Wilderness System Thresher Thoughts (So Far)

photo via Chad Hoover

ICAST is proving to be a surprise factory as normal but one of the hot chatter items this year hasn’t been much of a surprise at all. The Wilderness Systems Thresher (prototype) has had three videos released already showing off its ability to climb the surf and handle foamy chop. A few photos have surfaced as well.

This week at the largest fishing vendor show in the country Wilderness brought a Thresher for the crowds to see and drool over. The prototype that is at ICAST may not be the final version but it has a much more polished look than previous models.

From pictures, videos and visiting with folks in the know here are a few of my initial thoughts, good and not so great. And to the critical reader, these are just my opinions based on my preferences and they aren’t finalized.

The Good

photo via Chad Hoover

Having a front hatch with tons of storage is a big plus. Being able to store a cart, additional tackle, food supplies or other need to haves when offshore is important and this hatch delivers.

photo via Chad Hoover

The upgraded Flex Pod OS that holds the fish finder, battery, cabling and transducer is a great addition as well. Reportedly more secure than the removable little brother on the Ride 115X, the nickname dubber for the Flex Pod OS is the “silent menace”. Seems a bit much but hey, it’s marketing right?

I really like the upgraded foot pegs/rudder controls. With more surface area, your feet should see less fatigue and the pictures show significantly more padding. All wins.

photo via Chad Hoover

The center hatch allows enough clearance to fit 7′ long fishing poles below deck so you don’t open a yard sale upon reentry to the surf. Another huge bonus.

The Curious That Doesn’t Sound Great

The specs are intriguing and scary at the same time. A 14′ offshore kayak that weighs only 75 pounds sounds great but the weight capacity at only 400 pounds is a bit curious. My guess is with the cavernous air space, flotation foam was omitted. It’s just a guess. I was hoping for something north of a 500 pound capacity even in the 14 footer. 

When I think about offshore I immediately think about stability. The first thing on the spec sheet that raised my curiosity was the width. 28.75″?!? That seems narrow to me. I know hull design has come a long way and stability comes in many forms. I’m not trying to stand in this kayak but if I am boating a 40 pound King or wrestling with a shark boat side, I want to assure I’m not swimming with the toothy monsters.

The seat used right now on the Thresher is not the new one released at ICAST. I’d love to see the newest seat be added to the newest kayak before its release. Hint, hint Confluence. 

More Rumors

I have heard rumors of a rear hatch cover but haven’t seen it yet. I’d love to see a soft cover similar to the ones made for the Commander be made available. While we are at it, how about a fish bag that fits neatly in the back well? 

Is there a new cart for carrying the thresher across sand? Some conventionals may work but with higher weight kayaks and longer kayaks, especially beach going ones, a new cart may be needed. Will this be on the horizon soon?


Final Thoughts


I am excited for the TBA to come to fruition. I’d love to have a hard date so I can plan to demo one of these and get some more grounded thoughts. I won’t be demoing the 15 foot version (no room in the garage) because my suspicion is once I paddle this, if my fears are neutralized about stability, I’ll want one. 

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