Updated April 30th, 2020
- Things to Look for in a Pedal Kayak
- Pedal Drive Types
- Major Brands to Watch For
- Buying Advice
- Best Pedal Kayak for Long Distance: BKC PK13 13’ Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak
- Key Features
- What We Like
- What We Don’t Like
- Best Pedal Kayak for Fishing: Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak
- Best Lightweight Pedal Kayak: Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 Pedal Fishing Kayak
- Key Features
- What We Like
- Best Pedal Kayak for Shallow Water: Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5 Foot Pedal Fishing Kayak
- Best Pedal Kayak for Offshore Fishing: Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 Kayak
- Best Budget Pedal Kayak: Perception Pescador 12
- Best Premium Pedal kayak with Mirage Drive: Hobie Mirage Outback
- Best Pedal Kayaks for Beginners: Hobie Mirage
Pedal kayaking is fun! It can be exciting or adventurous, and it can even be relaxing depending on what the buyer is looking for.
Similarly, there are different types of kayaks for different types of users. When considering buying a pedal drive kayak, there are many factors to consider. Whether to buy an expensive or inexpensive model, a new pedal kayak or a used one, one or two seats, small or large, serious enthusiast or hobbyist level, basic or outfitted for fishing, are all matters to look into when considering the best pedal kayak for you.
Things to Look for in a Pedal Kayak
The size of a kayak can vary considerably based on the intentions of the manufacturer. Pedal kayaks can be as small as eight or nine feet and weigh as little as 25 pounds, or they can be as long as 13 or 14 feet and weigh in at upwards of 100 pounds, making the larger ones more challenging to store and haul.
Many kayaks, particularly smaller and more lightweight models, are one-seaters. They are meant to be operated by one person using pedals and an oar, and it is essentially impossible for another person to ride in them. Amongst the longer ones, many tandem models can be enjoyed and operated by two people at once. However, tandem pedal kayaks are a very popular trend right now.
Some pedal kayaks come with accessories such as fishing rod holders, fish finding transducers, and tackle storage that make them attractive options for fishermen. These extras are unnecessary for the non-fisher and casual enthusiast. Fishing in a pedal kayak is growing quickly as anglers realize how much better it is than fishing in a regular kayak.
Depending on size and design, storage capacity can seriously vary on a pedal kayak. Those who plan to go on a casual jaunt may not need much cargo space except perhaps for a cooler and life jackets; those who fish or plan to go on a long excursion in the water may want more extensive cargo space.
Some seats have more padding, back support, and ergonomic design than others. It may not be necessary to have the best seating to spend an hour or two on the water. Those who want to take longer trips will require more comfortable and supportive seating, which is often found on larger and more expensive models.
For many, particularly fishermen and those going on long journeys, stability is a serious factor to consider. A good pedal kayak should always have stability when the operator is sitting, and many of the larger, more expensive models are advertised as stable in reasonably calm waters when the user is standing for activities such as fishing.
Those interested in purchasing pedal kayaks need to consider primary stability (relating to back-and-forth motion) and secondary stability (relating to how easily a boat flips or capsizes) when making a kayak purchase. The last thing anyone wants is to finish up in the water.
This may be one of the least important aspects of buying a kayak for some, but there are those who like to consider the visual aspects of the item. Many kayaks come standard in camo finishes, black, or basic primary colors such as red, blue, and yellow. Custom finishes are available, although often these are found on more pricey models.
Pedal Drive Types
There are two main types of drives for pedal-driven kayaks: push-pedal and rotational pedal. Each has its advantages and drawbacks. We break down the two different types of drives in our ultimate guide to pedal kayaks.
- Push Pedals — the action is similar to that of a hand water pump, only operated with the feet. It is a quick way to get forward momentum. However, the repetitiveness, rigidity, and stress of the motion can result in health problems, including cramps in the legs and feet, damage to muscles, and even some types of back pain.
- Rotational Pedals — this style is more common to propeller pedal kayaks. As the name suggests, the pedals rotate with an action similar to a bicycle’s pedal mechanism. Rotational pedals seem to be a better option generally as they put less stress on the legs since the emphasis is not on pushing and strength, and it takes less effort to continually supply the propulsion system with nonstop energy.
Major Brands to Watch For
- Hobie Kayaks: a well-known brand that just does everything right. If you are looking to buy a new pedal kayak, then you can’t do better than Hobie. Check out our detailed guide to Hobie pedal kayaks.
- Brooklyn Kayak – Brooklyn Kayak Company is another maker of larger, high-end kayaks for the serious enthusiast. Their 13- and 14-foot models are well known in the kayaking world for their stability of design, cargo space, and comfortable seating. Some BKC models also accommodate the fisherman, such as with multiple flush-mounted rod holders.
- Native – Native is a maker of mid-sized kayaks, in between the beginner models and the professional outfits. Native’s kayaks are known for being durable, especially stable, reasonably spacious, and somewhat useful for fishermen. They are made for those who perhaps aren’t looking to go into a high-level kayak purchase but want something that is long-lasting and very stable and allows the operator to enjoy just an hour or two or a full day on the water.
- Old Town, Ocean, and Wilderness – Systems are all trustworthy makers of small, lightweight, basic kayaks for beginners. There are many models available and those wanting something compact, simple, and inexpensive for occasional or casual use would do well to investigate the products of these companies.
As with so many large, serious purchases, shipping is free with many online stores. This may make for the best buying option, particularly if it is difficult for the buyer to take home large objects due to transportation, disability, or other issues. Many online stores also have competitive pricing on these options, making it easy to find a good price.
Buying a kayak is not a matter to be taken lightly whether the buyer is looking for something small and easily stored in the garage or a major-sized boat for adventuring and fishing. There are many options available, and it always pays off to take some time and carefully go over the options available.
Best Pedal Kayak for Long Distance: BKC PK13 13’ Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak
Pedal kayaks have a multitude of uses and are a favorite among many hobbyists. They’re much easier to use, speedy, less fatiguing, and quieter than their pedal-powered counterparts.
It’s great to have an idea of some of the best options out there before deciding on a purchase. We think the BKC PK13 13’ Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak is a great kayak.
The Brooklyn Kayak Company brand is one often associated with exceptional boating quality — they have a long history of manufacturing water-based products, geared especially to pedal-powered kayaks. They claim their PK13 13’ kayak has a number of features:
- Pedal Drive System — utilizes a rotational pedal drive system that drives a propeller beneath the kayak. No paddles are needed, and you can even have an optional trolling motor for more fishing capabilities. The propulsion system can also be removed to allow for easier transport.
- Designed for Maximum Distance and Stability — the 13-foot-long sleek, lightweight design, coupled with the efficient propulsion system, provide the ability to pedal for miles without exhaustion. It is quick and comfortable to use.
- Ergonomic Seat — lightweight, padded, and adjustable. This seat provides maximum comfort; perfect when out for long hours on the water.
- Rod Holders — flush mount rod holders make for hands-free fishing whilst paddling or trolling. The pedals come in handy for control too when holding your rods.
- Storage Areas — built-in storage hatches provide watertight storage, whilst the two front and rear surface cargo areas have bungee straps to hold down any additional items (bags and fishing boxes).
What We Like
All the features of the kayak worked perfectly. There are a number of features that stand out on the PK13 kayak.
- Exceptional Propulsion — the pedal system makes moving the kayak effortless, like riding a bike but much quieter and arguably more relaxing. It’s easy to pick up speed and maintain control without sacrificing too much energy. Compared with push paddle kayaks, it’s easy to see how easy it is to go further in the PK13.
- Great for Fishing — the ultra-quiet operation makes the PK13 great for sneaking up on fish. With rod holders and plenty of cargo space for equipment and tools (or a cooler for beers), it’s the ideal kayak for many different types of fishing.
- Comfortable Experience — the pedals have adjustable straps for your feet and the chair is adjustable in position as well as padded, making everything extremely comfortable and effortless.
What We Don’t Like
The only thing we could find a complaint with is that there isn’t easy access to the inner hull. If you want to be making additions to the kayak yourself it’ll be hard for this reason, as drilling holes to make attachments is useless if you can’t get inside to screw.
Overall, this is a great kayak and is heavily geared for those who enjoy long-distance fishing with rods or light trolling. It’s suitable out at sea or on quiet lakes — whatever your style may be. The quiet operation and effortless pedaling make for a great long-distance fishing experience.
Best Pedal Kayak for Fishing: Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak
The Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak is an exceptional pedal kayak due to its unique design. The Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak has been expertly machined to get maximum stability and performance. It also comes with all of the great angler features you would expect from a fishing kayak.
Bonafide describes the SS127 as having been designed for “Ultimate Fishability.” This kayak has a comfortable design as well with ergonomic contours specially designed to make it glide through the water with as little effort as possible.
One can expect quality from this fishing kayak and Bonafide delivers with this beautiful kayak. It does come in a grey color only which is a bit of a drawback but the two-tone grey and dark grey styling are very sharp looking.
Check out the Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak Review
The high-quality materials of this Fishing Kayak are lighter than comparable kayaks and the Bonafide SS127 weighs only 75 pounds. It is a 12’ 7” fishing kayak with a width of 33.5.”
The Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak utilizes a Hybrid Cat Hull design that has more angled contours as opposed to smooth arcs.
This fishing kayak is designed to store the most gear possible while remaining able to cut effortlessly through the water. There is no better kayak for taking on fishing trips when it comes to comfort, storage, and luxury. The Bonafide SS127 performs on every front.
The Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak is loaded with additional features for anglers including a Fat Grip bow handle with comfort insert and a Fat Grip retractable stern handle with comfort insert. There is also a YakAttack Aluminum GearTrac for attaching all your favorite fishing tackle or even a cooler or backpack.
It has a sliding under-seat Junk Drawer and a DryPod with transducer through-hull scupper.
There is also a bow hatch with Doubleheader hinges and multi-rod and paddle management points.
There is always a great amount of storage and value that one can expect from a Bonafide and the SS127 is no exception. It has a capacity of 475 pounds inside its Hybrid Cat Hull design.
There are few things that cut through the water better than a Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak. The Hybrid Cat Hull design is the most optimal for cutting through the water with the least amount of paddle power possible.
Although it is powered by paddles, it will not sap a whole lot of energy to propel this 75-pound fishing kayak through the water. It is quite easy to work up momentum and get the pedals rolling to the point where you are cruising miles in just an hour or two. Get to your favorite campground faster than ever before with the Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak.
Few other fishing kayaks on the market offer so many features. The Bonafide SS127 Fishing Kayak takes the cake and even has a side carry handles with paddle storage. It even has low profile deck fittings and a SeatRack positioning system that is proprietary to Bonafide.
Best Lightweight Pedal Kayak: Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 Pedal Fishing Kayak
The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10, generally designed for fishing on lakes, is one of the most convenient pedal kayaks on the market.
Native Watercraft is one of the top brands in its sector, and its professionalism and experience are evident in this product. The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 is a high performance, multi-purpose kayak with excellent stability.
It comes in four beautiful designs:
- Blue lagoon
- Hidden Oak
- Lizard Lick
The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 is the lightest 10’ pedal fishing kayak in the market, weighing in at only 62 pounds (without the drive unit). This very light weight means that the kayak is easily maneuvered and very practical to carry and store. It could be stored on the back of a pickup or on top of almost every car. If helpful, here is our guide on how to transport a pedal kayak.
A kayak that is light like this is also very fast; this kayak can cover 4.2 miles per hour with relaxed pedaling and go up to 5.2 miles per hour with faster pedaling! The pedal system works both forward and backward; there are no more awkward turns of the boat in the water in order to change direction.
This kayak is also very comfortable to sit in and feels rock-solid stable. It’s designed both for small and tall people; nobody will feel out of place or uncomfortable on this kayak. The seat is horizontally adjustable in order to fit everybody.
It’s possible to bungee cord the paddle to the side of the kayak in order to have it handy and to not lose it. The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 has also an open bow trunk for storage and comes with scuppers for drainage that are very useful in case of waves.
What We Like
The lightness of the Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 Pedal Kayak is one of its best features. It’s easy to transport it and it’s very fast on the water. It’s important to note that this product is also very solid and stable, and has a significant capacity (400 pounds). This means that everybody can be comfortable on this boat and that many accessories and other requirements can be brought on board during fishing excursions.
The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 is a top pedal kayak and perhaps the best lightweight kayak for solo fishers. Its lightness and speed are its best features.
Best Pedal Kayak for Shallow Water: Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5 Foot Pedal Fishing Kayak
If you are looking for a kayak that can handle shallow water, then you should look at Hobie. It is a kayak by which all others can be judged. The Hobie Passport is easy to use and great fun.
It is designed for relaxation with the features to make kayaking by pedal enjoyable and easy. With just moderate pedaling effort and a little concentration on the steering, it can go through any waterway. It has an easy-to-use steering system, and it navigates easily with fingertip control over a twist-and-stow rudder. The rudder adjusts easily with the fingertip control and even novices can get a handle on how to steer this kayak fairly quickly.
The best thing about it is that it moves easily through shallows and weeds, which allows the kayaker to reach the most remote parts of every waterway. It is “easy on the legs,” requiring only moderate effort to pedal through the most challenging aquatic environments. When faced with a shallow grassy section of a waterway, the kayak can seamlessly drift over the shallow waters without getting stuck, and it only requires a modicum of increased effort to pedal through these types of straits.
The Hobie has Mirage Drive and a suspended mesh aluminum frame seat. It also has two accessory mounting racks, which can be used for fishing poles or even as tripod mounts for camera work. It is well equipped for nearly every usage one could think of.
The Mirage Passport is also promoted as a fishing pedal kayak, so it is definitely aimed at this niche of the outdoorsman. It is also fairly lightweight at just 75 pounds, which includes the seat and pedal drive. Removing those drops 10 more pounds, and at 65 pounds, it can easily be transported onto a car roof or carried by two people. It is more cumbersome than heavy, but with proper management, it can be moved anywhere and stored on top of a car or in a truck bed with great ease.
The portability and durability of this kayak make it the easy choice, and it can also be affordably placed onto a 12-month payment plan to make it easy to pay for. One certainly will have few to no regrets after paying off this beautiful kayak, which is durable to last and if it does not, it comes with a warranty from Hobie.
The kayak at first seems a bit costly since it is well over a grand, but for all it offers, it is actually quite a bargain. It promotes such an easy and relaxing time, and it is the perfect kayak for navigating many freshwater ecosystems.
The Mirage Drive Classic is aimed at providing an easy-pedaling experience with all the tools to stay on path with a great steering system. It enables the users of it to pedal to places other small crafts cannot reach, which can be a tremendous advantage in some fishing situations.
Fish like to go places boats cannot, but the Hobie takes fish up on that challenge and provides a way to find the fishes’ nests and reel in the real monsters that hide in the shallows. What more could a kayaker ask for?
Best Pedal Kayak for Offshore Fishing: Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 Kayak
Kayaking has gained many fans in the past decade. This success can be attributed to pedal kayaks. They offer speed, stability, ample storage, maneuverability. Most importantly, pedal kayaks can be customized. They can be designed with specific features for certain activities, such as offshore fishing.
Offshore fishing isn’t an easy task; neither is selecting an ideal kayak for this activity. We’ve heard of people going more than a mile offshore for pedal kayaking from the shore, encountering waves, and having to bring large fish back to the beach.
While we don’t recommend this,when considering a kayak for offshore fishing, you need to consider factors such as the available storage, dimensions, mounting areas, among others.
- Ease of use– In offshore fishing, you’ll have to go for a long-distance before getting to the fishing spot. You’ll need a kayak that gains speed faster, and covers more ground at a time, and with less energy. Therefore, kayaks that are shorter than 13 feet may not be the best for offshore fishing. A kayak that moves faster is also ideal when you experience waves and would you love to go back to the shore as soon as you can.
- Surfing ability – As you go away from the shore, the waves tend to become stronger. It would help if you had a kayak that can punch through the waves. A narrow bow will allow you to go through the waves. Waves tend to push back the wide bowed kayaks. Your pedal kayak should also be able to surf in the waves.
- Mounting tracks – Offshore fishing requires gear such as rods, fish finders, tackle boxes. The pedal kayak you choose for offshore fishing should have mounting rails for this gear. Some people need to film themselves; others bring an extra set of GPS and electronics like i-Pads. The pedal kayak you choose should allow you to mount all of these items conveniently. When rigging a kayak, everything should be accessible, but still give you space to use your tools, get to your storage, and deal with the landing fish.
- Storage – You need to ensure that the fishing kayak has enough room. This storage involves sections to mount your rod holders, sections to store your fish, and any other items you need. The storage can be inside the kayak, or on the kayak, enhanced with bungee cords and tie-down holders to hold these items in place. You may need a section to store your live bait, as well as areas to place your tackle boxes.
- Rudder – Before checking the rudder, you should ensure that the kayak tracks well. There needs to be a balance; too much tracking ability makes the kayak less maneuverable. A rudder allows you to control the kayak when it’s windy. It needs to be placed where you can easily access it to ensure an almost hands-free fishing.
- Speed vs. Stability – You need to balance speed and stability. Kayaks that are too fast are less stable. Kayaks that are also stable are quite slow. Ensure that you have enough speed, as well as stability to move around the kayak, and even deal with big fish.
For a serious angler practicing offshore fishing, this is the ultimate pedal kayak. The following features make it the best kayak for offshore fishing;
- This pedal kayak is 14 feet long.
- Fully rigged weight – 65kg (144.5lbs).
- Adjustable Vantage ST seat.
- Rudder system – Skeg.
- Sit-on hull design.
- Width of 38 inches.
- This kayak is made out of rotomolded polyethylene.
- MirageDrive 180 with kick back turbo fins.
- Mounting tracks.
- Carrying handles – These are padded to make them more comfortable as you move the kayak.
- This kayak has six horizontal rod holders – Some people do say that vertical rod storage inconveniences paddling. Horizontal storage eliminates this problem and creates room for storing more rods.
What we liked
- Pedal Ability and Stealth – This pedal kayak is fitted with the Hobie’s MirageDrive 180 that has Glide technology. Coupled up with the turbo fins, this pedal kayak is fast and requires less energy. You can get deeper into the ocean and still have enough energy to fish. The kayak is 14 feet long; this allows you to cover more ground every time you pedal.
- Mounting tracks – This kayak has the H-Rail mounting rails for the mounting of accessories and mounting rod holders. The H-Rail system also has areas to place your beverages.
- Stern – The stern hatches have been designed to allow you to access all your gear from your sitting position.
- Rudder – This pedal kayak has a tracking skeg to allow you to control it through rough waters. This skeg comes with primary and secondary steering handles, placed conveniently.
- Storage – This kayak has ample space to store all the gear related to offshore fishing. There’s an 8 inch rear cargo area, in-built rod holders, and twist-n-seal hatches. The 14 feet length and 38-inch width make the kayak quite spacious to carry much gear horizontally.
- Stability – This pedal kayak is highly stable, allowing you to stand as you cast. The floor mats are also padded to make it easier for you to move around the deck without sliding.
In 2019, Hobie launched the 2020 Pro Angler 14 that now has the MirageDrive 360 pedal system, and kick-up fins. These make this new model very powerful, maneuverable, and easy to control. Offshore fishing has never been better with this kayak. It also comes with a retractable transducer shield. Tackle boxes are quite crucial for offshore fishing. The Mirage Pro Angler 14 has two medium-sized tackle boxes and a storage area below them. It also has an inbuilt transducer mount where you can mount your fish-finders and make your fishing more successful.
What we didn’t like
There comes a time where you may need to paddle the kayak. This may be through the waves as you leave the shore. It’s a bit difficult to paddle this kayak since it’s quite wide. We also think that this pedal kayak could use more space, especially for those who need it for offshore fishing. It’s also quite heavy for some people, but not too heavy for those accustom to carrying heavy weight.
The MirageDrive 180 and 360 offer high speed and quiet propulsion. It is easy to pedal for a long distance without getting tired. The kayak is quite long, covering more ground as you go offshore. The 14 feet length and 38-inch width are quite spacious, offering greater space for storage. The H-Rail mounting tracks are useful for mounting any electronic or rod holder. The length also allows you to store up to 6 rods horizontally. This kayak may be considered heavy, but this weight accounts for the high stability it has. You can easily stand as you cast, and the floor has anti-slides to make sure you don’t fall. The skeg and double steering feature make this kayak easy to maneuver even in strong wind. Overall, we believe that this is one of the best offshore fishing kayaks. It meets all the criteria and exceeds our expectations in performance and durability.
Best Budget Pedal Kayak: Perception Pescador 12
Pedal kayaks are some of the best types of boats one can ever have. They seem small, but they offer a great experience. Whether you use it for fishing, exercising, sports, or just for leisure, there’s always a kayak to suit your needs. However, pedal kayaks are quite expensive when compared to their paddle counterparts. Recently, there have been pedal kayaks that cost less than $1000, but their performance may not be the best for your activity. The main factors you should consider when purchasing a kayak include;
- Where to paddle. Lakes, rivers, and oceans have different ways to maneuver with a kayak. For instance, very long kayaks may have trouble sailing in narrow river channels.
- Design of the kayak. Various designs suit different use cases. For instance, one kayak may have an open deck with bungee cords, while another may convert this spacious deck into a sealed storage hatch.
- Weight – Consider the weight of the drive system, the weight of the hull. And, the weight of the kayak after rigging for the specific activities. You should also check the maximum capacity the kayak can handle.
- Cost of buying and maintaining the kayak.
- The activity you need the kayak for. It could be offshore or inshore fishing, exercise, and leisure.
To ensure that you get a kayak within your budget, you can consider the following factors.
- Go basic – Advanced features and extra accessories make the pedal kayaks more expensive. You don’t need to go for advanced features if you don’t need them. You don’t need to get a speedy kayak if your activities don’t involve racing.
- Weight – The pedal drive system contributes to the extra weight of these kayaks. Also, they are made of materials such as polyethlene. These materials can withstand the torque and the weight of the angler. These materials are relatively heavy too. If you’re on a low budget, don’t go for a very heavy kayak since you’ll have to get a trailer.
- Brand of the kayak – You need to understand the manufacturer, and the target customers the specific kayak was made for. This will help you determine if it’s best suited for your kayaking activities.
- Customer reviews – Listen to what other customers are saying about the kayak before buying it. You can also check out this site for reviews. We take the hard work off your shoulders and test the kayaks to come up with genuine reviews.
- Always buy the necessary gear – Items like life jackets, shields, or even paddles should not be avoided for the sake of minimizing the costs. You’ll incur more unnecessary expenses in the future.
- Maintenance – Besides the initial buying cost, you also need to consider the maintenance costs. For instance, salty water damages the kayaks. Instead of having to replace the kayaks, you can go for a corrosive-free kayak. Slightly expensive at first, but it will save you much trouble in the future.
Buying tip – Buy the best item that your budget can buy. Don’t go too low. Buy the best item, at a price range that you can manage. Below we have reviewed some of the best budget kayaks.
The Perception Pescador Pro 12 offers excellent stability and superb performance.. You can stand as you cast on this kayak, and the width of the kayak is wide enough to allow the storage of accessories. This kayak is powered by the Pilot Drive Propeller System. This system requires less energy, enables you to move in reverse quickly, and makes it possible to pedal hands-free.
What we like
- This kayak is quite light, and it also allows you to remove and reinstall the pedal drive system easily. This lightweight also enable you to carry it around and transport it on top of your car.
- Rudder system that you can conveniently control with one hand.
- It has a comfortable and adjustable captain’s chair. It is famous for the breathable mesh that allows airflow.
- The front and the back are open, allowing you to bring as much cargo as you can. You can place tackle boxes, coolers, or any other gear that you’d like to bring with you. You can hold down these items using the bungee cords.
- They’ve utilized the space available the kayak by even creating storage spaces under the seat.
- There are several mounting tracks to mount your accessories.
- Four built-in rod holders to hold different rods for different types of fishing.
- This kayak also has cup holders that can help to hold your beverages.
- The polyethylene hull makes this kayak resilient and sturdy.
We love that you can get all the essential features on this kayak. These include comfort, stability, maneuverability, and durability.
What we don’t like
The rear storage is quite hard to access when seated. The rod holders aren’t stable, too, making it hard to pedal hands-free. The bungee cords and the seat straps become loose with time, and you may have to replace them. The mounting tracks also need to be enhanced; they do disengage sometimes.
Where can this kayak be used?
This kayak is ideal in slow rivers, calm waters like in lakes and ponds, oceans when the waves aren’t so aggressive.
Who can use this kayak?
This kayak is perfect for fishing and leisure. It is straightforward to use and very safe, the elderly and people with some ailments can use it too.
We advise you to buy the best item that your budget can allow, and this kayak is perfect for people on a low budget. It has all the essential features; comfort, safety, storage, maneuverability, stability, and it’s easy to use. It’s also made for a variety of uses. You may need to advance I future, but this is a perfect pedal kayak to start with.
Other affordable kayaks to consider include:
You could never go wrong with Hobie’s Kayaks, which is why it appears again on this list. You can relax or stretch your legs as you cast, it’s an all in one kayak. You can rest assured that you will receive the value for your money. Ike other Hobie’s kayaks, this kayak is powered by the MirageDrive system. The Mirage Passport 12 also has ample space to store your cargo. It also has the twist-n-seal waterproof seal and a built-in transducer mount. It comes with 2 rod holders, a towable rudder system, and mounting tracks for accessories.
The fun and convenience that pedal kayaks offer are worth the sacrifice. Since most of them could be quite costly, there are some options you can get at a favorable price. A good example is the Perception Pescador Pro 12. It offers stealth, excellent performance, storage, and stability. Anyone can use it, from teenagers to the elderly, and those ailing. It’s also built to serve purposes such as fishing and relaxation. Don’t miss out on the fun; this could be a great way to explore the aquatic environment without breaking the bank.
Best Premium Pedal Kayak with propeller: Native Watercraft
After being an angler for some time, you may grow out of the basic pedal kayaks. You may think of getting one of those kayaks with advanced features and a slightly higher price. If you’re at this level, you most probably know a lot about kayaks by now. Nevertheless, we feel obliged to update you on the best kayaks across all levels. Some of the advanced features you might find in a kayak include;
- Double steering system- they may have steering rods on both sides of the kayak. This allows you to switch hands as you control the kayak
- Through hull transducer mounts to mount your fish finder. Also, they may have a retractable transducer shield to protect the transducer from impact.
- Speed – Some kayaks are really fast.
- Advanced Tank well
However, not all premium kayaks are worth the money, so you need to be careful. Below is one of the best premium pedal kayaks that we’ve come across; Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10.
Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10
Native Watercraft was the second company to break into pedal kayaks. After Hobie’s mirage success, Native Watercraft craft introduced their propeller drive system which was faster and easier to use. They aimed at making high performance kayaks that you would still enjoy as you use them. The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 is one of the products of this innovation.
The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 is powered by a rotational pedal drive system. This allows you to sail hands free as you fish, film, take photographs, and even read. Native Watercraft kayaks are known for being light making them easy to transport. You can just tie it on your car, or at the back of your truck. Their lightweight, as well as, their glide shape makes these kayaks some of the fastest in the market. From the looks of it, this is a kayak that has been designed for fishing.
- Unlike Hobie’s push pedal system; this kayak has the rotational pedal system. You pedal like in a bicycle, and the propeller under the kayak rotates. This pedal system has its perks. It is fast, less stiff, and easy to move in reverse. When you stop pedaling, it will keep the kayak in motion for some distance before stopping. In the mirage drive, when you stop pedaling, the kayak stops instantly. This pedal system also exhibits higher maneuverability compared to other pedal drive systems. To move in reverse, you just pedal in the opposite direction. This makes it ideal for beginners and experienced anglers alike.
- This kayak comes in a tunnel, pontoon shaped hull design. This offers great stability and maneuverability regardless of the water conditions. When compared to other kayaks of its price range (more than $2000 on Amazon), this kayak is quite short (10 feet). However, the great stability can be attributed to its wide width. You can even stand as you cast, giving you a better chance in catching bigger fish. Don’t worry about standing; the deck is padded to prevent you from sliding.
- The deck is made comfortable by reducing the clutter, and having the adjustable armchair.
- The kayak has several groove tracks to mount your accessories, as well as a transducer mount for fish finders.
- To improve its surfing ability, tracking and speed, this kayak features a sharp bow.
- This kayak also has enough storage. A 5 inch storage hatch, accessory tray, cup holders and 2 flush mount rod holders. The bow also has a hatch with bungee cords. You can store some of your cargo here.
- A drain plug to drain water from the kayak.
- The kayak comes with fishing gear such as a paddle, anchor trolley, side winder, and paddle leash, among others.
What we didn’t like
- The kayak is light but the extra fishing gear makes it heavier. If you’re not getting the kayak for fishing, you don’t have to worry about t since you can forego the fishing gear.
- The propeller drive system is an advanced feature but it’s not ideal for shallow water bodies. Logs and kelps may destroy the propeller. The weeds may also get stuck within the propeller. Not forgetting that the propeller may not be environmental friendly since it destroys the lilies. To avoid such as scenarios, it would be better to get the mirage drive kayaks by Hobie, especially those with kick back fins.
- Rigging the kayak for fishing is quite complicated and takes time. If you’re always in a hurry, this may be disappointing you.
This kayak is ideal for people who are looking for a better experience. It’s not the basic kayak; it has advanced features such as speed, great stability, advanced fishing gear, advanced storage and maneuverability. You might find that the gear can be overwhelming for the 10 feet kayak. If this is the case, you can opt for the Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 12 or 13. They are more spacious. But we think this is the best luxurious kayak you can have.
Best Premium Pedal kayak with Mirage Drive: Hobie Mirage Outback
Hobie creates kayaks for anglers across all levels, from beginners to the most experienced. Now the Mirage Outback is luxurious. For starters, it is one of the most expensive kayaks onn this list. This is a kayak that you need to be sure of what you want before purchasing it. It also highly rated on Amazon. It exhibits the following features;
- Kick up fins – This kayak is laced with the mirage drive 180 as well as kick back fins. When these fins come across obstacles, they retract, allowing you to maneuver in shallow waters.
- Open deck that allows you to stand as you cast. This spacious deck is also spacious to allow storage for your gear.
- This kayak features the adjustable Vantage CT seat. This seat is highly raised for comfort and to prevent you from getting wet.
- 4 rod holders.
- This kayak is stealthy, quiet, and highly versatile.
- It has dual steering rods and the new Hobie’s kick-up rudder. This protects the rudder during impact.
- It has a retractable transducer shield.
- Storage hatch in the bow making the items stored easily accessible. There’s also wide storage in the rear to store your cargo.
- Eva Deck pads to prevent sliding as you stand o the deck.
- H-Track mounts for mounting the accessories.
There are pedal kayaks for people from all walks of life. There are those with basic features for normal kayaking, and there are advanced for the experienced anglers. When looking for a luxurious pedal kayak, check the features it has in comparison to other kayaks, you should also consider the cost. The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 has advanced features like excellent sped, great stability, fishing gear, lightweight, and a wide deck for storage. The Hobie’s cutback is also quite expensive, but it features the kick-back rudder, kickback fins, and dual steering system.
Best Pedal Kayaks for Beginners: Hobie Mirage
Pedal kayaks changed the kayaking world by offering extra speed, extra storage, additional functionalities, and opening up to more users than before. Nowadays, there’s a kayak for almost any water activity there is. Whether it’s for fishing, recreation, or sports, there’s a kayak that’s specifically designed for the event. Pedal kayaks are also very easy to use; you just get them into the water and start pedaling. Even beginners can get into kayaking quite quickly. But is pedaling a kayak that easy? This article describes how to effectively pedal a kayak, as well as some models that are ideal for beginners.
Types of Pedal Kayaks
There are two types of pedal kayaks. The push pedals, and the rotational pedals.
- Push pedals – This involves pushing the pedals up and down, like in a hand water pump. Pushing these pedals cause the fins underneath the kayak to move sideways, propelling the kayak forward. It was first introduced by Hobie, in their MirageDrive. If you need to reverse, you may have to remove the drive system and change the direction it’s facing. However, advanced models, such as the MirageDrive 180, it’s possible to quickly reverse with the push pedals.
- Rotational pedals – This is the type of pedals that mimic the bicycle. It comprises of pedals like those of a bike. As you pedal/cycle, you rotate the propeller under the kayak. These types of pedals make it easy to move in reverse since you can just pedal in a different direction.
Based on these two principles, there are three main types of pedals you’ll find in the market today.
- Mirage – This pedal system uses the push pedals and fins. Manly found in Hobie pedal kayaks and Pelican pedal kayaks.
- Propel – This is the rotational pedal. Mainly found in Native Watercraft kayaks. They were the first to introduce rotational pedals.
- Perceptive – This is a rotational pedal, but it allows you to remove it in shallow areas.
How to pedal a Kayak
- You should get into your kayak at a narrow section then pedal slowly until you’re into deeper waters. Some pedal kayaks come with a paddle. You can use it to sail from the shallow parts and start pedaling in deeper waters.
- Pedaling a kayak is quite similar to pedaling a bike. The only difference is the position you’re in when pedaling. Unlike the bike where you’re seated upright, in a kayak, you’re in a recumbent or l-shaped position.
- Our hands aren’t always free. You need to use your hand to control the rudder from time to time. The rudder helps maintain the tracking of the kayak when it gets windy. Some kayaks have the steering handle on both sides. But most of them have the rudder control on one side of the kayak.
- Sitting position – You need to maintain your balance by observing the kayak’s dimension. You should also be aware of the maximum weight the kayak can handle. Rest your lower back close to the back of the seat and place your feet firmly on the pedals. Relax your shoulders and ensure your knees are firm.
- Practice – If you’ve never used a kayak before, you can test the sitting position and pedal at shallow waters before getting deep into the water.
- Avoid – Avoid sitting positions that could strain your muscles, poor sitting posture, and rocking from side to side. Ensure that you have enough leg power to pedal a particular kayak.
Pedaling a kayak is as simple as pedaling a bicycle. Anyone can do it. Some pedal kayaks may be designed for more aggressive anglers. However, below are some kayaks you can try out as a beginner;
Hobie Mirage Passport Pedal Kayak
You could never go wrong with Hobie’s pedal kayaks. They make a wide range of kayaks for a wide range of users, from beginners to the more experienced. The Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5′ pedal kayak is made with a beginner in mind. It’s easy to use and affordable. It exhibits the following features;
- Breathable aluminum seat – The seat is made to keep you in the right position as you pedal. It is also adjustable to allow you to maintain the balance of the kayak in relation to your weight.
- Classic Mirage Drive – As mentioned earlier, Hobie is responsible for the mirage drive. It is easy to use and doesn’t require much energy. You can adjust the arms of the pedal cranks to suit different sizes of people.
- Mounting tracks – Every kayaking activity has some accessories you can use. You may need to carry a camera or a smartphone to film your first kayak trip. The mounting tracks allow you to mount your camera, smartphone, rod holders, or any other accessories.
- Storage hatches – This kayak comes with ample storage to store your gear. Unlike other kayaks that may have open storage, these storage hatches have a twist-n-seal which prevents water from reaching your items.
- Rudder – The Hobie Mirage 10.5 Passport has a rudder and a steering rod close to your seat. The rudder is retractable, and you can deploy it manually.
- Open storage – Not all cargo can fit in the storage hatches. That is why this kayak has open storage on the deck, and bungee cords to hold these items in place. You can bring a cooler with you as you fish.
- Paddle – I did mention that you may need to paddle at some point. This kayak comes with a paddle that you could use to launch yourself into the water, or to maneuver in shallow waters. Better yet, this paddle doesn’t occupy space on the kayak since it can be stored on the sides of the kayak.
What makes it ideal for a beginner?
- For starters, if you’re shifting from paddle kayaks, this kayak comes with an extra paddle. This allows you to switch from peddling to paddling until you get used to using the pedal system.
- The kayak exhibits excellent performance, while it’s still easy to use. The steering system is also straightforward to use and sensitive to your movement. In a few weeks, you’re be peddling like a pro. It’s so beginner-friendly that you can even get one for your kids.
- This kayak is light and resilient too. As a beginner, the last thing you’d want is a kayak that keeps fracturing or getting dents. You also wouldn’t like a kayak that’s too heavy to carry around. The removable drive system and the seat allow you to transport it to the water body with no hassle.
- The storage hatch can carry many items, and the seal prevents these items from getting wet.
Most kayaks have advanced features and are quite expensive. However, as a beginner, you only need the basic functions of a kayak. These are speed, stability, comfort, storage, resilience, and is easy to use. The Mirage Passport 10.5 brings you these basic features at an affordable price. This kayak can also be used by all members of the family, from kids to the elderly. As you advance, you can buy extra accessories for the various kayaking activities you’re involved in. You can also consider purchasing one of Hobie’s advanced kayaks.
Other companies that offer kayaks for beginners include;
- Native Watercraft
- Pelican International