Hobie tandem kayaks provide a unique kayaking experience thanks to the brand’s advanced Mirage Drive pedal system. Hobie tandem kayaks come with a long pedigree of performance. You may recognize Hobie as a beloved California-based watersports brand with longstanding roots in surfing and sailing.
Hobie is best known for its classic “Hobie Cat” sailboats. But in recent decades Hobie has expanded into recreational, fishing and inflatable kayaks with great success—in part because of its commitment to developing a smooth pedal-drive system.
Hobie tandem kayaks with pedal drive provide a sleek, hands-free way of getting around on calm, sheltered water. These specialized open deck, sit-on-top kayaks are propelled with your feet, leaving your hands free for fishing or photography; Hobie double kayaks are a great way to have fun on the water with a partner. The higher seating position of Hobie tandem foot pedal kayaks is ergonomic and can be more comfortable for some people than traditional kayak seats.
Hobie two person kayaks with foot pedals allow you to work your lower body. (Some models have the option to use your arms to paddle, too.) Hobie tandem kayaks are easy to get on and off, without the confined feeling of a typical kayak, and the pedal drive systems create a low center of balance that’s ultra stable. If you’re looking for an easy to transport and store double kayak, Hobie’s brand-new-for-2022 iTrek Duo inflatable tandem kayak is super portable.
This article provides you with all the tools to identify the best Hobie tandem kayak for your needs. Hobie pedal kayaks are certainly a niche type of kayak, but Hobie serves up plenty of selection. This article will describe the workings of the brand’s different pedal-powered mechanisms. We’ll help you choose the right Hobie 2 person kayak, whether it’s for recreational use or kayak fishing, to provide you with countless hours of enjoyment on the water.
Top picks: Best Hobie tandem kayaks for 2023
Shop for Hobie tandem kayaks
Are you set on buying a Hobie tandem kayak? The links in this section will take you to our comprehensive Paddling Buyer’s Guide, where you can take a closer look at every Hobie two person kayak on the market, including reviews, ratings and where to buy.
You can choose to filter kayaks by type and application, such as recreational and fishing. Detailed reviews of specific models include specs, prices and where to buy to ease your search. Welcome to the most comprehensive kayak buyer’s guide on the web.
Shopping for a used Hobie tandem kayak?
Are you looking to save a few bucks? Try using the search term “Hobie tandem kayak used” at online buy-and-sell forums like Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji and Craigslist—and be patient. Unlike other types of recreational kayaks, Hobie pedal kayaks are hard to find; there are only a few models—and because they’re all super fun, most Hobie owners would hate to part with their pedal-powered kayak.
A better bet to find a good deal on a lightly used Hobie double kayak is to visit dealer demo days, kayak trade shows and symposiums. These events often include floor models of Hobie pedal kayaks for sale at discounted prices. It’s also a great way to try the kayak before making a purchase, discuss design aspects with experts, and network with other Hobie owners.
Before you make an offer on any used boat, consider the following:
- Make sure you’re buying the right used kayak for your paddling preferences by researching the particular model in advance to determine whether or not it truly meets your needs. First off, bear in mind that Hobie tandem kayaks use a pedal drive system for foot propulsion; if you want to mostly propel your kayak with a paddle, then you should consider a more traditional recreational sit-on-top or sit-inside kayak.It’s important to think about the type of water you’ll be paddling; remember, Hobie tandem kayaks are meant for sheltered bodies of water with calm places to launch and land.
- Take the time for a detailed visual inspection. Give the used Hobie tandem kayak a once-over, looking for obvious damage to the hull (bottom), deck (top) and outfitting (seat, back rest, etc). Scratches aren’t a problem, but watch out for deep gouges that extend more than eighth of an inch (3 mm) into the plastic. Obvious warping in the hull is a problem to avoid, too.
- More specifically, take a closer look at the pedal drive system. Be familiar with the pros and cons of Hobie’s various Mirage Drive systems (see Buying Tips below for an overview). Hobie pedal drive kayaks rely on fairly complicated mechanisms for propulsion. Make sure the pedals, drive shafts and fins are in good working condition and operate smoothly, with no deformities or corrosion.
- Try to determine how the kayak was stored. A kayak that was stored outdoors for long periods of time may be subject to fading due to UV radiation (which also weakens the kayak’s structure) and damage due to excessive snow loading or precipitation. Obvious mold on a Hobie tandem inflatable kayak reveals improper storage.
- Taking the kayak for a test paddle (pedal) is the best way to find if the two-person pedal kayak works for you, in terms of performance, handling, comfort and fit.
- Hobie tandem kayaks are niche boats and selection on the used market is very limited. You may have to take a chance on making a purchase (or consider buying a new model) if you want a kayak immediately.
For more tips on what to look for when selecting a used kayak, read our article How To Buy A Used Kayak.
Hobie tandem kayak buying advice
Before you buy a Hobie pedal kayak make sure this is the right type of kayak for you. If you wish to use a paddle to propel your kayak, you’re better off considering a recreational, touring or fishing kayak from a different manufacturer. All of Hobie’s new tandem kayaks are pedal driven and while paddling is an option, it’s not ideal.
What’s more, Hobie tandem kayaks have high-tech pedal-drive mechanisms that contribute to a price tag far greater than a typical recreational kayak. If you’re set on a Hobie, it’s important to understand the various options available.
Currently, Hobie offers four tandem kayaks:
Mirage Compass Duo
The Mirage Compass Duo is ideal for recreational kayaking and casual kayak fishing with a friend. This model allows both riders to pedal, utilizing Hobie’s advanced Mirage Drive technology (see more about the pedal drive system below). The 13.5-foot Hobie Mirage Compass Duo is stable, comfortable and has a weight capacity of 475 pounds. It also has a sail mount for compatibility with Hobie’s optional sailing kit.
The Mirage Oasis is longer and sleeker than the Compass Duo, for faster touring and more room on-deck. This 14.5-foot tandem is loaded with four hatches, dual rod holders and Mirage 180 pedal drives for both riders. It’s also compatible with Hobie’s optional sailing kit or electric motor kit. Weight capacity is 550 pounds.
Mirage iTrek 14 Duo
The Mirage iTrek 14 Duo is a portable tandem inflatable kayak, also using Hobie’s smooth pedal drive system. It’s lighter in weight and easy to store disassembled in a closet—and transport to the beach in the back of your car. With its rugged inflatable construction and 600-pound weight limit, the Hobie iTrek Duo has plenty of capacity for two adults.
Mirage Tandem Island
The Mirage Tandem Island is a specialized, trimaran-style Hobie double kayak that’s designed for sailing performance. Take a serious look at the 18.5-foot Mirage Tandem Island if you want a “real” sailboat that also features Hobie’s slick pedal-drive system for fun on windless days. Outriggers make the Mirage Tandem Island fast and stable.
Hobie tandem kayaks feature the Mirage Drive pedal-drive system, which is similar to walking: simply pump your legs forward and back to propel the kayak, with your hands free to handle the rudder (for steering), fish, take photographs, snack or operate sails (in the case of the Mirage Tandem Island or the Compass Duo or Oasis with sailing kit). Mirage Drive relies on underwater fins for propulsion, and several versions are available.
The Mirage 180 system can move forward and reverse; and Mirage Glide Technology, aka GT, incorporates ball bearings in the drive system for an even smoother pedaling motion. Hobie pedal kayaks also come with Kick-Up fins that bounce over shallow hazards and fold flat against the hull for greater durability.
Here are answers to some common questions about Hobie double kayaks:
Does Hobie make a tandem kayak?
Hobie currently makes four tandem kayak models: The Compass Duo recreational kayak; the Oasis kayak for recreational touring and fishing; the Mirage Tandem Island sailing kayak; and the iTrek 14 Duo inflatable kayak. All of these Hobie double kayaks have plenty of capacity for two adults and feature Hobie’s Mirage Drive pedal systems for easy and efficient performance.
Hobie tandem kayak weight
Hobie tandem kayak weight varies from the 73-pound iTrek 14 Duo tandem inflatable to 127 pounds and 130 pounds for the Compass Duo and Oasis, respectively, and 240 pounds for the fully rigged Mirage Tandem Island sailing kayak.
It’s important to note that Hobie’s pedal drive system adds considerable weight to the kayak. You may wish to consider a typical paddle-powered recreational kayak if you’re looking for a lighter boat.
Hobie tandem kayak reviews
Paddling Magazine is your best online resource for kayak reviews, including specialty boats like Hobie tandem kayaks.