Unboxing The New Hobie Mirage Adventure Island Kayak

I’ve had the Hobie Mirage Adventure Island Kayak for a couple of months now and frequently get the chance to pedal, paddle, sail and motorsail the island, as well as meet a few Houston-area island guys to go out on the water with.

Since my previous Island experience was only riding in the back of a tandem trolling offshore a few times, it was nice to learn about rigging the boat myself. I picked up my Island from the ACK Houston store and requested they keep it in the box because I wanted to unbox this bad boy and put it together myself, which in my head was more than what it actually entailed. 

I put a big box with the sail mast and the kayak hull on my trailer and drove back to my home. That night I took everything out of the packages and broke out the manual separating parts into categories. It’s pretty simple: Assemble the sail and you have pretty much completed assembly short of installing the rudder pin. Anyone who has some experience kayaking or sailing should be able to handle the task, but your dealer can assemble as well.

On The Water: Pedal, Paddle and Sail

The first time I took the Island out to the Texas City Dike just to get the feel of sailing. It was an easy trip since I live just a few miles away. I knew it was deeper water so I wouldn’t have to worry about traveling across any oyster reefs or sand bars once I headed towards the channel. 

We pulled down the dike and realized quickly that the wind wasn’t going to be much help today. Although there was sub-5 mph winds, I found that just a little bit of wind moved the boat surprisingly fast once the sail filled with wind.  I was still moving faster in the Island and with zero effort in comparison to other kayaks I had been in. Of course the occasional gust was fun and helped a lot. While pedaling, the hull of the kayak carries very little drag, and I can’t say I felt the Amas put up much of a fight either. This boat was a speed demon.

The second trip out we had the wind we wanted. I took the time to build a Haka (a platform that spans the length of the Aka bars) so that I could perch out on it and stand if needed. With 15 mph winds and my first time sailing at speed, I’d reef the sail just a bit to keep from getting too wet as the water was still pretty chilly. I clocked in around 7.5 mph just playing around and learned to keep the tell-tales in line.

Motor Sailing

The third trip was roughly 10 miles in the Gulf from Galveston. The wind patterns in the morning make strict sailing difficult, so we mounted a 2.5 hp Suzuki to the Adventure Island as we wanted to see how far out the color change was and what the offshore water temps were. 

At 1/4 throttle and full sail, we were bumping 8.5 mph and ran 25 miles total using less than a gallon of fuel. I know at times we exceeded that speed, but my intent was to give a realistic cruising speed. Once the motor is running and you pull the sail out, you can hear it takes a large load off and the forward movement helps the sail in low wind scenarios.

“While pedaling, the hull of the kayak carries very little drag and I can’t say I felt the Amas put up much of a fight either.  This boat was a speed demon.”


The 2018 Adventure Island is a fast boat. It’s fun to sail and at speed is a wet ride. There’s plenty of childlike laughter heard across the water when running at speed with one Ama lifted up in the air. I found very little water inside the hull after each trip. 

I cannot wait until the water heats up this summer and we get to see how the Haka handles a full load of fish. I can honestly say that I wished I had looked into the Adventure Island a few years ago as my fishing is mostly done offshore and this boat fits my fishing style well. I would strongly suggest to check it out and if possible demo one at a Demo Days.