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April 02, 2012

Kayak Power

A guide to the ever-expanding power options available to kayak anglers

Wind Power
So, in addition to arm power, kayaks can be effectively powered by an angler’s legs and with electric motors. But what about harnessing the power of Mother Nature to move a yak?

While it may be somewhat fringe, there’s been a growing trend of angler’s fishing offshore with kayaks that employ sails to harness the power of the wind. The idea is that when conditions are right, a kayak can be moved quickly enough with these sails to effectively troll for pelagic species.

“The integration of sailing and fishing is the biggest buzz I’ve seen,” says Morgan Promnitz, fishing product manager at Hobie.

But just as this is a highly specialized type of kayak fishing, the boats must also be highly specialized, and not many manufacturers outside Hobie make such an animal.

But Hobie’s Island series — a hybrid sailboat/kayak design that incorporates crossbeams and outrigger-like ama floats for stability — is being used with great effectiveness offshore, according to Promnitz. “They’re impossible to flip, and they go fast enough that you can troll marlin lures.”

What’s next in the evolution of kayak propulsion? Who knows?