could be…
…I paddle a red/red pintail, red dry suit, red pfd (not all by design). I met so many great folks there I’m still trying to remember. Was there Friday through Sunday; what a great weekend!


I add some hard construction foam…
…a 1" piece on top of standard minicell to make the total thickness I want. That way my feet brace against a relatively hard surface.

Why? as recommended, I push pretty hard on the pegs (or bulkhead) to get forward stroke juice. It seems to me that the 1/2" give in minicell foam underfoot is detracting from the force I can get. Yeah, that seems small, but remember that every inch at the feet translates (by leverage through hips, arms and paddle shaft) into quite a few inches of paddle blade travel in water. So losing 1/2" translates into a several inches of blade drive which, IMHO, makes a difference. (I really should try to measure the ratio someday – pretty sure it’s at least 5:1).

One disadvantage of the hard foam is that it’s brittle and breaks. So you gotta treat it kindly when it’s not snug against the underlying minicell at the bulkhead. But in there, it’s fine.


might have seen you, there were so many people there and I spent all my time teaching. so only deal with small groups all day, never really see everyone.

I was there thursday thru monday. Camped in remote storage section.

Paddled the 18 mile trip on Friday then helped teach euro classes all day Sat and taught Greenland rolling on Sunday.

yellow over yellow Nordkapp with red trim for the trip, and yellow over yellow Anas Acuta with black trim for the teaching stuff.

Best Wishes


Why do you want to remove the rails
and the pegs? I have 2 boats with custom bulkheads (Nordkapp and Avocet), both have the original rails and pegs. Sometimes other people can paddle them. The rails and pegs have never been a problem for me.

I’m a new fan…

– Last Updated: Dec-21-07 8:19 PM EST –

...of foam. I placed two layers of extruded polystyrene (foam insulation) against the glass bulkhead, and then carved out a piece of minicell between them and my feet. Rather than take the Yakima footpegs out (and risk leaking, stripping bolts, etc.), I just pulled the trigger back and pushed them against the minicell. They just sit there, and feel fine. In order to get the minicell in with the footpegs in the way, I just cut the minicell in half (vertically down the middle), and put each half in at a time. Works like a charm, and is super-easy to modify if need be. I have no angle to my minicell, but I don't feel like I need one. And after long times in the boat, I still don't feel the need for more room in there. This configuration (for me) solves more problems than it creates. I paddle an NDK Romany, and the salt water on the metal and aluminum peg and track assembly make me nervous about surprises.

How much pressure can you put against the bulkhead when paddling?

I guess that would be my other concern. The bulkhead in my Nordkpapp LV is somewhat thin. I put a lot of pressure on my pegs when I paddle (pumping legs while paddling, using foot pressure during turns, etc)

I would be afraid to put as much pressure on the bulkhead I think.


net modification behind seat?
how did you do that…?

A lot!
Valley boats’, and most other decent composite sea kayaks, bulkheads are glassed in. You can put a whole lot of pressure against the bulkhead. Many very strong paddlers have been doing so for years.

Rails and pegs
Actually, if Valley sends it with custom bulkhead and foam block they’ll send it without the rails and footpegs. Matt may not have caught up to that yet.

As to having them or not - I agree that they can be shoved out of the way and it’s easier than bothering to remove them. I kept 'em in my Vela and the footpegs sit between the layers of my very poorly cut foam blocks and help make up for the lousy job I did of shaping it. Perhpas a winter project - finally giving the Vela a decently cut block. But they were already installed.

When we picked up my Explorer LV, Tom handed me the rails and pegs and asked if I wanted him to install them. He was ready to do it right then and there. I hefted them once and that was it - they are sitting in a cabinet still in their original wrapping.

I took the second three inch block and sliced it into two segments so I have widths of 3", about an inch and about two inches. I can switch out blocks to handle anyone else who’ll make it thru the cockpit. The only problem is that I have to ask someone with oval hatches to carry home any unused blocks.

blocks and pegs
As reflected in the fact that Valley builds kayaks this way, there is no problem with force up against the bulkhead–a lot of people foam out the bulkhead on glass kayaks and I’ve never heard of anyone blowing out a bulkhead. Be curious if anyone has?

As for the pegs and rails, they are separate questions. I typically take them both out, but it is easy to slide out the pegs and leave the rails in place if you want to go that route.

  • it actually reduces issues
    Exactly my experiance.

Quickform installation
I’ve got the artic tern as well.

I like the footpegs and having my legs slightly bent at the knees (it’s way easier on my back than having the legs straght out)

I tried a adjustable full footrest and ‘that went south miserably’ (wobbled like hell)so this year I’m looking to incorporate mnicel with the knotches cut in (once I grind out the center slide I epoxied in…grrr)but found Elmos idea of building up th outside of the brace with additional foam affording a full pad I can push off on and one I can relax against. That would allow the slide in technique.

Some good thoughts here…thanks !

Yeah - if I had a rudder.
Seen your system on Hex’s EFT and it’s really nice.

If I ever decide to retro a rudder onto the 700 - and want to mess with something DIY for fun - it could be just the ticket.

Without rudder, foam rules! It need not have a soft/mushy feel. Mine’s quite stiff - with very little give at all (just enough to not feel like you’re on a hard surface). I put the stack of minicell I used in the floor and stood on it before installing and it hardly deflects at all under my full weight (which is considerably more than than force I can generate to drive the kayak forward via paddle in water)

Similar, without the pedals, which you
could add if switching to a ruddered boat anytime down the road.

Sorry, forget the model, but I have had guys mount a pump directly onto the kit. The Foot plate is plenty strong and EZ to modify if need be.

The beauty of this is you can still adjust the whole thing fore or aft just like you normally do with foot pegs.

As above, i don’t think people realize what they are missing by being ‘stuck’ with just the skimpy footpegs until the change is made. Then you wonder how you ever did without it. There is a huge difference in performance, handling ease and comfort to be had in every boat.

If you wanted less cockpit or more forward of bulkhead space you could always make a simple bracket to hold this in a fixed position or switch to shorter rails and fill the one hole per side then switch your as stock bulkhead position too. Hope this last part makes sense.

: )

Mahalo, some mods since then too.

depends on what you want
And the type of boat. I tried it on a couple of boats, have used the exercise mat (Greyak actually gave me a piece and so I went out and got exactly that) as well as much harder foam, and I just can’t get a distance that works for most conditions. coupled with the fact that i would want to scoot forward sometimes. Unless I had a really large volume boat.

Always felt that a perfect combination would be two side collumns with open space in between but don’t have any boats wide enough in the foot box to be able to do that and still have enough space to slide through the middle. So for me the concept of having to take out one inch blocks to accommodate other paddlers, not being able to slide in and just lay back on the back deck for a rest (course you could probably do some of that if you had a high deck which I also don’t have, without feeling jammed in the boat, is not acceptable for me.

As I said before it is just an opinion. I personally like the versatility of having options.


I think you’re referring to my pics?
If not, sorry for butting in here.

If you look at if full size, you might be able to pick out a bit more detail. I’m sure there’s many ways to do this.

Netting cut to shape and then sewed on ‘hem’ (some nylon I had hanging around) and then ran bungee through the nylon hem through various attachment points behing the seat. Works very well for me.

very clever design. what did you use for attachment points? It would need to “open” up pretty easily, yes?

Size G - remove pegs
There’s a reason to remove the pegs. Those of us with size G feet (gorilla) need all the room we can get. I can get my size 13+ Chota mukluks into the Explorer, but only with the rails gone.

Here’s a tip: you can stretch your legs out straight if you don’t make the foam bulkhead even thickness all across. I’ve got a 1" piece of foam installed with an extra inch or more just where my feet rest on the outsides. These 2" footpads are contact cemented to the big piece. That way, I can pull my feet into the center and stretch out - well, if I have soft-soled booties on. With the winter Chota’s, the feet are wedged in there…

Cheers, Alan

You can see the attachment points…
…on the back and sides of the seat–just running the bungee through. Besides that I ran it through the little metal loops that are screwed to the bulkhead and that attach to the D-ring that Valley uses to run the seat attachment straps through. In addition, I put another screw through the bulkhead at either side of it as close to the side of the hull as I could get and ran the bungee through that as well. This effectively ‘seals’ up this area and keeps stuff from coming out even in the surf. There’s just enough space on the either side of the netting, however, to pull back the flexible bungee and grab what you need or put something back. Creates another somewhat secure spot to keep some gear like sponge, gloves, hat a little waterproofed food and I put a small Platypus bag at the bottom of the pile. Hope you find something that works for you.