Outdoor Retailer : Day 1 : Hobie

Up next was our meeting with Hobie. I know these boats may look a little unusual to you whitewater paddlers, but next time there’s a hot, windless day, head down to our new demo center and give these boats a try! They are truly a much different experience than the standard rec boat and we’ve been loving them.

Ok – on to what’s new! If you’re not familiar with Hobie, then you might not know that many of them have a peddle drive. That’s right, you peddle instead of paddle. That said, they all come equipped with a paddle (consider it an option, or Plan B) and this year that paddle gets an upgrade to a fiberglass shaft. It’s a great looking paddle and will come with every boat in next year’s line up.

If peddling or paddling just seems to be a little too much, this year they’re introducing the eVolve drive. This is one of the best trolling motors on the market and will be an add on available for existing and future Hobie kayaks.

The seats have been redesigned with a nice air pocket that looks very comfortable. Traction pads on the peddles and bungee cords to keep them upright when you’re not using them are all new this year.

The two new boats for this year are really exciting! An addition to the Adventure Island group, the Adventure Island Tandem will be available this January. We have an Adventure Island available for demo and you’ve got to try it! It’s a lot of fun and for those of you that love wind sports, this is a great boat. The tandem will allow sheeting and steering from either person.

The other new boat in the Hobie line up is the Mirage Pro Angler, a stand up peddle kayak. This thing looks like an SUV – the floor model has a live fish tank, holds 10 rods, etc. This boat received both the best new product and new product showcase winner at this year’s iCast show. If you’re into kayak fishing, this is definitely one to keep on your radar.

We also took a look at Hobie’s stand up paddle boards. They look fantastic and we’re considering getting some for our rental/demo center. Let us know what you think on that!

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