There goes the neighborhood. Combining supping and pedaling, Hobie has married its MirageDrive® pedal system with a sup to create the world’s first stand up pedal board: the Mirage® Eclipse 10.5 and 12. ..
“Inventing new ways to enjoy the water is a way of life at Hobie,” says Doug Skidmore, president of Hobie. “Company namesake Hobie Alter created the modern fiberglass foam core surfboard and the iconic Hobie Cat sailboat, and his creative spirit inspired the MirageDrive hands-free pedal drive that revolutionized rec kayaking and kayak fishing. Now that same technology is launching a new category of Mirage Standup. It will now be just as easy for fun seekers to stand on the board and pedal with the new MirageDrive as it has been for Hobie kayakers to pedal the original MirageDrive.”
If social barometers are any indicator, they’re onto something big. After posting videos of the new contraption on Facebook, the company recorded more than 100,000 views in less than two hours.
Using the boards is as stable as walking, company exces say. Simply step on and go – no seat, paddle or overboard splashes required. The audience? Anyone seeking a fun and easy way to play on the water, those who enjoy fitness outside the gym, and resort and tour operators who wish to offer their guests a great new experience.
Jim Czarnowski, Hobie’s Director of Engineering, describes the MirageDrive as “the heart of the Eclipse.” The engineering is simple, he says. A natural stepping motion cycles the large topside pedals connected to powerful underwater fins that efficiently power it as slow or fast as desired. The fins fold against the board for shallow water and beach landings.
The composite epoxy hull has a fast, displacement design, with a square tail and flat bottom for stability. Now for the fun part. The steering controls are on an aluminum alloy handlebar. Squeeze the right caliper, go right; squeeze the left caliper, go left. The handlebar adjusts from 36 to 43 inches high to accommodate a range of rider statures from kids to tall adults.
The rudder offers pinpoint stand up control, designers say. It kicks up in shallow water and can also lock into place for improved tracking when the Eclipse is used as a traditional SUP – just one alternative way to enjoy this board for upper body fitness paddling. It also has room for extra gear or the family dog to perch on the stern, with Cargo Bungees® on the aft deck secure gear.
MSRP:Hobie Mirage Eclipse 10.5, $2499; Hobie Mirage Eclipse 12, $2599. Each size comes in two colors: Solar (yellow) and Lunar (blue).
View video HERE