opinions on hobie mirage paddle systems

ive gotten the kayak bug with a homemade 14 foot kayak. its ugly but i love it!! im thinking about adding to my fleet,something for fishing.any opinons about the the hobie mirages peddeling system?

Great for fishing, allows you to free up
your hands, at least to the extent you do not havae to paddle, still have to steer the rudder. The only two drawbacks to the peddle drive is its mechanical and can break down, and you need at least 18" of water to peddle. In less water, you use the paddle. May need more if you get the turbo fins, a good option. For me, the major drawback is the cost. As for quality, in my opinion, Hobie is one of the best in the SOT world.

tried one once at a demo day
You can put a lot of power to the water with those things. They seem to be pretty tough, I wouldn’t worry too much about maintenance. Only thing I didn’t like was the short pedal stroke, that seemed kind of awkward, but probalbly is more efficient, and maybe better on the knees also. I was hoping I would like the Adventure 16, but I didn’t - the sail rig didn’t work anywhere near what I wanted. Now I see they have amas for it, may have to get one someday.

my bro owns one down in florida
its a tandem and I didnt feel comfortable with the pedals either (I can paddle for a long time but with the pedal system they use I cant hold out too long at a good pace). My bro told me they had done a race using the mirage against a pro paddler in a kayak and the mirage won. I had my scirroco out there over xmas and we raced and he could definately keep up w/me, but not in the long term. I also had to haul it on my J-rack and I’ll tell you that you dont want to have to lift that baby too many times. I was a bit concerned my rack system was going to cave in. As far as fishin goes, it would probably not be a bad platform for that.

good luck

The Adventure 16 wiehgs 62 lbs,
the drive 6.6 lbs. That’s similar without the drive to most SOT’s. I assume you pulled the drives out of the tandem before loading, that’s an extra 13+ lb to lift. The drive is a short stroke, but once used to it, it works fine. I prefer paddling over peddling over a distance, but the drive is great for fishing.

Pedals vs Paddles

– Last Updated: Aug-13-07 1:21 AM EST –


If you only want the kayak for fishing, a Hobie with the Mirage drive is probably the way to go. Like others have said, it's hands-free except for steering. It does put a lot of power into the water, however, don't expect it to be fast. Remember that they aren't exactly fast hulls. Only the Mirage Adventure has any decent length to it (16') but it's pretty wide (27.5").

I tested one out a little over a year ago, and I didn't like it. It didn't feel anything like kayaking and I felt like covering more than one mile in it would wear me out. Also, I paddled alongside the Hobie while my friend tested it out. My friend is in great shape, but I could definitely go faster in my kayak. I paddle an Expedition by One Ocean Kayaks; it's a great, strip-built, touring kayak that's pretty fast.

Take one of the Hobies out for a spin and see if you like it. Like I said, if you only want to fish from it, it's the way to go.

Pedro Almeida

pedal drive kayaks
Our dealer just saw the new Native Ultimate with a pedal drive and said it will give Hobie a real run for it. He didn’t think you will see them in shops until late spring next year but said they would be really light and easy to load since the seat would pop out like they do now and the drive was ultralight and simple. We started doing some fishing and bought a native 14 and love the seats and tunnel hull. I can see where a pedal drive would be perfect for fishing if it’s quiet and efficient. We thought dropping an anchor would be the way to go but it’s not. Better to keep moving and doing it with your feet while casting seems like the way to go. We agree the Hobies weigh a ton!

Many popular SOT’s weigh as much
as the Hobie’s in similar size. The Mirage drive adds 6.6 lbs, but it removable and the Hobie owners I’ve known take it out when loading.

We owned two Hobie Mirage Sport
kayaks for two years.

Having enough seat time in our paddle-only SINK boats now to do a fair comparison, I have to say that the Mirage drive system has a lot going for it.

We never did have any maintenance or repair issues with the drives, even after accidentally bottoming out at a pretty good clip several times.

Ours had the standard length (non-turbo) fins.

As others have said, the hulls of the Mirage series (especially our 9’6" Sport models) aren’t exactly “speed demons”, but that wasn’t why we bought them.

I routinely removed the drive systems (a 30 second job) and the clip-in seats before loading them on top of our TALL Honda Element.

For fishing, manatee watching (my favorite), or just general putzing around, I can’t imagine a better set up.