Is it really August already?? It’s funny because I probably wouldn’t have noticed had it not been for the big, giant Outdoor Retailer 2013 alert on my Google calendar! Nothing like a gear convention to wake you up from Summer Dreaming J…
Anyway…I guess another year has gone by but it certainly doesn’t seem that long ago that the KayakDave.com staff was buzzing about what the “new” Wilderness Systems Aspire series would be like in the weeks leading up to OR. There was very little info out there but we went ahead and made our predictions anyway. As it turned out, the Aspire 105 was a huge success and remains one of the best-selling recreational kayaks at the shop!
This year, Wilderness Systems continued their trend of revealing precious little about their latest skunk-works project but it feels like they’re poised to steal the OR spotlight once again with the release of their new Focus Series of light-touring kayaks. The Focus is a hybrid of sorts that was designed to have the “stability and predictability of the WS Tsunami and the speed and efficiency of the WS Tempest.” It will feature their highly touted (and comfortable) Phase 3 Airpro seat, a molded-in deck pod, and optional rudder. However, the thing that I like most about the Focus is how it carries its length with squared-off bow and stern to maximize waterline. This leads me to believe that the Focus will be quick for its length and a good choice for touring in quiet backwaters such as marshes, lazy rivers, and lakes. It will be interesting to see which of the three sizes (145, 150, & 155) performs best and how they compare to other kayaks in its class such as the Dagger Alchemy.
Stay tuned for a full review of the Focus in the near future!