Are pedal kayaks worth it?

Yes, pedal kayaks are worth it as they are the most significant and cool change to kayaks since their invention. If you are a fisherman and are used to kayaking in oceans, rivers, and lakes then pedal models are the best choice for you. Pedal kayaks help people access waters that cannot be accessed by traditional boats, and they are fast.

Kayaking is a water-based hobby popular all over the world amongst fishermen, whitewater riders, racers, campers, and coastal explorers. Kayaking for them is the best option to experience the many water bodies they are accustomed to.

As kayaks became more and more popular, kayak technology also became more advanced with time. The first pedal-powered device known as the Mirage Drive was introduced in 1997 in California. It became increasingly popular with all water sports enthusiasts and replaced the simpler “paddle” kayaks.


Pedal kayaks operate using the foot propulsion technique. Our legs are used to carrying large amounts of weights and running long distances. Therefore, they prove to be much more powerful than our arms because of big muscles. Propulsion that uses the muscles in legs and feet provides a greater thrust to the kayak resulting in greater speed. This makes pedal kayaks a much better option as compared to paddle kayaks. They require more effort as they need to be rowed, and are slower as well.

Suitable for anglers

Kayaks are commonly used by people for fishing. Paddle kayaks are usually very slow. This makes finding the right fishing spot a very difficult task. However, pedal kayaks provide more speed thanks to their propulsion technology. This lets fishermen reach the fish faster and as a result, saves their time as well as money. The hands-free feature of pedal kayaks allows anglers to move the boat around as they fish.


Pedal kayaks are much easier to control as compared to paddle kayaks. In pedaling, a person can pedal harder, faster, and much longer without putting in the effort that they would put while paddling with their arms and hands. Pedaling leaves your hands free for other tasks. Pedal crafts have rudder and steering systems that need to be controlled by the hands.

These systems are used to turn the craft, reverse it, and to retract the under-mounted fins in shallow areas. So there are times that call for the use of hands to engage the system and this is made possible thanks to pedal-powered kayaks. Moreover, learning the technique of paddling takes time and hard work. A pedal drive is the best choice for beginners in kayaking as it is very easy to control a pedaling kayak as compared to a paddle kayak.

Not energy-intensive

Pedal kayaks help cover great distances while using very little energy. The more momentum you create the farther the kayak will glide on water meaning that your legs will have to do lesser work as the momentum produced provides the thrust to the kayak. This factor proves to be a big advantage for racers. It makes them easier to use and relaxing as well.

No Splashes of water

Whilst paddling, there is a risk of getting wet by big splashes of water because of oars. This can also damage equipment like a camera and cellular phones. But in pedal kayaks, the propulsion mechanism is located under the kayak. This makes pedal kayaks stealthier and quieter than paddle versions. If you are fishing, the last thing you want is to disturb the fish by the slightest movement of water and scare them away by noisy electric motors.

Comfortable seating

Pedal kayaks feature seats with superior back support. The seat heights can be adjusted. A moveable seat location allows kayakers to adjust seating arrangements to suit a wide range of activities according to their liking.

Whether a kayak is being used for fishing or for enjoying nature, pedal kayaks increase the level of enjoyment and make for a comfortable and relaxing ride.

The best kayak pedals are made by 11 brands listed below. They each are high quality with slight differences like design and cost.

The hardest part of buying a pedal kayak that will be perfect for you is researching the many brands that make pedal kayaks and finding the right one. After finding the right place to get your pedal kayak the only thing you need to do is find the kayak that suits your needs the best. You need to know what purpose you are buying the kayak for.

What type of pedal kayak you want and what features you are looking for in it. This article makes the difficult job of

finding the right place to get a pedal kayak easier for you by telling who makes the best pedal kayaks.

Vibe kayaks

If you want to enjoy summertime, get wet, and have fun while being in your favorite pedal kayak and also getting the perfect kayaking experience then Vibe kayak is the right choice for you. They make perfect pedal kayaks and offer features that greatly increase their efficiency.

Austin Kayak

Founded over 20 years ago in Central Texas, Austin Kayak specializes in paddle sports and outdoor adventures. They have a big online presence and over 300 kayaks to choose from and almost 3500 kayaking accessories.

Colorado Kayak

They are one of the top retailers of paddle sports in the online world. They are found in Steamboat Springs, Colorado where they have a retail store. You can visit it to see and touch all the pretty pedal kayaks and other paddle sports gear yourself. They have a warehouse which they use to ship online orders from.

Wilderness Systems

The ideal place to get the best pedal kayak, Wilderness Systems was founded in 1986 and make some of the best kayaks. The proof of it is that they even won awards for it. They have set the perfect standard for the most ideal kayak.

Lifetime Kayaks

Based in Utah, this multi-sports brand has a wide array of pedal, fishing, and touring kayaks. It is a stable and affordable brand. If you are new to kayaking then it would be the perfect choice for you. Because this place is great for beginners.

Ocean Kayaks

Ocean kayak is on its road to growth and innovation after being brought by Johnson Outdoors. It is a good place to get a pedal kayak from because they make high-quality, durable kayaks that are worth the cost.


Perception deserves to be on this list as according to them they have introduced more people to kayaking than any other kayak makers. They have been making the best pedal kayaks for more than forty years. They have stayed true to their roots and are able to give the perfect kayaking experience through wonderfully designed kayaks.


Pelican Kayaks is one of the most reliable, innovative, and affordable kayak manufacturing brand out there. They are popular for their thermoform kayaks and high- quality pedal kayaks that they have been making for over more than 40 years. If you start your kayaking journey with a Pelican kayak, then little could go wrong from there. Chances are it will only get better.


Eddyline is the perfect place to get your choice of a pedal drive kayak because not only do they create some of the best kayaks but they also give you the chance to test them right there. They have plenty of bays close to them where you can test their kayaks and choose one that suits you the best.

Old Town

Old town was known earlier as the “Cadillac” of canoes however, it later morphed itself into a maker of kayaks after it was bought by Johnson Outdoors. They have a wide range of pedal kayaks, fishing kayaks, touring kayaks, and even hunting kayaks.

Eastern Mountain Sports

Found in North Conway Eastern Mountain Sports offers some of the perfect pedal kayaks as well as kayaking gear. The best part is that they even have kayak schools to offer instruction in kayaking.

Are you wondering why pedal drive kayaks cost so much. The price depends on size, weight, and capacity. Pedal drives add a complex system as an expensive option that many fisherman appreciate.

With the advancement of kayak technology, pedal drive kayaks have become every kayaker’s dream. But it is not easy to buy a pedal drive kayak because with the increasing demand for these kayaks they have become quite costly.

They might be more expensive than the paddle drive kayaks, but the features that pedal drive kayaks come with and the benefits they provide make them worth the price and offer an amazing kayaking experience whether it is relaxing out on the ocean or fishing in a lake or river. Here are some of the reasons that justify the high price of these crafts and explain just why they are so expensive.

More design features

Pedal kayaks are designed with more than the usual features that are normally found in an average kayak. Apart from the foot propulsion mechanism that allows for hands-free kayaking, they have, dry space, rod holders, adjustable seating, and many other features that make them an expensive buy.

For kayakers going on a longer excursion trip, extra cargo space is another special feature of pedal kayaks that makes them slightly pricier.

Pedal drive system

The most important factor that is responsible for the costly price of pedal drive kayaks is their pedal drive system. Featuring rotational pedal propulsion systems and push pedal propulsion systems the kayaks are easier to control and generate a good amount of speed as well. The rotational pedal system has a propeller beneath the kayak that makes the kayak move. Some expensive pedal kayaks also feature trolling motors.

There’s more than just plastic there

You might be wondering why these simple pieces of plastic cost so much when they should actually cost next-to-nothing. That is where you are wrong. It is not just mere plastic. There is a lot of design specific energy that goes into this plastic. The more expensive the kayaks are, the more durable they prove to be. They are more well balanced, easy to use, and lightweight.

Different types of plastic

It is typically thought that plastic is a cheap material that is used to create low-quality goods. However, when it comes to kayaks that is not the case. Pedal kayaks are not made from inferior plastic. If they were made from cheap plastic they would not be able to stand the wear and tear of the many regular trips into oceans, lakes, rivers, and everywhere else that kayakers take their kayaks to. Pedal kayaks are made from a blend of high-quality plastics that make them durable and ideal for kayaking.

High-end kayaks

The assumption that kayaks are wholly made out of plastic is plain wrong. Some pedal kayaks like high-end kayaks are not even made from plastic. They are made from more expensive and high-quality material like fiberglass as these kayaks are usually used for sea kayaking.

Made to last

Pedal kayaks are built to be inherently stable. They are designed with durability in mind. If you buy a pedal kayak you do not need to replace it with a new one every one or two years. Pedal kayaks can easily last for a number of years giving you the best kayaking experiences.

Customized kayaks

Customized pedal kayaks are expensive because as the name indicates they are customized to give a more comfortable and relaxing experience. They come with an array of cup holders, dry space, storage, customized seats, mounting plates, and rod holders. They even feature hidden storage bags so you can equip the kayak with GPS. This is possible by placing a battery up under the bow hatch of the pedal kayak.

Type affects the cost

Some pedal kayaks can cost as much as 10000$. This is because these kayaks are used for sea kayaking. Kayaks made for sea kayaking are not lightweight. Lightweight kayaks are made for lakes and rivers. Pedal kayaks used for sea kayaking are made from expensive material that is durable and prevents the kayak from flipping over in the ocean. The cost of pedal kayaks varies depending upon the type of kayaking you are going for. It also depends upon the purpose you will be using the kayak for.

Size, weight and capacity

The price of pedal drive kayaks depends upon the size, weight of the kayak, weight limit of the kayak, and its seating capacity. Lightweight and smaller kayaks usually seat one person and don’t have a large optimum weight limit. It is not possible for another person to ride them as there is hardly any space.

However heavier and larger kayaks with more space have more seating capacity. They can seat at least two people at once and have a greater weight limit so they can be used by overweight kayakers as well. These are quite popular right now like the tandem pedal kayak and are understandably expensive as well.

Designed for anglers

Pedal kayaks are mostly used by and popular amongst anglers. There are pedal kayaks that are specifically designed to meet the needs of fishermen. They have a greater speed and their hands-free feature allows fishermen to perform other activities while fishing like bird watching, photography and preparing bait, etc.

They come with accessories like fishing rod holders, tackle storage, and fish-finding transducers. They take the fishermen to fishing spots with more fish in lesser time and are a means to save both time and money. They can access waters that are not easily accessed by other traditional boats. All these features suit the needs of anglers and make pedal kayaks an attractive as well as an expensive option for them.

Comfort and stability

Pedal kayaks are expensive because some of them are designed with features like extra padding in seats and back support for heavier kayakers. Those who want to take longer trips prefer these seating features and buy costly pedal kayaks.

Another serious factor that is considered while buying kayaks and one that makes them expensive is stability. Larger and expensive kayaks offer both primary (back and forth motion) stability and secondary (boat flipping or capsizing) stability in calm waters when the kayaker is standing. This makes them ideal for fishermen.


Made from high-quality materials pedal kayaks are usually designed featuring exceptional dimensions. This makes them costlier than paddle kayaks. For example, some pedal kayaks come with more angled contours instead of typical smooth arcs. This allows them to cut effortlessly through the water and makes them quite expensive.

Address your needs and buy the best kayak that fits in your budget. Although pedal kayaks are expensive they have all the features needed for the perfect kayaking adventure. They have exceptional stability, speed, control, comfort, safety, as well as storage and maneuverability. Moreover, they are made for a variety of purposes. Seeing the many qualities they possess and the many benefits they provide it is not surprising that these crafts are costly.