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Topic: Looking for opinions on an alaskan yak  (Read 1325 times)

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ppwack02

  • Krill
  • *
  • Location: Eagle River, Alaska
  • Date Registered: Feb 2018
  • Posts: 10
My current kayak is an NRS pike and has been a great first kayak to see if I enjoyed the sport. The reason I ended up buying this was because it was inflatable and I could pack it on hikes. I've decided it's time to upgrade and I'm looking for opinions for a good Alaskan kayak. I've been researching kayaks for a while now and have decided I'd like to try a peddle driven one.
 
From reading reviews, forums and watching a lot of Youtube I've come to the conclusion that I'd like to buy a Hobie. I am deciding between the pro angler and the outback. Originally I was all about the pro angler and it seemed like the boat for me. Recently though the more I've looked into the outback the more attractive it has become. I am a bigger guy 6'3" 295lbs, but am working my way down to 250lbs. the pro angler would be more stable and roomy. I wouldn't have to worry about weight capacity and the seat looks pretty comfortable. I try to be out on the water 2-3 times a week. I feel like moving this beast around would get pretty old due to the weight and would probably need to be trailered. I'm not even sure I would use the kayak to its full potential.

That's where the outback has started to appeal to me. I figure I could outfit the outback for the cost of a pro angler and be able to car top it. I'm just not sure how feasible an outback would be with how tall I am and at my weight, even if I'm at the 250lb mark.  I'm up in the Anchorage area so the main use would be for lakes. I'd like to try to do some ocean fishing eventually, but I don't think that will happen this year. I'm open to any suggestions even different brands. Iím hoping to try both boats out when Alaska raft and kayak does a demo this year.

Thanks,

-pp


Low_Sky

  • Salmon
  • ******
  • Location: Anchorage, AK
  • Date Registered: Oct 2015
  • Posts: 519
If you are car topping, the outback is the way to go. A proangler needs to be trailered, or hauled into a long truck bed or a short bed with a hitch T-bar. A native propel is about the same size as an outback, but itís heavier.

For lakes around Anchorage, a PA wouldnít be a bad choice if you can transport it. Itís be very comfortable for a big guy. If you take a PA out in the salt, youíd be better off leaving the spare paddle home and bringing a spare pedal drive or repair parts and tools. The PA is basically unpaddleable for any significant distance, itís a human powered boat, not a kayak.

I have a revo 16 and carry a spare paddle, but never use it. I get in and out through our small breakers without it, and it wouldnít be a nice boat to paddle for long because the rudder is hand controlled, canít paddle and steer like you can with any other ruddered paddling kayak.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
2016 Hobie Revolution 16
2014 Perception Triumph 13


pmmpete

  • Sturgeon
  • *******
  • Location: Missoula, Montana
  • Date Registered: Jul 2013
  • Posts: 1643
Paddling the Outback and the Revolution.  Hobie Mirage Drives rarely break on the water, so the only time you should need to paddle a Mirage Drive kayak is for a few feet when leaving and returning to shore, and when going in and out through surf.  On the other hand, if your Mirage Drive does fail when you're a couple miles from shore, your paddle is Plan B.  So an advantage of the Outback and the Revolution over the Pro Angler is that you can paddle the Outback and the Revolution in and out through surf when necessary, and you can paddle them back to shore with no problem if your Mirage Drive breaks down (which may never happen).  I'm a whitewater kayaker, and when the wind and waves get rowdy, I prefer to pull out my Mirage Drive and paddle my Revolution, so I can brace when needed.

Using the rudder when paddling.  The Outback and the Revolution have a small amount of rocker so they will maneuver quickly with the rudder when being pedaled.  When being paddled, they don't track as well as a typical sea kayak, but they track way better than any whitewater kayak.  So you don't need to use a rudder when paddling an Outback or a Revolution, and it is safer to leave your rudder up when coming in to shore through surf.  I can attest that it's a pain in the butt to have to replace your steering lines because you broke them by hitting your rudder on a rock.  It only takes minor adjustments of your paddle stroke to keep an Outback or a Revolution going in a straight line, and those adjustments will become automatic with a bit of practice.  As Low_Sky pointed out, if you leave your rudder down when paddling a Hobie, from time to time you'll need to stop paddling for a moment to tweak the rudder.  However, there may be times where it is worth the hassle of leaving the rudder down, such as when paddling in a cross wind or in quartering waves which keep pushing you off line, because the rudder will make it easier to keep your kayak moving in a straight line.

Big guy kayaks.  Low_Sky, what are your thoughts about the suitability of the 16' Revolution for generously proportioned kayakers?  Do you think that the 16' Revolution handles those who shop in the Big and Tall department in clothing stores better than a 13' Revolution?  My weight and height are relatively average, so I don't know.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 01:29:15 PM by pmmpete »


Low_Sky

  • Salmon
  • ******
  • Location: Anchorage, AK
  • Date Registered: Oct 2015
  • Posts: 519
I'm 6'4" and 270 lbs.  With gear, I'm pushing the weight limit of the Revo 16.  It definitely feels a little cramped getting in and out with rod holder and fish finder mounted.  The Revo 16 already sits low in the water and gives a wet ride because it cuts through waves instead of going over them, and with a big boy in the cockpit it's lower and wetter (not a problem for me in a paddling suit).  I'm trying to lose some weight, want to get down to around 220 lbs and see if I can feel any difference in the way the boat feels.  I'm sure having more weight centered higher above the water must make a difference in how stable the boat feels. 
I can't offer any insight into how the 16' would compare to the 13', I haven't test driven the shorter boat.  I think the cockpit lengths are similar, so aside from stability I believe the differences would probably be small. 
2016 Hobie Revolution 16
2014 Perception Triumph 13


pmmpete

  • Sturgeon
  • *******
  • Location: Missoula, Montana
  • Date Registered: Jul 2013
  • Posts: 1643
Low_Sky, what is your opinion of the suitability of the Outback versus the 16' Revolution for a big guy?  Should ppwack02 consider the 16' Revolution rather than an Outback as an alternative to the ProAngler?


Low_Sky

  • Salmon
  • ******
  • Location: Anchorage, AK
  • Date Registered: Oct 2015
  • Posts: 519
If he wants to try out a Revo, Iíd suggest he try a 13í and 16í. I think the 13í is going to be a better fit for most people. Itís shorter, easier to car top, wider and little more stable (my paddle kayak is 13í and the same width, so stability should be similar). The 16 is a niche boat for people who want to go fast and far. In swells and wind chop, I donít consider it a fun boat to pedal. You have to be constantly switched on and aware of what youíre doing. I put the inflatable amas on mine on days Iíll want to take a mental break while Iím trolling.
2016 Hobie Revolution 16
2014 Perception Triumph 13


easyyakker

  • Lingcod
  • *****
  • Location: Soldotna, AK
  • Date Registered: May 2016
  • Posts: 228
I like my Pro Angler 14. I do envy the ability to car top the PA.

I'm 6'4" and usually weigh in the neighborhood of 240 to 250 (although I was peddling at 270 for a while there).

I chose the PA because the Outback looked like it would be to small for me. I can stretch my legs in the PA. Looking at the Outback I thought I'd be cramped. To be fair, I've never sat in or peddled an Outback.

Dragging the PA up the beach is tedious at best, exhausting at worst. I haul it around in the back of my truck. I have had it on top of my Subaru, but that was a lot of work.

If you can, I'd highly recommend trying whatever you are looking at on for size. I have to admit I'd really like the try the Old Town they have at Sportsman's just to compare to the Hobie.

Whatever you get, I hope to see you on the water some time this summer.


pmmpete

  • Sturgeon
  • *******
  • Location: Missoula, Montana
  • Date Registered: Jul 2013
  • Posts: 1643
ppwack02, have you considered the Compass?  It's between the ProAngler and the Outback in size.  I haven't pedaled a Compass, but perhaps those who have can provide their opinions about that kayak.


ppwack02

  • Krill
  • *
  • Location: Eagle River, Alaska
  • Date Registered: Feb 2018
  • Posts: 10
Pmmpete,

I have looked into the compass. I asked Alaska Raft and Kayak if they would be getting any in. I was told there isnít a lot of interest at the moment. That being said if there is enough interest they probably will get a few.

I like that the fact that the compass is wider, lighter, cheaper and more simplistic than the rest of the Hobieís. The cons for me is no 180 mirage drive, carrying handle and Iíve heard a lot of people having trouble with the seats. I havenít been able to find too much information available on the compass. With the compass coming out this year Iím sure they will make some changes and work out kinks.  If itís possible Iím going to demo the PA, outback and compass this summer. The hard thing for me though is I feel like you get a much better product for the money with the outback. That being said until I get a chance to demo the boats I donít really know. Maybe Iíd love the compass and the boat would be for me.

The main reason Iím stuck on the Hobie is the mirage drive system. Then again maybe I need to do some more research on other peddle brands.

-pp


TP

  • Perch
  • ***
  • Location: St. Helens, OR.
  • Date Registered: Jul 2014
  • Posts: 72
 I have to say I'm the pretty stoked on the Compass.  This is only after paddling/pedaling it and some light fishing. Haven't spent a full day in it yet.

I really wish that Hobie made it a fully featured fishing boat, as I think it has a sweet spot of a hull design compared to their other models. I would dare say it has the best hull shape of their entire fleet.

For one, it Paddles well(not just pedals), the rudder system is clean(same as the PA series)
 it has built in tracks, not the best on the market but they do the job.

The seat is a little odd, not as adjustable as the ct/vantage but once you have it set up it's super comfortable. We had some issues at my shop with it the first few times but that's just because we didn't have it set up correctly,  the correct option is not the obvious one, and beyond that it's a very simple system. Easier to take in and out than the vantage since it's a bungee connection.

It's definitely a bare bones set up comparatively, but if you give it a little love, you can have a pretty awesome rig.

Biggest downsides to me for the compass:
-No through hull wiring(easy to add)
-No internal access hatches(also easy to add)
and there are a few things you notice compared to the outback or pa, such as the little rubber covers for the inset rod holders(compass does not have them)
Keep that stuff in midn as it adds time and cost to get your boat rigged, hobie has it all lined out on the compass to add this stuff, but you have to cut the holes and add the seals.

The 180 vs GT drive is a personal preference for sure, I have never found reverse to be critical, I prefer the GT that comes with the compass over the 180 since it's easier to repair and work on. but any shop worth it's salt would help make a package for a compass with a 180 drive if that's the direction you want to go.

Let me know if you have any compass or other boat questions, we carry native, wildy and a few other brands for comparison.  my shops a ways from AK but happy to help weather you buy from us or a local dealer(which I always recommend) 

 


 


Arctic Okie

  • Krill
  • *
  • Location: Anchorage AK
  • Date Registered: Feb 2017
  • Posts: 19
If your going with hobie I would get the outback. Youíll have the 180 which will help a lot catching fish in freshwater lakes here in Alaska. The reverse will help a lot if your in wind working the banks. Alaska raft and kayak said the compass will be 2049 out the door. By the time you do turbo fins and other upgrades, youíll pretty much be close what the outback would cost. Itís a trade off for sure. Itís either have the outback and do the turbo fins and bigger rudder and maybe fish finder. Or get the compass and have a lil money to play with for upgrades. Couldnít go wrong either way. Thereís no perfect kayak. The best kayak is the one that you will use to get out on the water and enjoy. I say go all out and get PA 17t lol... tight lines. Oh and alaska raft told me you can either pay 2500 for outback only. Or 2649 and get 1/2 off dry suit and 10% off accessories. So if you donít have a dry suit you can get their cheaper semi dry for 250. Made by Kokatat


easyyakker

  • Lingcod
  • *****
  • Location: Soldotna, AK
  • Date Registered: May 2016
  • Posts: 228
Just noticed I've been trying to sell (peddle) my kayak rather than propel (pedal) it.



Low_Sky

  • Salmon
  • ******
  • Location: Anchorage, AK
  • Date Registered: Oct 2015
  • Posts: 519
Just noticed I've been trying to sell (peddle) my kayak rather than propel (pedal) it.
Haha, youíre not the only one, buddy. Seems like almost everybody on the internet is trying to sell their boat.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
2016 Hobie Revolution 16
2014 Perception Triumph 13


Low_Sky

  • Salmon
  • ******
  • Location: Anchorage, AK
  • Date Registered: Oct 2015
  • Posts: 519

Biggest downsides to me for the compass:
-No through hull wiring(easy to add)
-No internal access hatches(also easy to add)
and there are a few things you notice compared to the outback or pa, such as the little rubber covers for the inset rod holders(compass does not have them)
Keep that stuff in midn as it adds time and cost to get your boat rigged, hobie has it all lined out on the compass to add this stuff, but you have to cut the holes and add

Maybe I got a lemon, but my Hobie convinced me that the Hobie installers should NOT be rigging kayaks. All the thru hull fitting weíre very sloppily installed. Iíd have been very happy to get a virgin hull and a bag of fittings to install where I want. So I donít see a lack of thru hulls in the compass as a negative. The flappy rod holder covers were also one of the first things I took off my boat. Theyíre just asking to tangle in lines, and if youíre using the rod holder it will fill up with water anyway, so they only serve a purpose if you donít fish or donít use rod holders.

Someone with no tools, time or DIY skills may feel differently, but for me the less Hobie does, the better.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
2016 Hobie Revolution 16
2014 Perception Triumph 13


kardinal_84

  • Sturgeon
  • *******
  • Perseverance Pays!
  • Kayak Fishing Southcentral Alaska
  • Location: Anchorage, AK
  • Date Registered: Mar 2011
  • Posts: 4216
I would weigh in but I only have outbacks.  I have never had the need to go faster (revo) or require more stability (Pro Angler).  Having said that, my kids wants a pro angler.  But I don't want to buy a trailer.  I think am leaning to pick up something more portable this year.  The i11S is tempting (basically a hybrid inflatable paddle board) because I currently have 4 outbacks. 
Personal Chauffeur for Kokatat & Hobie Fishing Team member, Ryu .

Personal fishing sites of Alaska Kayak Angling adventures of my son and I. I am NOT a guide.
guidesak.blogspot.com
AlaskaKayakFisher.com


 

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