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Friday, 31 January 2014 00:00

Slayer Propel VS. Outback

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Like the age-old “Chevy vs. Ford” debate, many people have asked us to compare the new Native Watercraft “Slayer Propel 13” with the Hobie “Outback”. Rather than give you my personal opinion on what kayak is better, I decided to give you a breakdown of each kayak’s features and options. This side-by-side comparison will give you some information to consider when thinking about which kayak might be better for you.

native watercraft slayer propel and hobie outback

Kayak Model Hobie Outback Native Watercraft Slayer Propel
Length 12’ 1” 13’ 2”
Width 33" 33"
Weight 88.3 lbs 101 lbs
Capacity 400 lbs 500 lbs
MSRP $1,999.00 $2,399.00
Drive Mirage Drive with Turbo fin upgrade (can be “fluttered” in shallow water) Propel Drive (drive has reverse but must be removed in shallow water)
Drive User Height Adjustment Mirage arms adjust Seat slides forward or aft
Front Hatch Covered front hatch (opens to entire hull) Open front hatch (cover available, one scupper hole, sealed to the rest of the hull)
Other Hatches Round center hatch, rear center hatch Electronics console, small round hatch behind seat
Foot Pegs/Wells Molded in foot wells None
Seating Classic kayak seat (butt on the deck) Framed First Class seat (butt raised off deck)
Standing Surface No "designed" standing platform (Round center hatch under your feet) Flat standing platform (Standing area is padded)
Rod Holders Four molded in (two forward, two aft) One flush mount rod holder (opposite side of rudder control)
Tankwell Large bungee tankwell with crate recess Large bungee tankwell with bucket  and crate recess
Rudder Stowable rudder Fixed rudder
Carry Handles T-style rope handle bow and stern, one solid and one fabric handle in center All solid foam-covered handles: bow, stern, and center
Accessory Mounting Lowrance transducer mount ready Electronics consoe and tracks on bow, cockpit, stern, and around console
Scupper Holes Four (two under seat, two tankwell) Nine (One bow hatch, six cockpit, two tankwell)
Cup Holder Two built into hull One on drive cover
Paddle Keepers Two - bungee on each side Available track-mount (not included)
Storage Tray/Accessory Small accessory pouch on deck, recesses around cockpit Plano tackle tray storage behind seat, recesses on drive cover
Sail Kit Available Yes No
Paddle Included Yes No
     

 

Some things to consider after reading the features breakdown: Hobie’s Outback has been in production since 2001, while the new Slayer Propel started production in late 2013. Do you consider the Outback’s time in service an advantage or disadvantage? Is Hobie stuck in the past with the Outback’s design?

Native’s Propel drive has been in service for five years and has had three revisions, while the Mirage drive has been around since 1997 and had numerous revisions. Do sheer time in service and multiple revisions give the Hobie Mirage drive an advantage?

The Mirage drive can be operated in shallower water then the Propel drive by fluttering the drive fins instead of fully engaging them. The Propel drive allows you to go in reverse without having to remove the unit. Which is more important to you?

When everything is said and done, nothing can really help a person make up their mind better then taking both kayaks out for a test paddle/pedal. Our best recommendation would be to rent or borrow each kayak for a day of fishing. This will allow you to decide what features you like and dislike about each boat, and whether one drive is better than the other for your style of fishing. In the end, there is no perfect boat that will suit everyone.

Read 8368 times Last modified on Friday, 31 January 2014 09:07

Mark Watanabe

Mark "YakSushi" Watanabe is the Co. Founder of YakAngler.com, "He built this site!". He considers himself a mediocre fisherman and an unexceptional writer. He's the devoted father of a ton of little sushis (Air Quotes) and everyday tech ninja.

Comments  

 
# DDOlson 2014-01-31 05:05
Great story...I do think that slayer looks hotter when compared to the outback.
 
 
# Pikecreek 2014-01-31 07:55
I would agree that it is a better looking boat.

Being slightly larger gives you a little extra room also is an advantage over the Outback.

Reverse? Without experiencing or demoing using reverse in a kayak, it isn't fair for me to comment.

Only the future will tell the tale. I did here, though the Outback is one of the oldest models for Hobie it was a top seller for them in 2013. I think the combination of price, stability, and standard features is still an attraction to a wide cross section of Kayak Anglers looking for a ready to fish, stable, and feature full kayak.
 
 
# Dregsfan 2014-01-31 08:11
We have both Native and Hobie dealers in town. I have never seen a Native propel on the water. I think there's a reason for that. The propel's biggest drawback is what happens when you hit an underwater rock or stump at speed? With the Hobie, maybe you bend a mast (remove and straighten with a hammer - cost $0) or tear a fin (cost $27 to $31). Reverse? That's what the paddle is for!
 
 
# WildCat 2014-01-31 11:55
Quoting Dregsfan:
We have both Native and Hobie dealers in town. I have never seen a Native propel on the water. I think there's a reason for that. The propel's biggest drawback is what happens when you hit an underwater rock or stump at speed? With the Hobie, maybe you bend a mast (remove and straighten with a hammer - cost $0) or tear a fin (cost $27 to $31). Reverse? That's what the paddle is for!


Where are you located?
 
 
# Steve Mcnerney 2014-01-31 08:30
Nicely done. The propel falls halfway between the Hobie Outback and the proAngler in price.. If you get a chance you should do a follow up with the PA. As I have said before all three boats have their strengths and weakness. Before anyone spends their hard earned money, try all of the boats. Take them out in the conditions that you will fish and try them out. They all look great on the showroom floor. Keep up the good work
 
 
+2 # RSmith 2014-01-31 08:34
Why can't we get an opinion? What do you guys think is the better kayak?
 
 
# SteveJ 2014-01-31 08:52
These are the two models I have been debating between. I am really intrigued by the going in reverse. I'm not really worried bout the pulling up the drive in shallow water. The one thing I wish about the slayer is it had more rod holders. I usually carry 5 rods out with me when I go so yeah. But I can alway mount a few more holders on my milk crate. So i am really thinking the slayer
 
 
# YakSushi 2014-01-31 09:16
Quoting SteveJ:
These are the two models I have been debating between. I am really intrigued by the going in reverse. I'm not really worried bout the pulling up the drive in shallow water. The one thing I wish about the slayer is it had more rod holders. I usually carry 5 rods out with me when I go so yeah. But I can alway mount a few more holders on my milk crate. So i am really thinking the slayer

Personally I prefer not having any rod holders and adding them myself. This way I can have what I want where I want.
 
 
# fishslayer 2014-01-31 09:46
I have been considering the Slayer Propel vs the Hobie Pro Angler 12.
I am looking for a Kayak that is easy to stand in and fly fish that can still be paddled in the shallows . I am afraid the Pro angler 14 is too wide to paddle and the Pro Angler 12 may be as well but no one around here has one to try. Really like the stability of the Pro Angler and if I thought the Slayer Propel was as stable to stand in I would probably buy it because of the width, anyone tried paddling both ? I currently have a Jackson Cuda.
 
 
# YakSushi 2014-01-31 10:22
Quoting fishslayer:
I have been considering the Slayer Propel vs the Hobie Pro Angler 12.
I am looking for a Kayak that is easy to stand in and fly fish that can still be paddled in the shallows . I am afraid the Pro angler 14 is too wide to paddle and the Pro Angler 12 may be as well but no one around here has one to try. Really like the stability of the Pro Angler and if I thought the Slayer Propel was as stable to stand in I would probably buy it because of the width, anyone tried paddling both ? I currently have a Jackson Cuda.


I've paddled the PA 14 and it was not something I would want to do for long. But to be honest for the most part you can get away with flutter kicking the mirage drive and get through some pretty shallow stuff. The Slayer Propel 33" wide is very stable but is not as stable as the the PA 12 36" wide or PA 14 38" wide.
 
 
# fishslayer 2014-01-31 10:39
Thanks, thats what I was afraid of, will still test drive the Slayer if it ever warms up in Missouri my local shop just got one in.
 
 
# stilakah 2014-01-31 15:06
The Outback by far, there are years and years of development in the Mirage drive it is a far superior product.
 
 
# dirtridn2010 2014-02-06 23:45
Hi Guys,
So, just out of interest, have you actually seen a Slayer or better yet paddled one? If that answer is NO, then how did you come to the decision that the Outback is far superior?
I get that you are a Hobie fan, and thats fine.
I have a Slayer propel and so far I am very impressed with its build and quality. Hope to get it in the water soon. Just a couple of things to attach..regards
 
 
# fishslayer 2014-02-08 18:05
Quoting dirtridn2010:
Hi Guys,
So, just out of interest, have you actually seen a Slayer or better yet paddled one? If that answer is NO, then how did you come to the decision that the Outback is far superior?
I get that you are a Hobie fan, and thats fine.
I have a Slayer propel and so far I am very impressed with its build and quality. Hope to get it in the water soon. Just a couple of things to attach..regards

I am very interested in your opinion when you get a chance to take it out, I am not interested in the outback at all and would love it if the Slayer would fit all of my needs , ability to paddle, stand, and peddle. The Hobie most people say you can only peddle I want to be able to do both and still have the stability to stand comfortably. The dealer by my home has always taken excellent care of my wife and I so would actually prefer to buy the slayer as he does not sell Hobie. Please let us know how how you like it when you get it out !
 
 
+1 # KayakFisher1967 2014-02-02 13:07
I've had my Outback since 2009 and I love it. I've used the "flutter" effect in shallow water up to 4" deep. "Dregsfan" is absolutely correct in that the paddle is used for reverse, but I also use my paddle for depth measuring (when I don't have my FF with me) and sideways paddling. While the PA is nice, the Outback's weight, width, price, and hull storage were big factors in my decision to get the Outback instead. Besides, the PA didn't come out until 2011. I'm sure the Slayer Propel is a fine craft. But, I use my Outback in the Narragansett Bay, so the seat's height on the Propel may be too high for some wave swells should the wind pick up. My friend Phil, has the "regular" Slayer, which looks nice, but he says it paddles like a sofa on the water - very cumbersome.
 
 
# kitkatyaker 2014-02-05 13:15
KayakFisher1967

I am from RI but currently live in Maryland. Would it be possible to meet up with you come spring on the Narragansett Bay? I am new to this site; I hope you don't mind the intrusion. My email is
 
 
-1 # fishslayer 2014-02-05 21:08
Thanks for your input guys, think I am go to buy the pro angler 12 but keep my Cuda for shallow water trips.
 
 
# GumboGirl 2014-04-20 10:51
I had the opportunity to test both the Hobie Outback and Slayer Propel. I went in with the attitude of wanting a Hobie - all the literature/vide os had me hooked. 1st impression on the water was not good. The pedal action isn't comfortable even though I tried several different adjustments. I had to work to keep the fins from hitting the boat with each kick. I guess if you don't mind the flap/flap/flap sound, it would be fine? I got in the Slayer Propel and instantly loved it. VERY stable in standing position. Being able to stop & reverse makes it the perfect boat for fishing and it's very stealth (something I couldn't accomplish w/ the Outback). The seat is 10x more comfortable that the Hobie. The Slayer comes w/ a Lifetime warranty while Hobie is only 3yrs. IF I were more interested in sailing, I might reconsider Hobie for that added benefit. But I want to be able to both fish and have leisure time on the water. Slayer Propel fits that request.
 
 
# kase 2014-05-04 23:26
To the guy worrying about dumping the slayer in the bay thats pretty funny.. I fished the slayer offshore last weekend in 2-4 swells and it handled great.. also using a paddle to reverse defeats the purpose of having a hands free yak. I use the reverse alot offshore when fighting fish so I dont get pulled around to much! I love the open layout of the slayer and the standing platform.. I own a outback as well.. which I love but the slayers open layout, high/comfy seat, and reverse has me thinking about selling my outback! Hobie need to do something with the outback seat... its terrible.. I mean the 500$ paddle yaks have better seats!
 
 
# Elkhorn 2014-05-16 19:46
Fishing around the kelp in the ocean I would go for the boat with the ability to paddle backwards which be a big advantage and add up to more time with my line in the water and actually fishing.
 
 
# paulnkc 2014-07-12 21:23
"# fishslayer 2014-01-31 09:46
I have been considering the Slayer Propel vs the Hobie Pro Angler 12.
I am looking for a Kayak that is easy to stand in and fly fish that can still be paddled in the shallows . I am afraid the Pro angler 14 is too wide to paddle and the Pro Angler 12 may be as well but no one around here has one to try. Really like the stability of the Pro Angler and if I thought the Slayer Propel was as stable to stand in I would probably buy it because of the width, anyone tried paddling both ? I currently have a Jackson Cuda."

Are you wanting to sell the Cuda?
 
 
# fishslayer 2014-07-12 22:35
Quoting paulnkc:
"# fishslayer 2014-01-31 09:46
I have been considering the Slayer Propel vs the Hobie Pro Angler 12.
I am looking for a Kayak that is easy to stand in and fly fish that can still be paddled in the shallows . I am afraid the Pro angler 14 is too wide to paddle and the Pro Angler 12 may be as well but no one around here has one to try. Really like the stability of the Pro Angler and if I thought the Slayer Propel was as stable to stand in I would probably buy it because of the width, anyone tried paddling both ? I currently have a Jackson Cuda."

Are you wanting to sell the Cuda?



Yes, make an offer I have 4 kayaks in Garage and need to make room. Send me your email if interested if thats allowed.
 

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