Hobie gave their long-time popular Sport a full make over for 2014 with a new hull design that shares all the right aspects of what made the Sport popular in the first place but with a sleeker shape and added features to make it well worth upgrading to from the old one. Aside from the added transducer scupper and wiring thru-hull plugs, the bow shape has been refined to be more hydrodynamic and smoother in choppy conditions. Add to this the Sport has also received a new larger bow hatch that is easier to access and accommodates stowage of larger items. 2020 model: $3790
Being the smallest and lightest Miragedrive kayak in the range the Sport offers ease of manageability off the water and notable maneuverability on the water. Due to it's short water-line length this kayak turns on a dime. While that does come at the cost of speed and open water performance, those who plan to use it for inland kayaking in skinny waters and around structured waterways with submerged trees or oyster leases will be well served.
With similar dimensions but rounder chines the new Sport should provide much the same primary stability but greater secondary stability. Combined with the new bow shape it is fair enough to assume that performance in choppy water should be improved significantly, though the short profile is always going to mean limitations in this regard. While it is probably one of the most capable 9' kayaks on offer, what it gains in manageability and maneuverability compared with other models, it loses out on efficiency.
Often referred to as a mini-Outback, the Sport also features utility trays molded into the gunwales which some users may find handy for storing items (such as pliers or lip-grips) or semi-recessed accessory mounting. Similarly to the Outback, the Sport is a fantastic fishing platform, well suited to inland and close-to-shore estuarine fishing endeavors; perfect for trout, bass, bream and squid.
As far as modestly sized 9' kayaks go, the Sport doesn't have any equals. It is surprisingly efficient and comes with the added bonus of being highly maneuverable, stable, easy to car-top and transport and offers plenty of utility and integrated features. However it isn't the best model in Hobie's range for more ambitious excursions, be it distance, conditions or both factoring into the equation. It also suffers from a relatively low load carrying capacity and it's shortened length make it a poor fit for taller and or heavier users. But vertically challenged lighter weight users planning to focus on flat waters will fall in love with the Sport, guaranteed!
- Crew: 1
- Length: 9' 7" / 2.92 m
- Width: 29.5" / .75 m
- Capacity: 225 lbs / 102 kg
- Fitted Hull Weight: 28 kg
- Fully Rigged Weight: 35 kg
- Hull Construction: Rotomolded Polyethylene
- MirageDrive 180
- 6” and 8” Twist and Seal Hatches
- Lowrance® Ready
- Rear Cargo Area with Bungee® Tie Downs
- Sail Mount
- Twist and Stow Rudder
- Two Molded-In Rod Holders
- Two-Piece Paddle with On-Hull Storage
- Vantage CT Seating