Mirage 582 Sea Kayak

By Philip Woodhouse 30 April 2014
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Enjoy the Mirage 582’s good waterline length and beam, effective directional stability and value for money.

Like many things in life there are detractors and supports of products. For me as a person who enjoys sea kayaking, I am a supporter of the Mirage 580 family of sea kayaks (which includes the new 582) as I have two of my own.

I have an 11-year-old Mirage 580 that I have trashed in surf, gauntlets, rock gardens and generally taken it into any location that I desired to be, as well taking it into situations I soon did not want to be in. So why do I like the Mirage 580 family of sea kayaks.

The kayaks suit my height and weight range (186 cm; 100 kg). The keyhole cockpit is large enough for me to float the kayak then straddle the cockpit, drop my buttocks on to the seat. I then can lean back and fold my legs up and into the cockpit. The salient feature of all Mirage sea kayaks is the in-line rudder. Flipper pedals attached to a moveable footrest fitted abeam inside the cockpit control the rudder.

The 580 series comes with either a standard rudder (i.e. its lower leading-edge drops lower than the hull) or a flush rudder. For 10 years I have been using a flush rudder on my expedition Mirage 580 and I do not notice any difference in directional control offered by the longer standard rudder fitted to my other kayak.

To me the advantage of the flush rudder comes when paddling over bombies, as it is less likely to be smash by the rocks (which I have done). Also when dragging a loaded boat ashore or trying to launch from a surf beach, the flush rudder does not plough into the sand.

The good waterline length of the 580 and 582, combined with their beams, make for a fast boat, depending upon the skills and fitness of the paddler. I have paddled my 580 on 60km legs (e.g. around Phillip Island in a day; Port Campbell to Cape Otway) in eight hours.

The length and beam of the 580/82 provide a large amount of space for stowing gear in any one of the three hatches. This large area also provides a large amount of buoyancy and makes the boats feel stable. Because of the generous buoyancy the Mirage kayaks, do react to rising sea conditions when not loaded, but when loaded, they settle down and track brilliantly.

When not loaded the in-line rudder effortlessly trims out any disturbing forces and allows the paddler to impart their energy into a forward stroke while maintaining their cadence, without the interruption of correction and bracing strokes.

For turning, it is relatively easy to edge the boat. If you have narrow hips or a small bottom, you will need to pad-out the sides of the seat to enable the transfer of positive hip movements into the hull. To edge the boat 60-90 degrees on to its side does require practice, due to the soft-turn-of-the-bilge (i.e. hull curvature) and the buoyancy that is a result of the volume that can be seen between the seat’s sides and the hull (all of which is near the area of maximum beam).

Mirage Sea Kayaks has now introduced the Mirage 582 expedition sea kayak. It is an updated version of the Mirage 580. Mirage Sea Kayaks has updated its build materials and build techniques to produce a worthy successor to the 580. Mirage Sea Kayaks describe the Mirage 582 as having an extra robust construction.

If after 11 years of trashing my Mirage 580, I wonder how much effort I must put in to trash the latest model.

What is interesting about the extra robust construction is the lightness of the kayaks, which is a result of material selection and manufacturing techniques.

My Kevlar/fiberglass Mirage 580 weighs 25 kilograms compared to a Kevlar Mirage 582, which weighs in at 22.5kg (the carbon/Innegra model weighs a paltry 19.5kg!) Technical details about the Mirage 582 and other Mirage kayaks can be found on the Mirage Sea Kayaks website. .

From my personal experience, when I am asked about my two Mirage sea kayaks I speak about their robustness, reliability, buoyancy and stability, good waterline length and beam, effective directional stability and value for money.

RRP $4495 www.miragekayaks.com