Take a long, thin strip of paper, put a twist in it, attach the ends and you create the Möbius strip—a continuous curve discovered by German mathematicians in the 1800s that, because of a simple change, seems to defy logic.

When boat designer Hans Nutz showed us Wave Sport’s latest freestyle kayak, the Mobius, he told us how a few simple design twists can yield surprising results.

Comparing the Mobius to Wave Sport’s previous freestyle machine, the Project X, on paper you notice a few of the twists right away. The medium-sized Mobius is 3″ shorter, half an inch wider and has a gallon of volume on the medium-sized Project X. The result? A boat that is actually faster, easier to throw around and explodes more forcefully out of the water.

So how does the shorter Mobius gain its wave speed? “We have a little trick on the stern of this boat that actually helps it to catch waves,” Nutz explains. He’s referring to a stern release edge that’s paired with the new boat’s continuous rocker. “The combination of those two things helps the Mobius catch waves and then shoot right down them,” says Nutz. A few quick surfs on catch-on-the-fly waves confirms it.

Mobius Specs 49/57/65
Length: 5’6″/5’8″/6′
Width: 24.75″/26.25″/26.75″
Volume: 49/57/65 gal
Weight: 30/32/34 lbs
Paddler Weight: 90-160/130-200/250 lbs
MSRP: $1,149 USD

Since the Mobius is only 5′ 8″ long I expected to have way less foot room than in the Project X, but I was wrong. With more volume around the cockpit my knees are held in a higher, slightly wider position, effectively bringing my feet closer in, and out of the shallower bow where there’s less room. This puts me in an aggressive paddling position that makes it easier to shift edge to edge. Because of the volume around the cockpit, there’s plenty of pop to go huge on loops and the bow is slicey enough to initiate hole moves like cartwheels.

Wave Sport’s Core Whiteout Outfitting is their most comfortable offering yet. The Adjustable Ratcheting Leg Lifter raises the front of the seat to support my thighs and is a quick and easy way to lock or unlock myself from the boat. There’s a tried and true foam block in the bow.

Man using red whitewater kayak
Shorter. Wider. Fatter. Better. | Photo: Dan Caldwell

The Mobius will no doubt be a weapon of choice for seasoned freestyle kayakers but it’s also a great option for those just getting into the sport. It’s a truly confidence inspiring ride when paddling downriver. The wide hull is super stable, and the voluminous, water-shedding stern means the Mobius glides over eddy lines and bobs through boils and seams without letting grabby water flip it over. When I got lazy and leaned back, though, the bow was picked up and toppled over backwards—there just isn’t enough stern to lean on.

Using small features and waves to surf around and across the river maximizes the boat’s speed and gets me where I need to be quickly.

Like the mind-boggling Mobius strip that gives the boat its name, Wave Sport’s design features a few simple twists that result in a fantastically fun and friendly freestyle design. The new Mobius will add twists and turns, speed and pop to your ride.

v16-iss1-Rapid-1.jpgThis article was first published in the Spring 2014 issue of Rapid Magazine. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions, or browse the archives.

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