Skip to main content

Pedal, Don’t Paddle, With Hobie’s New Lineup of Boats and Boards

Hobie has been making surfboards and catamaran sailboats since the ’50s. The company has built an entire lifestyle around playing on the water, continually re-inventing ways to do it.

In 1997, Hobie put together the first MirageDrive, a propulsion system for using your legs to drive fins under the boat. The pedals move like a recumbent bike, flapping the fins underneath back and forth like penguin wings. Since then, Hobie has updated the MirageDrive to be faster and easier to use, adding it to kayaks, sailboats, and even paddle boards.

Here are five recent changes to the Hobie lineup of boats and boards.

New Mirage Outback – $2,799

Hobie kayaks have long been popular with anglers. The stable platform and maneuverability make it easy to spend hours on the water and the  MirageDrive made it even easy to get around using your legs, keeping your hands free for fishing and holding cold beverages. For 2019, the Outback is getting a big update.

Hobie Mirage Outback

A quieter, faster hull and wider, 34-inch deck now turn the Outback into the ultimate fishing kayak. MirageDrive 180 powers the new Outback, letting you flip the fins with a pull of a cord and pedal full speed in reverse. ARC cranks adjust the leg length with the push of a button. Turbo fins are larger than their ST companion, pushing the Outback through the water faster. On the bottom, the Guardian Transducer Shield keeps your fish finder transducer tucked up safely in the boat when beaching or car-topping. Plenty of storage and mounts front and back hold fishing gear.

Mirage i11S – $2,399

If you don’t have space for a 13-foot kayak on your car or in your garage, just get an inflatable and blow it up like a balloon. The Mirage i11S is a pedal-driven kayak with a rudder and comfortable Vantage CTi seat but it’s inflatable. The suitcase-sized roller-bag holds all the accessories and is far easier to store and transport than a rigid-hull.

Hobie Mirage i11s

The i11S inflates with a pump in about 10 minutes. Attach the chair, MirageDrive pedals, and rudder and it’s ready to go in the water after being in the back of a hatchback. There’s storage on the front and back for drinks and gear. The chair pops off to use on the beach. Fully rigged, it weighs a little bit more than a balloon at about 64 pounds, but this balloon can carry 400 pounds of rider and gear.

Mirage Eclipse 12 – $1,899

The small muscles in your arms get tired after paddling a lot. The big muscles in our legs are better suited to putting in the miles, so Hobie put a MirageDrive in a paddle-board to make it a pedalboard. Just hold on to the handlebars, pump the pedals like a StairMaster, and you’ll be cruising farther and faster. We saw the Eclipse at Surf Expo earlier this year.

Hobie Mirage Eclipse

Steering is done with the levers on the handlebars (squeeze right to go right). The bars adjust up and down for taller riders and kids. The rudder kicks up if you hit anything. For heading home, the handlebars, MirageDrive fins, and rudder pop off. The Eclipse comes in 10-foot, 5-inch and 12-foot lengths, holding 225 pounds and 275 pounds respectively.

Compass Duo – $2,999

To take a friend or kids out on the boat, grab the Compass Duo for two people. The comfy Vantage seats are adjustable in four different ways and both have MirageDrive pedals. Steering is in the back and there’s space for gear on the stern and bow. If you still need more space, toss the friend and pack more on the front seat.

Hobie Mirage Compass

As with all the Hobies, there’s tons of space for mounting accessories. H-Tracks beside each seat can mount fish-finder consoles, GPS units, or just cup-holders. Two rod holders are built in behind each seat. The customizable H-Create fits in the stern storage area — there’s even a mount for a sailing mast.

Tandem Island – $6,899

Pedaling is much for efficient than paddling, but sailing is more efficient than both. The Tandem Island is a two-person MirageDrive kayak with two pontoons for stability and a 90-square-foot sail. When there’s wind, roll out the sail and fly. When there’s not, cruise at 6 miles per hour with the pedals.

Hobie Mirage Tandem Island

The Tandem Island has seats for two but with the nets between the pontoons and a 600-pound capacity, there’s space for more. For a quick kayak, the pontoons and sail can be left at home.

Ross Collicutt
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ross is an outdoor adventure writer, amateur photographer, and computer programmer based on Vancouver Island, British…
A Beginner’s Guide to Boating, Your New Favorite Pastime
beginners guide to boating man getty images

Looking for a new hobby that is fun, relaxing, and helps you be socially distant? Well, do we have the hobby for you. Sure, you may not be able to take all of your friends on an all-day fishing trip right now, but you could still learn to cruise down a river deep in the woods or across a glassy lake if you take up the age-old activity of boating.

However, boating isn’t one of those things you just pick up in a weekend. As much as it might seem like you can let the boat do the work, navigating any waterborne vessel is quite an athletic endeavor. Sailing involves tremendous agility. Rowing is a stamina buster. Even operating a powerboat safely requires concentration, coordination, and strength.

Read more
Don’t Explore the Great Outdoors and Let Nature Reset During Quarantine
grand canyon night sky

Nature has never been more inviting. As we shut ourselves indoors in densely populated areas all over the world, it’s tough not to hear the call of the forest, open ocean, or any undeveloped expanse of land.
While you should, by all means, put on your explorer’s cap and investigate your immediate environment, now is just not the time for extensive outdoors adventuring. I say this hesitantly, as somebody who considers time on a trout-filled river or old-growth trail absolutely essential.
However, at this stage of the still highly contagious pandemic, there’s too much at stake. There are two main arguments for staying within a close perimeter to your home and I find them both pretty persuasive, even if it means staying away from my favorite State and National Parks a bit longer than I’d like.

First, many of the most compelling natural areas are situated in and around small communities. These tiny dots on the map lack the medical resources needed to thwart a COVID-19 surge. When out-of-town adventure seekers show up, they risk spreading the virus to places where the nearest hospital is dozens or even hundreds of miles away and may not even have much in the way of life-saving equipment.
The same goes for the National Parks, where small communities of federal employees and other workers reside, even while the gates are closed. Trekking into such places puts them at risk as the medical resources are limited. Besides, the recent government shutdown and first weeks of the pandemic (when the parks waived entry fees) showed the world that we just can’t be trusted to be sensitive to these lands or keep six feet from each other. It’s ironic and unfortunate that the people so adamantly against shutting down public places — for the greater good, mind you — are the first to defy those guidelines and make things unsafe for the rest of us. It doesn’t help that have a president that’s fueling that very fire, but we’ll save that for a separate essay.
Now is just not the time for extensive outdoors adventuring. I say this hesitantly, as somebody who considers time outdoors absolutely essential.

Read more
NFL’s Kirk Cousins reveals his secrets for the ideal boating day on the lake
The perfect boat and the perfect hat for the NFL QB
Kirk Cousins driving a boat

Nothing beats a day on the lake. Or the ocean. Or even the pool. But not every day on the lake is the same, and some of those moments on the water call for more than just a summer set or a great summer look. Being by the water is nothing compared to being on the water, feeling the waves and basking in the sun where the closest person is sitting on dry land.
That's where Manitou comes in, with its mission to get people off the sand and spend their time getting wet. And no one is better to help Manitou get people out on Lake Michigan better than hometown hero Kirk Cousins, who teamed up with the brand to bring a new twist on the pontoon boat.
We had the opportunity to sit down with the NFL quarterback to ask him questions about the boats, his day on the lake, and even a little football. When he's not leading a team with his arm, he's spending time with his family on the water, and he gave us a peek into his ideal day on the lake, and one of the items he always wears.

Why Manitou?

Read more