Mobius 49 Review
by Elaine Campbell
Hole Brothers 3,000 cfs
I've been paddling the Mobius 49 since the end of April. I wasn't sure at first if I was going to like the boat because I was still having a great time paddling my ProjectX 48 and really liked mostly everything about it. After Team Trials Jeff and I headed to upstate NY to test it out at Hole Brothers which was around 3,000 cfs. At that level it's more of a wave than a hole but you can still loop and cartwheel on the surfers right shoulder. Above Hole Brothers around that level is a small green wave. I could catch it with my ProjectX but just pretty much front surf it. In the Mobius 49 I was able to catch the little green wave back surf and flat spin on it. That's when I realized that this little boat has a super fast/loose hull!
I dropped into Hole Brothers after a few minutes of surfing and just wanted to feel the boat out. I did a lot of clean spins both ways, side surfing and back surfing. The Mobius felt really easy just maneuvering around the feature. I worked on blunts next and got good air for left and right blunts. The Mobius was stable on landing blunts in a back surf. I felt like the Mobius came around a quicker than the ProjectX. I also found that the Mobius back blunts easier than the ProjectX due to the shorter stern and shape which helped to get the stern to rip through the water.
I worked on loops and cartwheels next. My loops were bigger than ever and easier to initiate. I felt way more retentive in the Mobius than I ever felt in the ProjectX. It cartwheeled and splitwheeled very nicely. The Mobius transitions from edge to edge smoothly and is very stable on it's edges. I paddle at Hole Brothers frequently and was very familiar with this level. It's not an easy level to stick tricks and tends to be flushy. I had way more success staying in the feature in the Mobius than in my ProjectX. That pretty much was my first experience in the Mobius and it was a great one!
Hole Brothers 9,000 cfs
I got to paddle the Mobius next when hole brothers was around 9,000 cfs. The river left side of hole brothers turns into a pretty sweet wave with eddy service against the concrete wall. It's a decent sized wave, not too fast and not too steep. This was a great opportunity to really find out how the Mobius performs on a wave that's not crazy epic (it's no garb or mini-bus). You have to attain a little bit and then ferry onto it. The surfers right shoulder was pretty green and flat and I could surf pretty far out on it. The Mobius carves really nice and with the fast/loose hull could clean spin pretty easy. I had great air on blunts, pan-ams, and clean blunts were awesome in this boat. It whips around so nice for blunts, I could clean blunt all day if I wanted to do. I worked on blunt/mcnasty combos and the Mobius just transitioned so easy from the blunt to the mcnasty. I was so psyched!
The only thing I found tricky with the Mobius at first was finding the sweet spot for flip turns and helixes which are two of my most favorite wave tricks to do. It took me a bunch of tries to really get the Mobius to pop and get good air on the flip turn and helix. When I figured out the sweet spot I was like "Daaaaaaaamn! This boat is the Sh*t!" The Mobius releases differently than the ProjectX but once you figure it out you'll understand what I'm saying. I also found it to be forgiving. If I caught an edge it was really easy to recover and stay on the feature.
During the Deerfield River Fest I ran the Dryway in the Mobius. This is my home run I know every little wave, splat, slot, and more. There's this one wave called "Disappointment" and if you can spin on it you are a champ. In the Mobius I was able to get blunts on it. In my ProjectX I could roundhouse it but never get enough speed and get the boat vertical enough to blunt it but the Mobius proved itself to me again. Another green wave I love to surf on the Dryway is above "Split Hair" rock. I could always front surf it in my ProjectX and back surf but it was hard to clean spin on it. I was able to clean spin effortlessly, again the fast/loose hull is what is making this possible. The Mobius ran the river great. I caught tons of eddies and ferried all over the place so I was pleased with how well it ran the river.
Another playspot I had the Mobius at was TVille in CT. It's a very small hole, flushy, and shallow but fun. I can't stand shallow spots, truthfully! When I hit the bottom I cringe and fall on my head, cursing. I've paddled there a bunch over the years and usually never will loop there since I crush the bottom. The only time I would loop is over 2.3 ft. I usually just stick to cartwheels, split, phonix, and mcnasty (not very consistently). I figured since I have the Mobius I should at least try to loop. It was around 2ft so hitting the bottom was inevitable. I experienced the same routine hitting the bottom cringing, falling on my head, and then cursing but after a few more times I stopped hitting the bottom and was able to throw loops pretty consistently without hitting the bottom. When I did the hit bottom I didn't crush it so I was able to stay in control and get the loop. I always struggled with loops here in my ProjectX. Thanks Mobius for having more volume around the bow and being 2 inches shorter than the ProjectX!
Nantahala Hole at Worlds
I was finally able to get the Mobius in a pretty good hole and get out of the prototype and into the production boat which was almost exactly the same as my prototype. Here's what I figured out in the Mobius from paddling it at Worlds and coming in 8th place out of 30 women, missing finals by 105 points.
I'm finally getting consistent at:
Huge bonus on loops
Linking loop to cartwheel or splitwheel
Linking cartwheels and splitwheels
That's pretty much what I worked on during practice and in the competition and was fairly successful with my rides. I found the Mobius is the easiest boat I've ever paddled to get phonix monkeys. I could get them occasionally in my ProjectX but not like how I'm getting them in my Mobius. It's pretty much every time I go for it in my Mobius the trick comes around. The Mobius pirouettes easy and smooth and when it comes around for the loop portion it just pops. The added volume in the bow really helps with the stability and the pop.
I was 50/50 on McNasties at Worlds so I decided to stop working on the trick and focus on the tricks that were going. When I did get a McNasty the boat came around in the back blast smooth and had good pop during the loop.
Clearly you can tell that I'm digging the Mobius 49 and am loving life in it. I feel like my paddling has improved somuch in the Mobius and am way more retentive than I've ever been. The Mobius 49 is the perfect fit for me at 5'5" 135ish, give or take a cup cake or two. I hope we get some rain soon so I can paddle my Mobius around New England.
Get to your local dealer (like Zoar Outdoor in MA) and demo a Mobius today or just friggin buy one! I can assure you that you won't be disappointed. Zoar Outdoor has free shipping on kayaks so you can order your brand new Mobius and get it delivered to your house in time to wear it as a Halloween costume.
All I have to say is Wave Sport is killing it with new designs! The Mobius is hands down an amazing freestyle boat, the Recon is destroying creeks and rivers, and the Ethos makes calm water and river running way more fun! Thank you so much Wave Sport for making my paddling experiences with these new designs so great!
Here's a couple videos of the Mobius 49.
Till next time,