bring the necessary elements for a comfy paddle. The spring-loaded TruTrak skeg lets you scribe a straight line, be it to the shore or the party island in the middle of the lake. The stern hatch sports an Orbix cover to protect your midday sustenance, and an adjustable water bottle holder means you should never run dry. Fore and aft on-deck rigging puts essentials at your fingertips so you're never far from a cookie or beer.

  • Polyethylene hull
  • Asymmetrical, slightly rockered hull
  • Phase 3 AirPro seat
  • Thigh and knee padding
  • SlideLock foot brace system
  • Tru Trak adjustable skeg system
  • Orbix stern hatch
  • Stern bulkhead
  • Fore and aft deck bungee rigging
  • Molded in-console water bottle storage and tray
  • Skid plate
  • Fore and aft carrying handles
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Family Touring Treasure

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have had this kayak for two summers. It's been really fun for the whole family. Dad is 5'10, 165 and the kids are 14 and 13. It's very easy to adjust for height, and easy to maneuver. The skeg definitely helps. It pulls up easily, as well.

On my normal path, there are some tight spots, with big rocks. The boys have definitely hit them a number of times, but this boat is strong, we don't have any dents.

I also have to cross a pretty big river with class I water. It's not easy to control, in that stretch. This boat is NOT meant for whitewater at all, even though I get into some. The Axis 10.5, which I also have, does much better crossing that big river. If you have any class I or class II white water on your path, the Axis 10.5 is your boat. But, if you just need a lovely recreational boat that fast, comfortable and that's easy to turn, this will be perfect.

Family Touring Treasure

Great all around yak!

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

This Aspire 100 recently carried me down an alligator infested bayou during mating season and I came back alive! The skeg really helps in the open water. I'm 5'8 and 150 lbs and it's a perfect fit for me. Loving this kayak so far!

Great all around yak!