The Ultimate Guide to Hobie Pedal Kayaks

If you’re reading this, then you probably know a little about pedal kayaks. You might have heard the name Hobie as well. If that’s you, then you’ve come to the right place. Here is our ultimate guide to Hobie Pedal kayaks!

For example, did you know that the invention of pedal kayaks can be credited to Hobie Kayak?

Pedaling on the water has long been possible but Hobie made it possible to pedal in a kayak. That’s crazy to think about because kayaking has been there for a very long time. Since the eras of the Eskimos, kayaks were used for fishing and for hunting. The main mode of propelling these kayaks was through paddling. Paddling has been a primary propulsion method for years. In fact, it’s still in use today. It wasn’t until recently, that some health concerns were raised for paddling for too long, which led to Hobie creating the pedal kayak

What are Pedal Kayaks?

Pedal kayaks use a different propulsion method than standard kayaks. Pedal kayaks replace the paddles with a foot-controlled pedaling system. This makes using a kayak almost hands-free, and therefore very simple to use. There are two types of the pedal drive;

Benefits of Pedal Kayaks

Before discussing the Hobie pedal kayak‘s brand, let’s quickly review the benefits of pedal kayaks;

Kayaks are in use in more occasions since they are more convenient compared to boats. From sportsmen to tourists, kayaks have attracted a wide range of users. If you want to learn more detail on pedal kayaks as a whole, then read our ultimate guide to pedal kayaks.

Hobie Pedal Kayaks

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Unlike the paddle kayaks, pedal kayaks use a cycling mechanism to propel the kayak. Hobie Pedal Kayaks use a propulsion system called the MirageDrive. This mechanism involves a pedal at the cockpit, and powerful fins under the kayak. With each stroke, the fins move sideways, propelling the kayak in the appropriate direction.

The MirageDrive is also quite light and flexible making it easy to maneuver with the kayak. Hobie kayak fins are also ideal for kayaking in shallow waters. The following are some of the benefits of the MirageDrive system;

  1. There’s an assumption that the fins system is slow compared to the rotational system. That’s not true. Having tried the Hobie Pedal Kayaks, they are surprisingly fast and require less energy than propeller-driven kayaks.
  2. Stability – When compared to the paddling system, Hobie pedal kayaks are quite stable. Whether you kayak on a calm lake or choppier water, they are designed to offer utmost stability.
  3. Hands-free – This is a benefit that comes with most pedal kayaks. With the Hobie pedal kayaks, your hands are totally free. You only need one hand to control the rudder which has been placed conveniently at the sitting area. You can power and control your kayak in the comfort of your seat. This makes them ideal for photography, fishing, and even relaxation

The Hobie MirageDrive was invented more than a decade ago as a simple project. It has grown to become a whole kayaking category that’s attracting fans worldwide. Mirage Drive was the only pedaling system available for a very long time until the rotational pedal was invented. Every year, the Mirage Drive is still an industry favorite

MirageDrive 180

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Developed in 2016, the MirageDrive 180 system is still a favorite of ours. Initially, you could only propel your kayak forward and hard to change the position of the fins so that you can move in reverse. With the MirageDrive 180, you can just move in reverse by tugging the cable. This makes it easy to go in and out of difficult areas with ease. Another development is the kick-back turbo fins. These fins allow you to speed even past barriers such as weeds without destroying your kayak.

Hobie Pedal Kayaks Models

Hobie has over 20 models of Hobie pedal kayaks. It’s not that complicated to choose the right model for you, you just have to watch your weight, shape of the kayak and the purpose of the kayak. Keep reading to get a complete buying guide of Hobie pedal kayaks. Besides having a cool propulsion system, Hobie kayaks come with extra space to mount rods, electronics, and any other cargo you want to bring with you. This guide reviews some of the best Hobie Pedal Kayaks as well as a buying guide to ensure that you get a kayak that’s right for you.

Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5′ Pedal Fishing Kayak ir?t=pedalkay 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B07QXTDHQ2

There’s nothing more thrilling than exploring water bodies in an open vessel like a kayak. It’s refreshing and a nice hobby to pursue. With all the models that Hobie offers, you may be wondering which one to choose. The Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5′ Pedal Fishing Kayak is one you’ll love. Having been in the business for about 20 years, Hobie does know their way around kayaks.

Features

This pedal Kayak was launched in 2019. It’s one of the lightest and efficient of the Mirage Passport pedal kayaks series. It has the following features;

Functionality

You can also maximize the functionality of your Hobie pedal kayak through the available accessories at the Hobie stores. We have had the privilege to test the Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5′ Pedal Fishing Kayak. All the features mentioned above work just as you would expect them: perfectly. Pedal kayaks tend to be expensive but this one is surely worth the money. Below are some of the reasons why we think this is the best Hobie Pedal Kayak.

Speed

You may underestimate this pedal kayak because of the fins, but it’s surprisingly fast. Hobie has used a lever system to design the pedals. This way, you can gain a high speed without using a lot of strength. The rudder makes it easy to control the kayak at the comfort of your seat. It’s also sensitive to the slightest movements of the rudder, making the kayak very swift and maneuverable.

Light and Resilient

This pedal kayak has been made out of light, yet durable materials. It can withstand the pressure when pedaling, as well as harsh waters. Its resilient features make it easy to maintain since it hardly develops dents or fractures. Besides being light, the drive system and the seats can be detached and attached very easily. This makes it possible to travel without having to get a trailer for the kayak.

Storage area

The storage hatch has a waterproof seal that allows you to store food and electronics. Even when the kayak is submerged in water in unstable waters, this twist-n-seal cap can prevent water from reaching your items. This storage hatch can hold a bunch of items in an easily accessible area.

What we didn’t like

If you take fishing seriously, you could never go wrong with the Hobie Mirage passport kayak. However, there’s one feature that they need to improve, the storage area. It is quite large and can hold a number of items, but the tie-down ropes limit the size of items you can carry. They should also make it possible to attach more items on the mounting tracks. The current tracks are limited to certain devices and you may need more add-ons which may make the kayak quite costly.

We’ve personally known someone who caught a trophy Northern Pike in their Hobie and couldn’t figure out how to bring it home!

Should you get this Kayak?

The downside mentioned above doesn’t hold much weight. Overall, this is a great kayak for leisure, as well as for fishing. With the adjustable pedal crank, this kayak can be used by kids, teenagers, and even adults. If you need the kayak for more specific activities, it’s advisable to buy the necessary add-ons from Hobie Kayak’s stores.

If you want more info, read out an in-depth review on the Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5.

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler Series

The Hobie’s Mirage Pro Angler is the Rolls Royce of pedal kayak fishing. It is equipped with all features necessary for fishing, including the reversible mirage drive mechanism. These kayaks also have ample space to store all your gear and accessories. They also have the famous vantage ST seating system that can be adjusted to ensure you’re comfortable. This is actually one of the best seating systems for kayaks in the market today.

The Mirage Pro Angler has an H-Rail system to mount your accessories. You can rest assured that you can maneuver through unstable waters without losing your stuff. There are two models in this series: Mirage Pro Angler 12 and Mirage Pro Angler 14

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12

This is the smaller version of the Mirage Pro Angler 14. But don’t let the smaller size fool you, its performance matches its 14-foot counterpart.

The unique feature in the Pro Angler series is the kickback turbo fins. Besides making these kayaks faster, it makes them efficient in maneuvering shallow waters. When the fins meet a log or kelp, they “kick back “and propel the kayak forward.

You can still mount up to 6 rod holders on this kayak. This Pro Angler has been designed in a way that you can stand as you cast Just like the Mirage Pro Angler 14; it has the Vantage CT seat for comfort. Unlike the Hobie mirage Passport that has a rudder, this Kayak uses a skeg that you can deploy when it’s windy and retract when you don’t need it anymore. Both the skeg and the rudder are used to stabilize the kayak when it’s windy. This Hobie pedal kayak is also equipped with a retractable transducer shield.

Mirage Pro Angler 14

Hobie 2020 Mirage Pro Angler 14 Dune
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Now, this is the ultimate fishing pedal kayak. If you’re looking for stealth, ample storage room, great performance, and comfortable, this one’s for you. It allows you to stand since it is so stable. This way you can enjoy sightseeing without having to paddle. And it’s also stable enough to allow you to cast and fish, regardless of how big the fish you are going for are.

The Vantage CT seat is also slightly raised to make it more comfortable. The H-rail mounting system allows you to mount up to 6-rod holders, as well as electronics. The kayak is also quite large, 14 feet to be precise. Imagine all the cargo you’d take with you in all this space. The propulsion system is through the Hobie’s unique kick-up turbo fins. This system is fast and quiet. Some unique features of this kayak include;

Hobie’s Mirage Revolution Series

If you’re into speed, these are some of the fastest Hobie pedal kayaks. They have the reversible 180 Mirage drive system. They are built out of light yet durable materials making them resilient, even in the harshest conditions. These kayaks have two-rod holders, a large storage area, am adjustable Vantage CT seating system for comfort. There are three kayaks in this series;

Mirage Revolution 11

As mentioned earlier, all Mirage Revolution Kayaks are powered by the Miragedrive 180 kick up fins. This kayak allows you to go into the most remote parts of the water bodies. This is because they are smaller, faster and have higher maneuverability.

All the features available in other models can be found in this kayak but at a reduced size and weight. For instance, it has built-in rod holders, storage hatches, and a large storage area. The hull is constructed out of light polyethylene. Having a hull weight of about 29 kg, it’s easy to transport this kayak at the top of your car.

The Mirage Revolution 11 also has a rudder that you can deploy and retract when you need to.

Mirage Revolution 13

Also known as the “Revo13”, it’s slightly larger than the Mirage Revolution 11. It has a built-in dual rod holder and a large storage area. Like all other revolution kayaks, it has the kickback fins that are reversible. The Revo 13 I also equipped with a paddle for those who would love to switch from pedaling to paddling.

It’s not just for fishing; you can push this kayak even to the toughest waters for exploration and leisure. This kayak also has a retractable rudder. In addition to this feature, Revo 13 has the Lowrance Ready System transducer mounts. It has through-hull plugs and all you need to do is connect your transducer. It’s not that heavy either. With a hull weight of about 32 kg, you can easily transport it without a trailer.

Mirage Revolution 16

Hobie Mirage Revolution 16
$2,699.00

Pedal Kayak

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This is the largest of the revolution series Hobie Pedal Kayaks. The polyethylene materials make it quite light at this size. This means that it’s performance and speed still match that of the smaller kayak like the Revo 11′. It has an effective storage area, a comfortable Vantage CT seat and resilience to brave even the toughest condition.

The kickback MirageDrive 180 reversible system is a must for all Hobie pedal kayaks. The kickback function allows the angler to maneuver even the areas with obstacles easily. The Revo 16′ also has the retractable rudder and the built-in transducer mount with through-hull cables.

Hobie Kayaks Buying Guide

The Hobie Kayaks listed above are just a glimpse of all the Kayaks that Hobie offers. When you take a look at all of them, you’ll realize that there isn’t one that’s perfect for everyone. Rather, each person has a kayak that is perfect for them and their needs.

Choosing a certain kayak means that you choose some functionalities, and forego others. To ensure that you make the right choice, the following are some of the main factors you should think about.

Other factors include;

Size

When choosing a kayak, you have to consider your body weight and body size. We did mention that the pedal crank can be adjusted to suit people of different sizes. We also did mention the Vantage CT adjustable seat. You also need to check the maximum capacity the kayak can carry.

Regardless of the adjustability, you should look for a bigger kayak if you are taller.

Shape

We have seen that some pedal kayaks are long and narrow, while others are shorter and wider. When going into wide lakes and oceans, you can take the long kayak, such as the Mirage Revolution 16. If you’re going into narrow river channels, you can take the Mirage Revolution 11. Shorter kayaks are easy to turn in sharp corners but they can’t cover large distances. Therefore, the shape of the kayak should be determined by the purpose of the Kayak.

Passengers

If you’re to operate the kayak alone, you need the smaller kayak. However, there are tandem pedal kayaks for two.

Fishing Accessories

If you need any accessories during your pedal kayaking session, you have to look for a kayak that has mounting areas. The good news is that Hobie Kayaks have mounting rails for fishing accessories and other gadgets such as electronics. The h-rail is effective in the sense that your accessories will be safe when there are rough waters.

Also, not every pedal kayak can be fitted with all the necessary accessories at once. You may need some add-ons to make kayaking more fulfilling. You may want to buy your kayak from a company that sells these add-ons too. Hobie does sell these add-ons in their stores.

Storage Areas

Whether you’re going fishing, exercising, or relaxing, you need some storage space to store your cargo. The activities you’ll engage in will determine the cargo. Larger kayaks such as the Revo 16′ have ample space. However, Hobie does their best to create a storage space even in smaller kayaks such as in the Pro Angler series.

Comfort

Since pedal kayaks are mostly hand free, you need to find a comfortable seat that will allow you to pedal for a long time. Hobie Pedal Kayaks are equipped with the Vantage CT adjustable seats. You can tweak it to ensure it’s more comfortable for you based on your needs, and the activities you engage in.

Stability

Water bodies are not always calm. There may be waves or strong wind that could destabilize your kayak. You need to look for a kayak that assures stability even in harsh conditions. Luckily, Hobie pedal kayaks have either the rudder or the skeg to ensure stability. These two features compensate for the force that’s being exerted by wind, making it easier to control your kayak. The skeg and rudder are also retractable; you can deploy and withdraw them when you need to.

Design

This is the least important factor, but it would help if you would go for ergonomic designs. These are kayaks that are designed with efficiency in mind. For example, some Hobie pedal kayaks are designed to have all the functions such as stealth, sped, high performance, and ample storage. All of this is done while still maintaining a relatively lightweight to ensure easy transportation.

Cost

Generally, pedal kayaks are quite expensive. But we’ve already described how they’re worth their cost. If you’re working with a low budget, you need to get a pedal kayak that has the necessary features. Other factors you need to consider are the shipping costs. You also need to consider the convenience of always transporting the kayak. Kayaks that are too large and too heavy will need a trailer for transportation. You also need to check the accessories you need to add for your specific activities, how much they cost in addition to the cost of the kayak.

Conclusion

Hobie is responsible for making pedal kayaking popular among anglers. The more traditional method of propelling the Kayak was paddling. Though it’s still in use today, it is quite limiting, tiresome, and not open to diversity. Though pedaling was common in other sectors, Hobie made it popular in the kayaking world.

They created a Mirage Drive system to propel kayaks. This is a system that uses push pedals that cause fins underneath the kayak to move sideways. Hobie pedal kayaks have evolved over the years. However, it was hard to move in reverse with the first models of Hobie kayaks.

With the new MirageDrive 180, you can move in reverse, and race past obstacles with ease. They have become fast, stable, stealthy, and convenient. Hobie pedal kayaks come in different models to suit various anglers. Therefore, when choosing a Kayak, you need to go for one that has the necessary functionalities.

The first aspect to check is the capacity of the kayak. You need to check how much weight it can handle, and how much you can adjust the sitting position. Other factors to keep in mind include; storage, design, passengers, comfort, speed, and shape.

The Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5′ Pedal Fishing Kayak is one of the best kayaks for everyone. If you’re having trouble finding the best kayak, you can check it out. It is the combination of speed, performance, storage, stealth, and comfort. It can also be used by grown-ups and teenagers. We have also reviewed other Hobie Pedal Kayaks that you can check out.

See you on the water!

Article Author
Robert Walker has been a Kayak enthusiast for over a decade. He's owned several different Kayak's, but only recently got into Pedal Kayaks in the last few years. This website is Robert's way of sharing his passion for Pedal Kayak's with the world.