By Paul Lebowitz
The Adventure Island has grown up. Although Hobie reps are steadfast in saying details won’t be released until September 1, the new, larger version of the company’s original sailing kayak was too big to miss in the company’s Outdoor Retailer booth, where it is standing proud and tall.
The new AI is bigger, with a more rounded, bulbous bow that screams “volume.” There’s more freeboard – the sides are higher – and the mast looks a good two feet taller. The bottom of the sail is scalloped to provide more headroom. The amas are bigger too, up from nine to twelve feet long. Overall capacity has to have increased by 100 pounds.
The drop-down skeg previously found only on the AI Tandem? It’s here too. No more dagger board.
There is one more change sure to be popular: the addition of the Lowrance Ready System.
The changes will no doubt be welcomed by the increasing numbers of anglers who fish from these hybrid boats. I’d dropped by to check whether the new Vantage CT extended to the AIs (they are), and found a lot more.
This is truly a whole new AI. One more note. The Tandem Adventure Island is getting similar attention.