Wave Sport Mobius ReviewSeptember 10, 2014
- Stern release edge, continuous rocker equal speed
- Rounded edges, raised waterline keep hull forgiving
- Recliner-like outfitting
- Knuckles sometimes hit the higher knee bumps
- Foam foot bulkhead moves during transport
- Crinkly plastic wrap over the outfitting
The Wave Sport Mobius is a great all-around play kayak for park-and-play and moderate river running (Class III to easy Class IV). The boat’s short length (two inches less than the Project X) helps paddlers perform everything from spinning and throwing cutting-edge moves to old-school front and back surfing. The Mobius offers more maneuverability than many other play boats on the market, but it also retains the speed needed to catch waves and throw moves. Plus it’s very comfortable right out of the box, besting all other comers.
The Mobius is an apt name for Wave Sport’s newest play boat. While the Mobius band refers to a continuous paper strip loop made with a half twist, the company’s newest playboat since the Project X will have you looping and twisting just as easily. “We wanted to keep its play level high for our athletes, but also keep it forgiving for those just starting,” says designer Hans Nutz.
More than one tester commented on its looks, especially its cool lines. Nutz tried to maximize “aesthetics with function.” Behind the sleek look, its crisp bowlines add hull rigidity for better power transfer.
Eye candy attributes aside, the Wave Sport Mobius truly shines on the forgiveness front. The rounded bow and less grabby sidewalls deviate from the sharper edges of the Project X, while a higher overall waterline keeps it from being catchy. It also comes with a higher-volume stern, complete with a new “release” edge along its back that allows water to wash off rather than create drag. While the Mobius is two inches shorter than the Project X, it has more volume, which allows it to plane quicker and with more speed. All this makes it snappier and poppier than the Project X while retaining a forgiving nature.
A team of testers used the 57-gallon version (for medium-sized paddlers) at the height of runoff on the Yampa River, which saw 4,000 cfs careen into river-wide Charlie’s Hole for six weeks straight, drawing even ardent pros. We tested it at all levels, from getting spanked by a static tow-in rope to dodging tubers front surfing. The Wave Sport Mobius excelled at every challenge.
Testers noted that it “backsurfs super well” and “is super stable for a playboat.” This owes itself to its wide stern and raised waterline, meaning your edges don’t catch as easily, and well as its diminutive 5’9” length. The stern rarely caught on spins and surfs, yet came around quickly on blunts, backstabs and other more hard to pronounce aerials. Another common comment: “Easy to control.”
Testers also liked its forgiveness, which comes from rounded edges and sculpted side walls, as well as its surprising speed for such a short boat; this stems from a continuous rocker profile and stern release edge, which effectively keeps water from creating drag on the stern.
The problem with most kayaks this short is foot room. Nutz solves this with higher-than-normal, sculpted knee bumps, which bring your knees higher, allowing the feet to be pulled in closer. Voila! More foot room. For a 57-gallon boat, this also lets it fit a wider range of paddlers.
Inside the cockpit, the Mobius features a redesigned outfitting system that keeps you as comfortable as you are on a wave. A new footpad shape offers ergonomic positioning while maximizing its limited foot space; the ratcheted backband is easily micro-adjustable for all things lumbar; hip pads can be simply added (or subtracted, for that post-winter poundage); and the seat ratchets up to secure your hamstrings and snug your connection.
For overall “playful” river running, we tested it on nearby Class III-IV Cross Mountain Canyon, once levels returned to sometime mortals could handle. At first it felt a tad squirrelly, most likely owing itself to its short length (or fact that everyone else was in creek boats), but we were happy with our choice, able to catch every wave we wanted to on the fly. It spun, surfed, carried speed and, most importantly, stayed stable for the section’s entire seven miles.
Bottom line? Comfort, user-friendliness and high performance rolled into one paddling package.