Submitted: 06-12-2008 by redmond
Now that I've had them out, they are awesome! 15-20mph winds are great, lots of spray, you're gonna get wet. Very stable, easy to use, incredibly versatile. Sail, pedal, or paddle. Does need something (whisker pole, etc.) for down wind running. I made a pole but haven't had a chance to try it yet. Somebody on the Hobie forum showed how you can sheet them out on the ama's. Looked pretty cool, gonna have to try it.
The kayak alone (no outriggers) and using paddles reminded me of my Tarpon 160. Lots of glide, tracks like a freight train. Not real maneuverable, but this isn't really a fast water boat. Put the big ol' honkin rudder down and you ain't gonna turn with the paddle alone. Needs thigh straps for controlled edging. They have become my favorite boats (at least until the heat drives the wind away!).
While sailing, the acceleration is amazing. Get hit by a puff and it takes off. Comfortable, easy. Heavy. Would prefer adjustable foot braces instead of the molded in ones. They usually have more surface to plant your feet.
I've got more upper body strength, so I only use the Mirage Drive to bring it into the marina.
Some folks have said that it's hard to paddle with the outriggers because you hit your paddle on the rear aka (outrigger arm). The thing is, if you have a vertical paddle stroke, Brent Reitz's video says that you should lift the paddle clear of the water at your hip. The rear aka is behind the seat, so if you happen to hit it (and I did), your paddle stroke is going too far aft. It actually encouraged me to paddle better and improve my stroke.