Hobie's Pro Angler 14 360 is a BEAST!
Written By: Michael Ponce
Date: December 9, 2019
When I see a new kayak offering from any of the top kayak manufacturers, I usually pay attention to the details to see where the industry is heading. With Hobie's brand new Pro Angler 360 it is clear where THEY are headed... IN EVERY DIRECTION!
Though my blog intro may put a silly spin on Hobie's new PA 14 360 there is nothing silly about this behemoth fishing kayak.
On a picture perfect southern California November morning the SoCal Fish Village crew met up for Pure Watersport's monthly Fishing with Friends tournament and the owner Tim let me take Hobie's latest fishing kayak out for the day. My everyday kayak is a Hobie Outback which I absolutely love, however I have been eyeing PA's more now than ever.
First impressions of the drive itself was that it appeared bulky... sturdy but bulky. The design is a big departure from the previous drives. The drive is sleek, solid and incorporates some nice features. The latest innovations with Hobie's Mirage drive brought us back-up capabilities and impact resilience. With the 360 drive, Hobie brought us the most maneuverable pedal kayak on the market. This is not an ad paid by Hobie... this is simply me talking about a kayak that I demo'd.
The adjustments for the pedals utilize a new system that appears solid in build, however I have some concerns that these could get jammed or break especially in cold weather. Only time will tell, however their drives have never let me down. Anytime I have broken anything on my Mirage drive it was my fault.
There is an arrow built into the drive system to show you the direction that the pedals are facing. This is helpful when mounting your drive and when in the water. It is a visual reminder, one that I didn't think was important until I took the boat out.
They say it turns on a dime... well they ain't lying. It turns so well that you can go side to side or essentially in any direction when combined with the rudder steering. The 360 drive steering and the rudder steering sit on top of each other on the left side of the kayak (when facing towards the bow). This setup made for a short learning curve, however once I got the hang of things (within a matter of minutes) I was basically turning in circles like an idiot because it was fun.
The practicality for this maneuverability is essentially limitless. I was so impressed with the new pedal drive functionality. Anytime I take a Pro Angler 14 out, I am quickly reminded of how lush these things feel. It seems like there is endless room for rods, gear and that molded plastic thing-a-ma-bob that keeps beverages cold. The Hobie Pro Angler 14 360 is nothing short of the best fishing platform out there. Deck space, rail options, storage, functionality and maneuverability is what has me sold.
Though the price tag is steep, the boat is rich in options and value. I expect a lot from my fishing platform and this kayak has everything but a small footprint and speed which is OK with me because I am not slim nor quick! I have learned that I can keep up just about any kayak while out on the ocean regardless of whether I am in an Outback or Pro Angler.
I hope that you enjoyed this overview about my experience with Hobie's new Pro Angler 14 360 fishing kayak. If you live in the SoCal area, come down to Pure Watersports in Dana Point and give this kayak a try. We would recommend to call ahead to schedule a demo. Tell them Fish Village sent you.