Brooklyn Kayak Company might not be the first name that springs to mind when you’re looking at pedal drive kayaks. There are other, more popular brands that have this title. However, if you’re a person who does their research, and wants to get the best possible option, you will want to look into the Brooklyn Kayak Company. They have a couple of models, made for various types of kayaking, and all of them are excellent at their respective category.
What we’ll be discussing today is their UH-PK13 kayak. This is a 13-foot pedal drive kayak, one made for long distances and people who want to make use of their lower body when kayaking as well. It comes with a couple of nifty features, each of which will make your kayaking trip more interesting and more pleasurable. We’re talking about an extremely versatile kayak here, so let’s not waste anymore time and take a look at our Brooklyn Kayak PK13 review. If you’ve ever wanted a versatile pedal drive kayak, you’ll want to read on.Check Latest Price
Purists shrug at the thought of a pedal drive system, but the honest truth is that this is an amazing and very helpful system, especially for fishing and long trips. Basically, you have a pair of pedals that you turn, and they rotate a propeller below the kayak. This lets you do two things: either move much faster when you’re paddling, or move in a slow, controlled manner, while your hands are free for activities such as fishing.
With the PK13, you have smooth, responsive pedals which come with adjustable foot straps. If you’re worried about changing direction, there’s a hand-operated rudder which takes care of that for you with minimal effort. If we were to take aftermarket pedal kits out of the equation, this might be one of the best pedal drive kayak systems on the market today. Oh, and it also lets you add a trolling motor if you want to make things even easier.
The build quality, as you’d expect from a kayak at this price range, is stellar. The blow-molded hull is designed for stability, which comes in handy when fishing. At 13 feet long and 2.7 feet wide, this 80-pound kayak is easily maneuverable, yet maintains its stability in varied weather, and water conditions. Made of high-density polyethylene, it resists scratches and bumps, and the UV protection ensures the color won’t fade easily. The carry handles at the front and the back allow for easy transportation in and out of the water, which is a nice bonus.
With the PK13, you also get a seat, which is expected, as well as a paddle. The seat is built around an aluminum frame, which is at the same time sturdy and lightweight. The seat and backrest are well padded, so comfort won’t be an issue here. You will also find multiple adjustment points, making the seat very versatile and suitable for just about any-sized person.
As we mentioned, the PK13 is made for long distances. Therefore, it only makes sense that it has plenty of storage, to allow you to prepare yourself for that long distance. To begin with, you have a very spacious rear cargo area. You can easily store your backpack there, and the bungee tie-down straps will keep it put. This also lets you store things such as a cooler, duffel, tackle box or a dry bag. To add to that, there are watertight storage hatches built-in into the hull, and they have dry bag inserts to make sure your belongings are safe and dry. And last but not least, there’s another bungee straps system at the front, which lets you store smaller, or medium-sized items, such as a jacket or your helmet. At a maximum load capacity of 550 lbs., you can be sure that you can store pretty much anything you want in the PK13.
Let’s discuss usability for a second. This kind of kayak is made to appeal to two main types of people: fishermen, and long-distance adventurers. For the second crowd, we discussed the pedal drive system and all the storage options, as they are all factors that make your trip a pleasure, or a pain. However, for fishermen, there are a few additional things that make things even better. To begin with, the seat is at an ideal position for fishing, as well as pedaling while you do that. You also have three flush-mounted rod holders, if you want to keep the fishing poles out of your way when you’re traveling. This, combined with the easy-to-access storage options, is an excellent solution for just about any fisherman.Check Latest Price
The Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-PK13 isn’t for everyone. To begin with, the price tag puts it out of reach for many individuals who are just buying their first kayak, and aren’t sure if their investment is worth it. Second, it has a pedal drive system, which won’t appeal to purists (but should appeal to just about everyone else). This makes it much more convenient in a plethora of situations – something an all-round kayaker will appreciate. And, last but not least, it isn’t a small kayak that you can just throw in the back of your shed if you don’t use it.
However, if you’re either a fisherman, or a person who wants to make long trips in their kayak, it might be an excellent choice. Long hours in the saddle are very comfortable, and the pedal drive system means that you can rest your arms every once in a while. Storage options ensure that you won’t run out of food or water anytime soon, and the build quality is stellar and durable. All things considered, if you’re after such a kayak, this is one of the best options on the market today!Check Latest Price
The Hobie kayak is short, lightweight, 9 foot 7 inch kayak that works great as an all-around recreational or fishing kayak.
The first major innovation of the Mirage Sport is its movable seat. Designed to accommodate kayakers of varying heights, the seat can be moved forward or back to guarantee the perfect fit for both short and tall kayakers.Check Price On Amazon
Like all new Hobie kayaks, the Mirage Sport is a pedaling kayak that makes use of Hobie’s MirageDrive System. MirageDrive is a pedal system that utilizes two underwater fins to power the boat. MirageDrive is a fisherman’s dream come true, offering true hands-free operation so you can concentrate on catching fish without the hassle of a paddle. By using pedals instead of paddle, you can cover more water at greater speeds with less effort while you are casting, reeling, taking photographs, or simply enjoying a sip of your favorite beverage.
Deck features of the Mirage Sport include a 6” twist and seal round hatch at the bow, a sail accessory mount (or use with optional sail kit), Hobie MirageDrive, a midship 8” twist and seal round hatch, a rudder control handle, 4 molded-in utility trays, 2 built in cup holders, 2 molded-in rod holders, a large rear cargo area.
The Hobie Mirage Sport is a great choice for both fisherman recreational kayak users looking for compact, lightweight pedaling kayak. It measures less than 10 feet in length, weighs only 48 pounds, and offers a weight capacity of 225 pounds. Easy to carry and to transport, the Mirage Sport is a great choice for solo kayakers who often need to carry the kayak, load, and transport the boat without assistance from a partner or friend.
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Most people’s legs are so much stronger than their arms and shoulders this gives the kayak the extra torque it requires to go faster.
The Mirage sport is very sure it’s however don’t let yourself be fooled it’s still a great fishing model. It’s extremely stable, just over 9 foot and 225 pound capacity so it’s really a popular boat with kids and and lighter weight people however I have seen some people catch 50 pound fish on this thing out in the ocean so anything is possible.
When they make a smaller boat they usually look at this seating area and make the auctions more compact for a small user but the big thing on the Hobie sport is all the redesigns used to have a wider bowel like the outback but they made it more pointed so it cuts through the water better and there is a lot less false land they built a big hatch on it and redesigned the cockpit area to have Matt pockets and utility trays and all kinds of extra features it’s a great little boat.
There are very few changes in the new model just a few extra features on the seat and on the Mirage drive to keep water out and make it easier.
The full kayak length is 9’7” long. 29 ½ inches wide it’s 45 pounds. The weight capacity is 225 pounds. It’s a really light kayak it’s one of the lightest Hobie makes. It comes with the Mirage which lets you paddle or paddle dependent on what you wants.Check Price On Amazon
It comes with the writers are standard, a two-piece paddle, the seat which is very comfortable, to storage ports in the back. The front storage port is 6 inches wide and latch is open and close and there is another storage for right below the seat which is 8 inches wide and it cracks open and has a little tackle box inside which is really close to you and makes it easy to use for whatever you want to use for which type of fish you will be looking for that day.
The steering handle is right next to the seed on the right-hand side and the pull lever is on the left to put the writer down or the rudder out.
One other great feature about this kayak is the extra bungee’s that let you lock your kayak paddle next to you and easily take it out or put it back in dependent on what you want to be doing that they is also advisable to always keep your kayak paddle with you in case the hobie drive system stops working.
The Hobie Mirage sport is a great kayak if you’re trying to get into battle kayaks or just want a nice upgraded model. The kayak is a little higher in price which may keep a lot of users from actually purchasing it however the kayak is definitely worth the additional price. The kayak itself is made for smaller individuals so if you are a 200 pounds or over individual this may not be the suitable kayak for you and it might be a better idea for you to go up in size. The kayak provides the pedal system with a lightning fast boat that still maintains all of the Hobie features we definitely recommend this if you have the money to spare.Check Price On Amazon
See Our Best Fishing Kayaks Guide – Kayakerguide
The Hobie Mirage Outback has been a staple of high end paddling kayaks it has been reviewed constantly as one of the best kayaks with pedals out there and continues to impress. With the older version version we saw a great kayak with a few small issues but overall something very popular and useful with consumers.
Now we see the new version with some great improvements and were excited to bring you this walk through and review. If you want a certain kayak that gives you both stability and functionality to get the most out of the outdoors, you should consider this Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak. Fishing, taking photos, or hunting this kayak does it all. The wide hull gives great stability with stillness to help you focus on reel in fish. The Mirage Drive system it uses providing it controlled by pedals instead of paddles, which gives more storage space for storing your gear, not to mention there are storage hatches, a large on-deck cargo area, and 4 built-in fishing rod holders featured.
There a few differences from the new and the older models of the Hobie mirage outback. In the overall exterior hull design there isn’t very much of a change, where the main changes within the hull come is within the cockpit area. There is also a very nice new seat which is much better than the old. With the older model you had a fixed handle and a webbed handle on the newer model you now have two soft grip handles on the inside of the hull which is perfectly balanced when you want to lift it up and put it on the roof racks. See our full fishing kayak guide here.
Within the actual cockpit itself the older model was heavily ribbed for paddling as well as peddling. In the newer model there is very light ribbing around the sides and a much bigger flatter area for you to stand in. Also in the older model it had a little pocket in the center and that has been removed for the hull to be flatter and now you have two storage pockets in the sides which is perfect for any of your soft plastics and any other gear you wish to carry.
With regards to comfort the hobie mirage outback has a new seat and its a huge improvement and is one of the most noticeable changes. You are now higher and dryer with many adjustments that can be made to make you completely comfortable. The thing about the seat being higher too is it’s a lot easier now to get up and stand if you want to do some casting. The seat can adjust forwards or backwards to get the right angle you need. You also has lumbar support at the back so that you can create the right tension for your back support. The seat also has the ability to be raised up to a much higher level. With the pro angler series you can get up and really sight fish well and while in the seat changing the balance in the seat allows you to drop it down to any of the four settings that are available.
It will take you a little bit of time to get your balance right when you’re forwarding the seat. You can try a few stability tests to get better.
Originally I thought being in the upright position you would feel tippy but rocking the kayak you actually have no worries with stability. Going sideways you can access the rear you can get into the cargo hold very well without risk of the kayak tipping. Sitting sideways the kayak still is rock solid stable and maintains its positioning perfectly. When standing up the kayak also remains perfectly stable.
With the seat the life jacket selection is going to be very important. It’s still comfortable to sit sideways.
I am definitely convinced that the glide technology on the mirage drive on the newer model is equally as good as the old version and even better. I think if you are going to be using it in areas where you have a lot of shell like ground there may not be a need to upgrade.
I quite liked having the seat raised I felt that there was a much larger improvement in the action and you definitely feel it in the calves when your peddling with the seat raised position. You may want to switch to paddling if you want to get a full body workout when going to your destination.
They say the kayak is 10% more efficient, I think that number is pretty conservative.
Pedals let control the boat with pedals leaving your hands with more freedom for fishing. There is not so much effort in peddaling so you can go even faster and further. These Hobie kayaks are suited for you if your a fan of biking. Your leg recovery is much faster than your arms and shoulders so you can do more work with them. The Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak rides quite high so it keeps you dry in windy weather. However, the pedals also have some downsides. Thick kelp can get them stuck and it requires maintenance once in a while to loosen-up the pedals.
The drink holders featured in the cockpit allow you to have some cool drinks on a sunny day. There is prevention of the items getting wet with a front hatch which comes with an insert, while there is also a bungee system placed on both ends. The cockpit is quite deep so it seems like you are sitting in it even though you sit on it. The width offered from the hull offers great stability and provides greater center of gravity.
The backrest and the seat of this model is the most comfortable thing I have seen in a kayak. It is a well suited feature because your feet are positioned on the higher plane rather than the conventional sit-on-top kayak. You can definitely lean your back into it. To control it, you just need to use the rudder controls for getting it going in a straight line once you pedal. This is a truly hands-free kayaking experience where you can rest, sit back, or do anything you like. The fish finder feature enables me to cast, retrieve, and find fish easily. I can cruise across the lake while sorting through my tackle box for the next lure.
“We debated forever between the Outback and the Revo 13. We made the right call. We live on a lake and these are the perfect social kayak. Very stable, very comfortable and a breeze to took around in. The turning is amazing and Hobie did a great job on design. The way the rudder pulls out of the water with cables is slick. The Mirage Drive pops in and out very easily. For sure worth the money for the newer modek. The seats are awesome. Totally happy with purchase. Hobie is not cheap, but they are well designed and worth it.”
“I bought this for my husband, he loves it. It’s very comfortable and fast. He fishes and gets great exercise. I have a Hobie Pro Angler, both are awesome. They are very stable to fish in the wind. We love them!!!!”
The Hobie Mirage Outback is an amazing piece of kayaking technology. The kayak is fast sturdy and amazing at doing what its meant to do. The price is a bit higher then other kayaks but most kayakers will agree what you get with the price is well worth the extra hike in cost. Definitely a recommended buy!
So you want to know if the Hobie Revolution 13 is worth the price tag? Keep reading for the most in-depth review on the net.
Hobie was founded back in the late 1950s by Hobart Alter, not making kayaks but making surfboards. In the 1960s Hobart changed his focus away from surfboards to catamarans. At this time, catamarans were a fledgling
market and the boats currently in production were clumsy, heavy and relied on long daggerboards to help reduce slippage under sail. This made them hard to launch from shallow water and beaches (where the majority of people wanted to use them!) Hobart saw a way around this to innovate by using lighter materials and better hull design so that it did not need the long daggerboards. This made it hugely popular as it was so much easier to launch and beach. His second catamaran, the Hobie 16 is still the best selling catamaran of all time and the most competitive catamaran class in the world.
Whilst this has nothing to do with the kayaks on the surface, it speaks volumes on the type of company that Hobie is and just one look at the Hobie range shows you that their models are hugely innovative and game changers. Whilst other manufacturers were content on paddling their kayaks, Hobie was busy thinking of more innovative ways to propel a kayak.
The Revolution has two different size models including a 13ft and a 11ft model. The Revolution 13 is the more streamlined brother, an able open water cruiser that’s tough enough to hit those big lakes and open ocean. Lets move on to the Hobie Revolution 13 Review…
Hobie Mirage Revolution 13Check Price On Amazon
1. Mirage Drive is great for moving faster throughout the water whilst not having to use your hands
2. Very quiet hull design makes sneaking up on unsuspecting fish a breeze
3. Equipped with a rudder as standard, making it extremely maneuverable and tracks dead straight
4. Very fast hull design makes you wonder how you got so far in such a short space of time
This kayak is fast. With two factory fitted methods of propulsion available and two more optional add-ons, this kayak can go fast and choose how it wants to do it.
Mirage Drive – This is the jewel in the crown of all the pedal powered kayaks. Lots of people know that the Mirage drive is faster than paddling, but I’m not sure enough people know exactly how much faster and how much easier it is to maintain that speed for as long as you want. Think of it like this, paddling is like walking (maybe roller-skates at a push!) and Hobie’s Mirage Drive like riding a bike. Whilst both have their merits for different situations, the Revolution comes with a paddle anyway so you have the best of both worlds.
Whilst it doesn’t come with the sail, the Revolution comes ready equipped for a sail should you so wish. Whilst this isn’t much of a plus if you plan to be fishing small creeks and ponds, for those open water situations, it can be a huge help. This is especially true if you want to troll lures fast for pelagics or just like the idea that at the end of that exhausting hours travelling out to the best fishing spot. You can just flick up the sail and cruise back to shore without any fuss.
For those of you who really like to go all out on distance, fancy a change or just want to relax, Hobie now offers its aftermarket evolve system. This is an electric propeller that fits into the mirage drive well and has a battery that enables you to go 3 different speeds with the normal speed of 3.7 mph offering a 15 mile range taking 4 hrs 10 mins. Alternatively, you can use the motor at a very fast speed of 5.8 mph to which only lasts for 50 mins but could get you a whopping 4.6 miles in that time! This also offers yakers with health problems new horizons.
The Revolution tracks straight as an arrow. Whilst under pedal power, tracking isn’t really an issue as it’s drive is coming from the center of the kayak. Despite the fact that the Revolution comes with the Mirage Drive in mind, Hobie’s superb hull design (thought to be based on the cult fishing kayak, the Scupper Pro) tracks like a dream whilst paddle. This superior tracking is due to its sleek design that cuts through the water like a knife which is then enhanced further by the rudder system.
Revolution 13 Rudder
The Revolution 13 certainly is no slouch when it comes to maneuvering but if you are looking for a kayak that’s main feature is maneuverability, I suggest you look at the Revolution 11 which is shorter and therefore more maneuverable than its bigger brother, the Revolution 13. Another note here is that when it comes to turning on a dime, paddling offers smaller turning circles due to the fact that you can paddle backwards and forwards simultaneously and turn on the spot.
Here we have a surprisingly stable kayak considering the speedy hull. The shape of the hull offers lots of what is called secondary stability. Primary stability is the stability that is felt when the water and kayak are both flat. An extreme example would be a completely flat bottomed kayak, this would be very stable in flat water conditions but slow to paddle as it is all in the water creating drag. The Revolution’s hull design on the other hand offers more secondary stability. This is because not all of the bottom of the kayak is in contact with the water. That’s unless you start to tip it enough that the second part of the hull touches the water and then creates the necessary stability. What this offers is a boat that tracks well and is much faster because less of the hull is dragging in the water.
The Revolution 13 is plenty stable for fishing sitting down; its hull design fills you with confidence once you have had a play with it. Although I do know of a few people that do fish from their Revolution 13s standing up, I would say that it would take a bit of practice compared to some of the other kayaks built solely for that purpose!
the Revolution 13 has plenty of room for storage with a large bow hatch with enough room to fit overnight gear, fish-finder battery and a trolley. There are then two smaller round hatches, one in the stern and one in the center which has a built in tackle box which is fantastic. As you can expect from Hobie, the hatches are as solid as they get and the general feel is top notch quality and a pleasure to use.
Weight capacity here is what you would expect for a kayak, at 350lbs it’s perfectly adequate for most users. If you need more here, I would suggest the Hobie Outback or Pro Angler.
A pleasure to fish from, perfect for fishing in salt water or lakes. The Mirage Drive makes it possible to both move about and cast at the same time, allowing you to cast to areas that you just can’t troll but still covering the same amount if not more water. The Mirage Drive and rudder system also allows you to fish in fast flows where an anchor might not be suitable as you can point into the current, set the rudder and just slowly pedal against the flow whilst fishing cut baits, live baits or even jigging.
If you’re looking for a kayak that you can use out in the open water but is still at home on smaller waters this is a great kayak for you. I don’t want to call it an all-rounder because that makes it sound boring, and that’s one thing this kayak is not. The thing about this kayak is that even though it’s a fishing kayak, it’s just a pleasure to use. It’s the kind of kayak that you can go out on the water, not catch a thing, and still go home with a smile on your face.Check Price On Amazon
What if we told you we could help you find the best pedal kayak for your specific budget? Don't get a kayak that you'll leave in storage for years! For our guide we dedicated many hours(over 50) comparing 20 different kayaks and choosing our winners for this year.
Based on our analysis our top pick for this year was the BKC UH PK13, with its affordability, depth of pedal strength and features we couldn't resist!
Our seasoned editors have picked and rated these products for each specific category and area of expertise to recommend you the best models and products we can. We receive commission from some of these affiliate links.
1. BKC UH-PK13 Pedal Drive Kayak
"A exceptional pricetag and a great length with pedal drive"
2. Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak
"Last years number one, more expensive but unbeatable pedal drive"
3. Native Watercraft Slayer 10 Propel Kayak
"Smaller but still feature rich with incredible pedal drive and storage"
4. Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12
"At 14 feet long the Angler 12 is the largest model available"
6. Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 13
"Unbeatable storage with incredible space and additions"
The BKC UH-PK13 is the best choice if you love long outings and are a angler or just enjoy pedal kayaks and are looking for the best kayaking experience.
Our most prolific and most recommended best pick this year, is a kayak made by the renowned kayak company BKC. This is a great seaworthy pedal kayak, which provides stability and speed easily. With its dual rod holder, awesome tackle storage and interesting colors like blue camo, grey camo, blue, grey, yellow and red, this ones sure to make you feel proud. Be it for fishing or exploring the waters, the BKC pedal drive option and the lightweight hull will make it through without challenge.
This kayak also comes with a paddle and the seat is incredibly durable. They have truly outdone themselves with this mode, you wont have to worry about tipping over since the stability is perfect and the storage space is massive with a front tank well and back bungees. Lighter than most models in its size range and easy to carry and put on a roof.
Be it for fishing or exploring the waters, the BKC pedal drive option and the lightweight hull will make it through without challenge. This kayak also comes with a paddle and the seat is incredibly durable. They have truly outdone themselves with this mode, you wont have to worry about tipping over since the stability is perfect and the storage space is massive with a front tank well and back bungees. Lighter than most models in its size range and easy to carry and put on a roof.
One of the best kayaks and best rated versions of the Hobie Pedal series.
The Hobie Mirage outback is consistently seen as one of the best pedal kayaks out there and makes our list every year. This year is no exception the Hobie outback comes with its Mirage Drive system. The Mirage Drive system is heralded as one of the fastest paddling systems with the only negative being the inability to reverse. The kayak comes with a Vantage CT seat which is extremely comfortable and durable.
Hobie are known as the pioneers of pedal kayaks in the market and with the outback they show they known what their doing. The Mirage Outback Crew comes with 81 lbs fitted hull, 3 way connector for Lowrance Ready, and Thru Hull wire plugs.
The standard features include large bow hatch, which is covered, a two – piece paddle with on – hull storage and mesh covered stowage pockets. What’s more, the Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak It weighs 99 pounds, offers a carrying capacity of 400 lbs and is 12’ 1” in length, 33” in width and 15” in height.
The Hobie is a great choice for almost any type of water from freshwater, ocean, and inshore waters. The kayak has great turning and the rudder system is very slick and designed to be easy to use. Hobie has truly knocked this model out of the park.
The perfect choice for any occasion, this kayak boasts of great stability and features to provide you with a stress free experience.
The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 13 is one of the most durable pedal kayaks out there today. It's a plus for any fishermen out there or person that just enjoys pedal kayaking. It comes with native watercraft propel drive system which has one of the best quality pedal systems out there today and allows you to go both forwards and backwards.
The impact resistant rudder is great for a durable option which leaves you unafraid of it hitting things like rocks in shallow water. There is also ample storage space. The propel is 13'2" with a weight of 85 pounds and a capacity of over 400 pounds. The seed is a custom durable seat from native watercraft. The kayak is extremely stable and offers a very dry ride when fishing. If you want a great fishing kayak for the money look no further.
The largest kayak from Hobie and a great comprehensive choice.
The Hobie Mirage pro angler is another offering from Hobie kayaks that is utterly exceptional in every way. Make no mistake that this is the Cadillac of premium fishing kayaks. Though the price tag matches its quality do not be afraid. The kayak comes with its patented Mirage Drive and glide technology pedal drive system. It also offers the Vantage seating system which makes it feel as if you're on your couch at home kayaking.
The storage area is very per slice Lee built to allow you to incorporate for rods, different vertical storages for 2 rods, and an area for easy access to tackle.
The added features that it has that is in on most other kayaks is the atrial mounting system this allows you to increase the kayak's versatility and have a more streamlined experience. There is also a tracing keel for improved tracking. Finally it is built and ready for fishfinder installation. The pro angler has a carrying capacity of over 600 pounds. If you're looking for a fishing pedal kayak you would be hard-pressed to do any better than the pro angler 14.
The perception kayak pescador pilot is one of the best bang for your buck that you can get for a pedal kayak on the entire market. The price tag is slightly cheaper than the other models listed the make no mistake it comes with the same amount of features and a renowned quality.
The pedal drive system is comparable to the native watercraft system and allows you to reverse. The pilot comes with ample storage and different features and bungee's and Rod holders to make your fishing experience truly great. The kayak has a length of 12'5" and weighs 85 pounds.
A larger great choice from Native Watercraft for the 13 foot model
The Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 13 is on of the best pedal kayaks in the 13 foot category. Make no mistake this kayak is large and not for a smaller frame, it contains a large amount of extra space for different dry storages and additional space made especially for storage of fishing goods and accessories.
The Hobie Mirage revolution is a phenomenal choice for a fishing trip. With the quality that comes with the Hobie kayak the revolution mixes in comfortable seating and extreme convenience. The Mirage is a little smaller than the other models listed here at 11'6" however it's light weight hall takes your peddling energy and rewards it with increased acceleration and increased maneuverability.
The kayak comes with below deck storage and a wide array of deck features and leasing options including an optional kayak sail kit. The revolution may be the smallest kayak we've mentioned today however for its size it's definitely one of the most feature-rich.
Since pedal kayaks are a fairly new technological inovation alot of people are lost as to how to choose the correct model. Here we compile a list of factors and things to go through to help you choose.
Push pedals are easy to use, the motion is simple, by just pushing the pedals in you get propulsion. However, pushing pedals for a long time can result in adverse health effects on your back just like regular kayaks since you are not fully extending the legs. Some of the most common side effects of pushing forward pedals include leg and foot cramps, muscle injuries, back pain and early fatigue especially in the joints of your legs and feet. For the rotational pedals, the legs and feet move fully resembling walking thus resulting in less stress on your legs, feet and joints.
Considering the fact that these two systems are human driven, they are supposed to lose the least energy possible during exertion. An average person can only provide around 0.25 horsepower in an unsustainable manner.
For the rotational pedals, the user is able to engage uninterrupted motion; meaning that the generated energy is not lost rather it is preserved. In rotational drive pedals, the pedals are an efficient means of the body transmitting power to the propeller with minimal energy loss. Lets now consider that with push pedal driven kayaks, most of the body's generated energy is lost; meaning that the driver losses a lot of energy especially while trying to accelerate. Continuous loss of energy with every pedal usually results in early fatigue and a less efficient system.
Overall the difference between the two is pronounced. A rotational pedal driven kayaks motion mechanism involves a rotational propeller that is continuous and thus wastes little body energy, while the push pedal kayak combines push pedals with two side moving flaps thus making it the least mechanically efficient. There are many experts that have argued that the push pedals system is as efficient as the rotational pedals however comparing the two mechanically, rotational pedal driven kayaks are more efficient.
A very important factor when it comes to stability for pedal kayaks is the hull size.
Most kayak fishers that are beginners and starting to pick up the sport may be uncertain on the water. its common that they don't understand that a kayak that DOES NOT have a wide flat bottom and you can use to lean side to side could actually be a large advantage and INCREASE the kayaks stability in rough waters not decrease it. We recommend you choose hull size dependant on the type of waters you will be using the kayak for.
A flat, round shape of the hull often used in agile kayaks for small rivers makes the kayak more maneuverable though provides less tracking.
When it comes to pedal kayaks there are a few name brands that stick out. Over the years we have seen that the kayak market is getting flooded with more and more brand names though the pedal kayak market continues to stay somewhat unsaturated. Some brand makers have perfected the system while some continue to strive to achieve the best pedalling experience.
The Two brands that continue to stick out above the others are:
Hobie Kayak- Mirage Brand
Hobie kayaks have been making high quality products for years and that brand reputation has carried on to their pedal kayak offerings. Known as some of the most reliable pedal kayaks Their offerings include many different versions which are updated on a somewhat regular basis to include the latest in technology. Their main differentiation is the mirage drive technology they have implemented to improve pedalling performance. This works in a push manner where your feet push pedals inwards and the mechanism moves flippers that cross over each other displacing water and propelling the kayak.
Pros - Can manuever well in shallow water with the pedal system.
- The fins can be folded up against the hull when launching or within shallow water.
Cons - Will not track very well because it does not have a rudder.
- Back and forth motion can be hard on the knees and patela area.
- No reverse function.
Native Watercraft- Propel Brand
The Propel brand has been around for about the same time as the Mirage brand, it sits about on par with the Hobie kayaks though the Hobie kayaks are larger in the number of different models they offer. The propel Has the propel pedal drive system which uses a propeller to push the kayak forward. A great extra feature is that you can also go backwards in the kayak!
Pros - Tracks well within any configuration.
- Can be used to pedal in reverse.
- The drive unit installed can be easily flipped out of the water while your in the boat and you can then continue on with a paddle. The point above makes launching the kayak easy.
Cons - Needs about a foot of clearance to not hit the bottom of body of water.
There are primary and secondary forms of stability. Looking at the secondary point of stability it refers to which angle the boat will capsize at. With regards to this, v shapes can be the best for tracking and a good secondary point of stability however they are bad for the first point of stability. The best for primary stability can be the flat hull however they have bad marks for secondary stability which means the kayak will turn quicker but wont track well on a straight path and capsize in rough waters.
The increase in Primary stability from flat hulls can be great for very calm waters and be comfortable for beginners however when the waters shift to being rough this same primary stability can cause kayaks to capsize and tip over. For rough waters you would want to choose a stronger secondary stability.
"Primary and secondary stability:
Primary (sometimes called initial) stability describes how much a boat tips, or rocks back and forth when displaced from level by water movement or paddler weight shifts.
Secondary (final) stability describes how readily a boat capsizes. Primary stability is often a big concern to a beginner, while secondary stability matters more to experienced travelers who may frequent rougher waters. Primary stability increases as the boat's volume moves away from the centerline. For example, catamarans offer high primary stability and little secondary stability, given that their volume is on either edge of the boat." kayaking
Having a pedal kayak eliminates the added stability benefit of a paddle. The pedal positioning also makes a user take up less surface area for their weight and cause the slightest movement to shift weight to a portion of the kayak whereas for the paddle kayak when your feet are spread out your weight is spread throughout the kayak.
This debate have gone on for a long time. The consensus that you find is a large dependency on the actual driver. Whether the driver has a stronger upper body or lower body can have a huge differences. There are cases of paddlers leaving pedalers in the dust and vice versa. Looking at it mechanically and from a design perspective considering the fact that pedal kayaks are less stable in the water and the fact that they must be wider to enhance stability, they are likely to be slower.
They also feature rudders for steering purposes; these rudders increase their friction within the water thus decreasing the kayak’s speed by an average of 10%. Also the added width makes them heavier, making them slower in the water. The above reasons make them put a lot more pressure on the user resulting in earlier fatigue. These kayaks are usually used for recreational purposes such as fishing and touring and not racing.
Through a survey of users the average speed of the Hobie Outback was found to be about 3.5 mph with about 6-8 mph top speed between 15-20 minutes.
As a comparison the Trident Prowler 13 which is a paddling kayak is reported to maintain a average speed of 4 mph
As a comparison a Mirage Adventure with a sail kit can achieve consistent speeds of about 15-20 mph with a wind rudder and sail kit
Longer kayaks make it much easier to get from point a to point b because of their longer hulls, usually a rule of thumb is the wider the hull of a kayak the slower the kayak will be. Alot of other factors can influence your kayaks speed including the hulls materials, fiberglass and kevlar and thermoformed plastic are better and make your kayak faster.
In this section, we shall address how a pedal kayak is different from a paddle kayak in terms of tracking and turning. Considering the directional control of these two kayaks, the pedal driven kayak feels a little more unstable than the paddle driven one. It is for this reason the pedal kayaks hull must be built a bit wider to enhance stability while on the water. You will commonly see pedal kayaks being slightly wider and a bit bulkier. This is to try to make up for the stability issue. Although the pedal kayak is being propelled by one of your strongest body parts, your legs, the ability to steer is always more limited than the paddle driven kayak. A paddle gives the user ample ability to effectively control tracking and turning while propelling the kayak. Although pedal driven kayaks are equipped with a hand activated rudder steer stick, its operation in terms of tracking and turning is far less useful than in a paddle kayak.When comparing paddle kayaks to pedal kayaks, the paddles facilitate quicker and more efficient turning than the pedals. For instance, people using a pedal driven kayak usually cling to the sides of the kayak to keep it balanced unlike those in the paddle driven kayak who keep it balanced using their paddles on each side.
What makes the steering difficult on the pedal kayak compared to a paddle kayak is debatable, a rudder can only be so large at the bottom of the kayak and you can only dedicate so much effort to adjusting it. Also the effect of a paddle on the far side of a kayak is more pronounced in turning then in the centre bottom of the boat.
With a paddle you can make sharp turns whereas with a pedal kayak and a rudder you may have to do some adjustments similar to what you would see on a boat. Not quite like the titanic trying to avoid an iceberg but the difference is pronounced!
The pedal kayaks steering rudders are controlled by your hand through a lever usually located in the cockpit of the kayak. A well know statistic is that rudders embedded on these pedal kayaks cut down the kayak’s speed by an average of 10% thus making it harder for the user to get to the top speed they desire. Last but not least, while using the pedal kayak on shallow waters or in reedy waters, the rudders are likely to get stuck in mud and obstacles or rake themselves on the reeds bringing you to a halt.
Getting a pedal driven kayak in the water can be hectic especially if you don’t have the man power to assist you. Their wide hull makes them heavier than the paddle kayaks.
Besides their wider hull, they are also equipped with steering rudders as well as a pedal drive attachment which adds up to its heavy weight.
On top of that the rudder provides another protruding object that could cause problems if it were to get hooked on something. Their transport to and from your location to the beach can only be done by a big vehicle and not a simple roof rack on a small car. Upon reaching the beach, you may also need assistance to get it into the water.
Launching and beaching for the pedal kayak is just like it is for any other kayak. It can be smoothly driven into the water. However, it is advisable for the user to carry a secondary propeller such as paddle in case the pedal system fails.
Kayaks have the ability to take you anywhere you want to go but for pedal kayaks, visiting some areas especially shallow water areas and areas with sea weeds can be problematic. The reason behind this limitation is that shallow waters make the propellers prone to obstruction from mud and obstacles underneath the water. Upon reaching shallow waters, you are advised to use a paddle rather than the pedal so as to ascertain that the underneath mechanisms are not destroyed or clogged. This makes them unusable for fishing in shallow waters and vegetation rich areas.
Pedal kayaks are not meant for white-water or fast running water navigation. They have minimal free-board which makes them easily filled with water from running water streams. Further, pedal driven kayaks’ are almost impossible to navigate in moving water since the re-positioned driver’s feet from the foot of the hull obstructs the ability to adequately balance and control the boat.
It’s often argued that pedal kayaks are the best when it comes to fishing since they only utilise your legs for motion which keeps your hands free to fish! This also allows the user to pedal and fish at the same time. Although both hands are free, at times you might find yourself with just one hand free and the other holding onto the kayak’s deck or leaning on it to keep balance. However, fishing with a Pedal Kayak is a little more fun than using the paddle kayak since you can move along while fishing in comfort unlike with the paddle kayak.
The only limitation of the Pedal Kayak is that is doesn’t have the reverse capability thus going backwards can be a bit of a hassle. This issue is solved if you choose a rotational pedal kayak.
Standing up and fishing while in a pedal kayak can be achieved when you are sure that nothing will destabilize you. It is always advisable to remain seated while fishing however many kayaks advertise themselves as being great for stand up fishing. Although it’s argued that the Pedal Kayak is large enough to ensure stability even when standing, anything can cause you to lose balance and end up falling in the water.
We have discussed various attributes that make people choose a particular kayak. No matter what the reason of preferring a particular kayak, energy used to drive them should be considered. Our bodies are all we have and inflicting unnecessary stress on them can add up in the long run. Some kayaks can be more ergonomical and efficient than others and keep you from getting tired. With regards to the speed factor, it is debatable whether pedal kayaks are faster or slower than paddle kayaks but this can greatly depend on the users personal strengths and weaknesses, if you have chicken legs you may want to spring for the paddle kayak. There are many factors to consider when choosing your perfect pedal kayak, the best advice is always choose one that feels right for you and comfortable regardless of what someone tells you is the best or worst model.