Grippy material for lining thigh braces

I glued thin minicell under the thigh braces of my new kayak, forgetting how slippery minicell gets when hot and sweaty.

I have a little bit of thin black foam that’s slightly less slippery that I used in my Merganser 16, but I’d like something with better grip still.

Cordura? Best adhesive to attach it to the minicell? I don’t need extra padding, just more grip.

Damn good question…
I’d like to know also…

I’m guessing neoprene, as my wetsuit feels fine against it…

A very good question indeed-
I have been thinking about the same problem for my boat now that the really hot weather is here.

The first solution I think is to build up a raised edge grip similar to whitewater kayak outfitting, so that you are not just relying on grip adhesion.

One thing I have thought of is the tape that is used on boat decks or shower bottoms. I got some from West Marine but have not yet used it. Two other things I have considered are the cloth wraps that tennis players use or the cork/rubber compounds in golf grips.

My new boat is a NF Legend, and the stuff they use stock is really slippery when it is wet, and that is especially a problem in a boat that needs a lot of (confident) edge to work well. Jamming my knee into that slippery stuff tightens up my lower body.

Let me know if you find a solution, and I will do the same.

A use for that piece of rubber that comes with a new pair of Chotas!

Thigh brace material
How would the stuff that mouse pads are made from work? Sooner or later, every computer user collects a pretty good supply of these.

Somewhere on Mariner website
I remember reading something about using contact cement to stop slipping. Supposedly if you just apply it to one surface (the thigh pad in this case) it is grippy but never actually glues to the other surface.

Never tried it, but thought I would mention it. Anyone out there ever try this?


I’ve used the
solvent based contact cement in such a manner.

My application was an area of the inwales on a small solo canoe. Painted the cement on a sheet of 1/4" minicell in stripes until I had a build of approximately 1/8", then glued the minicell to the canoe. Worked quite well, gave my knees some grip refurbish seasonally.

Also used the palm pieces of old sealskin gloves to enhance stiction. Cut out the patch from the glove and use the contact cement to fix it where you need the extra grip.

Old paddle gloves never die!

Another product that might help is that rubber dip sold for tool handles. It could also be applied in strips or a cross hatch to improve gription (new word for paddlers only!).

Baseball rosin to inner thigh.

rubberish mesh
My kayak came with some thin waffle-texture foam padding in the thigh braces. But I have no idea what Azul used for glue. It seemed water-soluble, since the pads first loosened and would slide around. I’d stick them back in and once dry, they seemed glued in just fine. Until they got wet again. I eventually lost both thigh braces, and after three years, this year the foam padding came off the seat, too. This hasn’t been much of an issue for me, because I don’t miss the pads.

Enough about Azul’s foolish glue. You asked what to use for grip, and I suggest the stuff some people use to line the bottom of drawers. I think it is a Rubbermaid product and it is available at Walmart and I am sure other fine outlets the sell shelving paper. It is a rubberish material and is a mesh. This stuff is real grippy, sort of grabs the bottom of the drawer and keeps the contents of the drawer from sliding around. The challenge would be to attach it, since it is a mesh. I don’t know if it will tolerate contact cement, but if you figure out a way to glue it in, I think you would find it fills the bill for grip.


Mouse pads
The one I use feels like it has a neoprene backing. Too thick for what I want to do, but a thin neoprene might work well.

I’ll try to think of other things that might work. I know that I like the feel of cork handlebar tape on a road bike. Problem with cork is that it would need replacement more often than synthetic materials such as minicell or neoprene.

Gotta keep mulling this over…

What works in my NF Shadow is not
to edge the boat by pulling up with a knee. As you found out, that just tightens up your waist area and makes the boat that much more tippy. Instead, push down with one cheek or the other of your boat. When I was told this technique last year, it really improved my boat control.

Here’s what you need
Saved this link from a post on another thread recently.

Lots of good foam working tips on that site too.

Another link
Oh yeah, there was also this link:

(scroll down to the product called “Fabric”)

I think the thin black neoprene foam might be the stuff I used in my wood kayak. It does grip better than minicell but still gets a little slippery.

My Tempest 165’s factory thigh braces are covered with some type of matte synthetic fabric. Even those will get a little slippery but they’re pretty good. Maybe a toss-up between the neoprene and them.

Rough Up The MiniCell With Sandpaper
and see if that helps (does for me). If it doesn’t work, you can still glue over it with something else.


Try it first.
Maybe dip your fabric of choice in water and try a few rolls. You might also want to put some miles on first with a piece between your flesh and foam. I’d be concerned about skin irritation if the fabric is too coarse. Contact cement is fine if you decide to make your covering permanent. I use nylon covered minicell for a heal pad, to keep paddling shoes from tearing it up.

I think I have the right material now
I told my husband I thought a thin wetsuit neoprene with nylon fabric on both sides would solve my problem. A little while later he dug around in a closet and waved a piece of thin (probably 1mm), matt-nylon faced neoprene at me.

I think this’ll do. I’ll cut and glue it tomorrow, then paddle the boat again on Wednesday. The foam bulkhead blocks and footrests are sized right and glued in, the excess bungie on the Snapdragon backband trimmed and sealed, the skeg cable tube pass-throughs Aquasealed, and the glass sharpies inside the boat have been sanded away. Saturday’s rolling and sculling practice left the front and rear hatches completely dry, and the day hatch with a couple drops in it–possibly from opening and closing it a couple times to insert and remove stuff. If it still gets water in it, I have a little more testing and Aquasealing to do.

Later, the real test: paddling it loaded. I get the feeling I barely sink this boat in the water, but so far at least it is behaving well (unloaded) with winds of 15 to 20 mph.

Wear long pants?
Like synthetic/nylon paddling pants, that kind of thing? Still not too hot, but I found they do provide grip.

I aqree - the first time I tried a roll with bare skin against the minicell in my Explo LV on a stinking hot day we barely made it up because I was sliding around so much.

Voltaire has it right
I also use the neoprene (1/8") material from the Kayakoufitting website. Works very nicely.

Be careful what you wish for …
My Aquarius surf kayak is custom fit to be a very tight fit. The cockpit has a small opening closer to an ocean style cockpit. When I use a surfing wet suit with knee pad protectors made from neoprene/nylon they grip the minicell very, very, well. It is almost impossible to get loose in moving water when the boat is being thrashed around.