Pedal-Powered Fun

By Rich Armstrong

Consider the Hobie Mirage Eclipse SUP another toy for your cruising boat, or you can view it as a fun way to get some exercise on the water.

Hobie Mirage Eclipse SUP

Hobie, the 67-year-old company known for the Hobie Cat, which introduced countless people to the joy of sailing, has introduced the next evolution of stand-up paddleboards (SUP). The Hobie Mirage Eclipse is a SUP with handlebars and the hands-free pedal drive that revolutionized both recreational kayaking and kayak fishing.

"'It's like walking on water,' is how our customers describe using the Eclipse," says Doug Skidmore, president of Hobie.

Jim Czarnowski, Hobie's director of engineering, describes the MirageDrive as "the heart of the Eclipse." The engineering is simple but surprisingly effective at getting the board moving. A natural stepping motion cycles the large topside pedals connected to underwater fins that power the Eclipse as slow or as fast as desired. The fins fold against the board for shallow water and beach landings. As a boat toy, the Eclipse stows as easily as an SUP usually along the rail, and the handlebars detach and can be stored in a hatch or lazarette.

The steering controls on the aluminum alloy handlebar are equally simple to learn: Just squeeze the right caliper to go right; squeeze the left caliper to go left. The handlebar adjusts from 36 to 43 inches tall to accommodate a range of rider statures from kids to adults.

The rudder offers stand-up control unique to the Eclipse. 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.

EVA deckpads provide high-traction footing and enhanced comfort for all-day rides. There is room for extra gear or the family dog to perch on the stern. Cargo bungees on the aft deck secure gear.

Eclipse accessories include a protective board bag and a cart that makes transportation from beach to vehicle a breeze.

The 10.5-foot model starts at $2,499; the 12-foot model at $2,599. Each size comes in two colors: Solar (yellow) and Lunar (blue). They are available at Hobie dealers around the world.

Check out this video to see just how the Hobie Mirage Eclipse works, along with some of the possibilities for fun on the water. 

 

— Published: June 2017


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