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 Post subject: New into kayaking
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:40 pm 
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Posts: 5
I am brand new into kayaking. I do not currently own a kayak, nor have I ever even been inside one. I want to begin kayaking (at age 65) this spring/summer. I have spoken with friends who have kayaks and, one in particular, highly recommended the Hobie Inflatable i9S Mirage Kayak. I'm hoping to try this one out sometime this spring. I live close to Lake Tahoe, CA and would like to know how this particular Kayak handles in breezy conditions. Would you recommend something like this for someone such as myself? I am petite in size (5'2" - 120 lbs.). Any information I can get, pros and cons, would be appreciated.

Thank you.
Jo Marie


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 Post subject: Re: New into kayaking
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:29 am
Posts: 58
I thought hard about the i9, however based on where I launch and shoreline conditions, I decided to purchase the Revo11 (I also have an Outback).

I launch on rough rocky boat ramps and occasionally fish/explore around stumpy shorellines. I just felt safer with the revo 11 and too worried about ripping the inflatable.


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 Post subject: Re: New into kayaking
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:07 pm
Posts: 1047
Location: Ontario, Canada
Generally speaking, if you are new to kayaking, and hope to enjoy the sport for longer than an afternoon, I would stay away from an inflatable kayak.

There is an exception to this though, and that is the Hobie Mirage Drive inflatable kayaks.

Paddling an inflatable kayak in the wind can be very frustrating, but the mirage drive does an excellent job of fighting some of the tendencies of an inflatable boat in the wind. The Mirage drive pulls the boat, which helps keep it going straight. It also doesn't force you to use a paddle in the wind. Paddling any kayak in the wind takes a bit of skill. The mirage drive eliminated the need for paddling skill, and just lets you enjoy being on the water.

There are very good reasons to go with a Hobie inflatable boat. However, I'm with the other poster who mentioned the Revolution 11. If you're looking for a small manageable kayak, you can't do much better than the Revo 11. The Hobie inflatables are fine, and in fact compared to their competitors, they're fantastic. But if I was directing a friend to a new kayak, and they saw the benefits of a Mirage Drive boat, I would steer them towards a Revolution 11 first.

See if you can find a dealer that will let you take one out on the water. Try to imagine how you want to use it. The i9 is great to be able to stick in the trunk of a car, but a simple roof rack can be installed on a car as quickly as it takes to inflate and deflate the i9. Don't be too afraid of the weight of a boat like the Revolution 11. There are plenty of techniques to get it on the car, and with Hobie's carts, you can easily walk them to the water with ease.

Finally, always remember to get the best boat for you, even if that's not the best boat for others who may be giving you advice.

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 Post subject: Re: New into kayaking
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:17 pm
Posts: 507
Location: Auckland NZ
Sound advice from augaug!

You probably won't want to be paddling a kayak in breezy conditions.

A mirage drive kayak, comparatively, feels almost unaffected by wind - sure it will take more effort to pedal directly into a headwind but, by and large, you will not notice the wind like you most definitely would on a paddle kayak and even strong breezes probably won't put you off going out like they might on a paddle kayak because you will most likely discover that you can go out when others don't want to.

It should be said that inflatable kayaks - because they sit more 'on top' of the water and less 'in' the water tend to be more susceptible to wind than rigid-hulled craft - I have been on various other inflatables but never a Hobie inflatable so I can't comment about that aspect of the i9 but the mirage drive will surely make propelling the boat in windy conditions a whole lot easier.

If you are petite, then the Revo 11 sounds like a pretty good bet for you if you decide to consider a rigid-hulled boat - you might well find that the rigid boat is almost as untransportable as the inflatable - and the polyethylene hulls of Hobie's range are pretty much unbreakable which can be a real advantage!

Finally, don't forget the sail kit if the conditions in your area give you light breezes - this, for me, is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the Hobie kayaks - there is nothing like effortless kayaking ! - and if you have never been kayaking OR sailing, then maybe you will want to kill two new experiences with one stone!


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 Post subject: Re: New into kayaking
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:23 pm
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Thank you for all of the great advice! I would like to check out the Revo 11, however, I drive a Subaru Imprezza and I'm wondering how expensive and hard it would be to have a roof rack installed? Also, how heavy is the Revo 11? This is one of the main reasons I've been considering an inflatable.


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 Post subject: Re: New into kayaking
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2387
Location: Escondido
All good points and I am a big Revolution 11 fan myself. On the other hand, inflatables have some great qualities that the hard shell kayaks lack.

First, you can't beat the compactness. Significantly lighter than any of the polyethylene boats, it can be transported in your trunk or back seat -- no roof-top racks, tie downs or truck bed required. Even better, it fits in your house, can store in a closet if you don't have garage space. A friend keeps his in the van permanently (uses it a lot though).

This boat can travel anywhere. At about 40# it can be checked in as luggage on your kayaking adventure to the Mediterranean!

On the water, it has more stability than all but the largest plastic boats. Although it is a bit slower, it can be pedaled, paddled and sailed almost anywhere conventional kayaks can go. Directional control and headway in moderate breezes is a cinch. Capacity is excellent!

It would not be the ideal boat for dragging over shallow rocky bottoms or submerged stump areas, but the skin is pretty tough. The bottom is double lined and it floats and functions on any one of its three chambers in the unlikely event that you spring a leak.

All in all, it ends up being a very competent, fun little boat! As always, a test drive would be advantageous. Here's a review with some pics:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=10665

You'll find more information, impressions and reviews on the inflatable forum. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: New into kayaking
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:16 pm
Posts: 158
Location: vero beach, fl
Your local dealer should have the Revo--and other models as well, available for demo. If you are new to the sport, a demo will be worth a thousand posts from other folks.
And your local dealer can show you tips and tricks on how to load and haul on your impreza.

My .02 would also be to really consider a Mirage Drive.

Cheers.
Drew

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 Post subject: Re: New into kayaking
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:27 pm
Posts: 483
I used to have a Toyota Matrix and I put Thule roof racks to carry my kayak. Subarus have much nicer roof rack options from the factory in my opinion, so you should be fine. Look to spend anywhere from $300-500 on quality roof rack (siderails + crossbars). What year is your Subie?

I cannot give input on the inflatables, but I have owned a Hobie Mirage Sport and currently own a Revo 11. The Sport was broader and more stable for me, but the Revo is sleeker and faster and has a very usable front hatch which I love. The Sport is 53lbs and the Revo is 57lbs. Test out both if you can and see what suits you best.


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 Post subject: Re: New into kayaking
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:07 pm
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Location: Ontario, Canada
jojo1111@charter.net wrote:
Thank you for all of the great advice! I would like to check out the Revo 11, however, I drive a Subaru Imprezza and I'm wondering how expensive and hard it would be to have a roof rack installed? Also, how heavy is the Revo 11? This is one of the main reasons I've been considering an inflatable.


Subaru's are known to the "active lifestyle" crowd. Depending on the year of your Imprezza, if it doesn't have a roof rack (which it sounds like it doesn't) It will have pre installed threaded holes usually behind small black plastic covers, in the black rubbery strip that runs the length of the roof, just above the doors. Those threaded holes are built for roof racks to screw into.

The installed roof rack would look like this:

Image

Subaru sells roof racks at the dealer, but there are also Yakima, and Thule roof racks that make custom fitted roof racks to screw into those holes, and also match the profile of your roofline.

Don't be afraid to check out a craigslist for used roof racks. As I mentioned, Subaru's are very popular to people who like to Bike, and kayak etc.

As far as lifting the boat. As I said, it's not the weight, but the technique. You can often get away with only lifting half of the boat onto the car at a time. The Hobie dealer should know about how to help you load it.

Here is a link to all of the specs for the Revolution 11.
http://www.hobiecat.com/kayaks/mirage/revolution-11/

Keep in mind that although the boat weighs 70 lbs, all in. That weight includes the seat, paddle, mirage drive, water bottles, etc. So you're probably closer to 60 lbs.

Plenty of 150 lb men lift 100 lb longer boats onto trucks on this forum, with proper technique, and maybe an accessory or two on the roof rack, a 120 lb woman could lift the Revolution onto an Imprezza.

But again. If you're not comfortable with it, the inflatables are made for exactly that reason. See if you can try both of the boats out. You may like one better on the water, but end up with the one that you'll be able to get to the water.

If you can't get it to the water, you won't use it.

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