In the world of kayaking, innovation and evolution are constants. From the early days of simple sit-inside kayaks for recreational use to today's sophisticated sit-on-top designs for the most demanding professional anglers, kayaks have undergone remarkable transformations to meet the diverse needs of paddlers. Among these advancements stands the Feelfree Lure series, a testament to ingenuity and craftsmanship in the realm of fishing kayaks—a line that has proven itself time and again.

By 2010, Feelfree was rapidly making its mark in the USA market as one of the top kayak brands with the original Moken 10 and 12.5, and eventually the Moken 14. The Moken series was the perfect go-to for fun and fishing kayak, providing everything needed for an enjoyable day on the water. However, during this time, kayak fishing was exponentially growing in popularity, and with that, so were the expectations of anglers.

The Moken was fast and nimble, yet it was missing something. Anglers wanted to stay out longer on the water, carry more gear than ever before, stand and cast, and take their time fishing rather than racing.

Already in the market were a several quality kayaks with some of these attributes, including the Ocean Kayak Big Game, Wilderness Systems Ride, Malibu X-Factor, and a few others. These were big and stable but still lacked certain features. Then, in 2009, Hobie released the Pro Angler 14, pushing the boundaries further with additional comfort and stability. However, at the time, the idea of using your feet to propel a kayak seemed a bit unusual for the average consumer.

The writing was on the wall: anglers needed something at a more affordable price point without sacrificing features, yet still manageable as a kayak. This need spurred a meeting of minds to develop a new watercraft to meet this demand. Head of Feelfree US, Jim Hager, CEO of Feelfree Thailand Sakun Khieowan, along with New Zealand designers Paul Lepper and Peter Murphy and Feelfree paddling expert Dinver McClure, came together to develop what is known today as the Lure Fishing Kayak.

The ask was simple: comfortable, stable, and capable—simple in words yet difficult to achieve, especially at the time. It needed to be stable not only for standing but also to accommodate one of the most important features that would help put the Lure on the map as one of the most popular kayaks of the decade - a seat like no other.

They took all the key elements and features the Feelfree Moken was known for, including molded-in handles, accessory rails, and the patented Wheel in the Keel. They flattened both the upper and lower deck for a lower profile and widened it to a whopping 36 inches. This gave them the room they needed to enhance the chine and deepen the channels to get more initial vs. secondary stability while opening up the cockpit to accommodate a standing platform. These features may seem rudimentary now, but at the time, this level of stability, a standing platform and accessory rails were part of the next evolution of fishing kayaks.

Once the initial design was complete, it was clear that this was exactly what would "lure" anglers in. But there was still something missing. If you know any angler, you know they will fish from sunup to sundown, but doing so on a kayak can be very uncomfortable. That's when accessory and boat designer Peter Murphy was challenged to design the most comfortable and customizable seat in the industry—the Gravity Seat. It was more than the cherry on top; it helped propel the Lure Kayak into the forefront of the kayak fishing industry.

Shown above, the original rendering of the Lure 11.5 V1 with the Gravity Seat concept.

In 2014, the Lure 10 and 11.5 kayaks were launched with massive success. At one point, the Lure series was the number one selling kayak for one of the world’s largest kayak retailers, one that I formerly worked for and I could attest to us not being able to keep up with demand. In fact, the popularity of the kayak was enough for the team to quickly launch a longer version for the more serious angler, the Lure 13.5, complete with an integrated cooler, cutting board, and a whopping 500lb capacity.

Shown above, the original Lure 13.5 with the cooler and cutting board.

Just a few short years later the concept of sharing the same experience with your friends and family was introduced with the Lure II Tandem. This kayak offered the same features and functionality as the rest of the series but for two. It was also during this time that the Lure series continued to be refined with several small but significant upgrades including the removable sonar pod. 

Shown above, the introduction of the tandem with new features including the removable Sonar Pod.

It didn't end there. In 2009, the idea of pedal kayaks seemed strange, sometimes ridiculed as cheating or even "gimmicky," but fast forward to more recent years, it was the next big thing, and Feelfree wasn’t going to be left behind.

The Feelfree team along with designer Peter Murphy were at it again. He didn’t just want to launch another pedal system but challenged himself to design a drive that was not only retrofittable on older Lure Kayaks but also featured something that nobody else was successfully capable of doing at the time — a true all-in-one pedal/powered system.

In 2018, Feelfree launched the Overdrive, a patented one-of-a-kind system that allowed you to convert your pedal kayak into a power kayak with the simple insertion of the Motordrive, making it convenient for you to go the extra mile. It was the first true Paddle > Pedal > Power system in the industry where you don’t have to remove any elements of your drive and continues to maintain that designation today.

Shown above, the most recent iteration of the Lure 13.5 V2 with high back seat, new storage console and the Overdrive.

Over the years, the entire series saw a variety of upgrades and while the Lure kayak may be 10 years old (Happy Birthday!), it is still holding its own as one of the top selling kayaks in the industry.

Now, on to the big question: will the Lure continue to evolve? Absolutely. In fact, our PRO team is diligently at work, taking the best of our best and always thinking ahead of what’s next.

You’re not going to want to miss this, so be sure to stay tuned!

Written by Roland Jimenez, Feelfree US

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