Ric Burnley
Hobie improves inflatable line and adds flagship i11s SUP.

Always innovating and setting the standard, Hobie has updated their line of inflatable kayaks and introduced a new boat, the Hobie ills inflatable kayak. Leading the line, the new kayak features burly construction and new colors that will turn heads. Continuing years of experience with inflatable kayaks and SUPs, Hobie has applied their newest technology to their inflatable line. The ills can operate under MirageDrive Power, Evolve electric motor or paddle power. They’ve modified the Vantage seat to fit the inflatable boats offering the same high-low position and ultra-comfy support. Tied downs and D-rings allow the angler to add accessories like rod holders and H-crate, or strip the boat of seat and MirageDrive and paddle it like a SUP. One of the coolest additions: the rudder control can be switched from right to left side. The boats come with rolling bag, paddle, MirageDrive and twist-and-stow rudder.

One of the most exciting additions to the Hobie line is a new rodholder that will fit any kayak. Continuing the popularity of their rod tubes, they’ve designed an adjustable rod tube that still keeps the rod and reel elevated out of the water. Now an angler can adjust the angle of the rod tube to go from traveling vertically then lower the rod for trolling or drifting. Our favorite update is a rotating rod collar that will accommodate spinning or casting rods.

hobie rodholder

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“Thank God my dad wasn’t a podiatrist,” jokes Ric about following in the footsteps of a famous outdoor writer. After graduating from Radford University and serving two years in Russia with the Peace Corps, Ric returned to Virginia Beach and started writing for The Fisherman magazine, where his dad was editor. When the kayak fishing scene exploded, Ric was among the first to get onboard. His 2007 book, The Complete Kayak Fisherman is one of the first tomes to introduce anglers to paddle fishing and hundreds of articles and seminars have brought countless anglers into the fold. When he’s not chasing every fish that swims, Ric teaches English at a school for at-risk teens.


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