So, this afternoon I'm picking up the Hobie Oasis, which is kind of coming full circle for us.
Although my wife and I enjoyed kayaking, my wife had carpel tunnel, and found paddling to be uncomfortable. We saw Hobie Mirage Drive kayaks at the boat show, and walked right by them because, in our minds, they were slow and boring like pedal boats that we knew of as kids. Then just as we were leaving the Hobie section of the boat show, we saw a video showing a mirage drive boat moving at a pretty good speed. We were instantly intrigued, and after some thought, we bought a Revolution for my wife.
I wasn't ready to give up my paddle kayak at that point, but every time we'd get to the water, my wife would pop in her drive, get on the boat, and off she went. She'd wait for me as I put on my spray skirt, attach it to the boat, grab my paddle, launch, and then we'd go.
Then I'd get thirsty, and we'd have to stop, because I can't paddle and drink, I'd reach inside my spray skirt, grab my water bottle, drink, tuck it back inside, secure everything up, and we'd keep going. All the while, my wife would pedal away casually, comfortably, and never have to stop for anything.
My wife is not an athlete at all. For most of my life, I've been in very good shape. The odd time, my wife would get tired, while I would get ahead of her. So we bought her Turbo fins. What a difference. Suddenly my wife was easily keeping up to me, and if I'd stop for a snack, I couldn't catch her anymore. I'd work my tail off paddling and paddling to catch up to her, and she wouldn't even realize that she was so far ahead.
The final straw came when we were out in 5 foot waves in Lake Ontario. I was concentrating, and working to keep things steady and upright, while my wife was having a blast crashing into the waves, letting the water crash over the boat, and immediately drain out of the scuppers, all the while laughing (literally) at each wave. She was having fun, and I was working. That wasn't supposed to happen!
I was sold.
I took my wife's Revolution out for a serious test ride. I had tried it out in the past and found it to be an interesting piece of engineering, but I had never considered it to be an option for me. Suddenly I realized how fun it is to not have to worry about skill. There's always going to be a place for a paddle kayak, but Hobie's mirage drive makes kayaking simple in just about any condition easy! The boat had better stability and more speed than my sleek sea kayak. It got on and off the water quicker, and I could enjoy a drink or a snack without stopping.
So, I bought an Adventure Island.
We loved kayaking together, but the AI brought the sailing dimension. I could go on forever about this boat because it was GREAT!! But what we found was that I enjoyed sailing, more than kayaking. So if there was a breeze, I'd be gone. Which meant that my wife and I weren't kayaking together as much as we used to. I yearned for a boat that was a bit more athletic to sail, and brought the realistic possibility of tipping into the equation. So we decided to one day upgrade to a Wave or a Getaway. We ended up seeing a Bravo for an incredible deal, and scooped it up as an interim boat, and sold the Adventure Island (reluctantly... what a great boat!).
Suddenly I was sailing a boat with the type of dynamics that I had hoped for, but my wife was left with no one to kayak with.
So, with a baby on the way we sold the Revolution, with the intention of buying an Oasis, someday.
The 2011 Oasis had just been redesigned with so many great features, but it seemed like a big step up in price from a single seat mirage drive kayak. The price can be justified, given the cost of the extra mirage drive, and extra features, but we thought that it was a big jump for us at the time.
This past weekend, my wife and I talked about getting the Oasis again. We now have a 1 year old, and a second baby on the way. My wife longed for the days when we used to kayak together. We had even gotten engaged on our kayaks. It was what we did. It was "our thing".
So I looked at the Oasis. With a 550 lb weight capacity, we could easily take a toddler or two with us. With the ability to stick the plug in the front drive well, I could take two kids in the front section, and peddle and steer from the back, all while keeping an eye on them, and most importantly, my wife and I could kayak together again.
We called our dealer and found a brand new 2011 for 500 bucks off. What a no brainer!
We're Canadian, and there's nothing more Canadian than canoeing together. But if you've ever canoed before, you'll know that nothing can test a relationship more than a canoe. You have to work together, and it's not great for rougher water.
Kayaks fit our lifestyle much better, but a tandem kayak is very difficult for two people of differing levels of athletic ability, and differing levels of co-ordination. You have to work together, in "tandem" to make it work well.
That seemed like a relationship tester too. We didn't want that. (not to mention the fact that we didn't want my wife's carpel tunnel to act up again)
So the Mirage drive Oasis is the only kayak out there that fit our needs, and the best part is that it doesn't matter if one person pedals faster than the other, or harder than the other, you can still work together without having to work in synchronization.
So we've come full circle. We're now able to kayak together, and I'm able to sail anytime I want. I'll end up rigging my Bravo trailer up to take the Oasis underneath the centre of the boat, and we'll easily take both boats. Otherwise, we've gained the ability, once again, to throw a boat on the roof rack and go! Now it'll be quicker because we only have to strap one boat for the two of us.
So Thanks Hobie for making a line of boats that's perfect for our changing tastes, and growing family! We'll have to talk about that Hobie Wave soon... or should I get the Getaway?
If anyone on the forum has questions about the boats, I'd be happy to share my opinions or experiences! We can't wait to try out the Oasis!