Can You Convert a Kayak to Pedal Drive

Can You Convert a Kayak to Pedal Drive?

Tired of Paddling? Tips On How To Make Your Kayak Pedal Drive

Kayaking is fantastic for burning off some energy. It helps build your coordination and upper body strength.

There’s nothing better than taking your kayak out on the water for a quiet, relaxing day fishing. But wouldn’t it be great if there was a way for your hands to be free?

With a pedal kit, you can quickly turn your standard kayak into a pedal drive. Many of these kits are easy to install, just bolting onto your kayak.

They have a cable drive that runs the kayak length to the propeller, located at the stern. If pedaling is too much work for you and you’re looking for something even less taxing, you can add a motor to your kayak.

Is It Possible To Make A Kayak Pedal Drive?

It is entirely possible to transform your run-of-the-mill kayak into a peddling beast. While you can buy one of these on the market, if you already have a kayak, there’s no point in scrapping it when you can buy a kit to expand its capabilities.

Tips On How To Make Your Kayak Pedal Drive

While it would be ideal for pedal kits to be 100% universal, it’s not exactly possible. Kayak brands and models are too diverse for that. Most manufacturers of these kits focus on a select few models and perfect their fit.

Look for an easy-to-attach system that requires no drilling. You can find kits that easily bolt onto your kayak with a cable drive that runs the vessel’s length to the stern, where the propeller will be located.

Benefits of a Pedal Drive Kayak

While most people think of a traditional model when you say kayak, those with pedal drive are becoming more popular. They also offer many benefits.

Hands-Free Operation

The most notable and obvious benefit of a pedal drive kayak is that it’s hands-free. Your arms aren’t tired from paddling all day because your legs will be doing all the work.

The Best Fishing Option

Pedal drive kayaks are an excellent option for fishing because they let you stay in one spot while you bait your line. They also increase power, allow you to reach your destination faster, and cause less of a disturbance to the water and the fish.

You’ll be able to troll and handle a fishing rod at the same time. Find a fishing life jacket explicitly designed for anglers to optimize your storage and maneuverability.

More Speed

If you need to get around the water faster, a pedal drive kayak is for you. In addition to more speed, you get more efficiency when getting to your fishing spot. Cover larger bodies of water easier than if you were using paddles, and do it while maintaining a higher speed.

Leg Power

Most of us have more power in our legs than in our arms. This gives pedal drive kayaks a clear advantage over traditional paddle drive kayaks. Additionally, operating a pedal drive kayak is like riding a bike, while paddling a kayak takes time to learn a technique.

Can You Make Your Kayak Motor-Driven?

The simple answer is yes, but it’s a little more complex. One standard solution is to add a trolling motor onto the back of your kayak.

Choosing a Mount

When getting the mount, there are several things to consider. First, it needs to be shock absorbent. Otherwise, your motor’s vibrations will be passed onto your kayak, making for a very uncomfortable ride.

Try to find a mounting kit that is easy to install since you’re most likely the one doing the installation. Next, make sure the components are rust and water-resistant. Finally, ensure it’s compatible with your specific kayak, not just kayaks.

Electric vs. Gas Motors

While electric trolling motors cost more, they’re the safest option for you. They eliminate the requirement to carry flammable liquids with you on your kayak and don’t pollute the water and fish you’re trying to catch.

Gas-powered motors used to be the more powerful of the two, but electric motors have become their equals with technological advancements. At this point, gas motors only have one main benefit: their price.

To Drill or Not To Drill, That Is The Question

You may not even have to drill holes into your kayak to attach your trolling motor. Depending on your model, it may be designed to have a motor attached.

If you do end up having to make holes, ensure they are smaller than the screws you will be using. This will ensure that two things happen. First, your mount will be snug. Second, there won’t be a gap in the hole that allows water into your kayak.


Adding pedals to a traditional kayak will take it to a new level. While learning how to paddle takes time to build a technique, pedaling is like riding a bike and will take you no time to pick up. You don’t have to buy a new kayak to get this benefit.

You can purchase a kit to transform your traditional kayak into a pedal drive kayak. Most of them are designed to bolt on, requiring no drilling of holes in your kayak. This makes assembly much more accessible, eliminating the problems associated with leaking from the holes.

If pedaling is still too much work and you want an even more relaxing experience, consider adding a motor to your kayak.

An electric motor is the best option as it removes the need to carry flammables with you and will not contaminate the environment or the fish in the water.

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