Foot room in Alchemy 14L

I went to a local paddle shop to try out the cockpits of the Zephyr and Alchemy. I’m 6’-3" have size 12 feet and I was wearing my Crocs. The shop had an Alchemy 14L and the Zephyr 155 Pro.

In the Alchemy 14L my feet extended past the vertical spreader that was part of the hull stiffening brace. With my Crocs on my feet simply didn’t fit and barefoot my toes were pushing against the under side of the deck.

In the Zephyr 155 Pro there was actually more foot room but still not enough for my feet.

Although the sales person identified the boat as a 14L I never actually verified that I was sitting in an Alchemy 14L. Maybe it was a 14S. I’ll have to call the shop this morning and confirm.

Any comments on foot room in the Alchemy 14L and what other plastic boats in the 14-16 foot range with foot room should I try. I think I want a rockered hull with a skeg.

you were probably in the L
You were probably in the L. My size 11 feet (with my 32" inseam) go up next to the center foam pillar. It works for me, but I could see not working for everyone.

I talked with a dagger rep once, and he said the L was sold about 3 to 1 over the S, so that is the more likely one to find on shop floors or in demo fleets.

I liked the seat in the 14L. There is no way my feet will fit.

I’ll visit a couple more paddle shops in the area. I don’t even need to demo the boat to check cockpit fit.

I’ll take my paddle booties.

I haven’t had issues in my 14L
but I think I tend to angle my feet (size 11) so the toes aren’t bumping the underside of the deck.

The Zephyr 160 I used in a class was plenty roomy. I think the deck is a little higher, by maybe an inch. Would the 160 be too big?

Tried the 14L too
I considered the 14L but ultimately I did not have enough foot room to be comfortable in it. I don’t fit at all in the Zephyr 155, my Zephyr 160 works but the foot braces are all the way forward for me. I’m 6’1" with size 11 shoes. The Zephyr 160 doesn’t feel at all big to me.

First…I’d advise against the crocs. For safety and comfort I paddle barefoot when it’s warm and in soft, pliable mukluks when it’s cold. Comfortable and just about impossible to snag on anything upon exiting the boat.

Since I picked up my Alchemy used for half the price of a new one I wasn’t shy about moving the seat back and tearing the stiffening shit out. Ahh… perfect. Something to consider.

I don’t paddle in Crocs, they don’t do well near water, mud and slick surfaces. I just happen to be wearing them when I drove to the paddle shop. I should have taken my paddle booties but it turned out that with my feet past the pedestal my barefooted feet barely fit.

I sat in the Alchemy a long time trying to think of ways to make me fit. I didn’t think of taking out the stiffening system so thanks for the idea. lives near me and offered to let me test paddle his Z 160, so the research goes.

I’ve wear a size 14 shoe…
And fit in the Alchemy L just fine, with booties on of course. Fun little boat, surfs well, great stability, kinda quick.

It’s a tightly fitting boat
The specs list the deck height at 14.25", assuming that’s accurate. That’s not miniscule. Unfortunately, unlike some sites, Dagger doesn’t appear to recommend the foot size that it fits.

I’ve tried what I thought was the 14S at a store and was later told it’s “probably” a 14L. Take that for what it’s worth.

My experience was that it was a tightly fitting boat in every way. That meant to me that I was shoehorned into it and felt tied to the kayak. It was responsive and interesting and I liked it, but I’m quite sure that “tight” is the right adjective. I could see that how I maneuvered myself into position would have a tremendous impact on whether tight became too constricting.

How you fit in a kayak is not simply a matter of shoe size or height, but how you actually sit in it altogether.

FWIW, I’m about 5’11" now (lost height as I aged) and 185 pounds with an 11.5 US shoe size, and I paddle with water sneakers on (not as bulky as Crocs, but not as slim as booties either). I have long skinny legs, though.

“Fit” is very personal

– Last Updated: Mar-06-12 11:51 AM EST –

For about a year I paddled my plastic Zephyr 15.5 and felt rather comfortable in terms of fit in it. I have size 15 feet and more importantly long inseam (I max-out the V10Sport surf ski, for reference).

Of course, in the Zephir I could only sit barefoot or with neo socks. But this way I have plenty of comfort and I am not cramped. Of course, my feet are in a V position and toes slightly forward of the heels - I can't have my feet vertical as the deck is way too low for this.

With my paddling shoes (2 kinds of them, both rather low profile) I could not even place my feet inside.

All that with the foot braces moved about an inch forward from the factory position.

So, folks with shorter legs can fit large feet just fine or even wear shoes in the same boat where us long-legged creatures feel cramped (the hull gets narrower and lower where our feet are near the bulkhead).