We are all aware of how challenging it is to find a stable pedal kayak. However, in the last couple of years, these crafts have become quite popular. Nowadays, you can find various brands that promise numerous features, so it’s tough to find the right one.
Don’t worry, with our help, you will find the best pedal kayak that will meet your demands. Our team has reviewed each model. We will provide in-depth details, about each craft and narrow down your choice.
We’ll inspect the most interesting vessels, discuss different models, and show you a comparison. Therefore, you can scan their features and make the right decision. We will also focus on frequently asked questions, clear any doubts you may have, and present you the top-10 pedal kayaks worthy of your attention.
How to choose a pedal kayak?
One of the latest innovations in kayak technology is a pedal drive system, which allows you to pedal the vessel like a bike and glide through the water. In this case, your hands are free, and you are able to do multiple activities while on the water. With a pedal kayak, you can achieve speed and efficiency, which is essential for many.
Many kayaks have this feature and when fishing you don’t always need speed unless you are heading out to remote areas on the water. But, if you sightseeing, a kayak with pedals, allows you to cross large bodies of water quicker, then with traditional paddling.
A kayak you can pedal provides hands-free control and your legs play a significant role, which gives you more control over the situation.
If you are wondering why should you buy a foot pedal kayak, we have a couple suggestions. These craft might seem a bit of strange, especially if we are accustomed to paddling. But, let’s state the obvious, the main benefit is not having to use paddles which can be a blessing or a curse.
Not having to use paddles can make movement more comfortable and natural, but can be challenging to steer efficiently. This vessel offers the ability to cover vast distances and gives comfort for your back and shoulders. You can go back and forth, which is useful for trolling, fishing in the current, and fighting larger fish.
Before you make a final purchase, consider the following:
Length – don’t buy kayak shorter than 10ft because longer vessels offer better tracking.
Width – the more expansive the kayak, the more stable it is but you will lose speed.
Weight capacity – you should select a unit with a weight capacity that is at least 250 lbs. Calculate the weight of your body and the gear you plan to carry.
Don’t buy a model that is too complicated or something you can’t handle. Another essential benefit is that kayaks retain their value, you can sell it online and get back most of the money you invested.
Last but not least, read customer reviews to see what other user experiences have been.
It is also essential to mention a couple of cons. These craft are expensive, and their price ranges from $1000 to $4000, they are also heavy, up to 80lbs, and not very shallow water friendly.
Different pedal kayak models
A traditional kayak is a watercraft set in motion with the help of paddles, which helps the paddler navigate the vessel in a specific direction. Considering conventional paddling has been around since the beginning of civilization, nothing had changed until recently, when pedal kayaks became popular. In the last decade, they have become successful, and manufacturers are competing who will produce a better kayak model.
The advancements in the industry have led to a lot of patents and pedal techniques, which can be confusing to an average customer. However, it all comes down to your preferences, and if you know how to make a good comparison, you won’t have issues. Set down your priorities before making a final purchase and compare it with the products we’ve outlined below. Let’s compare the three most popular pedal driven kayaks.
Hobie Mirage Pedal Kayaks – when it comes to kayaking, Hobie is one of the most prominent on the market. Despite numerous companies out there, Hobie is the most popular and most reliable craft. Even experienced paddlers recommend purchasing this unit.
You can select different versions of the Hobie, but in most cases, it’s followed by the Mirage which is a particular brand of pedal kayaks. The Mirage Drive technology is designed to enhance the paddling experience, and therefore many kayaks with pedal drive use it. The Mirage is different from other models because you use the feet to push pedal inwards, to move the craft.
The Native Watercraft Pedal kayak – this brand has also been around for years – since 2008, and has built an outstanding reputation among kayakers. Instead of Mirage technology, the Native brand uses a propeller method. In our opinion, it might be better than Hobie, but due to the price tag, it’s less popular, than other kayaks with pedals.
Native uses a rotational pedal for driving its kayak, similar to a bike, which ensures the craft goes forward with the inertia of pushing. It can go ahead a couple of extra seconds even when you disengage the pedals.
The Perception Pedal Kayaks – this model is slightly less popular than the previously mentioned. However, it’s still an excellent option, if you want to buy a superb pedal system. The perception system is called pilot pedal. You can quickly lift it and store it in the hull, so you don’t have to drag your vessel in shallow waters.
The propeller is quiet, and it’s constructed to limit noise, which is fantastic for fishing. Another bonus is a rudder, which you can only see with kayaks in a higher price range.
Weight and size of a pedal-powered kayak
- Weight capacity – this is the total weight of your craft, your gear, and you. Weight is an essential feature to consider, especially if you are planning a multi-day tour. If the kayak is overloaded, it will sit low in the water and affect your paddling efficiency.
- Length – longer vessels move more efficiently and offer a lot of storage space. You will have more room for your gear, especially if you are kayaking with children. A couple inches in length won’t matter much, but three feet or more will be noticeable.
- Depth – deeper hulls offer better stability and are excellent children kayaks. This is a great way to teach your kids how to kayak because you’ll be sure they are safe on the water.
- Width – this is another feature to consider because it provides better stability, and a small kid’s kayak is usually fuller than a standard one.
- Rudder – not many pedal drive kayaks have rudders, but the ones that have, show better performance in the wind.
Stability and Control
When it comes to balance, there are primary and secondary forms of stability. It is challenging to remain stable on the water while using kayak with pedals. But, if you know the fundamental laws of physics, you will have no problems.
Primary stability – it describes how much the pedal kayak tips or rocks when influenced by the paddler’s weight.
Secondary stability – it shows how readily the craft capsizes. This matters more to more experienced paddlers.
Considering the control, you will find you don’t have as much control over your foot pedal kayak, then when using a paddle. However, there is a remedy for this situation. A pedal propelled kayak usually comes equipped with a rudder, and it will guide you where you want to go.
In this case, one hand will be on the steering wheel, and you can always use the other for holding onto your rod, or drinking, while you are gliding through the water.
Pros and cons of pedal kayak
There are many advantages and disadvantages of using a pedal kayak over a traditional model. We will go over both the pros and cons, to assist you to make the best decision, that matches your needs.
Speed – legs are stronger than our arms. This strength provides us with speed, while we engage the pedals. A kayak with foot pedals is excellent for beginners who usually have problems with longs distance paddling.
Quieter – sometimes, paddles can make large splashes, which can not only get you wet but also create a lot of noise. However, when using a kayak with foot pedals, the propeller is under the water, and the sound is muted. It is perfect for fishing, and you will not experience a lot of noise and disturb the fish you are trying to catch.
For people who go on the water in search of some peace and quiet, they will love pedal powered kayak. These crafts are quieter than traditional models, which offers you a lot of opportunities to enjoy atmosphere.
Hands– free – another benefit of using a kayak with pedals is your hands remain free during the entire ride. You’ll have a chance to try a completely hands-free experience, and it’s ideal for people who want to try some activities while on water.
For instance, if you are fishing, this feature will provide additional stability while you are focusing on your rod, or casting a line, and not worry about where the paddle will go. From time to time, you will need to use the rudder, but generally speaking, you will be able to sit back and enjoy the scenery.
Less energy – traditional kayaks use arm strength to move the vessel. However, this movement involves a lot of energy and effort.If you engage your legs, you will use less energy, which is the purpose of a pedal kayak. You will be able to travel long distances without getting tired.
If you are switching from a traditional vessel, you will find similar distances don’t require a lot of effort. This is especially important for beginners and don’t have a lot of experience with kayaking.
Stay drier – instead of having wet pedals on top of your boat, propulsion happens under the water. You will stay drier than with a traditional paddling. In normal conditions, the water can’t enter the boat, and this is one of the numerous benefits of a pedal propulsion system.
Maneuverability – considering these vessels have a propeller, they require deeper water than traditional craft and maneuverability can become a problem. The rotating propeller needs to have enough clearance in the water to move forward. On the other hand, a paddle only requires a small amount of water to run the craft.
It is also more challenging to turn and stop kayak you pedal. Instead of using a paddle to stop the boat, you will have to rely on the prop or blades to slow down. Some pedal kayaks use a unique system that allows you to raise blades. But, keep your eyes open, especially If you are a beginner.
Maintenance – this largely depends on where you use the craft. If you plan to use it in salt water, you need to clean it when you are done with your outing. You can hose it off when you get home. You need to make sure all the corrosive salt water is removed from your vessel.
Salt water is challenging to remove from rudders, so if you plan to use it in salt water, choose a material that is corrosion and rust resistant. This will provide you with longevity and stability and make maintenance easier.
Tracking and turning – there is a common misconception that you will have an easier time tracking and turning the kayaks that you pedal. This is not true, it is more limited and more robust to maneuver a pedal kayak. This craft has a hand activated rudder steering system.
While this system is useful, it has proven to be less effective than the paddle counterpart. The reason for this is not apparent, but it all comes down to the size and location of the rudder.
Launching – putting your vessel into the water will be much like putting in any traditional boat. However, some rudder systems need to be lowered once you go into depth, but for most watercraft it’s the same, so this can make launching difficult.
Beaching – We recommend bringing a paddle with you if a pedal system stops working. You can use a clip to attach the paddle to the side of your kayak, you won’t even know it’s there, which facilitates any beaching experience.
Top-10 best pedal kayak reviews
Are you in search of the best pedal kayak? Are you a fan of water sports and want to move faster through the water? Have you ever considered getting a pedal kayak? Do you know how to select one? Pedal Kayaks are an extraordinary innovation in small watercraft, which allow you a hands free experience.
Pedal kayaks might be a good choice for people who have shoulder, back, or arm issues that impair paddling.However, picking the right one poses many challenges.. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of top-10 best pedal kayaks that will make this decision easier.
Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-PK14 14-foot Sit On Top Tandem Pedal Kayak – best pedal kayak in 2019
The BKC UH-PK14 is one of the most popular models on the market, and it is designed to satisfy even the most demanding customers. The Brooklyn Kayak Company offers various models, and in the last couple of years they have stepped up their game considering design and features.
Whether you want to spend some time on the water or enjoy fishing, this pedal-powered fishing kayak will meet your demands. The BKC UH-PK14 is intended for a wide range of kayakers and it’s the best pedal kayak. It is ideal for those who like kayaking, water activities, or fishing.
Key features and benefits:
- Dual pedal drive system – the twin pedal system and propellers allow you to move faster through the water.
- Rudder – the rear seat features come equipped with a rudder control system, which helps you maneuver the boat, without using a pedal.
- Weight capacity – with this model, weight capacity reaches 660 pounds, has ample space, and supports two adult paddlers.
- Perfect tracking – long and narrow body and a deep hull will keep kayak moving straight.
- Ergonomic seat design – aluminum frame and supportive pads offer ideal comfort and support during various activities.
- Durable design
- Excellent pedal system
- Not for beginners
Based on numerous customer reviews, the BKC UH-PK14 is declared to be the best pedal kayak, and a fantastic pedal powered fishing kayak.Check on Amazon
Wilderness Systems Radar 135 w/Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak
The Radar 135 is an excellent fishing kayak with pedals, which offers stability, maneuverability, and traction. The Austin Kayak company once again has managed to design a magnificent vessel ideal for a wide range of users.
This angler kayak with pedals is excellent for all who enjoy water sports or fishing. It provides comfort and stability and allows you to feel safe and protected. If you are a hunter or fisherman, this kayak is ideal for you.
Key features and benefits:
- SlideTrax system – it can be installed on both sides. This will help you mount multiple accessories, like rod holder, camera mount, and cup holder.
- AirPro Max seat – the seat is fully adjustable, it can be placed in a low, high, and recline setting.
- Watertight storage area – one placed at the bow and another in the center.
- Tri-hull S.M.A.R.T. technology – focuses on stability, maneuvering, acceleration, responsiveness, and tracking.
- Excellent price range
- The lack of side handles
- Foot peg durability not so great
- Pay attention to construction
Great kayak with pedals for fishing and hunting, and it provides perfect stability on the water.Check on Amazon
BKC UH-PK13 Pedal Drive Solo Traveler 13 Foot Kayak – best kayak for fishing with foot pedals in 2019
The BKC UH-PK13 is a kayak for fishing with foot pedals is designed to cruise. Its long, slender, and sleek design can go through any water at top speed, mainly when you use a pedal-driven propeller and pedal at the same time.
The Brooklyn Kayak Company designed this vessel for long distances and a stable ride. If you are planning to spend a lot of time on the water, this kayak is an excellent choice for you. It is ideal for fishing or sightseeing.
Key features and benefits:
- Distance travel kayak – this fishing kayak with pedals was made to move for miles and miles.
- Pedal drive system – the pedal-driven propeller system allows you to move through water faster, with our without using a paddle.
- Superb stability – it’s stable in a variety of water and weather conditions
- Adjustable seat – you can make adjustments and find the best position for your back and arms.
- Weight and size – 13 foot, hull weight 80 lbs, load capacity 550 lbs.
- Smooth ride
- Responsive pedals
- Stable in any water
- UV protection
- A bit challenging for a beginner
- Takes some time to get accustomed to pedals
The craft is excellent for fishing – therefore, the price justifies the features you are getting.Check on Amazon
Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-PK11 Pedal Drive Solo Rover – one of the best pedal fishing kayak in 2019
The BKC UH-PK11 is an excellent pedal fishing kayak that will meet all your demands. When it comes to design, it is lightweight, compact, and agile, which can help you travel long distances quickly. Considering this is one of the kayaks with pedal drive, the Brooklyn Kayak Company has done an excellent job with this vessel.
Whether you plan to spend time on the water, or go fishing, this craft will meet all your demands. It is perfect for long rides, and fishers will love this boat because it comes with a lot of accessories.
Key features and benefits:
- Pedal drive system – the BKC UH-PK11 is a unit that moves fast with or without pedals because it has a pedal-driven propeller system.
- Ergonomic seat – you can adjust the position, and set it for ideal comfort and control.
- Excellent for fishing – the unit features three flush-mounted rod holders. You can paddle the kayak, while your hands are free.
- Stability and performance – it operates flawlessly on any water and offers great balance.
- Size and weight – 10-foot, weight 60 pounds, capacity 420 lbs.
- Removable pedal drive
- Option to upgrade to a motor
- Massive cargo capacity
- Superb stability
- Installed paddle holder
- The drive system is a bit stiff
- Challenging to transport
The BKC UH-PK 13 is worthy of your time and money, especially if you spend a lot of time on the water and enjoy fishing.Check on Amazon
Native Watercraft Slayer 10 Propel Pedal Fishing Kayak – top rated kayak that you pedal
The Native Warcraft Slayer 10-foot pedal kayak is a powerful vessel that offers hours of fun on the water without tiring your arms. You will use your feet to push you through the water, while you can use your arms to fish or do some other activity.
This is the ultimate pedal kayak, and if space and weight is a significant factor for you, check out this kayak. Fisherman and those who love kayaking will love this boat.
Key features and benefits:
- Propeller pedal drive system – this is one of the essential characteristics of kayaks you pedal. The rotational pedals are in the cockpit, while the propeller is under the hull.
- Design – Its hull shape provides primary and secondary stability.
- Track system – it goes all around the boat and provides you space for endless accessories.
- Size – 10-feet long, weight 62 pounds, load capacity 400 pounds.
- Adjustable seats
- Dry storage isn’t accessible from the seating position
- Not for large peddlers
- The design of the pedal drive is a bit awkward
Even though this is a small vessel, it is designed to feel like a yacht. Fisherman and pleasure boaters can fully explore the potential of this craft.Check on Amazon
Old Town Predator PDL Pedal Fishing Kayak – high-quality pedal kayak
When it comes to the kayak industry, the Old Town Predator PDL is a newcomer to the field. It allows you to explore your fishing skills fully and the pedal drive motor is silent when needed. This pedal kayak offers impressive features, and when we compare the technology and the price, you are getting a bargain.
The Old Town Brand has been in this industry for a long time, and they know the market demands. As with previously mentioned models, this vessel is perfect for fishing and sightseeing. If fishing is your hobby, you will want to buy this kayak. It will help you catch more fish, and you will enjoy the ride.
The key features and benefits:
- The pedal drive – this kayak with pedals fulfills all the industrial standards, and the propeller drive can go both forward and backward.
- Mounting plates – the Predator is one of the most customizable kayaks out there. It doesn’t have any gear tracks, but you can easily add four spots without drilling into the hull.
- Stability – every Predator vessel makes a big difference in kayaking. It is stable on the water, and it adds volume.
- Size and weight – 36-inches wide, and it can load up to 500 lbs.
- PDL drive
- Heated seats and leader trim option
- Needs additional equipment for transport
- PDL is sometimes frustrating to use
This kayak is an eye-catching sample, with an excellent design and amazing features. It will help you feel comfortable and assist you in catching more fish.Check on Amazon
Hobie Mirage Revolution 11 Pedal Kayak – right pedal driven kayak
The Hobie Mirage Revolution 11 is a pedal-driven kayak that features a fast and stable hull, as well as below-deck storage. This kayak will utilize your entire body, and you no longer will suffer from sore arms. It is ideal for calm waters, such as lakes or bays.
The Hobie company first introduced the pedal-driven system, and they are pioneers in this technology. The Mirage Revolution 11 satisfies a wide range of customers, but it’s ideal for sightseeing, and we recommend it for those who like to spend time on the water.
Key features and benefits:
- Construction – the Hobie Revolution kayak with foot pedals is made of high-quality polyethylene materials offering stability, durability, and reliability.
- Tracking – it comes equipped with a stow rudder which allows the kayak to twist and turn quickly on the water.
- Comfort – when it comes to comfort, the vessel features great Vantage CT seating with two storage pockets.
- Weight and size – length 11’, weight 80 lbs, capacity 275 lbs.
- Great for small-to-midsize paddlers
- Well through storage features
- Compatible with Hobie sail kit
- Weight capacity is only 275 lbs
- Expensive for its size
- One color option
If you are in search of a sleek, speedy, and a low profile vessel, this kayak offers exceptional organization potential, and this can be the boat for you.Check on Amazon
RIOT Fishing Kayak with Pedal Drive 10’ft – high-quality pedal powered kayak for fishing
The new Riot’s 2019 line-up comes equipped with an impressive Drive pedal drive system. With this pedal drive fishing kayak, you can enjoy hands-free kayaking without breaking your bank account. We find the vessel comfortable in the seat, and very stable while standing. It is accessible to pedal and glide through the water.
The Riot Kayak company stands behind this brand, and they offer some impressive models. This model is ideal for recreation, fishing and hunting, and kayak fishing. Therefore, we recommend it for sightseeing and fishing.
The key benefits and features:
- Propeller model – it includes a couple features, such as ease of motion at startup speed and instant reverse.
- Durable – it is made of rotomolded polyethylene, which offers durability and excellent performance while paddling.
- Weight and size – the length of the unit is 10”, it weighs 50 lbs., and it features 470-pound capacity
- Good price
- For average use
- Propeller system
- Not for shallow water
- Not for advanced users
- Only for daily trips
If you are a beginner or a casual user, the Riot kayak pedal drive is an excellent choice for you.Check on Amazon
Native Watercraft Slayer 13 Propel Pedal Fishing Kayak – one of the best fishing kayaks with foot pedals
The Native Watercraft Slayer 13 is one of many pedal kayaks and also happens to be the best fishing kayak with foot pedals. The Native Watercraft company has done an excellent job with design and performance.
Even though the Slayer 13 is intended for fishing, it is also great for sightseeing and long distance rides. With causal pedaling, you can cover 4.2 miles per hour.
Key features and benefits:
- Pedal drive – an essential characteristic and to go forward you spin the pedals around in a circle, and to reverse, you rotate feet in opposite direction.
- It features heavy duty mechanics – compared to other pedal systems, Native is entirely enclosed with a box of anodized aluminum. For this reason, it is one of the more robust models and can go through shallow water.
- Storage – this fishing kayak with foot pedals offers excellent storage features. It is designed with rail tracks that almost cover the entire length of the vessel on both sides.
- Size and weight – length 13”, weight 89 lbs, capacity 500 lbs.
- Pedal drive system
- Slayer propellers
- Electronic console
- Outback rudder can get stuck on weeds
- The rudder may also scrape
- Not for beginners
Nothing can beat the features of this innovative kayak. The pedals and propeller give you speed and excellent performance on the water.
Hobie 2019 Mirage Sport Pedal Kayak – right pedal powered a kayak
The Hobie 2019 pedal powered kayak is compact and doesn’t skimp on comfort. The durable polyethylene will help you glide effortlessly through the water and offer stability and durability while paddling.
The Hobie Kayak company revolutionized the kayak industry. The Mirage sports version is ideal for sightseeing and fishing and fisherman will love it.
Key features and benefits
- It is powered by a mirage drive 180 – in this case, the paddle is replaced by a highly efficient MirageDrive 180, which is the original pedal drive kayak.
- Adjustable seats – You can adjust the seat-back, bottom, height, and lumbar support.
- Twist and stow rudder – like the majority of Hobie’s models, the Twist, and Stow Rudder is there when you require, but it’s gone when you don’t need it.
- Stability and performance – the tri-hull design has improved the balance of the vessel by increasing the floatation at the edges of the beam.
- Size and weight – length 12’, capacity 400 lbs
- Great price
- Ideal for windy areas
- Includes paddle and rudder
- Expensive for certain users
- Not a lot of capacity
This craft is great for average users and casual paddlers.Check on Amazon
Frequently Asked Questions About pedal kayaks
Learn more about kayaking in our Q&A section. We will focus on essential questions and provide answers to help kayaking better and get familiar with the equipment.
How To Use A Kayak With Pedals?
In the last couple of years, foot-powered kayaks have become the next big thing. But, it takes a lot of courage to leave your paddle behind and replace it with pedals – we agree, it’s not as simple as you think. First , you have to find the right craft, and it takes a bit of time and research, especially when you consider the design and mechanisms.
Looking at the history of pedal kayaks, they originated when the Hobie Kayaks first developed the Mirage Drive. But, before you decide to buy this vessel, learn how to operate it.
How does a kayak rudder work?
Kayak rudders help to steer the vessel. When considering the technical standpoint, the side where the rudder is installed, it will apply more resistance against the water, while the other part of kayak allows the water to move more freely. The side without a rudder will give an appearance of gliding faster, then the side with the rudder.
How to deploy the kayak rudder?
Kayak rudders are installed on top of the stern of the craft, and can be deployed when needed. Usually, they come with an attachment that secures the rudder on the top of the kayak because it transports the water. To start the rudder, you should release the device that keeps the rudder in an immobilized position before getting into the kayak.
A traditional kayak rudder has a pull cord in cockpit. Just tug the rope to release the rudder into the water.
Use your foot to move the craft
As you already know, a kayak moves through water using the pedals, which is an excellent feature. You can enjoy other activities, such as fishing, photography, or bird watching while gliding through the water. However, each pedal powered kayak has various steering and rudder systems requiring hands-on control for retracting the vessel in shallow water, as well as turning and reversing the craft.
At some point, you will need to use your hands to start the system or use a paddle stored on the craft. A good example is a comparison between Hobie and Native Watercraft.
The majority of kayaks use a rotational pedal or a push pedal system that engages your legs. It is similar to walking or riding a bike, with the full movement of your legs and feet. While rotating the propeller or fins with your legs, you create a continuous motion, even when pedaling stops. In this case, a small momentum is lost.
So, if you want to maintain a constant cruising speed for longer distances, it requires far less energy than a more traditional paddle-powered kayak, considering you are using an entirely different group of muscles.
What is the best foot pedal kayak?
Once we reviewed all the crafts mentioned above, we concluded the Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-PK14 is the best pedal kayak. It offers maximum performance for the price range, and this is a purchase you won’t regret.
Whether you are on the open water, lake or bay, or casting a line in search of your favorite fish, the Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-PK14 won’t disappoint you. It is designed for speed, stability, and on top of all, to make you feel comfortable while gliding through the water.
The hand-operated rudder control is placed next to the rear seat. So, whether you control it by rudder alone, or with a paddle, it’s quite responsive. When you combine pedals and a paddle, you can achieve a remarkable speed, which is one of the fantastic features this craft has to offer.