If you’ve ridden one of Hobie’s kayaks, then you’ve used their MirageDrive propulsion system, a bioengineered pedal-and-fin combo that eliminated the need to work with paddles. Truth be told, though, it’s 20 years old, so a redesign was definitely in order. That comes now in the form of the Hobie MirageDrive 180, a new propulsion system that enables even greater maneuverability on water.
A two-way drive, it lets you go full speed both forwards and backwards, with switch cables that allow you to direct propulsion from one direction to another instantly. Just tug on either the forward or reverse cable to instantly go in that direction, making it easy to maneuver around obstructions, fish downstream while holding in the current, or quickly get out of the way of an alligator that suddenly showed up.
To enable to quick reversal of direction, the Hobie MirageDrive 180 uses fins that pivot 180 degrees, immediately reversing the direction of thrust to send you the other way. Those same fins, by the way, come with adjustable resistance, which you can quickly set via an easy-access knob, all while boasting better durability with the use of hugh-strength nylon on the leading and trailing edges.
Need to go shallow? Simply push one crank arm forward to fold up the fins flat against the bottom of the hull, with partial pedal strokes allowing the fins to flutter at a minimal depth. Features include height-adjustable cranks, braided Spectra cables for the shifters, and compatibility with all previous Hobie kayaks.
The Hobie MirageDrive 180 will debut in the company’s 2017 line of kayaks.