Well, yeah, Im not surprised you have a bit of a struggle keeping up with a tandem Hobie. They have twice the paddling power that you do, in a boat only slightly heavier than a single kayak. Same principle applies in bicycling; there arent too many single cyclists who can keep up with a tandem crewed by cyclists of physical ability equal to the single rider. And the Feelfree Move ($545; feelfreekayak.com) is a stubby little thing.
REI Necky Manitou
While I have absolutely no quibble with a design such as Hobies pedal-powered Mirage Revolution ($1,600; hobiecat.com), Im doubtful that it would offer any speed advantage over what youre using now. Likewise, the Cobra Explorer ($460; cobrakayaks.com) is a perfectly fine sit-on-top. But I wonder if youd be better served by an enclosed kayak. It certainly would be fasteryoure lower in the water, less wind drag, etc. I can imagine that heat would be a factor in your area, but some boats have big, roomy cockpits that vent well.
With that in mind, Id certainly suggest you take a look at something such as the Necky Manitou ($799; necky.com). Its a hybrid" boat, one that you sit inside of like a traditional kayak, but that has more stability and a bigger cockpit. Its easy to paddle and you dont feel as if youre wearing the thing. Theres also a storage compartment for extra gear. I really think youd find it to be easier to paddle and keep up with your friends. Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 ($775; wildernesssystems.com) is similar, as is the Dagger Blackwater 12 ($679; dagger.com).
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.