This forum was kind enough to give me some exellent feedback when I was looking for my kayak. Santa brought a Necky 13 Manitou and I am having the time of my life. After paddling for a couple months I have a footpeg question. How do you determine where to position it? How much bend should the leg have or should it be fairly straight? Appreciate all replies. Betsy.
According to Nigel Foster, and verified
...by me in other sources, when you are sitting fully upright in the seat (no slouching), you should extend your legs completely out and have toes pointing to the heavens (i.e. directly skyward), and that is where the footpegs should be set--right there on the arch of your foot.
Set as such, when you bend a knee to lean/edge the boat, that foot will move so that the ball of the foot is against the footpeg (rather than the arch) as you will then point your ankle downward. This allows constant contact with the footpeg, regardless of knee bent or straight.
So, set it while knee and leg are straight.
It is my impression that many have the footpegs too far out, so again, the above advice only works if you are fully upright in the seat when you set the 'pegs, and if your peg hole do not allow the 'peg to be set right on your arch (i.e. you have to choose one notch shorter or one further), pick shorter. Having the footpeg too far out is the biggest no-no as it would allow and encourage you to slouch down in your seat, the biggest paddling mistake for a proper forward stroke.
I don't think the Manitou 13 is bad on this kind of measurement, but women may have to reach a bit higher up and sideways to get to the thigh braces than Foster does in his pretty narrow cockpit boats.
I suspect that you haven't taken any lessons yet, which I would advise as soon as the water temps are where you can stand them, or find a pool session. You'll know where the footpegs need to be by the end of the first lesson on strokes and turning a boat.
What sets the footpegs is, as indicated in the description posted by cooldoc above, is the position that assures you can easily get your thighs up into the thigh braces. You turn and manuver the boat by lifting one or the other side with your thighs (or knees if the cockpit is on the big side for you) in the braces. Whatever footpeg position that puts your leg in position to lift into the thigh braces without too much ado is the right one.
For women, between the width of some of these boats and the cockpit depth, that often means the constant leg position is a bit more lifted and froggy than Nigel describes.