Foot Pedal Kayaks: A Concise Guide to Buying One

You may not know this, but there is actually such a thing as foot pedal kayaks. Yes, you don’t need the strength of a thousand men to steer that kayak, since you can just use your foot to maneuver the vehicle yourself.

Why should you consider getting a pedal-powered kayak, as opposed to traditional ones? Well, the most obvious point is that it’s more convenient and doesn’t require as much strain as using paddles.

A Kayak You Can Pedal

Now, we just need to look into the features of a foot pedal kayak starting with its general design. They can be quite useful for many looking into breaking into the sport of kayaking.

How Foot Pedal Kayaks Work

Pedal Kayak

Pedal-driven kayaks, of course, allows users to propel the kayak using their two feet. This mechanism affords them to rest on their backs. In turn, this’ll give them a more relaxed feel compared to the usual kayaks.

However, and I really need to stress this out, they’re not made for performing on rough waters. Fishing with foot pedal kayaks will take some time getting used to.


Propel Pedal Drive

While the pedals are convenient for many of us out there who find conventional kayaking daunting, their only purpose is to move it forward. The balance and stability paddles provide are missing. For most experienced kayakers, this is problematic, as pedal kayaks won’t work too well in volatile waters.

A lot of pedal-driven kayaks have the pedal on the farther sides to promote balance. This prevents the kayak from tipping over. But again, in any given scenario, pedal-driven kayaks shouldn’t be used for heavy kayaking; they are more for leisure.


How does one gain directional control over a pedal-driven kayak? The pedals only provide propulsion, after all, and not maneuverability. Turning a pedal-driven kayak requires a hand-operated rudder. While they may not be easy to use, they are less stressful to the arms, compared to paddles.

Which Pedal-Powered Kayaks Are the Best?

That is a good question. If you’re actually considering on purchasing a pedal kayak, you might as well go all in and choose what’s the best in the market today.

Here are a few things you should consider when purchasing a pedal-powered kayak.

Sitting Arrangement

unnamed 1 Foot Pedal Kayak

Comfort is one of the key factors of pedal-powered kayaks. You have to make sure you sit comfortably, while being able to operate the pedals with your legs. There are sit-in kayaks and sit-on kayaks that you can choose from, and it all depends on your preference.


When testing out a pedal kayak, you also have to make sure that you’re not consuming too much energy. At the same time, the kayak also has to reach a decent amount of speed and a good degree of control, while saving you energy in the process.


When it comes to pedal-driven kayaks, size always matters. The bigger the kayak is, the more stable it is. Take note of its width, as well as the position of the pedals, to see if they meet your needs. It’s easier if you can see the kayak for yourself in this regard.


The rule always states that the lighter the kayak, the better. You first need to ask the kayak manufacturer how much the vehicle weighs. At the same time, you should also verify its actual weight. You’re going to need to do some extensive research on the kayak you want to get.


Consider also how much the kayak can take before tipping over. Better yet, you need to look into how durable it is according to the materials used. The enduring capacity of the kayak will also affect how well you can control it. It’s dangerous to be out into the water without a good degree of control, after all.


Let’s face it: pedal-driven kayaks do cost more than traditional kayaks. But don’t let that deter you! The price is a clear determining factor of what you’re getting. You should consider spending a little extra on your kayak if you want to get the best out of it.

Final Thoughts About Pedal-Powered Kayaks

We should understand that even though pedal-driven can be impractical, they can also work wonders, if you just want to take it easy down the river, stream, or canal. They’re made for recreational cruises over calm waters. Traditional paddle kayaks are still best at performance sports.

Although I haven’t used one extensively, my first impressions of the pedal-driven kayak weren’t too good. But I did notice that it was easier for me to just admire the view around me, not minding what’s ahead of me.

Have you learned anything about pedal-driven kayaks? Are you considering on purchasing one? It’s really up to you. They’re not the most practical, in my opinion, but I wouldn’t mind doing a leisurely cruise with a foot pedal kayak.

Andrew Lang

I inherited my passion for fishing from my late father. I often write about my experiences with trout fishing, inshore fishing and deep sea fishing.