foam, feet and fit--particulars

I’ve been paddling my Tempest 165 for about a year. I’m quite happy with it but every now and then I wonder if there’s something I can do to make the fit even better. I really haven’t done anything to it to “customize” and I’d really like to “dial it in” now.

Thigh brace pads–someone familiar with the Tempest design (Flatpick? are you there?)-- if the thickest part of the pad (the side closest to my torso) has full contact, the thinner part does not. Is that where some foam should go?

Knees–how bent should they be? Is the aim for them to always have contact with the boat, or is it really the thighs that are most important, contact-wise? Right now, if the knees have contact, they are kinda splayed out…maybe that’s ok? Or maybe I should raise the bottom edge of the seat to get them more upright?

Foot issues-- after an hour or so, maybe 2, I can get “hot” feet (a slight burning sensation centered on the ball of the foot) which sometimes turns into numbness, particularly on the right foot. I have it with both thin and thick-soled footwear. Anyone else have this issue? It used to happen to me on my clipless-pedal bike sometimes too.

I’m pretty new at this but I know details can make a big difference. I welcome suggestions!

I found that the factory WS stuff
is very adjustable, and can get my fit tuned-in right where I want it to be.

Just in case there’s an adjustment you aren’t familiar with,WS has this page with video’s on their website.

For me, raising the front of the seat provided the best improvement over prior boats I’d had. I like to have my thigh up close to the braces, almost touching just below the knee. A little flexing up and I’m tight, a little flexing down, and I can exit. Backband keeps me from pushing backwards off the seat. For me, the hip pads, with no additional shims, work to keep my butt from moving to the side, and help keep me in place upside down. I needed nothing that didn’t come with the boat to get dialed in.

Foam Block

– Last Updated: Jun-27-10 5:40 PM EST –

I put a block of foam under my calves or ankles and I'm good for hours of leg comfort. Don't fasten it to the boat. Move it around as needed.

Yes... what desertdave said. Lots of thigh support and foot pegs not so close. Some folks can get away with no knee bend. I have to have some.

Thigh contact matters more than knee contact.

If you are getting numb on the bottom of your feet you are staying too jammed into your contact points. Allow your legs to lay flat on the bottom and use shifting your weight when you can to affect trim. Or lose the foot pegs and see if putting a foam bock against the bulkhead will work.

That’ll mean that you want to have enough room to move side to side in the seat.

Where in upstate? If you are in the Albany area, there are a number of people in the ADK paddle group who have done a lot of customizing. You could come to an evening paddle and look at their boats.

thanks desertdave for the video link. Good overview.

I did raise up the seat front as you suggested, and moved the thigh braces back a bit and already it’s better. I also tightened up the backband–it was a bit floppy–and that’s improved things too.