Thinking of switching to Hobie

I have a Tarpon 120, replaced with Native Marvel 12. Tarpon too heavy. Love Marvel except draining it.

Seriously thinking of switching (both husband and myself) to Hobie’s paddle system. As I get older (I was 65 when I started this several years ago) I hesitate to go a long distance because about 5 miles is my limit especially fighting wind and current. I would like to be able to go farther to fish without worrying about paddling back. That said, I AM a very strong paddler and end up waiting for hubby who is in a Manta Ray and not as fast for whatever reason, SO we would both need to switch to Hobie’s. We mainly fish lakes and the New River (in VA) but go to FL every year that we can. Now have Hullavator’s to load so weight not as much of an issue.

Opinions on whether or not this would be a mistake?

I love the Hobie Revolution for
just this reason. *Note: I was a Local Hobie Fishing Team member until having to resign the position when I moved to current location.

My leg muscles allow me to cover great distances of water, with little fatigue, and wind is less of a problem due to my lower profile when pedalling, and no resistance from the paddles.

I also find having a hand free (One controls the rudder, which you will find yourself continually adjusting to stay on track) allows me to eat and hydrate while on the move, something you cannot easily do in a typical paddle kayak.

Down side, you will find yourself having abrupt stops if you pedal too shallow, and the Mirage drive system requires routine maintenance and can fail on you on the water. Thus I have a spare parts kit for most of the normal parts that break, that I carry with me, inside the kayak.

Also, when you remove the Mirage drive, ensure you secure it to the kayak, or risk losing it overboard.

Hope this helps.


Native Watercraft Mariner
Since you are already familiar with the Native watercraft kayaks, you should consider the Mariner for a pedal drive solution. They are fast, have a sealed aluminum prop for the drive that needs very little maintenance, are able to go backwards, and are stable enough to stand in. Also, the Mariner has the same 1st class seating that the Marvel does. The seat is removable and works as a stand alone camp chair.

Thanks for the feedback. Really appreciate it. I love to paddle but I think we both will enjoy it more if we paddle because we want to and not because we have to. I will remember what you said and see about some spare parts it we make the deal.

Hobie vs Native paddle
Love Great Outdoors which is where I got my Marvel but we tried the Native paddle and didn’t like it. Test driving the Hobie (in Texas) this afternoon so maybe we will like it, maybe we won’t. Lot’s of money to spend on something if it’s not the right thing.

I’ll bet I could really streak along if I peddle and paddle at the same time-assuming I can do that–hope it’s like walking and chewing gum at the same time.

Hobie vs Mariner
Well, I may just have to try the Mariner when I get back in N.C. Not sure I liked the Hobie when it came to paddling. It seemed like it was all over the place compared to my Marvel in the wind. The rudder was great and I was getting used to the peddling but I obviously have more upper body strength or am just in better shape in my arms and shoulders. Don’t know what to do so may not do anything. Not sure I would like the peddles in the middle of my boat, either boat.

Thanks for input.

Fatigue from paddling

– Last Updated: Mar-24-12 10:41 AM EST –

Here's a couple of articles that can help with paddling fatigue.

If you want to paddle farther…
then get a boat that paddles better. There is a real difference between a 12 footer and a 14 footer in ease of paddling and when I’m going to paddle more than 20 miles in a day I need a 14 to 18 foot boat to do it.

If you can afford a light boat in that range, then it is even better. If not use your cart and work together to move the boats. I paddle a lot of shallower water places so the Hobie would not work for me, but the Hobie Adventure is a great boat for covering miles in deep water.

I know of serveral folks in their 60’s and 70’s who are very strong paddlers. They all have two things in common: very good technique and they paddle very often 3 to 7 days a week.

As far as technique you should be easily able to paddle as far as you can walk on level ground. If it is not just as easy, then get some lessons. Like most I started out as an arm paddler and 6 miles was a long way. I got some pointers from friends and became a shoulder paddler and 15 miles was a long day. I took some more lessons and began to paddle with my core and now my feet cramp before anything else. In the beginning I never used my feet, now I’m pushing off and driving the boat with them as times. I may have gotten a little more fit over that time but most of it has been increases in hand toughness and working on technique.

Their are so many good paddling sit on tops and fishing sit in side boats that I’ll just list two:

Tarpon 160 - Fast, glides all day, super comfortable, stable, heavy as a tank

Pungo 140 - Fastest 14 footer ever, one fella about 20 years my senior makes me really work to keep up with him even when I’m paddling a 17 foot sea kayak that weight half of what his Pungo does. On the down side:it is a sit inside (SinK)and it have a v bottom so it is not best in water less than 5 inches with rocks.

Alot of fans at Northwest Kayak Anglers
use Hobie watercraft for fishing on flat water and out on the Pacific Ocean. Check out their website and maybe engage some of the forum members in order to find out if Hobie systems are right for you.

California Kayaker Magazine had an article comparing the Hobie drive to the Native Watercraft drive in Issue #2 - Summer 2010. Both systems are good, but also have their limitations, and the article talks about these. You can read it online for free at

Hobies Rule
You dont buy a Hobie to paddle it.For fishing and long distance in a short package the Hobies have no equals. If you insist on paddling oncein awhile look at the Revo models but the Outback is the best seller.

Hobies and fishing
We have a fair number of people in our paddle club with Hobies including myself. I think they make great fishing platforms and are built fairly well. Some of the spots I fish are quite remote and it’s nice to be able to change it up to peddle or paddle along the way but the biggest advantage is getting to fish while peddling along or take a drink while underway. They are a little pricey but if I lost all of my kayaks, one of the peddle drives would. E the first to be replaced.

The only hassle I’ve had with mine is that the peddles seem to have an affinity for fly line. I use a stripping basket when throwing line out of it.

new river
I’m not sure what sections of the New you frequently paddle, but I fish the Pembroke-Perrisburg (sp) area a few times a year, and I wouldn’t dream of taking a mirage drive around there. There are a few deep sections, but there are a lot of rocks that would just LOVE to eat a peddle drive. JMHO