Foot-powered kayaks, boats that are equipped with a pedal drive, are becoming more and more common as innovation in the kayak fishing world expands the realm of options.

While pedal kayaking may not be for everyone, there’s something to be said about the multi-tasking appeal of hands-free kayak fishing. If anyone’s interested in getting a comprehensive overview of the pedal vs. paddle debate, we published a blog a while ago elaborating on the pros/cons of each style.

That being said, this blog is dedicated to spotlighting different brands that offer foot propulsion.

We thought a side-by-side comparison of the specs of popular pedal kayaks (including several 2017 models) would be helpful for those looking to make the investment:

Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak – 2017

 

Price: $2,499
Pedal drive: Mirage Drive 180 with Forward/Reverse (also sold separately as an upgrade for older models)
Length: 12 ft 1 in / 3.68 m
Weight: 99 lb / 44.91 kg
Features: 2 molded-in drink holders & 4 molded-in rod holders, molded-in storage wells all around the cockpit, one gear bucket
More Hobie pedal-driven kayaks: Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 Kayak – 2017, Hobie Mirage Revolution 16 Kayak – 2017(all Hobie Mirage 2017 models come with Mirage 180 + all older Mirage models are compatible)

Native Watercraft Titan 13.5 Propel Kayak

Price: $3,249
Pedal drive (not sold separately):
Forward/Reverse propulsion
Length: 13 ft 6 in / 4.11 m
Weight: 178 lb / 80.74 kg
Features: 2 Power Pole mounts for dual anchoring, large front hatch with cover & horizontal rod storage
More Native Watercraft pedal-driven kayaks: Native Watercraft Slayer 13 Propel Kayak, Native Watercraft Slayer 10 Propel KayakNative Watercraft Manta Ray Propel 12 Angler Kayak, Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel 13 Kayak

Old Town Predator PDL Pedal Drive Kayak

 

Price: $2,799.99
Pedal drive:
Old Town PDL; Forward/Reverse propulsion – 10.3:1 gear ratio
Length: 13 ft 2 in / 4.01 m
Weight:
117 lb / 53.07 kg
Features:
6 mounting plates, paddle storage, tackle holders, center console with Mod Pod cover
Exo-Ridge deck, and molded paddle rest

Perception Pescador Pilot 12 Pedal Kayak

 


Price: $1,799
Pedal drive (not sold separately):
Pilot Drive Pedal System; Forward/Reverse propulsion 
Length:
12 ft 5 in / 3.78 m
Weight:
74 lb / 33.57 kg
Features: 
Adjustable gear tracks and tension knobs, four molded-in rod holders, two YakAttack accessory tracks, a transducer scupper, and two storage consoles for mounting electronics


As you probably noticed, we included links to the pedal drives that we sell separately (Hobie 180 Mirage Drive, Old Town PDL Drive).

We also carry the Wilderness Systems Helix Pedal Drive, which is compatible with all Wilderness Radar kayaks but doesn’t come already integrated.

Wilderness Systems Helix PD Pedal Drive


And here’s an exclusive look at the FeelFree Overdrive, coming out this summer.


Recap

We’ve just covered all of our brands that design pedal-powered kayaks, highlighting important specs of certain kayak models. This isn’t a full specs list of every kayak that is compatible with the various drives, but we did include links to other models for each brand.

Share this blog, comment with your pedal experience, or reach out to us with any questions you may still have.

Happy pedaling (and paddling)!

 

34 comments

  1. It’s been years since I purchased my Liquid Logic from you guys. I am looking to upgrade to pedal power. I read a message here that stated if a Hobie flips over, the Mirage Drive will “sink to the ocean floor”. Is that true, it has no tether to prevent that?

  2. Have you received pricing on the new drive from Feelfree? Torn between Hobie Mirage and Feelfree Lure (11 or 13) but cant really compare without pricing on drive and rudder.

    Also concerned about beam on Feelfree…I want stability but at 36″ I cant believe it would be real nimble. Thoughts?

    1. We have been told to expect the Feelfree drive in the spring of 2018. Pricing has not been confirmed but is rumored to be around $1099 for the pedal or $1399 for the motor. There will be the motor/pedal combo at a price point we do not yet know.

      The Lure is actually quite nimble! Not as much as a Hobie with a large rudder, but it does perform really well.

  3. Im fishing out of a feel free moken 12.t now and loveeee thr boat. But im getting more into ocean fishing here on the west coast. Im in a toss up between the old town pdl or the hobie outback?.. Any info would be appreciated. Its a super tough choice. I have no place around me to test out the old town.

    1. Both have their advantages and are quality kayaks for offshore fishing! What would you say your experience is with offshore fishing? If you lean towards novice, the PDL could be a good idea because if it flips, the drive would float (if the Hobie flips, the Mirage would sink to the ocean floor!). Also the PDL is generally more stable but you’re probably not looking to stand up too much when you’re out there, but it could be argued that the PDL is a bit more suited for rivers/lakes and the drive hasn’t been as well-tested as the Hobie Mirage (although still very well-received so far).

      Not sure about your budget or color preference, but price-wise you could get the Outback camo package for about $150 less than the PDL, and the camo comes with turbo fins so it’s faster and it has a large rudder for easier maneuvering.

      Hope that helps – let us know if you have any more questions!

  4. I owned a Native Slayer 10 Propel for a little over a year. I bought it before the Mirage 180 came out and got zero customer service from the Native factory. The drive unit was fine, but getting into it to do the recommended lube was impossible and the Native people would NOT talk to me directly. I spoke repeatedly with the retailer’s tech guy who was very sympathetic, but could not answer my questions and relayed to me that I could NOT talk to the Native factory people. The implication was I didn’t know how to use a wrench. Their torque on the unit was excessive and it would NOT open despite buying a $60 recommended pin spanner. I finally got it open with a standard pipe wrench and a 3 foot cheater bar. I was sure I was going to fracture the housing – it was so tight. My only option “under warranty” was to pay the freight both ways and they would do the lubrication at their facility. I sold the kayak and bought a Hobie Outback Mirage 180 – problem solved. Native has a long way to go to ever get me back. Plus the Hobie quality is just better. Thanks to FastLane Kayaks in San Diego for my new Hobie!

  5. Hi , I’m interested in the newer drive systems ( have hobie already) , but would to try them in the water. Do y’all do demo days ? If so dates please.

    1. Hey Jeff,

      We just heard back from our Native rep and he said they’ve developed a replacement prop to take care of the issue and that the action plan is to send replacement props directly to all Titan owners who have registered their boats and to send replacement props to retailers (us) with existing un-sold Titan inventory.

      Hope that helps!

  6. Boy… you guys have me jealous looking at these great kayaks! I’m still plodding along in my 12′ Eagle Talon, but one of these days maybe I can get in something nice like these.

  7. I am a Hobie Revo 13 owner. I like the fact that the Mirage drive fins can be feathered for running in shallow water or placed tight against the hull in an instant if necessary. I can’t tell if the other brands have any capability to run shallower than the fixed shaft length.

    1. JT- you point out a great advantage to the Mirage system. The ‘feathering’ that you can accomplish by short stroking the drive is perfect in shallow water and the fact that you can place them flat against the hull makes it even better. So far neither of these features are available in the propeller driven versions offered by Hobie’s competitors.

    1. For more than one kayak, I prefer a lightweight trailer. Lightweight so I can un-hitch it at my put-in and wheel it by hand to waters edge. Since kayaks have a low profile they do not obscure vehicle tail-lights, thus you don’t need electrical hook-up. I bought an inexpensive trailer and assembled it or you can even build your own.

    2. Hey Bernadette,

      We’ve got lots of options to transport kayaks – including roof racks and trailers! Here’s a recent blog we published to help you choose what’s best for you depending on what kind of vehicle you have.

      As for the lightest weight, from the kayaks featured here, it would be the Perception Pescador at 74 lb!

    1. Hey Abram,

      Yes, it is! Sorry if the wording was confusing. We put links to the individual drives to show that we sell them separately but the Outback comes installed with the pedal drive.

      Lemme know if you have any more questions!

    1. Gary, there are so many variables to consider that I am not sure that there is a simple answer to your question. The wind can be a real bugger and even in a pedal powered boat can make it difficult to travel. One of the issues I see with many of the pedal powered kayaks is that the seats are much higher than a standard kayak and therefore your body is higher which creates more wind resistance. That being said I personally prefer to be in a pedal powered boat in tougher conditions.

      1. I have a Hoboe that i use primarily fishing in ocean estuaries. Compared to paddling, its much safer, i can rest my upper body and still not have the wind and tide move me back 100 yds. Im amazed to see the weigjt on some models get above 100 lbs. Dven with the Hobie i chose a Toyota SUV that has a rear window i drop so can slide the Kayak in without having to lift to the roof … or buy a trailer. I even wished Hobie built a “lite” version since the ulper deck doesnt need to withstand a nucleaar blast. It might also float higher and cut thru marsh and lilly pads easier. Wonder how the heavier units are if drawing more water; require more power? Suggest everyone map their use case to their water testing. At these prices you need to be happy wifh loading, manuvering and efficiency. And I certify, i am a long term owner, do not sell ’em. Happy shopping!

    1. I don’t think that you will ever see the prices come down to be competitive with the traditional paddle kayaks as there is just too much hardware and technology in them. I would expect though that there is potential for the prices to come down over time.

    1. Good morning,

      Bill from Grass Valley.
      I’m rather partial to Hobie’s. I have a PA (Pro-Angler) 14. It’s 14′ long has the mirage drive system. But if your into fishing… this guy blows the competition away. It is a kayak totally designed for fishing. It will hold 6 rods, live bait well, a fully adjustable seat (comfort) and has rails on both sides with accessories of all kinds to mount to the rail system. It’s fish finder system even has a port/enclosure for the transponder. This kayak/boat, is very stable. I could go on…. If your into fishing, you need to check out the PA 12 or PA 14. The one listed above is the Mirage. It’s a great boat… I should know. My wife and I have the tandem. It’s 14′ 6″, same boat, compliments two. We use it in Tahoe all the time. Have done So Lake Tahoe to Emerald cove and back… 16 miles. Great Kayak as well, but the PA is definitely set up for fishing compared to the Mirage.

  8. I have an Old Town Predator without the PDL and it is a good platform, but the PDL is tempting. That Native looks huge, but probably good for pitching. What is the pick of the litter according to Austin employees?

    1. We like them all for various reasons. The PDL is a great platform. Very stable and nicely finished. The Perception Pilot is tempting for the price alone and has great features for the money.