So, if you’re on top of your SUP (stand up paddleboard) news or follow us on our Facebook page you saw the big announcement Hobie made last month with the launch of the Eclipse – the SUP equipped with their Mirage Drive technology. This is the first pedal powered SUP on the market and the paddlesports community exploded with curiosity and eagerness to give it a spin.
Rather than using a traditional paddle, on the Eclipse users support themselves and steer with aluminum alloy handlebars and pedal on a system similar to an elliptical or stairmaster using the Mirage Drive to propel forward. The handlebars feature a system most similar to bicycle brakes, but rather than stopping, you squeeze the right to turn right, left to turn left. There’s a bit of the learning curve for timing your turns to match your speed, but once you get the hang of it, it feels very natural.
At our Demo Days last month, our awesome Hobie reps brought along a few Eclipses – super cool because those were the only Eclipses in all of Texas! After spending some time on it, I applaud Hobie for their innovation on the traditional SUP. Their design and incorporating the Mirage Drive pedal system invites those who are a little intimidated by SUPs to get out on the water.
Just like having a hand to hold onto when you’re crossing over a stream or a scary gap in between rocks, the handlebar acts as a security blanket – as if it’s saying “Yeah, this is familiar and we’re here for you, you got this!”. By providing that extra stability and a literal hand(lebar) to hold, it allows one to step out of their comfort zone and get on a SUP in the friendliest way possible. I’m all about getting people outside, so I give Hobie big props for this accomplishment.
As a bonus, the pedal system also provides you with an incredible leg workout so you can tan and tone in one setting 😉
Devyn, Big fan of the Hobie Eclipse