Float bag in bow for foot rest?

-- Last Updated: May-07-04 12:21 PM EST --

I have a question...

I have to give quite a bit of thought, and make numerous adjustments in outfitting the cockpit of my sink, in order to minimize the legs and feet going numb phenomena. I currently use yak pads heel and ankle gel pads on the foot pegs and plan to put a small piece of closed cell foam on the floor of my yak. I also keep a small dry bag with some fleece clothing under my thighs. I do stretch and move my legs around while paddling to. All of these things help.

I do like the idea of having some sort of surface behind the foot pegs that will alllow me to keep my feet in the same plane when moving them off the foot pegs from time to time, while stretching. A variety of different things have been suggested. I was thinking that a float bag, inflated and in place, might be just the ticket because is would be soft and also minimize the amount of water I need to pump out of my boat in the event of a capsize.

Any feedback on this idea? Any float bag to recommend? I know it's just one more piece of equipment to haul to the take out and put away when I get home-argh!!! But it seems like it might work and it would be dual purpose.

What do you guys think?

If you have room for a “bow shaped float bag”, it sounds as if you may not have a forward compartment (w/bulkhead & hatch). Which means that having a float bag up there would be a good idea. It would give you the floation you need for safety; mean less water to pump out in a capsize (as you noted); and give you alternative foot support.

However, if you do, be sure to secure it in place so that it doesn’t “float” away when you capsize.


Here’s the link for my boat:

– Last Updated: May-07-04 12:22 PM EST –


Plenty of bulkheads-just happen to have some room behind the footpegs. I guess it was misleading when I said bow shaped, because it wouldn't be bow shaped and still fit!

Sorry for any confusion and thanks for the feedback. I went ahead and edited the above post to better refect what I am really asking!

wxtex bags

– Last Updated: May-07-04 12:33 PM EST –

Hi there,

I have a bag to recommend if you pursue this: a company called "WX tex" makes very light weight dry bags that come in various sizes. What's neat is that they make a line with an air valve, so you can inflate them to use as extra flotation, or compress the air out if you want the bag to be small to fit in a bulkhead. Or even if you have just small items in the bag, you can still inflate the rest of the space with air. I just bought these for a camping trip so that I could pack my tent and sleeping bag in them and put them in the bow in place of my usual float bags. I think they're a better deal than the float bag, because you can use them either as flotation only, or for packing stuff as well. They come with slits on the end to make lashing them in place easy. For easier loading unloading, I made little rope loops off the very end of my foot rest rails and then I can use a caribiner to quickly attach/un-attach them. Depending on how your bow is shaped, these bags might work for you. Also, I thought they were pretty competitively priced compared to other regular dry bags that don't have that nifty air valve feature.

EDIT: Based on your edit above, I think these bags would definitely be perfect. Find the right size for the width of your boat behind your foot pegs and it should work nicely. You can also use it for your under thigh cushion and inflate to just the right support - with our without extra clothes or geat inside...

Good luck!



how do you attach float bags?

– Last Updated: May-07-04 1:11 PM EST –

I have a Perception Sonoma 13.5 which does not have a bulkhead in the bow and it has a foam support pillar though. I have a pair of split float bags but I never figured a good way to fix them to the inside of my boat and still have the bags inflatable and not have the air tubes tangling around my feet. How do you guys even manuever to do any sort of work inside that thing anyways?

attaching float bags
My kayak also has that center pillar so I have the split bow bags. Mine have D rings at the ends and the way I have secured mine is by threading a web strap through the D rings, around the back of the foot rest rails and then buckled together. It’s not easy leaning over to do that! I can then push the air tubes down towards the very tip of the bow and with the fully inflated bags they fit snug enough that they stay out of the way. I was only able to do this set up because there is enough room to sqeeze that web strap behind the rail. Depending on what your rails are like, you might be able to do something similar…FYI - I’ve done dumping and re-entry practice with this set up and so I know they stay in place.

Another idea would be to run a strap or rope lengthwise around that pillar - but it will probably be a real bear getting it up and around at the tip. But if you can add a strap around it then it could stay in permanently and you’d have somthing to anchor the float bags to. I’m picturing something that would fit pretty snugly around the pillar so there would not be any entanglement risk.

Good luck!

thanks paddle_lupe!
I like the web strap idea. i don’t really want to mess too much wrapping things around the pillar because once it’s around i may never be able to get it off.

Follow up question, what’s a web strap?

web strap…
Maybe there’s a better name or maybe it’s really called webbing strap? I mean a 1/2" or 1" nylon strap with a buckle - you can get them at Academy or any sporting good store for like $2 for a 4 ft. strap which was plenty long for mine. You can get a strap with the quick release buckle which sound better, but then you have a bulky piece of plastic on both ends which won’t fit behind the rails. I got a strap with the kind of buckle that is just attached to one end and then you loop the other end around and cinch down to tighten (like on a back pack or a belt). Once you know how long you need, you can cut off any excess and melt the end with a match to keep it from unraveling.

I like the strap with the buckle since it’s easy to tighten. Another PS - Those bags stay in my boat all the time - I don’t have to remove them when car-topping the kayak (although I do usually have a cockpit cover on).

Hope that helps to clarify!

That makes sense. As for never taking them out of the boat, does the inflation tube stretch far enough to inflate the bags from the inside?

this is the only link I found:


Is it a UK store?

That is certainly an interesting and
promising product!

Yikes, no - I picked mine up at Sun and Ski Sports and our local independent outdoorsy store sells them too. Let me see if I can find out more specifics on them - I’m sure they must sell them online.

I’ll get back to you…

Pacific Outdoor Equipment…
is the name of the company and the model I’m referring to is called “pneumo” sacks. Here’s a couple online stores that are selling them. It’s weird because REI has them under camping/hiking stuff sacks, but they’re specifically designed for use in boats!

Sonoma Outfitters has one you can use as a sun shower while you’re camping!



PS - this company makes lots of fun stuff like super light weight flamingo tent stakes and food storage bags that you hang that look like fun pinatas - but all of it’s out of super lightweight technical material! Fun!

I can inflate mine…
I can add air to my bags with them in place because the air tube is pretty long. It is important to check them before each trip because they do lose some air over time. I don’t know that I ever tried to add air while I’m actually in the boat - I check and add air as needed before each trip/paddle.

That Is Interesting.
I guess EJ is into innovating. I like his comment about “patents.” :smiley:


numb feet legs
is that the primary problem?

Yes, in every sink…
but it is greatly improved with these modifications. so that I can paddle a couple of hours before I notice it. I think I would just like to maintain a better feeling of still being in good contact with the boat when stretchinng and moving around.

I went to REI yesterday
on my way home form work, and picked one of these bags up. I think it will probably work for what I have in mind. I think a smaller one will actually probably work better than a fleece stuffed dry bag under my thinghs, but I am not sure how well they will work at keeping gear dry if I capsize (if in the cockpit and not a hatch), and I plan to try it next week during a practice. Let me know how they work as dry bags for you.

Thanks for the info and link.

If it doesn’t work, I may send off for the bean bag as that looks like it would be perfect! Right now, I will start with something that I can use to stow gear if needed.

Thanks again,


quite dry
I haven’t capsized with them, but even with a full spray skirt I end up with water sitting in the bottom of the boat and they kept everything dry. I probably should have done a dunk test in the bathtub ahead of time, but so far they’ve held up. They’re so light I know they don’t seem as waterproof as the heavier plastic bags, but they seem to be very well made.

Good luck!