So you want to know if the Hobie Revolution 13 is worth the price tag? Keep reading for the most in-depth review on the net.
Hobie was founded back in the late 1950s by Hobart Alter, not making kayaks but making surfboards. In the 1960s Hobart changed his focus away from surfboards to catamarans. At this time, catamarans were a fledgling market and the boats currently in production were clumsy, heavy and relied on long daggerboards to help reduce slippage under sail.
This made them hard to launch from shallow water and beaches (where the majority of people wanted to use them!) Hobart saw a way around this to innovate by using lighter materials and better hull design so that it did not need the long daggerboards. This made it hugely popular as it was so much easier to launch and beach. His second catamaran, the Hobie 16 is still the best selling catamaran of all time and the most competitive catamaran class in the world.
Whilst this has nothing to do with the kayaks on the surface, it speaks volumes on the type of company that Hobie is and just one look at the Hobie range shows you that their models are hugely innovative and game changers. Whilst other manufacturers were content on paddling their kayaks, Hobie was busy thinking of more innovative ways to propel a kayak.
The Revolution 13 comes in both 11ft and 13ft models, with the 11ft model being better for the smaller waters and people less than 180lbs. The Revolution 13 is the more streamlined brother, an able open water cruiser that’s tough enough to hit those big lakes and open ocean. Lets move on to the Hobie Revolution 13 Review…
5 Features that set this model apart
1. Mirage Drive enables you to move fast through the water for longer, with free hands!
2. Very quiet hull design makes sneaking up on unsuspecting fish a breeze
3. Equipped with a rudder as standard, making it extremely manoeuvrable and tracks dead straight
4. Very fast hull design makes you wonder how you got so far in such a short space of time
This kayak is fast. With two factory fitted methods of propulsion available and two more optional add-ons, this kayak can go fast and choose how it wants to do it.
Mirage Drive – This is the jewel in the crown of all the pedal powered kayaks. Lots of people know that the Mirage drive is faster than paddling, but I’m not sure enough people know exactly how much faster and how much easier it is to maintain that speed for as long as you want. Think of it like this, paddling is like walking (maybe roller-skates at a push!) and Hobie’s Mirage Drive like riding a bike. Whilst both have their merits for different situations, the Revolution comes with a paddle anyway so you have the best of both worlds.
Whilst it doesn’t come with the sail, the Revolution comes ready equipped for a sail should you so wish. Whilst this isn’t much of a plus if you plan to be fishing small creeks and ponds, for those open water situations, it can be a huge help. This is especially true if you want to troll lures fast for pelagics or just like the idea that at the end of that exhausting hours travelling out to the best fishing spot. You can just flick up the sail and cruise back to shore without any fuss.
For those of you who really like to go all out on distance, fancy a change or just want to relax, Hobie now offers its aftermarket evolve system. This is an electric propeller that fits into the mirage drive well and has a battery that enables you to go 3 different speeds with the normal speed of 3.7 mph offering a 15 mile range taking 4 hrs 10 mins. Alternatively, you can use the motor at a very fast speed of 5.8 mph to which only lasts for 50 mins but could get you a whopping 4.6 miles in that time! This also offers yakkers with health problems new horizons.
The Revolution tracks straight as an arrow. Whilst under pedal power, tracking isn’t really an issue as it’s drive is coming from the center of the kayak. Despite the fact that the Revolution comes with the Mirage Drive in mind, Hobie’s superb hull design (thought to be based on the cult fishing kayak, the Scupper Pro) tracks like a dream whilst paddle. This superior tracking is due to its sleek design that cuts through the water like a knife which is then enhanced further by the rudder system.
The Revolution 13 certainly is no slouch when it comes to manoeuvring but if you are looking for a kayak that’s main feature is manouverability, I suggest you look at the Revolution 11 which is shorter and therefore more manouverable than its bigger brother, the Revolution 13. Another note here is that when it comes to turning on a dime, paddling offers smaller turning circles due to the fact that you can paddle backwards and forwards simultaneously and turn on the spot.
Here we have a surprisingly stable kayak considering the speedy hull. The shape of the hull offers lots of what is called secondary stability. Primary stability is the stability that is felt when the water and kayak are both flat. An extreme example would be a completely flat bottomed kayak, this would be very stable in flat water conditions but slow to paddle as it is all in the water creating drag.
The Revolution’s hull design on the other hand offers more secondary stability. This is because not all of the bottom of the kayak is in contact with the water. That’s unless you start to tip it enough that the second part of the hull touches the water and then creates the necessary stability. What this offers is a boat that tracks well and is much faster because less of the hull is dragging in the water.
The Revolution 13 is plenty stable for fishing sitting down; its hull design fills you with confidence once you have had a play with it. Although I do know of a few people that do fish from their Revolution 13s standing up, I would say that it would take a bit of practice compared to some of the other kayaks built solely for that purpose!
CARGO CAPACITY AND STORAGE –
the Revolution 13 has plenty of room for storage with a large bow hatch with enough room to fit overnight gear, fish-finder battery and a trolley. There are then two smaller round hatches, one in the stern and one in the center which has a built in tackle box which is fantastic. As you can expect from Hobie, the hatches are as solid as they get and the general feel is top notch quality and a pleasure to use.
WEIGHT CAPACITY –
Weight capacity here is what you would expect for a kayak, at 350lbs it’s perfectly adequate for most users. If you need more here, I would suggest the Hobie Outback or Pro Angler.
A pleasure to fish from, perfect for fishing in salt water or lakes. The Mirage Drive makes it possible to both move about and cast at the same time, allowing you to cast to areas that you just can’t troll but still covering the same amount if not more water. The Mirage Drive and rudder system also allows you to fish in fast flows where an anchor might not be suitable as you can point into the current, set the rudder and just slowly pedal against the flow whilst fishing cut baits, livebaits or even jigging.
IN CONCLUSION –
If you’re looking for a kayak that you can use out in the open water but is still at home on smaller waters this is a great kayak for you. I don’t want to call it an all-rounder because that makes it sound boring, and that’s one thing this kayak is not. The thing about this kayak is that even though it’s a fishing kayak, it’s just a pleasure to use. It’s the kind of kayak that you can go out on the water, not catch a thing, and still go home with a smile on your face.