Hobie Adventure Island to WindRider Comparison

Hobie Adventure Island to WindRider Comparison

Comparing the Hobie Adventure Island to the WindRider 17

We here at WindRider are often asked how the WindRider 17 compares to other well-known boats - especially the Hobie Mirage Tandem Island. We decided to make this page to lay out the strengths of each boat and explain the specific ways in which they are similar (and in which ways they aren't) for a point of comparison for all you sailors who have experience with only one or the other.


I'd like to begin by saying that, despite the visual similarities that might lead one to assume (understandably) that these two boats are birds of the same feather, the Hobie Tandem Island and the WindRider 17 are markedly different in a few key ways. That leaves the list of similarities very short:

1. Both are rotomolded (meaning they are both very durable)

2. Both are trimarans (meaning they are both very stable)

3. Both have sails (why paddle when you can let the wind do the work for you?)

That is really where the similarities between these two boats end. The best to describe the difference is that the WindRider 17 is a sailboat and the Hobie Adventure Island is, as described on the Hobie website, "in its most elemental form...a super-fast, two-person kayak." Each boat has very distinct, unique advantages that really highlight the different experience in sailing and owning them.


Hobie Adventure Island

1. The Hobie Tandem Island is lightweight - at 190lbs fully rigged, transportation is as easy as putting it on your car and going.

2. The pedal system known as "Mirage Drive" allows a person to propel the kayak using their legs for a kick of extra movement in slow winds.

3. With the ability to paddle (with an oar), peddle (using Mirage Drive), or sail, the Hobie Mirage Tandem Island is undeniably versatile.

4. Simply remove the amas and this boat doubles as a standard kayak!

5. Price. Compared to the WindRider 17, the Hobie Mirage Tandem Island will leave a smaller dent in your wallet.

And for those visual learners among us, here's a taste of the Hobie in action:


WindRider 17

1. The WindRider 17 has a jib and main sail, allowing it to point better and have better performance even in light wind.

2. Capacity. The WindRider 17 can carry up to 6 people, while the Hobie Tandem Island is limited to 2.

3. The WindRider 17 can reach speeds of up to 20mph, about double the top speed of the Hobie.

4. The trampoline design and bow ensure that the waves break beneath you, not on you, for an overall dryer ride.

5. Usable trampolines mean more cargo space - whether you use it for passengers or gear, the ability to carry more means you can take it camping or on extended trips.

6. The motor mount option, while heretical to some, can be a godsend when a storm is coming or when the current and wind and everything else is working against you.

More on the WindRider 17 for those who prefer a visual:


                                                        WindRider 17                 Hobie Adventure Island

Dry Storage Area                                   Yes                                              No

Car Toppable                                          No                                              Yes

Top Speed                                           20knots                                      11knots

Mirage Drive                                           No                                                Yes

# of Passengers                                       6                                                   2

Sail Area                                          Upto 225sqft                                    90sqft

Be used as a Kayak                                No                                                Yes

Gas Outboard                                         Opt                                               N/A

Foot pedal steering                               Yes                                                 No

Windshield                                              Opt                                                No

Kayak                                                        No                                                 Yes

Sailboat                                                    Yes                                                No


As you can see, the Hobie Tandem Island and the WindRider 17 are two vastly different vessels. When choosing between them, the decision really comes down to how you plan to use it. Are you looking for a kayak that can sail and is more portable and versatile on the water? The Hobie might be just the thing you need. Or do you prefer sailing faster, carrying more people and gear, and keeping everyone and everything dry on your ride? Then the WindRider is the perfect boat for you. All you need to do is ask yourself: what kind of boat are you looking for?

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