The Mirage Sport is Hobie's most compact kicker, an easy to store and transport 9' long kayak. Perfect for pocket water, the cheerful Sport is still plenty of kayak, accommodating users of most heights. It offers every one of Hobie's signal features, including one-of-a-kind Mirage pedal propulsion, the incredibly adjustable Vantage CT seat, and like all Hobie kayaks rotomolded from durable polyethylene, dual rod holders. This small kayak has a big heart that equally loves pleasure cruising and teasing bass in the sticks.
Read and submit reviews for the Mirage® Sport.
The Outback has load weight I can use for fishing all day, but the Sport half the load weight. So, I use the Sport for short trips and fairly calm water. I know it can take a sea, but not with a load. I'm 200+, so that is almost maxed out, so a fishing rod, some lures and a water bottle is it for me to feel safe. But, very maneuverable and great for the back rivers, I wouldn't give it up for anything.
The Sport was well made, and light enough for me to load onto the SUV roof by myself (I'm in my 50s BTW). I could pedal up a nice bow wave, so I know it's speedy enough. Stability was reasonably good when sitting in the kayak, but exiting or entering it was a time for caution and no way would I ever want to stand up! A SUP feels steadier than the Sport, thanks to its flat hull.
My biggest dislike for the Sport, though, was the sitting position. Pedaling puts the knees at about stomach (almost chest) level, with the back semi-reclining against an insubstantial seat back. I could not get the seat to give me adequate support to keep my back from hurting after about 30-40 minutes. And having my legs up all the time just gets old quickly. My longest continuous stretch in the Sport was about 2 hours, after which I felt so stiff and cramped, it was a chore to climb out of the kayak. So after owning this yak only 3 months, I sold it.
I love the smooth pedaling and the versatility of pedaling, rowing or sailing. I can get a workout without feeling like I'm working too hard, and have been able to get up very close (within a few feet) of loons because it is so quiet. I wanted something I could handle on my own (in my 50's, but feel like early 40's....5'4, smaller woman) and I can get these in and out of the water by myself. I definitely like having the wheels to help in hauling.
I have used the Sport in mountain lakes, rivers, and the protected coastal water in the Gulf of Mexico - and definitely prefer it over my other brand sit-in (which, fortunately, my wife prefers). It is heavy, though. For accessories, I bought the sail (decent in limited wind conditions) and the Hobie wheels, that make moving it around much easier. I bought mine from Super Sport Marine in Kearney, NE, having had a great buying experience there with a sailboat - and just as good once again with this Hobie.
Hobies are expensive, but there's nothing else like them on the water. If you want a craft that can be very versatile and fun to use... this is the one for you.
The Mirage Drive pedaling system is the main selling point of this boat, in my opinion. My first outing on this boat lasted 3 hours and I left energized (and I am not a regular exerciser). You also stay 100% dry while pedaling, and if you're careful, you can peddle almost silently. This is great for wildlife viewing, compared to paddles waving all over the place. Paddling is also fun, but I recommend leaving the rudder down because it helps the boat track straighter. When I brought the rudder up, I seemed to get nowhere while paddling.
The boat is incredibly stable and comfortable. The cushioned seat is awesome. I can't wait to add the optional sail when I get out on more open waters. Although you don't go as fast as you would in an Adventure Island, it sounds like a blast!!
The only downside to this boat is the relatively low weight limit, and the price tag. Ultimately, I am so glad I went with the Sport because it is exactly what I wanted; however, it is rather "gadgety" for a boat and I worry that its lifespan will be short. From what I've heard, the Mirage Drive and rudder system require regular maintenance to keep them working smoothly. I hope to get years of enjoyment out of this boat!