Drew and I went down to Fastlane Sailing Center this morning. We wanted to try out the brand new 07 Hobie Outback Mirage. Neither of us have tried the Hobies with the Mirage Drive before.
When we got there we checked out the Outback that they had on display. It was beautiful! Without a doubt it is the most well made rotomolded kayak that I have ever seen!
The finish and quality of construction are second to none! We takled to Ron Lane, the owner. He told us about the improvements that were made on the 07 vs the 06. The hull is a little flatter. This gives the kayak better stability for people under 200 lbs. The tankwell layout is a little different on the 07.
The front hatch is good size, and getting rods in there on the water shouldn't be a problem.
We were all set to try the outback out on the water at Dana Landing. They only had one Outback for demos, so they put a new Revolution in the water for us to try out also.
The Revolution is a much sleeker kayak than the Outback. 28.5 inches wide vs the Outback's 33 inches. 13.5 ft long vs 12.1 for the Outback.
I got in the Outback first. The kid that works for Ron adjusted the peddles
and let me know a few things about the Outback. Then I was off. The kayak is as stable as a rock! The rudder is very responsive on the Outback. It turns on a dime. The kid told me that taking full strokes with the peddles was unnecessary. That I just needed to take short fast strokes and the kayak would move out. He was right! That sucker took off like a rocket! Out of the hole this kayak really gets with the program! Carving turns with the hand controlled rudder is a blast! We decided to drag race the Outback and the Revolution. Surprisingly the race was pretty close. The revolution pulled the Outback by about a boat length, but that was about it. We went back to the dock and switched kayaks. The Revolution is fast! Of course it is not as stable as the Outback, but it has pretty good glide after you stop peddling. The Outback doesn't have much glide, but this doesn't seem to hinder the performance much. The Mirage drive more than makes up for it. The rudder wasn't nearly as responsive on the Revolution as the Outback's. This isn't a big deal once you get out in open water though. The Revolution was a great kayak. Fast and fun, but not as stable as I would like for a fishing kayak. The Outback was a fantastic kayak! It has everything I would want in a fishing kayak. Stability, storage, a great deck layout, and good speed to get out to the fishing grounds! Afterwards we checked out the 07 outback some more in the showroom and talked to Ron about the kayak. He really is a nice guy! Thanks Ron for letting us pick your brain and thanks for the demo! There is no doubt in my mind that my next kayak will be a 07 Hobie Outback Mirage from Fastlane Sailing Center. That Outback is fantastic!