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Best Pedal Kayaks – Complete Guide for 2021

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One of the biggest innovations made about kayaks is being able to control their movement without paddles. This innovation led to the birth of kayaks with pedals called pedal kayaks which have seen several improvements over the years to improve their performance and functionality.

There are many benefits to pedal kayaking. For one, it can be fun and exciting. Pedal driven kayaks also offer increased speed and bring about a hands-free kayaking experience which is especially beneficial when kayak fishing.

While pedal kayaks are not as popular as traditional kayaks, there are still a good number of them available on the market. And there are several factors you need to put into consideration when buying one.

I’ve carried out extensive research and testing on different kayaks with pedals and have come up with a list of the best pedal kayaks available on the market. You’ll find an overview of each of the kayaks below and a buying guide to help you choose the best one for your needs and situations.

The 6 Best Pedal Kayaks for 2021

BKC PK13 Pedal Kayak

BKC PK13 13' Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak W/Rudder System and Instant Reverse, Paddle, Upright Back Support Aluminum Frame Seat, 1 Person Foot Operated Kayak (Yellow)

$1,547.00  in stock
as of May 4, 2021 3:25 pm

Produced by the reputable kayak company BKC, the PK 13 is easily one of the best kayaks on the market. The advanced pedal driven system, which is exciting to use, drives a high-efficiency propeller that allows you to go hands-free while moving fast at the same time.

The PK 13 is very stable and seaworthy. Combine this with a very spacious and waterproof storage space and this pedal kayak becomes more enticing. There’s also a dual rod holder which also makes this yak a pedal fishing kayak.

You’ll also find a paddle in the package in case you want to go the traditional way and have a go at paddling, haha. The lightweight design of this pedal kayak must also be mentioned as it makes it easy to transport and store.

The comfort of kayaks’ seats is very important and even more so for kayaks with pedals. You’ll love the ergonomic and comfortable seats of this yak that’s designed to provide you with all the comfort you’ll ever need.

Whether you are looking for a pedal kayak for exploring the waters or fishing, the PK13 got you covered.

 Specifications

  • Size:  13ft x 33.25 in / 396 x 85 cm
  • Kayak weight:  80 lbs / 36.3 kg
  • Weight capacity:  550 lbs / 250 kg
  • Number of paddlers: 1 person

Pros

  • Advanced pedal system is easy to use.
  • Waterproof storage area.
  • Suitable for fishing.
  • Comfortable seat.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Other Buying Options:

Perception Crank 10 Pedal KayakOur Top Pick

Perception Crank 10 | Sit on Top Pedal Kayak | Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | 10' | Sunset

 out of stock
as of May 4, 2021 3:25 pm

If you are looking for shorter and more compact pedal kayaks, then you should take a look at the Perception Crank which is only 10 feet. Most pedal kayaks are usually longer, having a length of about 13 feet.

The Perception Crank performs excellently on calm waters like lakes, ponds, and also on coastal waters. You’ll like the pedal drive system as it is fun, fast, and easy to use. And you can go forward and backward without having to remove the drive.

Comfort is of optimum importance in pedal kayaks and the Perception Crank has one of the most comfortable kayak seats you’ll come across. The fly front/back adjustment and breathable mesh provide added comfort and fit.

The storage space is large, capable of accommodating coolers, tackle boxes, and even fishing crates making this pedal kayak suitable for fishing. And there’s a groove and small bungee strap that secures your paddle while resting or casting.

 Specifications

  • Size:  10ft x 35 in / 304 x 89 cm
  • Kayak weight:  87 lbs / 39 kg
  • Weight capacity:  350 lbs / 159 kg
  • Number of paddlers: 1 person

Pros

  • Compact and portable.
  • The Pedaling system is easy and fun to use.
  • Large storage space.
  • Comfortable seats.
  • High-quality construction.

Cons

  • The short length of the kayak might not be the optimal choice for some people.

Wilderness Systems Radar 115 Kayak

Wilderness Systems Radar 115 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak | Premium Angler Kayak | 11' 6"

 out of stock
as of May 4, 2021 3:25 pm

Wilderness Systems is a well known name in the kayak industry and any product by them deserves attention. I took a look at the Wilderness Systems Radar pedal kayak and I was impressed by its performance.

The company claimed that the Radar features SMART technology which represents Stability, Maneuverability, Acceleration, Responsiveness, and Tracking. And I have to agree with them after my findings.

Thanks to its compatibility with Helix PD Pedal Drive and Helix MD Motor Drive (you’ll have to buy separately), it offers you the latest operational advancements that will satisfy all your electronics cravings.

Thanks to the fully adjustable and ergonomic phase 3 AirPro seating, this kayak is very comfortable. This yak is also very spacious and you’ll be able to move freely. And the large storage space means you’ll be able to store all your gear.

 Specifications

  • Size:  13ft x 34.5 in / 396 x 87 cm
  • Kayak weight:  88lbs / 39.2 kg
  • Weight capacity:  450 lbs / 204 kg
  • Number of paddlers: 1 person

Pros

  • SMART technology.
  • Compatible with Helix PD Pedal drive.
  • Fully adjustable and ergonomic AirPro 3 seating system.
  • Spacious storage space.
  • Freedom of movement.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Other Buying Options:

Hobie Mirage Outback Pedal Kayak

Hobie 2020 Mirage Outback

 out of stock
as of May 4, 2021 3:25 pm

The Hobie Mirage Revolution is a wonderful pedal fishing kayak. The pedal system is one of the best out there and makes it easy to propel this kayak. And its large size makes it easy to track and maneuver while also providing large storage space – closed hatch at the front, bungee cords at the back, and storage space below the back.

The hull design allows you to fit all your fishing gear and accessories with ease. Four molded-in rod holders make this kayak ready for fishing. You’ll also like the comfortable and sturdy seats that allow you to pedal for as long as you want.

Four ergonomic carry handles make it easy to carry/transport this yak. And I was impressed with the build quality of the Mirage Revolution which makes it very rugged and durable.

 Specifications

  • Size:  12ft 9 in x 33.25 in / 396 x 85 cm
  • Kayak weight: 103 lbs / 47 kg
  • Weight capacity:  425 lbs / 192 kg
  • Number of paddlers: 1 person

Pros

  • Easy to propel.
  • Easy to maneuver and track.
  • Large storage space.
  • Include rod holders.
  • Comfortable and ergonomic seat.
  • High build quality.

Cons

  • A bit bulky.

Other Buying Options:

Perception Pescador Pilot 12 Pedal Kayak

Perception Kayaks Pescador Pilot 12 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Pedal Drive | Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat and Tackle Storage Areas | 12' | Dapper (9351587178)

 out of stock
as of May 4, 2021 3:25 pm

Another wonderful pedal kayak from Perception, the Pescador comes with a pilot drive propeller that’s incredibly easy to use and allows you to propel this kayak with ease.

There is a removable chair that’s very comfortable and features front and back adjustments. You can adjust this chair to any position that is the most comfortable for you.

Being a sit-on-top kayak, there’s a lot of space to store your gear. Coolers and other accessories will fit into this yak with ease and this also makes it suitable for fishing.

The stability of this pedal kayak is superb and can cruise the waters for as long as you want with peace of mind. You can also rest easy about the durability of this kayak many people have been using it for a long time without any issue.

 Specifications

  • Size:  13ft x 33.8 in / 396 x 85.8 cm
  • Kayak weight:  85 lbs / 38.5 kg
  • Weight capacity:  475 lbs / 215 kg
  • Number of paddlers: 1 person

Pros

  • Pilot drive propeller is fun and easy to use.
  • Removable chair is comfortable and will provide all the support you need.
  • Very stable.
  • Large storage space.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

BKC PK14 14′ Tandem Pedal Kayak

BKC PK14 Angler 14' Tandem Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak, Propeller-Driven w/Instant Reverse Dual Pedal Drive, Rudder System, Paddles, and Upright Aluminum Frame Backrest Support Seats

$2,217.00  in stock
as of May 4, 2021 3:25 pm

Made from high-quality polyethylene, the BKC PK14 is a kayak built to last for ages. Being a pedal kayak, one will be more interested in the pedal system and I’m happy to see the BKC doesn’t disappoint on this front thanks to the dual drive pedal system.

Pedaling this kayak is easy and fun. Just like riding a bicycle, haha. The dual drive system also features a hand operated rudder for easier navigation.

There’s enough storage space for all your gear with a watertight hatch at the front for items you want to keep away from water.

BKC has been in the kayak business for years and knows a thing or two about manufacturing quality kayak seats. This is evident in the ergonomic and adjustable design of the PK14 which is comfortable and provides you with all the support you need.

The BKC PK14 is also very stable and you’ll find paddles in the package.

 Specifications

  • Size:  14ft x 34 in / 426 x 86 cm
  • Kayak weight:  95 lbs / 43 kg
  • Weight capacity:  670 lbs / 303 kg
  • Number of paddlers: 1-2 person

Pros

  • Easy to propel.
  • Comfortable seat.
  • Tandem kayaking.
  • Waterproof hatch.
  • Large storage space.
  • High load capacity.
  • Built to last.

Cons

  • No major shortcoming.

Other Buying Options:

Pedal Kayaks – The Guide 

Now that you know the best pedal kayaks in the market, I’ll now be taking you through an extensive buying guide. Here, you’ll learn all you need to know about pedal kayaks so you’ll be able to make an informed decision when buying pedal kayaks. Here we go.

Pedal Kayak Types

There are two basic designs of pedal kayaks with each design having its own pros and cons. The two types are push pedal kayaks and rotational pedal kayaks.

Push pedal kayaks have a similar mode of operation to traditional boats. This type of pedal kayaks operates by pushing your feet down on each pedal after which you’ll move your body a bit and finally use your feet to pedal.

Underwater fins are incorporated in push pedal kayaks to propel them. The main advantage of this type of pedal kayak is they are very stable and occupy minimal space but they aren’t too fast.

Rotational pedal kayaks on the other hand have a mechanism of operation resembling that of a bike and features a bicycle-style propeller system. You utilize your whole legs, feet, and ankles to drive the propeller system and drive the yak forward.

Their main advantage is that they are easier and more fun to pedal and you can pedal them for longer. They are also faster than push pedal kayaks. However, the drive system will occupy more space in the kayak.

Speed and Stability

Speed is one of the advantages that pedal kayaks have over traditional kayaks that require paddling. The muscles in our legs are generally stronger than those in our arms since they carry the entire weight of the body. So it’s a lot easier to propel pedal kayaks and their efficiency means your efforts are judiciously used to propel the yak forward. And this results in more speed.

When it comes to stability and power, pedal kayaks are superior to paddle kayaks and instill confidence in the kayaker.

Directional Control with Pedal Drive Kayaks

While pedal kayaks may be more stable than paddle kayaks, they aren’t easy to track or turn compared to paddle kayaks. Even though you will be able to generate more speed with your pedal kayak, your ability to track and turn the yak is still limited compared to using a paddle. Paddle kayaks give you more control over tracking and turning.

Transport

Pedal kayaks usually have wider hulls which make them a bit bulkier. For this reason, they are difficult to transport and store. Transporting pedal kayaks will be a lot easier for you if you have a car. You’ll still have to carry your pedal kayak to shore and this may pose a problem if you have to travel a long distance to the shore.

You can solve this problem by using a kayak cart. I’ve reviewed the best kayak carts on the market and you’ll find one for your pedal kayak there.

Using Pedal Kayaks For Fishing

Pedal kayaks are generally considered better for fishing and for good reasons. The reason for this is that your hands are free when using pedal kayaks since you are using your feet to propel the yak. And this makes it easier to fish.

The better stability of pedal kayaks means you can also stand up to fish. However, be careful when fishing while standing as you may find yourself in the water if you lose balance. Remember to always wear a PFD when going kayaking.

Why Are Pedal Kayaks So Expensive?

Pedal kayaks are more expensive than paddle kayaks and this is one of the reasons why they aren’t as popular as their counterpart. There are several reasons for the increased price of pedal kayaks. One of such reasons is the high cost of manufacturing the pedal mechanism. To replace a mirage pedal mechanism could be as high as $700. And there are paddle kayaks that cost less than $200.

The fact that pedal kayaks aren’t as popular as paddle kayaks mean there is less bulk production of pedal kayaks which would have reduced the cost of production and consequently the price of pedal kayaks.

Other accessories like adjustable and comfortable seats and features like rod holders make pedal yaks more expensive.

Final Thoughts

Pedal kayaks open you to a whole new world of kayaking. They are more expensive than their paddle counterparts but provide a different experience to what you are used to. A trial, they say, will convince you and that’s the case as far as pedal kayaks are concerned.

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