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In 1997, the Hobie® MirageDrive® revolutionized kayaking. With no paddle to swing, the genius pedal drive flattened the learning curve and freed the user’s hands for other things – to wave at friends, point a camera, or cast a fishing rod.

MirageDrive kayaks are efficient too, leveraging the power of the largest muscle group in the human body – the legs. Traveling upwind or up current is easy.

In spring 2016, Hobie is revolutionizing stand up paddling. Introducing the Mirage® Eclipse, the world’s first leg-powered stand up board. Hobie calls the new category of watercraft Mirage Standup. Riding the Mirage Eclipse is as easy as walking. Step on and go!

“We adapted our time tested MirageDrive to work with our industry leading stand up paddleboards,” explains Director of Engineering Jim Czarnowski.

The Mirage Eclipse brings all the advantages of a Mirage kayak to the stand up world. It’s so welcoming, there’s virtually no learning curve. Modest winds are no impediment. The Mirage Eclipse is stable and quick, with sleek handlebars that enhance balance. Intuitive fingertip rudder controls make the Mirage Eclipse incredibly nimble and easy to steer.

“We designed the Mirage Eclipse so anyone from a beginner to a more athletic expert user can all have a great experience,” Jim says.

There are two models, the Mirage Eclipse 10.5 and 12. The larger version is 12 feet long and 35 inches wide, rated for 275 pounds. The hull weighs 48 pounds. The 10.5 is 33.5 inches wide and ten and a half feet long. The capacity for the more compact model is 225 pounds. It weighs about 5 pounds less than the larger model.

Both boards are eye-catching, constructed of glossy but tough Advanced Composite Epoxy (ACX). 65 years of boardsports heritage went into the quick and stable displacement design. Both models boast sleek, water piercing bows. Square tails and flat bottoms enhance stability. Choosing between the 10.5 and 12 comes down to capacity needs as well as storage and transport considerations. The 12, with its extra length, is a bit quicker.

Riding the Mirage Eclipse is an exhilarating new experience – it glides across the water with ease and precision. The Mirage Eclipse is another world’s first for Hobie, just like the modern foam core surfboard (1958), the Hobie Cat sailboat (1968), the Mirage kayak (1997), and the hybrid Adventure Island (2006), plus many more.

“You look cool and feel cool when you’re cruising on the Mirage Eclipse,” Jim adds. But don’t just take it from him.

Erica, a yoga devotee, tried the Mirage Eclipse during an evening out with her girlfriend Alisha. “It brought out the kid in me. We raced and chased one another, laughing the entire time,” Erica says.

Alisha, an athletic trainer, savored the exercise – and the accessibility. “I could never get my mom to surf or use a paddleboard, but this is something I could get her to do and a great way for us to have a family day on the water,” she says.

Lifelong surfer Mike joined his wife Vicki for a morning outing. “I like that it’s an activity I can share with Vicki. If you put in the leg work it’s a great workout,” he said.

The Mirage Eclipse is full of thoughtful features. Like every other Hobie MirageDrive watercraft, the fins that power it fold against the board for beaching or use in shallow water. The handlebar adjusts from 36 to 43 inches in height to accommodate riders from children to tall adults. It is removable in seconds for transport and storage. The durable molded rudder kicks up in the shallows, removes in moments, and can be locked into place to use Eclipse as a traditional stand up paddleboard.

Hobie’s designers didn’t stint on comfort and convenience. A large EVA deckpad covers the expansive standing area, providing high traction cushioned footing. It extends all the way to the stern to protect the deck. There’s plenty of room for the family dog or to stash gear under the included cargo Bungee®. Additional features include a leash attachment, hull vent and stern handle.

Optional accessories include a protective board bag and a cart with light duty wheels or sand tires. A cup holder and universal phone mount are available to keep riders refreshed and ready to capture every memory.

The Hobie Mirage Eclipse 10.5 ($2499) and 12 ($2599) will be available at Hobie dealers around the world later this spring. www.hobiecat.com/stand-ups/mirage-eclipse