I dream about penguins and hippos. And kayaking. When I awake, I wonder if the visions were an unconscious attempt to make sense of the uniquely equipped boat I had strapped to my roof rack the previous evening—the Hobie Mirage Revolution 13 kayak.

Hobie Mirage Revolution 13 Specs
Length: 13’5”
Width: 28.5”
Weight: 82.8 lbs
MSRP: $1,999

Pick how to paddle with the Revolution 13

The popular do-it-all model in the Mirage sit-on-top line, the Revolution 13 can be propelled with either paddle or pedals thanks to Hobie’s ingenious MirageDrive. Taking engineering cues from the graceful underwater flight of penguins, the MirageDrive’s flexible hydrofoil fins scissor the water with each leisurely push of the pedals, propelling the kayak at cruising speeds matching those of a sprinting paddler.

[ See also: The World Of Whitewater’s First Semi-Pro Pedal Boater ]

Mimic the flight of the penguins

Using your legs has other advantages as well: think less effort, Jillian Michaels quads, and leaving your hands free to photograph, cast or snack. It’s also a great option for paddlers who suffer from upper body or back strain—switch from paddle to pedals to use an entirely different muscle group while giving your back a break.

Woman floats on clear water in the Hobie Mirage Revolution 13 kayak
Feature Photo: Vince Paquot

The Hobie Revolution 13 is a pleasure to pedal

Being a pedal boat neophyte, I worried about maneuvering while pedaling and steering with the small hand lever that controls the Revolution’s rudder. While the hand-operated rudder and Hobie’s lean-back-and-put-your-feet-up pedal position went against every grain of my paddler’s intuition, it’s an undeniably comfortable, efficient and even addictive way to chew the miles.

This article was first published in the Early Summer 2014 issue of Adventure Kayak Magazine. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions, or browse the archives.


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