Are Hobie kayaks fast

Are Hobie Kayaks Fast?

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking of kayaking? It’s probably the standard paddling technique to move through the water.

This technique needs paddling experience and upper body strength. This, along with other drawbacks, paved the way for the invention of pedals in kayaking.

Comparatively, kayaks with pedals are faster than their traditional counterparts. And Hobie is one of the brands that have been known for producing a wide range of pedal-powered kayaks.

So, if you are thinking “are Hobie kayaks fast?” the answer is likely to be yes.

But you shouldn’t believe such a quick answer without exploring the details. Let’s discuss what characteristics of pedal kayaks make them different (or faster).

What Are Pedal Kayaks?

As the name indicates, in a pedal kayak, you need to drive the boat by pedaling it with your feet.

This difference in design and function lets you use your lower body strength without forcing your neck, shoulder, and arms to prevent injuries.

Are Hobie kayaks fast
Are Hobie kayaks fast

But does that make pedal kayaks faster? We’ll find out soon.

Origin of Pedal Kayaks

In Southern California, the Hobie brand was the first to introduce pedal kayaks to the market in 1997. It became a famous choice among kayakers for recreational and fishing activities.

While Hobie still regains dominance in the kayaking world, Native WaterCraft did bring a pedal kayak in 2008 by the name of Propel.

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And today, you will find lots of options in budget-friendly kayaks that are powered by pedals and equipped with enhanced technologies.

Types of Pedal Kayaks

Majorly, pedal kayaks are classified into 2 types based on the difference in propulsion method. Learning about the two can help you select the right kayak as per your needs.

Push Pedals

In this technique, you need to move your feet’s lower part instead of the complete leg and muscles, all in the same direction.

To move the kayak, you should keep pedaling continually. When you stop pushing the pedal, the boat comes to a stop immediately. In short, a push pedal kayak lacks forward momentum.

Rotational Pedals

This type comes with a propulsion system same as that of a bicycle. It needs less effort as compared to the push pedal system and stops much more slowly.

The propeller under the kayak keeps spinning for some time even after you stop pedaling which reduces the water drag.

It is perfect for beginners as most people can easily ride a bike. Also, it is a faster propulsion system for kayaks than the push pedal one.

Are Pedal Kayaks Faster Than Traditional Kayaks?

Pedal kayaks are roughly two times faster than the traditional ones. And here is the reason that explains why this happens.

  • Pedals (rotational and push) create more force than paddles that have been used traditionally. The way pedals influence the mirage drive or a propeller under the kayak powers a boat efficiently, even through choppy waters.
  • Pedal kayaks need you to insert much lesser effort to cover a distance than a regular paddle kayak for the same. Moreover, leg muscles and the lower body have more strength as compared to the upper part.
  • Also, most people know how to pedal a kayak well. That’s because it is the same motion that many learn while starting to ride a bike.
  • On the other hand, paddling is a skill that kayakers need more time to master.
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In short, you can get faster, earlier in pedal kayaks as compared to the output you will have with paddle kayaks.

Let’s Talk About Numbers

Do you know what the record for the fastest 100-meter pedal kayak sprint is? Angus Rowboats say it is 18.5 knots, which is a blistering speed.

For a regular kayaker, you can expect the pedaling speed to be roughly 10 knots on a sustained and consistent basis.

The average speed kayaking with paddles will be lower, at around three knots.

Are Hobie Kayaks Fast?

Pedal kayaks use a cycling mechanism to perform better than paddles. And Hobie powers its kayaks with MirageDrive that combines pedals in the cockpit and strong fins below.

The fins propel the kayak in the desired direction by moving sideways with every stroke. MirageDrive is flexible and light which makes it simple to maneuver the kayak, even in shallow waters.

And here’s how the MirageDrive benefits the kayakers.

  • The fin system is believed to be slower than the rotational system. This might doubt you to ask “are Hobie kayaks fast?” Not only faster, but Hobie’s pedal kayaks also need less energy.
  • Also, Hobie’s pedal kayaks are more stable than those with paddles. You can expect great stability on choppier as well as calm waters.
  • You can propel hands-free with Hobie’s pedal propulsion. You can control the rudder in the sitting area with just 1 hand.

So, you can easily control and power Hobie’s kayaks from the comfort of your seat. That’s why these products are considered great for fishing, relaxation, and photography.

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Although it started as a simple project a decade ago, Hobie’s line-up is now an entire kayaking category with fans across the world.

MirageDrive ruled as the only pedaling system in the market for a long time until the rotational pedal arrived.

Wrap Up – Are Hobie Kayaks Fast?

Are Hobie kayaks fast
Are Hobie kayaks fast

Based on the facts and points in this article, Hobie kayaks have resulted to be faster than many other options.

Most Hobie kayaks are pedal kayaks and this category is almost twice as fast as paddle kayaks. This makes the company’s products great contenders for the fast class.

However, if you have a specific speed in mind you can look for those within the speed limit when asking “are Hobie kayaks fast?”


Which Hobie Kayak is the fastest?

The 16 feet long and stretched-out Mirage Revolution 16 is the fastest kayak from Hobie with a Mirage Drive.

How fast is a pro angler 14?

Equipped with Torqeedo Ultralight 1103, it hits almost 6.2 mph.

How fast can a Hobie Pro Angler go?

It depends on the Pro Angler (PA) you are looking for. PA12 achieves a hull speed of 4.6 miles per hour while the PA 14 hits 5.01 miles per hour.

It might not feel like a major difference to many paddlers but is sufficient to state that PA14 is faster than the PA12.