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August 24, 2022 10 min read

Cheap Pedal Kayaks

Woman on a yellow pedal kayak

Pedal kayaks are some of the most expensive kayaks on the market, and that’s all thanks to their pedal drive paddling systems.

Although most models range in the thousands of dollars, there are some that are slightly cheaper for those who want the benefits of a pedal drive without the extortionate price tag. 

In this article, we’re discussing 6 of the cheapest and best pedal fishing kayaks that can also double up as recreational kayaks. So, if you’re on the hunt for your next or first pedal kayak, keep on reading!

What Is a Pedal Kayak?

Man and a woman on a pedal kayak

Pedal kayaks, which are a favorite amongst fishermen, are like your standard kayak, just with a pedal drive system. The pedal drive system is similar to that of a bicycle, where you use your legs to push the pedals in order for the boat to move. 

The reason why fishermen especially prefer pedal kayaks is because they don’t require a paddle. If you aren’t using a paddle, it means you have two hands-free at all times, which is perfect for casting or reeling in a fish. 

Along with the pedal drive system, pedal kayaks also have a hand-operated rudder to help you steer the kayak in the direction you wish to go in. This rudder system is controlled by an easy-to-use dial that is typically placed on the left or right-hand side of the kayak seat

As well as being hands-free at all times, pedal kayaks also have some other benefits and these include: 

  • Speed - As your legs are the strongest part of your body, using a pedal drive system will propel you through the water faster than if you were paddling with a standard kayak paddle. 
  • Easy to use - With paddling, you need to perfect the correct paddling technique. This can take time and be difficult for new paddlers. Pedal systems, on the other hand, don’t require any technique making them far easier to get the hang of. 
  • Less fatigue - Pedaling requires less energy than paddling, so using a pedal system can reduce fatigue and give you more time out on the water. 

And although all those benefits sound amazing, pedal drives do also have a few downfalls such as 

  • Cost - As we mentioned before, pedal kayaks are more expensive than traditional kayaks and typically cost over $1000.
  • Weight- The additional weight of the pedal system makes a pedal kayak far heavier than a standard kayak. More weight results in the boat being harder to carry and transport, so that’s something to keep in mind. 
  • Performance in shallow water - Pedal kayaks perform well in deeper waters, but in shallower waters, they struggle. The additional weight of the kayak already causes it to sit lower in the water, but the main issue is that the pedals protrude underneath the boat. If you’re paddling in shallow waters, you could run the risk of the pedals scratching along the rocks or ground beneath you. 
  • Noise - When it comes to a fishing kayak, you want it to be as quiet as possible to prevent scaring away any fish. And although pedal fishing kayaks perform well in other aspects, they’re far noisier than a standard paddle kayak. 
  • Cramped - The last downfall of a pedal kayak is that the deck space can sometimes feel cramped, especially if you’re a larger paddler. The front section of the boat that your feet or gear would usually rest in is instead taken up by the pedal system. 

GILI’s Top Picks

Best Overall
Hobie mirage passport 10.5 sit-on-top pedal kayak
Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5

The Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5 makes our best overall pick due to its pedal drive system that is retractable on impact.

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Cheapest Pedal Kayak
Riot mako pedal kayak
Riot Kayak Mako 10

The best cheap pedal kayak goes to the Riot Mako 10 for its low price point, high weight capacity, and numerous storage areas for all of your gear and belongings.

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Best Performance
The catch 130 HYDRYVE fishing kayak
Pelican The Catch 130 HYDRYVE II

Pelican designed  The Catch 130 HYDRYVE II to be maneuverable in even the shallowest of waters.

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6 of the Cheapest Pedal Kayaks on the Market

Riot Kayak Mako 10

Riot mako pedal kayak

Dimensions Weight Capacity Check Price

10’4” x 36”

82 lbs

470 lbs

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The Riot Mako is one of the cheapest pedal drive kayaks on the market, making it a great option for those who want to stick to a budget.

In total, the Riot Mako kayak weighs 82 lbs and has a maximum weight capacity of 470 lbs. This relatively high weight limit is ideal for kayak fishing as the weight of all your fishing gear really does add up when it's all placed on the boat at once. 

When it comes to length, the Riot Mako is just over 10 feet long making it a fairly easy pedal kayak to transport and store. The only issue is that you may need a kayak cart to get it to and from the water, but that’s pretty standard with all pedal kayaks because of their additional weight. 

The Riot Mako features a comfortable frame seat, a pedal drive system that can pedal forwards or in reverse, and a rudder that is controlled by a dial on the right side of the kayak seat. Along with these features, you can also find a back bungee storage system and a front hatch to store any other personal belongings that can’t get wet while you paddle. 

Specifications and Features

  • Adjustable frame seat
  • Propeller pedal system
  • Can pedal forwards or in reverse
  • hand-controlled rudder
  • Back bungee storage system
  • Front dry hatch storage area
  • Four integrated fishing rod holders

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • It is a great and affordable pedal fishing kayak.
  • It has a back bungee storage area as well as a front dry hatch for all of your belongings. 
  • There are four integrated fishing rod holders. 
  • You can transport it by the front or side carry handles.
  • The frame seat is adjustable to suit different paddlers.
  • The short length may make it feel somewhat cramped.

HooDoo Impulse 120

Hoodoo impulse 120 fin drive kayak

Dimensions Weight Capacity Check Price

12’ x 35”

100 lbs

440 lbs

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The HooDoo Impulse 120 comes in six bold and unique colors with the option of a fin or propeller drive system at checkout. 

Regardless of which option you choose, however, HooDoo also includes a paddle and a paddle keeper with their Impulse kayak. Having a paddle included not only gives you the ability to creep up on fish but it also allows you to remove the pedal system entirely and use the boat like you would a regular kayak

Along with the paddle, the Impulse is also kitted out with gear tracks, four integrated rod holders, a tracking fin, multiple dry storage compartments, and an adjustable aluminum frame seat.

Specifications and Features

  • Three gear tracks
  • Four carry handles
  • Paddle and paddle keeper
  • Four integrated rod holders
  • Adjustable aluminum frame seat
  • Rudder system
  • Tracking fin
  • Removeable drive system
  • Multiple dry storage compartments

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • You can decide if you’d prefer a fin or propeller drive system.
  • The Impulse comes with a paddle for times when you need to be quiet on the water.
  • You can remove the pedal drive system and use the Impulse like you would a regular kayak. 
  • Throughout the kayak’s hull you can find numerous dry hatch storage areas to keep your gear safe and dry at all times. 
  • The kayak is extremely heavy making it difficult to transport and carry.

Enjoy Kayaks Bay 10 Convertible

Enjoy kayaks bay 10 convertible pedal kayak

Dimensions Weight Capacity Check Price

10’3” x 34”

85 lbs

400 lbs

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The Enjoy Kayaks Bay 10 Convertible can be used as both a regular or a pedal drive kayak with the option of adding on a drive system. For steering, Enjoy Kayaks conveniently placed a rudder at the back of the boat, along with a steering knob on the left-hand side of the seat. 

Along with the pedal drive and rudder system, Enjoy Kayaks also include a paddle with their Bay 10 Convertible as well as an integrated paddle holder to keep the paddle secured to the boat when it's not in use. 

Some other features of the Bay 10 include a large back bungee storage space, dry storage hatches at the front and back sections of the boat, and an adjustable seat to the position you closer or further away from the pedal system. 

Specifications and Features

  • Optional drive system
  • Rudder with left-hand sided steering
  • Integrated paddle holder
  • Back bungee storage area
  • Dry storage hatches
  • Adjustable seat 

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • You can purchase the kayak as a regular kayak or you can convert it to a pedal-driven kayak. 
  • The rudder is easy to use thanks to the left-hand-sided steering knob. 
  • Enjoy Kayaks included a paddle holder so you can secure a paddle to the boat at all times. 
  • Numerous storage areas throughout the hull mean your gear will be safe throughout the entirety of your trip. 
  • The seat is adjustable so you can position yourself closer or further away from the pedals. 
  • The kayak is fairly short which may not be suitable for taller paddlers. 

Enjoy Kayaks Bay 12 Convertible

Enjoy kayak bay 12 convertible pedal kayak

Dimensions Weight Capacity Check Price

12’ x 32”

81 lbs

400 lbs

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If the Bay 10 Convertible kayak from Enjoy Kayaks is just a little bit too short for you, then why not try their Bay 12 Convertible. 

The features of the Bay 10 and Bay 12 are relatively similar as you also have the option to paddle or pedal the Bay 12 with an additional pedal drive system. Along with the pedal drive, the Bay 12 also has a rudder that is controlled by a steering knob on the left-hand side of the seat. 

Some other similarities of the rotational pedal kayaks include the integrated paddle holder, the back bungee storage area, the front and back dry storage space, and an adjustable seat to accommodate both tall and short paddlers. 

With all that being said, however, the main differences between the two are their lengths, widths, and weights. The Bay 12 has just under an additional 2 feet on the Bay 10, but it’s also two inches narrower and surprisingly four pounds lighter.

Specifications and Features

  • Optional drive system
  • Rudder with left-hand sided steering
  • Integrated paddle holder
  • Back bungee storage area
  • Dry storage hatches
  • Adjustable seat

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • You have the option to paddle or pedal the kayak depending on if you install the pedal drive system. 
  • Steering the kayak is made simple by the left-hand-sided rudder system. 
  • If you do decide to take a paddle out with you, you can secure it to the kayak when it isn’t in use. 
  • All your gear can be stored away in the back bungee area or in the numerous dry hatches.
  • Its narrow width may make it difficult or unbalanced for stand-up fishing. 

Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5

Hobie mirage passport 10.5 sit-on-top pedal kayak

Dimensions Weight Capacity Check Price

10’5” x 34”

75 lbs

325 lbs

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The Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5 is the lightest pedal kayak on our list as once it is fully rigged with the pedal system it only weighs 75 lbs. 

Hobie designed their Passport 10.5 with their patented MirageDrive GT system that has kick-up fins. Kick-up fins, like the ones featured on Passport 10.5 quickly retract up into the kayak when they come into contact with debris or objects in the water. This retractable system makes the Hobie line of kayaks some of the best pedal kayaks on the market, as you don’t need to worry about your pedals breaking during a collision. 

Along with the retractable propeller system, the Passport 10.5 also has a bow and stern bungee areas, an accessory mounting rack, an 8” twist and seal hatch, two-rod holders, and a suspended mesh aluminum frame seat.

Specifications and Features

  • Retractable pedal drive system
  • Bungee and dry hatch gear storage options
  • Accessory mounting rack
  • Integrated rod holders
  • Suspended mesh aluminum seat

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • The Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5 is the lightest pedal kayak on our list.
  • It has a retractable pedal system so you won’t damage the fins if you collide with an object in the water.
  • There is enough storage space for all of your personal belongings and gear.
  • Although the Passport 10.5 is the lightest kayak on our best pedal kayak list, it also has the lowest weight capacity which could be an issue for those with heavy gear.

Pelican The Catch 130 HYDRYVE II

The catch 130 HYDRYVE fishing kayak

Dimensions Weight Capacity Check Price

12’6” x 34”

78 lbs

425 lbs

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The last pedal drive kayak to make our list is the Pelican The Catch 130 Hydryve II. Pelican designed their fishing kayak with a pedal system that even makes maneuvering in shallow water a breeze. 

At 78 lbs, the Catch 130 Hydryve II is the second lightest kayak, just behind the Hobie Passport 10.5. But the Hydryve II has an additional 2 feet, making it suitable for taller or larger paddlers.

Pelican kitted their kayak out with two 4” and two 8” rigging tracks, front and rear bungee storage areas, bottle and tackle box holders, and an 8” dry hatch with a storage bag for items that can’t get wet. 

On top of that, they also added four-rod holders, an accessory eyelet, a paddle tie-down, and a seating system with additional lumbar support.

Specifications and Features

  • Four rigging tracks
  • Front and rear bungee storage areas
  • Bottle and tackle box holders
  • 8” dry storage area
  • Four-rod holders
  • Paddle tie-down point 
  • Lumbar support seating system

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • It is the ultimate fishing kayak with numerous fishing features such as rigging tracks, a tackle box holder, and integrated rod holders. 
  • The seat has lumbar support to improve comfort over long paddles.
  • Pelican designed their kayak so it is easy to maneuver in even the shallowest of waters. 
  • It’s the most expensive kayak on our list.

If price isn’t too much of an issue for you, then we’ve also created a list of The 9 Best Pedal Drive Fishing Kayaks that you should check out!

FAQ’S

🏆 What Is the cost of a pedal kayak?

Pedal kayaks are some of the most expensive kayaks on the market due to their integrated pedal drive systems. But, with that being said, there are some that come in on the lower end of the price scale. 

In general, you could be looking at paying anywhere from $1,400 to $2,500 for a pedal kayak, depending on its features, pedal drive system, and accessories. 


👍 Can you put a pedal drive on any kayak?

Only specific pedal drive kayaks have the ability to house a pedal drive system. If you have a traditional kayak, but you want the pedal drive features, then you’d have to purchase a separate kayak of the pedal drive variety. 


🏝️ What is a kayak with pedals called?

A kayak with pedals is called a pedal drive kayak or a pedal kayak. 


❓ Are pedal kayaks faster than paddle kayaks?

Pedal kayaks are faster than paddle kayaks which is why many people favor them. Our legs are the strongest part of our bodies which means we are able to drive more power into the pedals to propel the kayak through the water at faster speeds.

Megan Bryant
Megan Bryant

Based in Bali, her favorite SUP spot is the GILI Islands themselves. Travel is another passion of hers - she dreams to see the entire world one day.


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