There's a myriad of reasons why Hobie kayaks have swiftly become one of the most popular in the world, not least of which being the innovative MirageDrive pedal-powered propulsion system that features in the Mirage series. Hobie's MirageDrive has single handedly revolutionized the entire kayaking industry and kick-started the meteoric rise of kayak fishing as a sport. Not only does the MirageDrive offer an alternative hands-free means of propulsion, it also provides efficient performance for all users, regardless of experience and paddling skills.
While the MirageDrive system is the most obvious difference between most Hobie models when compared with other brands of kayaks, even a close inspection of Hobie's range of traditional paddle-powered kayaks will reveal many other differences as well - it's all in the details.
Legend has it that Hobie's chief engineer got the idea for designing the MirageDrive after closely watching a penguin zipping around. The MirageDrives underwater flippers swing left and right in much the same way that a penguin's fins do, each of them pushing water backwards and thus propelling the kayak forwards efficiently. The action of using the MirageDrive is simple enough: you pedal by stepping alternately left and right (a lot like an exercise stepper) which in turn drives two underwater flippers. It couldn't be simpler!
The MirageDrive is surprisingly fast and it's underwater action reduces wetness that would otherwise result from traditional paddling. With no paddle splashing down into the water, they're also quieter and stealthier. Most notably of all is the efficiency that the MirageDrive system affords. Everyone who owns a pedal-powered Hobie kayak will tell you how easy it is to maintain a good cruising speed for longer distances and durations. All of this with your hands left free to do whatever you like, whether it be for fishing, photography, bird-watching or sipping a cold drink! Newly introduced in the 2015 Mirage series of kayaks is the new Vantage CT seat, allowing for greater adjustability and comfort