cutting thigh braces

Hi - I’m wondering if anyone can advise me on whether cutting out the thigh braces on my Seaward Ascente is a good idea. I have a year’s paddling experience in fairly calm ocean water, so I’m barely an intermediate paddler. I just bought this Ascente second hand and it looks a bit beat up, so cosmetics aren’t a concern. The reason I am thinking of cutting out the braces is that they just don’t seem necessary for me. I put foam for my thighs to rest against just above my knees and this holds my knees right against the deck. If I need to lean, I seem to get all the leverage I need from my knees. So, I am thinking, why not cut out the plastic thigh braces that intrude into the cockpit? They make getting in and out tricky. However, I thought I’d ask for advice before ignorantly sawing off something and regretting it later! I should add that I don’t have a roll, but used to be able to re-enter and pump out my old kayak which I sold years ago. My plan right now is to practice re-entering with the new boat and/or practicing swimming it to shore - and never paddling far from shore.

Thanks for any viewpoints or advice. By the way, if anyone has any experience with this boat and can speak to the general handling characteristics, I’d appreciate hearing from you, also. It seems like a wonderfully fast boat with great glide - and thankfully does not seem tippy at all.

For what it is worth
I don’t know your boat, but I have cut out, put in, drilled, added, and subtracted from almost all my kayaks and canoes.

Additions and subtrctions make the boat all the more yours.



only reason I could think
is if you don’t know how to roll and you’ll need more hook to roll the kayak than what you need right now for leaning.

I have a plastic Chatham 16 and removed the thigh braces completely, I’ve rolled it fine in rough water while appreciating the ease of getting in/out.

I’ve had to trim back the thigh hooks on
two whitewater kayaks because there were no replacements available with less “hook.” After cutting the braces back, I packed minicell in the openings, using urethane glue to keep it in place. If done carefully, this can last for years.

Thanks, everybody, for the information. I’ll just go ahead and modify the boat to suit my needs. David

cutting boat
Careful, reasale value on this fairly expensive boat will be effected by chopping into the glass.

As your skills progress you more appreciate the thigh braces and will regret cutting them off.