Makign the Right Choice
  |  First Published: April 2008

Being a novice and new to the scene I wanted to get the best idea of what I actually needed from a kayak, or as I like to call it, a lifestyle enhancement device (LED).

I decided on purchasing a kayak after considering the other on-water alternatives, such as tinnies, jetskis and so on. They all required a large amount of cash, not only to get going but also to maintain, money I wasn’t prepared to spend.

What I really wanted was a vessel that would get me access to areas unobtainable for land-based angling, give me some exercise, and generally just get me out on the water. The answer was a kayak.

Kayaks have the ability to quietly approach areas that boats cannot access due to their size and noisy motor. Plus you can’t beat a day on the water for the prefect exercise.

Which one

I spent quite a bit of time searching through websites and visiting stores, yet nothing had grabbed my attention. Then one day on a trip to Brunswick Heads, I happened to see two people effortlessly peddle past me in a kayak. The paddles were stowed on either side and both the angler’s arms were free. From then on I was keen on pedal power.

As I am 6’2” tall, I needed expert advise to see which kayak would be the best fit. I was soon pointed in the direction of Craig McSween, a well-known kayak enthusiast and storeowner.

Craig is a strong supporter of kayaks, and he readily gave me great advice about purchasing the right outfit.

I had previously tested a kayak, the Mirage Adventure, and had a good experience. It was great fun and very easy for a newbie to handle, but it had one major flaw, I had to leave my partner behind on the beach. Being a keen angler too, she wanted to be part of the action and I rarely go fishing by myself, so a two-person kayak was want I really needed.

After discussing with Craig, I was able to narrow down what I really needed in a kayak – a pedal powered fishing kayak that can take a passenger. Craig lead me straight to the Hobie Mirage Outfitter (the same kayak that cut through the waters of the estuaries in Brunswick).

Based on the Hobie Mirage Adventure test that I had previously had experience with, I came to the conclusion, with Craig’s help, that the Hobie Mirage Outfitter was my best option. The Adventure was pretty much a single version of the Outfitter, and I had no problems with loading, unloading and slipping in and out of the water. Not to mention that there was plenty of space for my length, and particularly my girth!

This one

I was keen to test the Outfitter’s capabilities and see what it had to offer. Since my purchase, ithas been nothing but joy. Sliding the Outfitter in and out of the water is a breeze with the trolley wheels (an optional extra I highly recommend). And on the water it’s a blast.

I prefer peddling to the conventional paddle method, as I find it faster and easier to control the craft. Fishing is great fun and very easy in the kayak, although it can get a bit tricky for an amateur in current. But in time I’m sure I’ll be able to master it.

All the extra rod holders and places to store gear are handy and all get used. All the parts that are clipped and slotted into place are fully adjustable, and the seats are supremely comfortable too.

The only part that is a little problematic is the loading and unloading off the top of my car. Two people are required, but again, this will become easier in time as I work out the best way to do it.

I am completely happy with the design, layout and functionality of the Outfitter. Once you see one close up you will get an idea of the quality and fittings used.

For me the Outfitter is exactly what I was after and I look forward to mastering its movability and spending some great days, weekends and no doubt years to come in it. – Matt Roberts

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