Conducting clandestine photo shoots and testing new, classified kayaks ain’t exactly James Bond glamorous. Two foam-wrapped prototype kayaks and half a dozen large boxes of accessories—some assembly was apparently going to be required—signaled the demise of any unoccupied floor space in my garage way back in June. Fearful that someone might inadvertently photograph or video the secret kayaks and post the information online, I had to slip them in and out of Hobie covers whenever transporting them in daylight. Several kayakers must have thought I was downright anti-social when I pedaled off at warp speed when they attempted to approach me on the water. And even though we shot thousands of images and terabytes of fish-catching video, we had to refrain from posting any of it online until Hobie introduced the new model to the public.
That would be now.
The new Hobie Mirage Compass matches the standup capabilities of much bulkier boats, but is far more athletic. At first glance, her sharp entry, low gunwales and angular lines disguise a 34-inch width, and the no-nonsense kayak hull weighs in at a svelte 70 pounds.
That kind of width typically condemns a paddle kayak to the slow lane. However, I had no problem hitting 5.5 mph despite the added weight of an H-Crate, four fishing rods, drink cooler, electronics battery and a typical load of fishing gear. Even more impressive, I managed 4.95 with a paddle. The lightweight boat has very impressive acceleration, right up to the point when the wide stern suddenly digs in around five knots.
What the Hobie Surfboards site says about the Performance Noserider:
‘The name says it all this model is designed for the best of both worlds with good noseriding capability and high performance function the PNR is great for many different conditions.’
What people are saying about it:
“I’ve had several hobies over 15 yrs including the PNR (Performance Nose Rider) ,classic ,Henry ford and my favourite the slug. Great boards.” – User Norman Wright on Facebook
“9′- Hobie Performance Noserider.- Very thin profile, Fast 122 Times – 24.4% – Any size wave but usually 3ft plus and also on bumpy days.” – User Surfing 365 for the Community on Facebook
“Such a beautiful board.” – User Jacob Davis on Facebook
To see the rest of the review, please visit out friends at https://www.blinksurf.com/surfboards-and-equipment/hobie-surfboards-performance-noserider-review/
Break free from the shore. Trade the well-worn path for a waterway. Step out of your routine and onto a pedalboard. The Mirage Eclipse gives you the stability, control and power to chart your own course. The water is waiting. You in?
The feature-packed H-Crate Jr. from Hobie ups your storage capacity and leaves a little extra space on the deck of your kayak, SUP or Eclipse. This is the perfect accessory for those looking for a versatile gear management solution on smaller watercraft. It measures 14 by 14 inches.
- Integrated rod holders with shock cord retainers at each corner gives you built-in storage for four rods.
- The H-Crate Jr. grid wall features molded nut spaces for easy installation of additional rod holders.
- H-Rail integration gives you a mounting platform that accepts any H-Rail accessory (rod holders, tackle bin, cup holder, camera mount, etc.)
- 4 heavy duty straps for attaching to the deck of your Hobie watercraft
- Collapses flat for compact storage or travel.
The mangroves went on seemingly uninterrupted until we noted an opening that led into a narrow tidal river. We moved in and started casting to the roots jutting underwater along the edge of the mangroves. As a small snook burst out from under the roots to ambush my fly, I had two thoughts: I’m glad we made our way to this little river, and that we never would have made it to this little river if we weren’t fishing from kayaks.
Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to fish the backcountry of Pine Island Sound, on Florida’s southwest coast, from a Hobie Pro Angler 14. The Pro Angler is a wide, stable platform that lends itself well to standing to fly fish or cast with light tackle. It also has Hobie’s foot-powered propulsion system. You basically get from point A to point B on the water by pedaling, like on a bike. This has two major benefits. One, your leg muscles are generally stronger than your arm muscles, so the pedal system affords you increased range. Also, using foot power lets you keep a rod at the ready while you’re underway, a difficult thing to do while handling a traditional kayak paddle.
I started out in the morning with a crew of outdoor writers, all fishing from kayaks. We left the Tarpon Lodge on Bokeelia Island and immediately moved along the shoreline. Within seconds, one member of our flotilla had hooked into a large, aggressive snook that jumped as he attempted to pull it from the mangroves. The water along the mangroves’ edge was so shallow, no motorized boat could access it save for a technical flats skiff with its engine trimmed out of the water and a guide working atop a poling platform.
We were able to glide along to our fishing destination without worry of dinging a prop on bottom. The Pro Angler has a 13'8" LOA and a 3'2" beam, widening in the center to maximize stability around the angler's seat. From there I could stand up to survey the grass flats and mangrove edges without worry of tipping over. Standing and casting from it, I saw a baby tarpon roll along the mangroves, and watched that snook explode on my fly. It was then that I decided that, even though I am first and foremost a powerboat guy, a pedal-powered kayak would be a great addition to a personal fleet.
Check out the video below of Hobie's new Full Power Reverse pedal system:
When innovative companies collaborate, the result is synergy: a combined effect greater than the sum of their separately impressive efforts.
For Hobie, innovation has been part of our culture, set in motion by Hobie Alter himself. Hobie’s mantra was always to try to make things work easier, perform better, and better yet just be more fun. Either accomplished through design or the use of cutting edge materials, Hobie has continued to push those innovative boundaries in stand up paddleboarding.
Much like Hobie, Quickblade has always strived to keep the innovative fire burning, and has become an industry leader in design and performance. Quickblade’s paddle designs are used by many of the world’s top paddlers.
In an ever changing high performance world, collaborations are important. They are where designers can think out of the box, and not be bound by industry norms or pre-determined factory specs. What started as a fun collaboration, some really complex discussion about the use of composites, and a general appreciation for design has now flourished into a design collaboration that both brands can be proud of.
Only one boat takes 2016 Hobie® Fishing Top Gun Christina Weber everywhere. It’s the one boat that caters to a fisherman who is limitless. That boat is her Hobie MirageDrive® kayak.