Leg-paddling Kayak

Demo video for the leg-paddling kayak


I enjoy paddling but unfortunately get tired a little too quickly when I only use my arms, especially if it’s against the wind or against the current. The idea was to build something simpler for my own use so I tried the simplest thing I could think of, the paddle attached to a pole(6) between the legs and ropes(3) from the feet to the paddle. It gave a lot of power but it turned out that when you pedal you pull your knees up exactly where you want the paddle.

This led me to start experimenting with having the paddle far forward and putting pedals(10) in front of the paddle. It turned out to work really well and it is basically this solution that I worked on further. Now it has got handles to be able to help with the arms and on the latest version you can also control the rudder with the handles and it has got fold-out pontoons behind the back.

It’s probably not as efficient as the finer solutions with fins and propellers that I’ve also seen, but like a regular paddle it can handle most things like seaweed, reeds, ice and shallow water. I have also discovered that when you have your hands free you can do a lot of other things while gliding along, such as fishing, filming, taking photos, looking through binoculars, perhaps hunting, etc., etc.

Have been in contact with a number of kayak manufacturers both in Sweden and abroad but no one has believed in the idea. Some liked the solution themselves but thought that the kayakers were far too conservative for them to dare to invest in such a different kayak.
I don’t think it would be any problem to manufacture the paddle system at a good price even in small series but the problem is that you need a custom built kayak.

The biggest problem with my kayak today is that it is far too short, you get so much power that you get up to the hull’s top speed almost at once. When you push a little, you get about 10km in an hour, but then there are big swells so it’s not particularly effective, it would be interesting to test with a longer hull.
No plans to build a new one at the moment but have an idea for a different front drive system that I’ll probably have to try eventually !!