Submitted: 03-31-2003 by Bonneville
The literature describes it as an SUV and, in this case, it's not hype. It facilitates many activities. However, it is in a genre of its own, so comparisons with most other kayaks is not relevant. Much is made of the fishing accommodations. There are four rod holders (two upright and two at angles), a bungee to hold down a tackle box in a convenient location, "trays" for hooks, lures, etc. and other storage. The high seat is good for casting, as well as boarding/deboarding at docks. Even with the high seat, the boat is rock stable, due to the wide beam. The pedal system is surprisingly fast and will get you to all corners of the lake with minimal effort. There are cleats for anchoring. Do not mistake this with your garden variety paddlewheel boat. This is a unqiue flipper system that flies (as verified by the speedometer that came with mine). Hobie supplies a paddle of appropriate length for the wide beam, and there are two paddle holders. Even if you don't care to paddle, it's good to have it for backing up. I use both propulsion modes for an overall workout. There are also two drink holders and numerous bungees. The provided seat is very comfortable. The kayak comes with three hatches and a stern well for cooler, scuba tank or whatever. I've had kids ride the bow and stern decks. The rudder is very effective and operates via a hand lever (as does the rudder flip-up). The hands-free drive and stable platform make it an excellent vehicle for birdwatching, photography and many other activities. Weight is a downside, but it is a rugged boat with a high freeboard. It's a little pricey, but what unique vehicle isn't? Besides, the quality is very high. The boat could use handles amidships, but they can be added. The hatches will not handle high volume gear, like tents and sleeping bags, but they can be drybagged and carried on deck. It wasn't intended to be a tripper anyway. This is a versatile kayak that does many things well. It's very user-friendly and can be mastered by anyone.