Pedal Kayaks just have to be included here because they are very cool. This type of kayak offers the paddler a secondary option of power with a unique pedal mechanism.
These are perhaps my favorite kind of kayak - I am biased though, I have a Hobie Mirage and I can't say enough good things about it. But to be fair, Native Watercraft produces a pedal drive system also. Their Ultimate and Mariner models utilize pedal power to move a small propeller instead of "flippers".
The pedals are a removable device that mount into a built-in opening in the hull. The Hobie pedals are moved with short cranks with your feet, a back and forth motion that swing the fins under the hull to propel the kayak.
The Native Watercraft pedals in a circular motion like a bycycle to move the propeller under the hull. I wouldn't say one is better than the other, they are equally impressive and fun.
Included on both the Hobie and Native Watercraft is a hand controlled rudder system to keep a straight track and easily steer - it raises out of the water when not in use. This is a nice feature because raising the rudder and fins or propeller allows access to very shallow areas.
Both the pedals and the rudder make this type of kayak very fast and maneuverable. Fishing enthusiasts and photographers love these because you can load them with lots of gear and attachments and you have your hands free for other tasks.
You can see how they work in the video below.
But wait ... there's more to to love about these ... for those who like to sail, like me, they also offer sail rigging ("Sail-Yak"). The rigging is easy and OMG, do they fly!
For the fishermen ... Some models, are outfitted specifically for fishing, including built-in's for rod holders, storage compartments for bait, a cooler or dive tanks - and an anchor system can be added. Fishermen are able to move the kayak with the pedals, they can maneuver in confined areas and have free access to all their fishing gear ... the rest of the "fish story" is up to you!
Pedal Kayaks are also used in senior complexes in Florida and other areas to encourage necessary exercise. Seniors who loose their upper body strength can easily pedal these - exercising the body and spirit. As "Martha" would say - "it's a wonderful thing"!
The Stats . . . The hull design is an elaborate sit-on-top with built-in storage compartments. Their wide beam and flat bottom makes them quite stable and maneuverable. They are manufactured in both solo and tandem styles (tandem, in the photo above). Their lengths range from near 10' to about 16'. They are on the heavier side - weighing-in between nearly 50 lbs. and over 70 lbs., depending on the model you choose. Hobie recently launced an inflatable type (wow) that houses the mirage drive system too.
What's not to love about a pedal kayak!
Compare prices of Pedal Kayaks
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