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#11732788 - 07/20/16 12:50 PM Hits and Misses 2016 ICAST
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1865
Loc: Texas
Discussed elsewhere, the new kayaks at ICAST 2016, so the "hits" or potential ones are known to us by now via news and YouTube viewings.

I thought I'd add a bit about some things, opportunities missed.

So, Native teased about a trolling motor mount a whole year ago at ICAST 2015. It is the simplest of things to snap in the existing contacts for the Native pedal drive system. Any one of hundreds of shops could weld this thing up, yet, where is it? And, why is it an issue? Well, for one, Wilderness now has pedals and also a very expensive electric motor option. Predator came out with the Minn Kota at ICAST 2014 and it now has a manual pedal option. Feel Free now has a hybrid, and the list is much longer as we all know here.

So, if Native had come out with its promised $100 trolling motor bracket, had it sitting there rigged up with a small unit attached it at ICAST, it would have had a motor option that would likely have cost about 1/4th what the other new motored options will cost.

I just don't "get" how you miss this opportunity. I just don't get it. Sales are lost, more coming. A year has gone by.

Also discussed elsewhere, the Hobie forward and reverse drive is much better for fishing . . . though still lacking in the ease of use as with manual pedals. When we fish and hold water with pedals, it looks much more like the back and forth pedal action of a unicycle than it does a gear shifting sort of thing. So, it is closer to a solution for them anyway and it will surely help . . . but it won't be as effective as pedals. Hobie has the speed and other factors to its great advantage so I see this as a good outcome for them.

Some may like Hobie PA appearance. I think the deck, as viewed from overhead, looks fine, but gosh those two kayaks, the 12 and 14, could use some design upgrading. I said in another post they looked liked some kid formed them out of play dough. The colors, too, are limited and uninspiring, dull looking.

Hobie is the other big manufacturer that could do "more" and seems to be letting the competition move in on them.

Wilderness is the ICAST winner for me for 2016. It seems to understand the market well. Alas, how did it miss not making the manual pedals an option on the new ATAK 120. What were they thinking?


Edited by Brad R (07/20/16 12:51 PM)

#11732878 - 07/20/16 01:35 PM Re: Hits and Misses 2016 ICAST [Re: Brad R]
Rhino68W Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 11/06/14
Posts: 6690
Loc: Fort Worth, TX
If Hobie used some type of level that you could kick over with one foot to engage reverse they would have a lot more fans. It'd be hands free and quick.

I think Pesky won a little. They will attract a TON of customers with their $1,799 pedal kayak for sure.
Kayak Fishing Military Veterans

#11733421 - 07/20/16 07:39 PM Re: Hits and Misses 2016 ICAST [Re: Brad R]
Crazy4oldcars Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 1085
Loc: Silsbee (Southeast Texas)
I'm wondering how loud that shifter on the Hobie is going to be in the kayak.


"The cheese in the mousetrap is ALWAYS free"

#11733470 - 07/20/16 08:05 PM Re: Hits and Misses 2016 ICAST [Re: Brad R]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1865
Loc: Texas
Hobie has a penchant for those sorts of rubberized finger-pulls, don't they? I would think that in the next upgrade they will do just what Rhino suggests, that the engineers will figure out how to kick it back and forth with a foot.

Those penguin flappers are pretty great and since the sweeping motion is perpendicular to the vessel's direct, it means they have water to "push" against for more pulling power and speed. I wonder if the patent falls away whether anyone will even give that sort of design a go. I would suppose the Chinese will since they copy almost everything.

Not sure about any noise, just that it is more like a shifter in a car with a manual transmission and that is not how one actually uses forward and reverse in a kayak when holding water and fishing.

Still, a great improvement I think, and an admission that holding water and position is a big deal.


#11733944 - 07/21/16 07:02 AM Re: Hits and Misses 2016 ICAST [Re: Brad R]
kickingback Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 08/13/13
Posts: 898
Loc: Texas
I am sure you will have the "click" when you engage the drive but I wouldn't go barreling into a fishing spot and worry if I will make noise with them. I pull them out before I get close and paddle for more stealth.
These should help out when the tide is pushing you hard and you need to move fast.
USAF Retired and Fishing!

#11735869 - 07/22/16 12:40 AM Re: Hits and Misses 2016 ICAST [Re: Brad R]
Slingbait Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/05/09
Posts: 534
Loc: Princeton,TX
If Hobie doesn't make it foot operated, it would be nice to have it integral to the rudder control lever.

#11740947 - 07/25/16 10:41 AM Re: Hits and Misses 2016 ICAST [Re: Slingbait]
Thinwater skinner Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 04/23/09
Posts: 726
Loc: Stephenville, TX
Originally Posted By: Slingbait
If Hobie doesn't make it foot operated, it would be nice to have it integral to the rudder control lever.

That is a great idea...Then the next year they could come out with a three speed transmission too!!!

#11741568 - 07/25/16 03:54 PM Re: Hits and Misses 2016 ICAST [Re: Brad R]
PayneFish Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 06/30/08
Posts: 6744
Loc: Temple, TX
Some thoughts on your observations Brad,

Native played in the trolling motor market well before it was cool. The Ultimate had variations for it many years ago. They have also been in a huge change mode since the merger with LL and Hurricane. I expect R&D has been slowed while finances are settled out and projects assigned as capital allows. I was very surprised to see the Manta Ray Propel. Watch for something new at Outdoor Retailer.

Jackson hasn't made their real splash yet. They will own OR and all the buzz if the rumors are true. I don't know that they will be, at least not yet.

Hobie with reverse is a way to quiet some critics, update the Mirage technology and continue being a dominant world wide force. (Hobie sells kayaks across the globe, not just the US.)
Their decks and designs have changed some with the biggest mods coming in 2013-2014 to the PA. They usually run a 36 to 48 month cycle with molds before a new style of an older boat is introduced. Sometimes it's even longer. They sell plenty of them to not warrant a major design change. With an average of four molds through development, at 25K each, there would need to be a major reason to do a big mod. I don't see it yet.

My personal opinion, I think Confluence messed up introducing the Radar already. The Perception Pilot was closer to completion and simpler operation. The Wilderness Radar has some engineering still to do with that pedal retraction system. It will be fine by January but the Pilot is simple, works, is lighter than every other new pedal craft, and has the best price point. (I can see the Manta Ray and Pilot going head to head). I firmly believe with all of the kayak buzz at the media voting event, had Confluence held the Radar until OR, the Pilot would have won the Best of Show. Instead, the two boats split the vote and the eventual kayak winner was the Old Town. The new goal is not to make every kayak a pedal kayak because of the costs involved. Confluence understands that there will always be paddlers and river runners who want a nice, stable and still feature rich application. They were careful to not pedal up everything. New molds, higher costs, it's a lot and the long term strategy isn't everybody pedal. That market will flatten out in about 24 months when everyone has the option in their favorite brand name, just not every kayak will be pedals.

Speaking of the Old Town, that drive floats and is pretty fast if speed is your thing. It has a nice turning radius as well. The one hand drive assist is nice and it is made to automatically clear the prop without alignment. Nice features on a pedal boat. They have been working on that system for three years.


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