Pedal Boats vs Kayaks

Sam and I had a movie night where we watched a film about fishing, boating, and water activities. The character in the movie used a kayak for fishing and cruising, which sparked a debate between Sam and me about the best watercraft.

Sam, swore by the lightweight design and the skilled maneuvering required to ride a kayak. On the other hand, I couldn’t help but sing praises of the pedal boat’s simplicity and ease of use.  

Pedal boats vs Kayaks are different in terms of various features. For instance, Kayaks are lighter, require skilled rider, and is a great option to enjoy the outdoors. However, pedal boats are not meant for pro-level rides, and reflect a way to have some low-impact exercise.

None of us were ready to agree, and thus we could not complete the movie. These things apart, as per my experience, I have written a detailed comparison of Pedal boats and Kayaks exclusively for you. 

At the end of this comparison, you will get to know which one is a perfect pick for you. Let’s dive into the details.

Comparison of Pedal Boats Vs Kayaks

Pedal BoatsKayaks
Generally, it can reach up to the speed of 6 mph (9 kph), and that’s relatively slow.Usually, faster than pedal boats and can touch 8 miles per hour.
Stable on calm watersLess stable than a pedalo 
It can seat up 1- 5 passengers, depending on the model.Traditional kayaks can carry only a person whereas fishing kayaks can accommodate a bunch of buddies snugly. 
Pedalos are a bit tough to maintain.While regular upkeeping isn’t necessary, it’s advisable to clean the edges of kayaks after every ride.
Pedalos cost more than kayaks. Though they are cheap, additional gear, paddles, and jackets can increase the cost. However, still, the final price is lesser than that of pedal boats. 
Pedalos glide across the lakes silently. If made from nonbiodegradable materials, these watercraft can contribute to the pollution. It doesn’t create any noise and is also environmentally friendly (try not to leave any fishing gear in the water)
Beginners can easily start off and develop into pro pedalers in no time.May require time to understand the working mechanism.

Pedal Boats 

Pedal boats are purely used for recreational purposes in amusement parks and calm lakes. Let’s see, what perks, and drawbacks, these watercraft offers.

pedal boat

Advantages of Pedal Boats Over Kayak

Adventurous people (obviously I also) love pedal boating, and the reasons are pretty evident:

  • Firstly, It doesn’t require professional boating skills, and pedal boating isn’t as complicated as some other watercraft. 
  • A beginner will find it quite easy to maintain their balance. That means Minimal Risk, Maximum Fun.
  • Originally, these cute watercraft are exclusively made for hobby and enjoyment activities.
  • It looks attractive and comes in many beautiful colors and designs.

Disadvantages of Pedal Boats

Obviously, it comes with a few drawbacks as well, here are a few of them:

  • Honestly, these vessels are not lightweight; you may need help dragging them out of the water. 
  • Also, it is recommended to use them only in calm water, don’t bring them to fast rivers or oceans. 
  • You can only use it on smooth water bodies.  

Popular Manufacturers of Pedal Boats

If you plan to purchase a pedal boat, you can buy from any of the manufacturers mentioned below, as they use good quality plastic and make reliable boats.

  • Kay Park recreation
  • Gator tail LLC
  • Vintage Plastic
  • Paddle wheeler
  • Nauticraft corps
  • Wood Property Enhancement Co
  • Hydra Products LLC

You can also read our comparison between pedal boat vs canoe as well as Pedal Boat Vs Paddle Boat.



Kayaks are being used and loved by fishermen and common people who enjoy admiring the beauty of mother nature. Nothing can come closer to Kayaks when exploring the gorgeous water bodies. 

Usually, kayaks contain a wooden hull and have a covered deck to float and maintain balance. Due to its lighter weight and smaller size, you can easily carry it to picnic spots in your car. Typical kayaks only have one or a maximum of two sitting areas. Whereas pedal boats are bulky and heavier therefore sometimes, pedal boats arrived damaged during shipping.

Advantages of kayaks over pedal boats

Here are some pros of kayaks:

  • Suitable for big rivers. 
  • You can learn it with a little practice
  • Paddling Kayaks use those muscles which we don’t use commonly; hence they can tone them 
  • You can have some exercipaddles can increase your expenses despite being a cheap hobby.

Kayaks have some advantages over pedal boats. But remember, these benefits do not make it superior to pedal boats, as many other factors also matter. 

Disadvantages of Kayaks

Kayaks are a healthy and economical recreational hobby. However, the following are some drawbacks of this watercraft:

  • Life jackets may cause some injuries in your elbow, wrist, and shoulders (if not used properly).
  • The boat requires a pro rider.
  • You must already have some stamina so you can paddle efficiently. 

Popular Manufacturers of Kayaks

Following are the top manufacturers of Kayaks based in Canada and the USA;

  • Rhino Tuff Tanks
  • Important papers
  • Dutchland Plastics
  • Old Modern Handicrafts
  • Vintage Plastic
  • American Eagle Canoes

Best Option for Different Needs and Preferences

The Best Option For Families With Children

Children and families may find it difficult to maintain the balance of the Kayaks. Not only this, but Kayaks also require skills and good stamina to paddle in the water.

On the other hand, pedal boats don’t require any skill, have a rudder to set the direction, and are also easy to balance. Therefore, you should go with the pedal boats. Your family can safely enjoy the water venture without the risk of tipping.

The Best Option For Fishing Enthusiasts

You can not use pedal boats in the middle of a river or shallow depths of sea. Chances are there that it may lose its balance and may sink. However, Kayaks can efficiently float even in oceans and not-so-calm rivers. 

If you are a fishing enthusiast and love fishing in the deep water instead of on the shores, go with Paddling Kayaks. Kayaks will maintain their equilibrium, and you will enjoy paddling and fishing. 

The Best Option For Recreational Use

In recreational use, many people prefer to spend less of their energy. They want to explore and witness the aesthetics of nature. If you also belong to this group of people, pedal boats are the best option. It will require less energy and is easy and stable.

However, if you like to use Kayak for recreational purposes, you can do it non-controversially, as there is no predefined law for this. You will find Kayaks which are specially made for sports purposes.

These are longer, slimmer, and more lightweight than traditional fishing ones. You can also hook your Kayak on the shore to ensure safety.   

The Best Option For Exercise And Fitness

Inarguably, Kayaks are the best option for exercise and fitness. When you stroll the paddles, you use those muscles you can not use in daily tasks. Hence, you can use it for muscle building and toning. Kayaks can burn excess calories, which makes a good cardio workout. 

Its health and fitness benefits are not limited to this; it can relieve back and shoulder pain. Moreover, if you paddle properly and stroke it at your maximum speed, you can also lose weight. When you plan to use Kayak for fitness, consult an expert who can better guide you according to your muscle strength, weight, and stamina.  

The Best Option For Solo Vs Group Activities

No hard and fast option exists for choosing the best boat for solo activities. However, you can consider a few aspects before choosing a suitable boat. For instance, if you are a beginner, a pedal boat would be the best option as you will get gears in it to direct the directions and easy balance.

If you have some boating skills, you can pick kayaks for solo activities like the balancing techniques.  

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Pedal Boats Vs Kayaks

  • Intended Use

Pedal boats are great activities for leisure time; you can enjoy boating stress-free in them. Whereas, Kayaks are the best for exercise, health, and fitness purposes. 

  • Skill level and experience

Pedal boats require no skills and stamina; just pedaling like a bicycle is enough to propel in water. Kayaks are the opposite of this, as skills and powers are necessary to stroke the paddle.  

  • Budget

Kayaks are relatively more expensive than pedal boats. It would help if you also bought other stuff like fishing gear, jackets, and paddles. 

  • Portability and Storage 

Both pedal boats and kayaks are portable. You can load them in a truck top and carry it to the storage area. Trailer dollies are another excellent option for portability. You can hitch them with your car via dolly and then travel to your destination. 

  • Comfort and Ergonomics

Kayaks are less comfortable than pedal boats. Pedal boats offer more comforts in the form of better seating, cup holders, and a canopy as well. 

  • Safety Features

Both pedal boats and kayaks are safe. However, pedal boats are usually made for lakes; therefore, it has very few chances of drowning. 

  • Customization Options

You get customization options in both watercraft. You can add a canopy for protection from the sun, rough winds, and rain. A pedal Boat trolling motor is another option. It will help to sun your boat smoothly with a constant speed. 

FAQs Related To pedal boat Vs Kayak

Can I stand up on a pedal boat or Kayak?

You can stand in pedal boats, as you have to use your feet to propel them. But in a kayak, if you are able to maintain your balance, you can stand with confidence, otherwise, it is not recommended. 

How do I choose the right size and style of pedal boat or kayak for my needs?

You can ask about the measurement to the seller; they can guide you. However, a few things you should remember to get the perfect pedal boat or Kayak for you are;

  • Smaller pedal boats for lakes
  • Slimmer kayaks for recreational purposes
  • Wider kayaks for fishing purposes

Are pedal boats or kayaks more stable in rough waters?

Pedal boats are only stable in calm and smooth water. It can not tolerate the changing buoyancy of rough water. Whereas kayaks can stabilize and maintain balance even in rough water. 

What is the difference between a sit-on-top and a sit-inside kayak?

Sit-on-top kayaks are more stable and refer to fishing purposes. Sit-inside means you can sit inside the Kayak’s hull and operate the propelling mechanism manually.

Wrapping Up – pedal boat Vs Kayak

That’s a wrap. To choose the right watercraft, you need to determine your objective. If you’re looking to have a calm fishing trip with your loved ones, then pedal boats would be the perfect choice for you. There’s also another important point, which is finding pedal boat parts or paddle boat because you might need these parts later on. And, it can be quite hectic if you can’t find it when needed.

However, if you crave the thrill of a fast-paced ride in moving water, kayaks may offer more excitement.

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