The Mirage Eclipse “pedalboard” from Hobie isn’t the newest piece of gear at Summer Outdoor Retailer this year, but hear us out: it’s definitely the most enjoyable.
We got the chance to test it at Cochiti Lake, just outside our home base of Santa Fe, New Mexico, back in May. Don’t let the StairMaster aesthetics fool you: the Mirage Eclipse can move. That’s thanks to the fins underneath the board, which flip back and forth and propel the vessel forward with each step on the pedals up top.
It admittedly takes some getting used to. I’m accustomed to having my feet planted on a paddleboard, moving them only when I’m changing direction or adjusting my weight. On the Mirage Eclipse, you’re constantly shifting weight, causing a slight rocking back and forth. And I have terrible balance to begin with. But once I got in the groove and picked up some speed, as on a bike, it was easier to keep my balance. Plus, the EVA deck pad is comfy and grippy.
Another similarity to bikes: handlebars. Since the pedal-drive system eliminates the need for a paddle—which you’d normally use to change direction on an SUP—Hobie built the steering into the handlebars. Pull either the left or the right lever (akin to brakes on a bike) to turn in the respective direction. Don’t think you’ll be banking any GS turns, though; the radius is wide.
Back to that speed. Because the Mirage Eclipse moves via leg strength rather than arm strength, you can generate more power with less energy and travel more efficiently across the water. I wasn’t calculating exact knots, but the board moved fast enough to bring a big grin to my face.
The Mirage Eclipse comes in two sizes—10.5 feet and 12 feet. Both are out now.