The BOTE APEX Pedal Drive: An In-Depth Look

With the BOTE APEX Pedal Drive, getting from Point A to Point B on the water has never been easier. In other words, the APEX Pedal Drive is a revolutionary accessory that’ll transform your LONO Aero or Rackham 12′4″ into a hands-free, pedal-powered watercraft in no time flat.

Say goodbye to clunky steering systems and constant juggling acts between paddle and rod, and hello to the APEX Pedal Drive.

what is the apex pedal drive?

The APEX Pedal Drive is a revolutionary hands-free, pedal-powered system that can transform your LONO or Rackham Aero 12′4″ into a foot propelled kayak. In terms of its anatomy, the APEX has a number of key attributes going for it.

First, it’s got a 10:1 gear ratio for smooth, efficient pedaling. This basically means one full rotation of the pedals on the pedal drive will spin the propeller 10 full rotations in the water. This means you can travel farther while expending less energy.

Second, the APEX Pedal Drive allows for no-touch forward movement and reverse power. Want to go forward? Simply pedal in a natural forward motion. Ready to reverse? Switch to pedaling backwards. It’s that simple. The foot platform of the pedals themselves is super wide with secure straps built for all-day comfort.

Third, the rudder system is as intricately complex and thoughtfully considered as it is super simple and straightforward to use. It can be easily installed in minutes, allowing you to get on the water in no time. And the steering rudder is spring-loaded so you won’t have to worry about hitting debris or scraping in the shallows — the rudder kicks up and keeps from getting stuck or damaged. Not to mention the steering system is super intuitive — because, you know, shouldn’t you just have to turn right to go right, and left to go left?

All in all, the APEX Pedal Drive is a fast, maneuverable, and easy to use kayak propeller.

The APEX Pedal Drive makes a huge difference in performance and usefulness. You can cover more water and save a lot of time getting there. The rudder system allowed me to make surprisingly sharp turns. The combination of sharp turns, rapid speed, and hands-free operation makes it a terrific choice for fishermen.

- Thomas B., Verified Buyer

the benefits of the apex pedal drive

The most obvious thing that makes an APEX Pedal Drive-equipped watercraft great and differentiates it from a regular inflatable kayak or SUP is the inherent hands-free nature of it all. With free hands comes great opportunity. You can pedal and steer (and even reverse) with your feet while your hands are freed up to sip on a BOTE Beer or cast a trolling line or even whip out those birding binoculars.

Another benefit of the APEX Pedal Drive is its sheer speed. With the 10:1 gear ratio, you’ll be able to cut through the water with incredible quickness and efficiency. So, whether you’re trying to go long distances in a short window of time or wanting to speed things up to better troll for fish, the APEX Pedal Drive can transform your kayaking experience into a very speedy thing indeed.

Finally, the APEX Pedal Drive is just plain easy. It’s easy to use, and it’s easy on the body. Which makes getting on the water easy as well. Which is really what it’s all about — getting on the water with as few barriers to entry as possible.

how to use the apex pedal drive

Setting up the APEX PD is a breeze. The two APEX-compatible water vessels within BOTE’s fleet, the LONO Aero Inflatable Kayak and the Rackham Aero 12′4″ Paddle Board, feature clear removable pedal ports that seamlessly sync with the Pedal Drive unit. When it’s time to attach the APEX Pedal Drive, simply pull out the plastic port, bolt in the pedal drive to the pivot mount with the one-pin connection Link Bar Connector, and then slide the pedal drive into the hole.

“Bingo. From regular kayak to pedal propeller kayak in seconds,” says BOTE Co-Founder and CEO Corey Cooper.

bingo. from regular kayak to pedal propeller kayak in seconds.

-BOTE Co-Founder and
CEO Corey Cooper

The rudder system is a super streamlined and intuitive device to control and steer the kayak. Both the LONO Aero and the Rackham Aero 12′4″ (more on these shortly) have two mounting points on either side of the paddler. The rudder steering seamlessly slides in and out of these mounting points, and the hand-steer is connected to the rudder via a steering cable that runs down the slide of the kayak or SUP and can be secured against the side with a velcro strap. The rudder then articulates true to position. So, if you want to go left, turn left. And if you want to go right — you guessed it — turn right. It’s that simple and that easy.

compatible bote products for the apex pedal drive

So, you’re ready to transform your regular inflatable kayak or SUP board into a pedal powered kayak or SUP? You’re in luck. BOTE offers a couple of different best-in-class pedal powered options.

LONO Aero + APEX•PD

First up, the LONO Aero is BOTE’s original fishing kayak. Recently reimagined with APEX PD compatibility, the LONO is the go-anywhere, do-anything adventure boat, and the “Ultimate Fishing Kayak.” Or, as BOTE CEO & Co-Founder Corey Cooper says, “The LONO is a portable, packable, badass, high-end, inflatable fishing kayak."

It’s tough as nails, super packable and portable, and crazy versatile. Not only does the LONO refuse to discriminate on what kind of adventures you want to take it on, but it also caters to a wide variety of paddle enthusiasts and their interests. Load it down with your kid or your dog, take it to a secret fishing hole a dozen miles downriver, or simply pedal around in your backyard backwaters. The choice is yours.

Apart, they are impressive. Together, they are incomparable.

The lono is a portable, packable, badass, high-end, inflatable fishing kayak.

- BOTE Co-Founder and CEO Corey Cooper

 

Rackham Aero 12′4″ + APEX•PD

The most recent member to join the APEX-compatible kayak family is the redesigned Rackham Aero 12′4″ Paddle Board. This original badass board was already the ultimate in versatility, and now it’s a SUP-kayak hybrid paddling transformer. Use it as a stand up paddle board, a regular sit-down kayak (with the included Aero SUP Paddle Seat), or a foot propelled kayak. Because why wouldn’t our most heavy-hitting, heavy-duty inflatable paddle board also be hands-free? The new and improved Rackham Aero 12′4″ now comes with a substantial yet straightforward upgrade: the addition of an APEX Pedal Drive compatibility.

According to Corey, “What we’ve done is add the APEX Pedal Drive integration port and seat tie-downs to our already feature-rich Rackham Aero. So, very simple modifications make this an extremely badass crossover between a hybrid kayak pedal drive and a SUP.”

What we’ve done is add the APEX Pedal Drive integration port and seat tie-downs to our already feature-rich Rackham Aero. So, very simple modifications make this an extremely badass crossover between a hybrid kayak pedal drive and a SUP.

- BOTE Co-Founder and CEO Corey Cooper

 

Shop the Journal

LONO Aero 12′6″

Native Citron

Rackham Aero 12′4″

Classic Cypress

APEX Pedal Drive