The Mirage Drive has many advantages over conventional oars and paddles, the
most obvious being that the Mirage Drive is powered by your legs which straight
away allows you to use more of your body's power. Another nice feature of
the Mirage Drive is that your hands are always kept free and dry.
Some less obvious advantages are that with the Mirage Drive you face
forwards, unlike rowing when you must face aft. You will also find that
coming alongside is much easier with out any oars to get in the way.
The Mirage Drive is very efficient and requires very little effort to push
the boat along. As you are reclined when pedalling, the whole experience is
more comfortable and less fatiguing than normal rowing. One of the reasons
why the Mirage Drive is so efficient is because both blades are producing
power throughout their stroke, unlike oars which have to be lifted out of
the water at the end of every stroke.
The pedals can be adjusted for maximum comfort and the Mirage Drive still
works even if you do not make full strokes with the pedals This means that
the Mirage Drive can still be used even in shallow water. Yet another
advantage of the Mirage Drive is that it can be used a centre board when
sailing. Simply bringing the pedals together leaves the blades in the
vertical position. Using the Mirage Drive in this way may not be as efficient as
the proper centreboard but it's good enough to allow good sailing
performance with some leeway.
The unit itself is made from plastic, rubber and stainless steel. It is
beautifully engineered, very well put together and should last many
years. It costs about £400 which is a lot of money, but it compares well with
the price of an outboard and you'll never have to put fuel in it! It
requires no maintenance except for rinsing with fresh water after use. It keeps
you fit and is great fun. It'll be money well spent.
To find out more and to see some very convincing videos, please
The Hobie Mirage Drive was designed for use in kayaks and is a wonderful
example of bio-mimicry. Two flexible blades, shaped much like fishes' fins
swing from side to side creating forward motion.