It was 2016 when Hobie answered questions from fans asking “Do Hobie kayaks go in reverse?” The company released the MirageDrive 180 with forward-reverse.
It features narrower fins that worked without sacrificing speed and performance. They allowed making the kayak go in reverse by simply pulling a cord.
Another feature that Hobie packed its new MirageDrive with was the ability to go backward and forward without any increase in turbulence or noise. And, it was made to match the existing boats.
Still wondering if Hobie kayaks can move in reverse, let’s understand how things changed with time.
A Brief Look at Hobie’s MirageDrive History
Hobie was the 1st in the market to introduce the pedal drive system with drive fins patented then. Kayakers have been amazed by this technology when propelling through the water.
However, it had the forward option only with a push pedal system sharing characteristics when sitting in a stair stepper. Pushing through the water, rigged fins let the crafts propel easily.
Next, Hobie came up with Turbo Fins that boosted the speed of the kayak particularly useful for heavier and larger Pro Angler kayaks. Fans were excited to upgrade their drive with the latest flappers.
Since the fins required rigid materials to operate, it caused the company and kayakers to face certain problems, especially when navigating through obstacles.
Later, the brand released MirageDrive 180 which came in as a major game-changer. While it missed being that ground-breaking product but achieved great accomplishments.
The major excitement for paddlers was not needing to grab the paddle every time they needed to reverse. They could simply pull a tab and reverse.
The First MirageDrive 180 – Understanding How Do Hobie Kayaks Go in Reverse?
Since its inception in 1997, Hobie’s bioengineered propulsion system MirageDrive has evolved a lot.
The forward-reverse MirageDrive 180 was a great evolution as it allowed reverse movement with compatibility with all the kayaks.
It was an answer in yes to questions like, “do Hobie kayaks go in reverse?”
With a weight of fewer than 8 pounds, the drive offers the kayak unprecedented maneuverability and full power in all directions. Two shift cables allow kayakers to change direction instantly with a pull.
The MirageDrive 180 added many new possibilities for kayakers. Options include fishing near obstructions, downstream fishing, and bringing the fish out of cover.
Hands-free propulsion ensures better control when casting, baiting, and concentrating on larger fishes. Paddlers can also enjoy cold beverages and snap pictures without stopping.
The MirageDrive comes with 2 shifters, 1 is in green for forward and the other in red for reverse. Pulling the required shifter pivots the fins 180 degrees and reverses the direction.
This forward and reverse ability was a remarkable improvement to the modern generation of the time-tested drive. Moreover, the new fins got more durability due to high-strength nylon.
An easy-access knob is provided for the better modification of fin resistance. The changed fin shape for easy rotation of direction retains the power and efficiency as of the previous models.
You can flutter the fins using partial pedal strokes or fold the fins automatically by pushing the crank arm to go shallow.
And, this wing-like action excel promotes shedding weeds, gliding, and dodging obstacles via the water with less resistance. The easily installable drive also facilitates boat ramp and beach landing.
Hobie Kayaks MirageDrive in 2022
In the MirageDrive, the fin drive imitates the penguin’s swimming action. Hobie created the technology and refined it for more than 2 decades.
By 2022, the company has three MirageDrive versions. When compared to other drives, no fin style or pedal drive matches Hobie’s functionality and quality.
MirageDrive MD 180
The 180 comes with levers that can change the direction where fins are sharpened to add the reverse functionality.
Rather than using a paddle or huge turns, you can easily pull a cord to reverse the direction or shift forward. It is an easy and fast drive where kick-up fins are indulged.
MirageDrive GT with Glide Technology
It is based on the actual Hobie Drive with improvements in technology. It propels the kayak forward when you pedal. In 2022, entry-level kayaks use this technology.
It offers efficient and smooth pedal power. And, the kick-up feature in fins protects against damage to the drive mast and fins that no other kayak drive has.
MirageDrive 360 Technology
You can easily move the kayak in any direction such as backward, sideways, forward, and every degree that falls within the 360-degree circle.
It offers ultimate control to anglers in the kayak for holding the boat in position or a specific for fishing at a target.
Wrap up – Do Hobie Kayaks Go in Reverse?
Hobie Kayaks do offer reverse functionality with its MirageDrive technology. Starting in 2016, the company released MirageDrive 180 with forward-reverse.
However, technology has evolved a lot since then. And now, in 2022, MirageDrive 360 technology is available.
The latest drive enables paddlers to turn their kayak in any direction in the 360-degree circle. It is a wonderful upgrade to the MirageDrive 180’s forward-reverse function.
So, that’s a clear yes to “do Hobie kayaks go in reverse?” The brand achieved that in 2016 and made it compatible with all its kayaks.
Does the Hobie Passport have reverse?
The answer is no. Passport 12 has MirageDrive along with Glide technology which is a forward drive.
However, you can directly speak with Hobie to upgrade to the MirageDrive 180 if you require the reverse function.
What Hobie Kayaks have reverse?
Hobie invented MirageDrive 180 reverse that was compatible with all the 2017/2018 kayaks. It was a standard model for 2017.
And now, you can purchase MirageDrive and easily install it to convert any Hobie kayak in the reverse direction.
Are Hobie Mirage drives interchangeable?
When the drive was released on market, it was specially prepared to be compatible with all types of Hobie kayaks, making it interchangeable.
But today, there are four distinct types of MirageDrive available with every drive suitable to a different type of kayak and budget.
Thus, you should verify with the manufacturer regarding the same before purchasing your new kayak or adding MirageDrive to your existing boat.