For over twenty years the option of cruising hands-free on a kayak has been possible, but never has it been more affordable. The last five years have seen an explosion in the number of pedal-drive options available to kayakers and kayak anglers and, more importantly, the cost of entry into this category continues to go down as known technologies become available to the market. These trends have all culminated with the release of the new Strike HD from Lightning Kayaks.
While Lighting as a brand is fairly new, a little history lesson will prove they are far from a novice in the industry. The Captains at the helm of the brand are experienced industry experts, starting with Stuart “Stu” Lee, the mastermind and owner of Accent and Cannon Paddles. His multigenerational company has been designing and manufacturing paddles since 1983, and in 2017 they partnered up with Robert Field, a “Do-Er” type who three years ago decided to ditch the corporate world and pursue his real passion of kayak fishing.
Out of that partnership, the desire to bring to market a high-quality kayak with a pedal-drive system that is loaded with features at a competitive price point was born. The result: The Lightning Kayaks Strike HD.
What is so special about the Strike HD? Well it has all the high-end benefits of other top pedal-driven kayaks on an affordable platform combined with killer looks and proven performance – all for only $1749.
The Strike is a well-balanced kayak that offers true-and-tested pedal drive technology in a tri-hull catamaran-like design. The hull offers premium stability and superb secondary stability while reducing the amount of drag on the water for those moments when paddling is desired or necessary. The cockpit is ample and wide and includes a flush 8” round hatch and one cup holder on each side. EVA foam padding puts the finishing touches on the deck. The benefit? Reduced noise and added traction.
The bow (front) and stern (rear) handle are molded into the kayak and give a solid connection to the kayak when being loaded into the back of a truck, rack or trailer. The front hatch is large with enough capacity for all the gear you could need. The rail of the kayak features an integrated track that allows you to mount any of your favorite accessories without having to drill on to the boat, giving you 100% control over the rigging as you can make changes to your set up on the fly.
The seat offers a high and low position with the rudder control available on the right or left side (comes installed on the left). Two bungee paddle holders also line both sides of the kayak and flush mount out facing rod holders are available behind the seat for rod storage or trolling. The tank well of the Triker is wide enough to accommodate a 35qt cooler or your favorite crate storage solution. To finish up, the kayak comes with the Freedom Drive. The drive is based on a time-tested fin drive design and offers forward deep and shallow propulsion capabilities.
The kayak feels nimble and agile on the water because of its tri-hull design and the fact that it only weighs 94 lbs (low when you consider the category that it lives in). All in all, the Strike is the response to the consumer who is looking for all the advantages of a higher-end, pedal-drive system without the wallet-emptying cost.
Interested in learning more or have any questions? Let us know what you think!