Hobie Kayaking Tips
- Always check the weather conditions. Familiarize yourself with local conditions.
- Do the hard work first i.e. plan your trip to paddle out against the tide or wind initially and come home with the tide or wind assisting you.
- Be sure that you can right your kayak after capsize and climb back aboard before venturing into deep water
- In an emergency, ALWAYS STAY WITH THE BOAT. It is easier for rescuers to spot a boat than a person on their own.
- Use a paddle leash.
- Wear a suitable buoyancy vest.
- Watch out for powerboats and be ready to take evasive action.
Tips for using Mirage Pedal Kayaks
The unique mirage pedal drive system is simple and energy efficient. With minimal exertion by the large upper-leg muscle groups, the Mirage kayak is easily propelled.
- Adjust the seat/backrest so that your lower back does not touch the bulkhead behind you.
- Adjust the pedal arms to length so that at full leg extension, you can only just reach the end of travel.
- Use short, rapid pedal strokes rather than long, slow ones for maximum speed for effort.
- When approaching shallows, push one foot all the way forward to bring the fins up against the bottom.(Very short oscillations of the pedals in this position will result in fluttering of the fins which still propels forwards).
- To turn sharply, ensure that the mirage-drive fins are operating in the vertical position, i.e. short pedal strokes. They then act like a keel which the hull can pivot around.
- When drifting, with the wind, fins up, (feet apart), causes the kayak to drift forwards downwind. Fins down, (feet together), causes the kayak to drift sideways.
- Keep the steering control strings tight for best steering response.
- Hobie Kayak two-piece paddles have the option of blade-offset for paddling efficiency. Right-handed paddlers prefer to set the left blade rotated forward one hole, to offset the angle of the blade for optimum performance. By gripping the paddle shaft with the right hand and rotating it in the left hand, optimum angle of blade attack is ensured.
- When storing the paddle on the rest provided on the side of the kayak, it is best to set the blades to the parallel position.
- Splash guards are best positioned about 30cm from each end of the shaft.
- Sit with your feet positioned in the most comfortable footrest that allows a little knee bend. Push your bottom firmly into the seat to become solidly braced into the kayak. As you develop power in your stroke, you will find yourself noticeably pushing into the footrest with each stroke in order to transfer maximum power to the hull.
- Hobie Kayaks without rudder will track straight with the correct paddling action. The drive stroke is accomplished by reaching well forward with the blade and pushing with upper arm whilst pulling with the lower arm. The shaft should be close to vertical. General cruising paddle strokes should be made with the elbows almost locked in a right-angle position, using trunk twist to provide the thrust. (takes some practice but is very efficient). The sweep stroke uses a wide action that helps to steer the kayak to the opposite direction. One blade can also be dragged in the water to act like a rudder to steer while gliding.
- The most efficient paddle action maintains a right angle at each elbow and utilises trunk rotation to provide the drive.
- In a double kayak, the rear paddler generally controls direction and keeps in time with the forward paddler.