The kayak pedal drive arms (or foot?) race is in full swing. And now, NuCanoe is bringing their own pedal drive system to their wide open decks and 360 degree seating. You may have seen pictures floating around social media of NuCanoe’s H2ProDrive and wondered when it will be available. Well, now the time is close.
We caught up with NuCanoe president, Blake Young, for some more details on the H2ProDrive.
Kayak Angler: The H2ProDrive has been making its way all over social media, and it looks remarkably different than anything on the market. Can you explain how it works?
Blake Young: It’s really pretty simple. The pedals mount in the Freedom Track in front of the seat. As the pedals rotate, it turns a worm drive the runs along the deck floor and connects to a transom mount prop shaft. The prop shaft turns side-to-side control direction, via a steering lever mounted next to the seat.
KA: When did NuCanoe start looking at getting into the pedal game?
BY: At iCast 2016, everyone was getting in the pedal game. However, all the standard designs utilized a hole in the deck floor. Going that route was not an option for us as it would compromise the openness and customizability that kayak anglers love about NuCanoe. We knew of the H2ProPed pedal system as some NuCanoe owners were already using it. So we tested it out, saw the potential, but knew it needed a serious redesign to optimize it for our boats and have it perform up to our standards. That’s when the real work began!
The pedal system mounts directly to the NuCanoe Freedom Tracks.
KA: How did the pedal system design process take shape?
BY: Our Shop Manager, Robby Anderson, took the lead on this project and never looked back. He started identifying and improving the “weak links” and deficiencies of the “off the shelf” H2ProPed drive. Steering control, transom mount security, and pedaling fluidity were the main areas we had to improve. Dave Gater from H2ProPed came out to our shop in January to assist in the design & development, and our designer James Thomas contributed some key solutions. It was a very collaborative and evolutionary process!
KA: How long of a process was it to get the H2pro where you wanted it?
BY: We started working on this in October 2016. We’re really pumped about how well it works now, but we’ll continue to make improvements and refinements going forward.
The prop shaft is mounted on the transom to avoid and large holes in the open deck of the NuCanoe.
KA: What is the gear ratio of the drive, and what are the cruising speeds?
BY: (The gear ratio is) 5.8:1. Cruising speed is 3.5-4.0 mph at a very comfortable pedaling rate.
KA: What NuCanoe models will the pedal system work with?
BY: Initially, the Frontier 12 and Pursuit. Over the next 6 months we will work to develop a version for the F10.
KA: The Pursuit was a game changer for NuCanoe, do you see the pedal system as the next kayak fishing game changer?
BY: I see it as part of the evolution and development of kayak fishing more than a game changer. Anglers want solutions that will maximize their fishing experience or give them an edge in competitive events. Our aim is to provide a great solutions and let anglers choose what suits them best at any given time. Both the Pursuit or Frontier 12 can be set up in so many ways – solo, tandem, paddle, pedal, transom mount motor, bow mount motor, outboard – and reconfigured easily between these setups.
KA: Does the pedal drive work with all seat positions ie: hi/low/etc.?
BY: Yes. Users can have the seat in their desired height or adjust the height to where they feel most comfortable pedaling.
KA: How complicated will installation be?
BY: Initial installation will take 30-60 minutes and is pretty simple. Two small brackets are permanently installed on the inside gunwales, otherwise everything is removable. After initial installation, it takes less than 10 minutes to install or remove the H2ProDrive.
The prop shaft turns side-to-side control direction, via a steering lever mounted next to the seat.
KA: Will this only be available as an add on when you buy a NuCanoe or can NuCanoe owners buy one to retrofit on their boats?
BY: The H2ProDrive will work on ALL existing Frontier 12 and Pursuit models. We designed the H2ProDRive around these models, rather than make changes to the model to accommodate the drive.
KA: Here’s the big questions, how much will the H20ProDrive cost?
BY: Initial MSRP is $999 (though that is subject to change).
You will be able to get a first, live look at the NuCanoe H2ProDrive at ICAST 2017.