I Prefer to Peddle

When I tell people that my wife and I like to take our kayaks out and do a little peddling, they usually want to correct me by saying, “You mean paddling, right?”  Actually, with our kayaks we can do both.  We discovered about three years ago the Hobie line of kayaks equipped with foot-driven flippers called the Mirage Drive.  These kayaks are larger and heavier than the standard sit-on-top crafts, and they are definitely pricier.  However, if you enjoy getting out on large water — deep rivers and canals, lakes, and even the ocean — then peddling has such an advantage over paddling, especially for speed, distance, and longevity.  You can still use a paddle to propel the kayak if you prefer, and at times you need to, such as in tight spots and shallow water or for docking.  If you’re really athletic or feel the need for a total-body workout, you can do both.  But, in open water using just the Mirage hyper-drive paddles, the Hobie will cruise at about 5 mph with little more effort that riding a bicycle.  In a three-hour excursion you can cover quite a bit of water.  The length and width of the Hobie kayaks make them more stable than standard models, so you can stay dry during most if not all of your trip, especially if you enter and exit the craft from a dock ladder.  The only major disadvantage is transporting the Hobies.  They can be strapped to the top of a car, but getting them up there is almost impossible without two people or a very complicated lift system.  We use a pickup truck with a bed extender — works like a charm.  I have seen some of the most beautiful sunrises and mystical horizons while riding my kayak.  I’m always looking forward to the next trip.

Hobie Kayak
Hobie Kayak

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