To Paddle or Pedal? That is the question.

April 24, 2017

To Paddle or Pedal? That is the question.

To Paddle or Pedal? That is the question.

Fish on! You got a bite. You've been in the beaming sun all day waiting for the big one and you’ve finally hooked into it! After a good fight you land her in the boat and it's time to head on home. But your arms are now lead weights and you’re stuck at the mercy of the waves. Well, no longer must you suffer this hardship with the new generation of pedal drive kayaks!

Now you may be reading this and thinking to yourself "This doesn't apply to me. I don't fish. I'm simply looking for a casual day on the water." Although this may be the case, don’t immediately discount these models, there are actually more benefits using this style boat than one might think. To start, sit-on-tops in general are extremely user friendly. This is due to the overall shape and size being much wider which gives them better stability. This could be very important for new paddlers or those who are willing to sacrifice speed for stability. The open concept also makes it easy to get in and out of the boat with the added benefit of not feeling confined or restricted on your movements. Add to this the fact that you’ll be able to propel yourself hands-free and this makes a great case for photographers, or just those who want a to be able to change between an upper and lower body workout.

Pedal driven kayaks aren't new to the market, designs date back to the late 90's, however as time progressed, the development of more reliable and efficient systems has emerged. A prime example of the evolution of a quality boat design would be the new Perception Pescador Pilot and Wilderness Systems Radar series. Both of which are now available here at Outdoors Oriented!

Although these boats are very similar and share many of the same features, they're both unique in their own way. One major difference between the two is that the Pescador Pilot is sold in a package complete with the pedal drive unit and rudder, whereas the Radar (available in two lengths) is sold separate from the pedal drive and rudder. This enables paddlers to start with the kayak, and add accessories as they want. Once outfitted, the deployment of the pedal drive between these boats is also slightly different. The Wilderness Systems Radars have a spring loaded mechanism that retracts the pedal drive shaft by applying pressure to a foot pedal. The Perception Pescador Pilot uses a locking pin to engage or disengage the pedal drive shaft manually. Those paddlers looking for the ultimate package will also gravitate towards the Radars due to their compatibility with not only the Helix Pedal Drive, but also the Helix MD Motor Drive.
For those looking to purchase a boat specifically for kayak fishing you’ll be happy to know these models also retain all the important angling features and ultra comfortable seating that Perception and Wilderness Systems are known for. It’s also important to know that most kayak fishing tournaments are allowing pedal drive kayaks, and this can be helpful to get you out there first to the choice spots.

Regardless of whether you’re taking a rod, camera, or just a sense of adventure, you can’t argue the fact that you get maximum sunshine and get your tan on!

We’ve listed off some specs below, you can also see more images and details at the following link: Pedal Drive Kayaks


Pescador Pilot 12

Radar 115

Radar 135



11' 8"

13' 6"





Boat Weight


82 lbs.

89 lbs.

Deck Height




Max Capacity


450 lbs.

475 lbs.

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