Wilderness Systems Debuts the Tarpon 130x – First in the famous family to boast the Xceptional FlexPod

First in the famous family to boast the Xceptional FlexPod

The new Wilderness Systems Tarpon 130X revises a classic, adding modern AirPro Max seating and the versatile FlexPod OS. Courtesy photo.
The new Wilderness Systems Tarpon 130X revises a classic, adding modern AirPro Max seating and the versatile FlexPod OS. Courtesy photo.

By Paul Lebowitz

Tarpon, meet the FlexPod OS. Wilderness Systems has married a 13-foot version of its time-tested performance-oriented Tarpon hull with its recent cutting edge innovations.

Wilderness Systems debuts the Tarpon 130x. Yes, that FlexPod is compatible with the new Motor Pod.
Wilderness Systems debuts the Tarpon 130x. Yes, that FlexPod is compatible with the new Motor Pod.

Those, of course, are the elevated, mesh-backed AirPro MAX Lite seat and the versatile FlexPod OS, home to electronics and a new Motor Drive. That AirPro seat is on tracks, adjustable fore and aft, one of the changes needed to accommodate both short and tall users if and when the company introduces a plug-in pedal power option. Wilderness Systems reps are making no promises. Keep in mind that the system now known as the Flex Pod has evolved over time. The new Motor Pod isn’t compatible with the Ride 115x, the first Wildy kayak to field a removable thru-hull console. History could repeat.

As far as we're concerned, the tracks that allow the AirPro MAX seat to slide fore and aft are another indication that Wilderness Systems is working on a pedal drive. Whether it will be compatible with the T130x is an open question.
As far as we’re concerned, the tracks that allow the AirPro MAX seat to slide fore and aft are another indication that Wilderness Systems is working on a pedal drive. Whether it will be compatible with the T130x is an open question.

Wilderness Systems senior designer David E. Maughan walked me through a prototype T130x at the On the Water Demo at the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show. The Tarpon has never been this wide – the 32-inch span is needed to support the seat and the Flex Pod, as well as to provide increased stability and capacity. The sides look straight up and down, but rolling this baby over to see its bottom revealed unmistakable Tarpon DNA. A quick paddle showed that this new style Tarpon isn’t as quick as the older 140 or 160, but a straight-up comparison is missing the point.

With the advent of the hands-free options, Wildy has added a separate transducer scupper elsewhere (no worries). There’s plenty of SlideTrax accessory rail system, as well as a redesigned console. The rest of the standard features look familiar. Pricing will be released later.

Tarpon DNA on display: the bottom of the 130x.
Tarpon DNA on display: the bottom of the 130x.
The Tarpon 130x on display at Outdoor Retailer is a prototype. Features are subject to change.
The Tarpon 130x on display at Outdoor Retailer is a prototype. Features are subject to change.