A smart guide to buying a pedal kayak – Things to look for

A smart guide to buying a pedal kayak – Things to look forThere’s no doubt that pedal kayaking is a fun experience that is also adventurous at the same time. Based on what the user is looking for, pedal kayaking can often be a relaxing thing as well.

In the world of kayaks, there is a plethora of types that are meant for users with different needs. If you are thinking of buying a pedal kayak, there are more than one thing that you have to factor in. We are here to help you with shaping the best decision on which pedal kayak to buy for yourself.

What makes pedal kayaks stand out in the crowd?

If you take a look at the history of pedal kayaks, they first originated in America and were a product of the Hobie brand located in South California. Hobie Kayaks introduced the first-ever Mirage Drive which was a device powered by pedal in 1997. It was Hobie who made pedals popular among recreational and kayak paddlers. The hand-free enjoyment and the speed are the two most important factors that make pedal kayaks famous among kayak enthusiasts.

Pedal Drive Kayaks – Why should you get one?

Kayaking is one of the most popular hobbies all over the US for several reasons. As long as experiencing the water-bodies of the world are concerned, kayaks are the best options. A recent addition to the family of kayaks is the pedal-drive kayaks and they are now being used as a worthy alternative to the traditional paddle kayaks.

There are two types of pedal-drive kayaks- Push Pedals and Rotational Pedals. While the former is operated by the feet and can sometimes take a toll on your feet and legs, the latter rotates in manner of pedal mechanism and puts less stress on your legs.

Types of Pedal Kayaks

Here are the two types of pedal drive kayaks that you can choose from:

  1. Push Pedals: Just as a water pump is operated, this too is also used only by your feet. You can gain a forward momentum very easily with this. But at the same time, the rigidity, repetitiveness and motion stress may lead to health issues like cramps in feet and legs and some forms of back pain.
  2. Rotational Pedals: The style of this kayak is common to propeller pedal kayaks. The pedals rotate in a similar action as to the pedal mechanism of the bicycle. This is a rather better option as they exert lesser stress on the legs and doesn’t have any adverse impact on your health.

Features to look for in a pedal kayak

  • Size: Pedal kayaks can be as small as 8-9 feet and weight as low as 25 pounds. They can also be as long as 13 or 15 feet and weight more than 100 pounds. Hence the larger ones are tougher to store and haul.
  • Accessories: Few pedal kayaks come out-of-the-box with accessories like holders for fishing rod and fish finding transducers that make them extremely lucrative for fishermen. They are great for casual and non-fisher enthusiasts.
  • Passengers: The lightweight models are usually one-seaters that are operated by one person. Among the longer ones, you can enjoy the tandem models that can be used by two people at a time.
  • Storage: Based on the design and size, the capacity of storage can vary on a pedal-driven kayak. Those who love fishing or plan to go out for an excursion might want an expanded cargo space.
  • Stability: Stability is one of the most serious factors to consider. A proper pedal kayak has to offer stability when the user is sitting on it. Make sure you consider primary stability and secondary stability while purchasing a kayak.

Advantages of Pedal-drive Kayaks

  • These water vessels are sound-less even when they’re used at high speed. The fishes won’t get scared due to them.
  • You get a wide array of designs, options and shapes to choose from.
  • Pedal kayaks are designed with different opportunities for personalization. Customers can change them for their own preferences.
  • Users can adjust themselves into the vessel and this makes sitting comfortable irrespective of the height of the user.
  • Pedal kayaks move faster against waves and it offers both force and mobility.
  • Moving in a reverse direction is easier with pedal fishing kayaks.

Disadvantages of Pedal-drive kayaksDisadvantages of Pedal-drive kayaks

  • Pedals occupy enough space in the kayak and hence leave back less storage space.
  • They are costlier as against the conventional paddle kayaks.
  • Pedalling can often have an adverse impact on your health leading to acute back pain.
  • Pedal kayaks are not a worthy option for fishing in shallow water.
  • They’re heavier due to the weight of the rudder and pedals made of stainless steel.

So, it can be said that pedal kayaks are probably the best change that happened in the world of kayaks. Whether you’re a fishing person or you just love pedalling amidst nature, this is certainly going to boost your enjoyment.


What to look for when choosing a Pedal Kayak?

Irrespective of whether you’re buying a paddle kayak or a pedal-driven kayak, make sure you size the paddle in such a manner that it accounts for your height, the boat’s width and the style of the paddle, whether high or low. Your kayak dealer will help you with the calculations that are associated with the three aforementioned variables. If you’re choosing a pedal-driven kayak, make sure you keep in mind the three aforementioned factors.

What are the types of Pedal Kayak?

With the advancements in the industry, there have been a bunch of pedalling techniques and the most common types of pedal kayals are Hobie pedal kayaks and Native watercraft pedal kayaks. The Hobie brand has always raised eyebrows as long as pedal kayaks are concerned. Among the various versions, the Mirage is a different one that gives you a better kayaking experience. This is because of the Mirage Drive Technology. The Native Watercraft Pedal kayak has been around for quite some time and it is an edge above the Hobie brand kayaks with a slightly higher price tag.

What are the disadvantages of Pedal Kayak?

One of the main drawbacks of peddling a kayak is the extra clearance that is required under the boat. There are some pedalling anglers that kick their fins in shallow water but when fishes are in shallow water, the anglers will need to flip their fins to remove the pedal drive.