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What is Wilderness Systems “Aspiring” to do? A prediction of the Aspire 105

Posted by on July 30, 2012

For the review of the Wilderness Systems Aspire 105, follow this link: Wilderness Aspire 105 Review

July 30, 2012 – Posted by Alex

For the past several weeks Wilderness Systems have been shooting out various teasers on their social media flatforms Twitter (via handle @WildySystems) and Facebook about their future kayak release. Only relinquishing “sneak peaks” and picture teasers, Wilderness Systems’ fans are eagerly awaiting the release of their newest kayak, the Aspire 105. Although Wilderness Systems has done a great job keeping the lid on the specs of this new boat, they released this photograph on June 29th on their Twitter feed.

Image property of Wilderness Systems

The rumored release date of this kayak is expected to be in the upcoming month, possibly at the 2012 Salt Lake City Outdoor Retailer show next week. Wilderness Systems has let out very little information about the Aspire 105, but I have devised some of my own predictions of what is to come from the new kayak.

What will it be?

From the partial images released by Wilderness Systems, it is clear that the Aspire 105 will not be a sit on top. Its molded cockpit rim and dashboard can be seen in the above image. Based on the name of the kayak and its following numeric “105,” we can safely conclude that the Aspire will be within the ten to eleven foot range. This quickly moves the Aspire 105 into the recreational class, a spot which is currently claimed by the Pungo 100 and the Pamlico 100. Since the Pungo and Pamlico currently hold their own consumer niches and price points within the Wilderness Systems’ product mix, Wilderness may be attempting to release a kayak which fills the apparent gap between the Pamlico/Pungo lineup.

Why would they do this?

The problem is that Wilderness Systems does not have a strictly recreational kayak in its product mix. While the Pungo and Pamlico currently claim the space for the Wilderness System recreational class, they each carry their individual product lines. For example, the Pungo is available in three lengths ranging from recreational to light-touring while the Pamlico is available in five lengths (including tamdems). So where is the strictly recreational kayak? The kayak that does not merely land at the shorter end of an expansive product line? It’s the Aspire 105, a kayak by my prediction, which is designed to fulfill the true recreational class within the Wilderness System product mix.

Final verdict

Don’t get me wrong, the Pamlico and the Pungo are great kayaks which have been the staple for affordable and stable recreational kayaks for years. I believe that the Aspire 105 is an effort on behalf of Wilderness Systems to bold up their product mix to provide ample competition for kayaks such as the Necky Rip,  Liquidlogic Mist, and Venture Kayaks Flex 11. Based on Wilderness Systems’ reputation for building kayaks which excel in both affordability and performance, I believe the Aspire 105 will create big waves in the paddling industry.



UPDATE – August 2nd, 2012:

Today Wilderness Systems publicly announced its 2013 product line-up at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City. Within the line-up, Wilderness Systems included their brand new Aspire. As predicted, the Aspire is a kayak that will fall in Wildy’s recreational class and will be available in two sizes. The Aspire 105 will be best fit for medium and larger-sized paddlers while the Aspire 100 will be a lower volume design, best fit for smaller, more compact paddlers. For more information on the Aspire Series, see their list of 2013 New Products. I am impressed with the looks of the Aspire and I am really excited to bring it on the water for its test run. Stay tuned for a review of the new Aspire!


UPDATE – August 6th, 2012:

This morning, Wilderness Systems announced that the Aspire Series will replace the solo Pamlico line-up and become Wilderness’ premier recreational kayak. The Aspire will share the same hull design as the current Tarpon series, featuring a beveled chine and a low-displacement shallow arch. Designed for stability and maneuverability in both lakes and moving water, the Aspire will be available with an adjustable spring loaded economy drop skeg. In addition, the Aspire will feature a removable stern skid plate designed to protect the hull from damage if dragged. Lead designer for Wilderness Systems, Bob McDonough, notes that the Aspire is designed to complement the Pungo in the Wilderness line-up and combines both friendly stability and great performance.

Aspire Specifications:

Aspire 100

Length: 10′

Width: 27.5″

Weight: 44lbs

Max. Capacity: 300lbs

MSRP: $699


Aspire 105

Length: 10′ 6″

Width: 29″

Weight: 48lbs

Max. Capacity: 400lbs

MSRP: $699

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