Knee/Leg Position for Efficient Touring

I own Eddyline, P&H, Prijon, and QCC boats. My concern is with my QCC 700X and somewhat straight leg position with perceived limitations to torso rotation at speeds 4-6mph. I am 6’4" 215lbs, 11.5EEE, and not as flexible anymore. I would like to keep the boat because I like the QCC hull design, comfort, handling, gear hauling, and customer service. . I do not have this feeling with my P&H Quest or Eddyline Fathom boats because of the higher decks allowing more bending in the knees. I have been eyeing my jigsaw and epoxy ;-). I know racers keep their knees up and bent for good torso rotation. The cockpit is too small for me to do this. Would yoga help? Should I just move on sadly? Obviously, I know all boats do not fit all people. So, what are your preferences for leg, knee, and thigh brace positions for fast and or distance touring?



– Last Updated: Jan-09-10 7:48 PM EST –

You know mine, but I'll post here -;) I do not remember how short the QCC 700x cockpit was and if it allows any knee together paddling for folks like you and I in the 6'4" range... All I know is that my size 15 feet did not fit in it. That said, if you can put your knees together, that would make quite a difference, especially if your seat is slippery (direct on the fiberglass or with a soft gelpad like yakpads that allows rotation while still having nice cushioning). If you have a piece of wood board, tape it with weathersealing tape or duct tape across your foot pegs to see what paddling with the feet together feels like - I can't comfortably paddle with knees together unless my feet are also together pretty close. If you like it, make something more permanent and ellegant...

If all else fails, that jig saw option may be something to consider. Will be cheaper than building a full boat from scratch.

Of course, my Rapier 18 is still for sale -;) It has plenty of knee room but is somewhat tippier than your QCC.

I haven’t seen any QCC cockpits, but
I’m 6’ 5" with crooked legs and size 15 feet, and I’ve had to re-outfit several kayaks for comfort and control.

I’m puzzled by your statement that, because the cockpit is too small, you can’t adjust things for more knee bend. Do you just mean the immediate cockpit rim, or do you mean the volume of the boat in the bow?

Unlike kocho, I would try for splayed knees, as much as the cross section of the boat will allow. This will mean your toes will also splay outward, but your heels should be right together, touching or as close to touching as possible. Some minicell padding should be placed on the deck where your splayed knees contact the inside of the hull. Probably, if the hull is small in cross section, your splayed knees will not need additonal support, but foam wedges can be glued in outboard of each knee to keep them from dropping outward.

See whether your knee braces are keeping your thighs from rising enough so that your knees can splay. There is a chance that some hacksaw work might help. I have trimmed several sets of knee braces back, mostly for easier boat entry, but also to move the thigh support contact patch outward.

I hope this is helpful or, at any rate, not misleading. Possibly if I saw the boat, I would say, “You’re screwed, get a bigger QCC”, but quite possibly there’s a chance for improvement.

Increase flexibility
While I’m not familiar with the QCC, yoga will/does help flexibility. Regular and consistent stretching of the hamstrings and hip muscles will make sitting and rotation with the legs stretched out flat much more comfortable. It’s not an overnight fix, but consistency will improve the problem.

I also have a QCC 700, I use mine for racing and got good results from cutting the seat out and building a different one. I was able to move myself rearward slightly, and lower. You might try removing the seat first and even sitting on the bottom, and adding layers of foam until you get your seating position better. The QCC is a great kayak, very fast, I have a pretty good string of 1st place finishes to attest to it. You are wise to hang onto it.

BTW, I am 6’1" 192 lbs with size 12 feet, so pretty similar size.

Jim and big guys …
Its much easier than you think to cut a cresent shape out of the foredeck, cut the coaming and push the whole thing forward. Glass from the inside with a little touch up outside and you can have a longer cockpit. Weight gain is minimal.

Also consider a footbar that goes across.

I like my Epic 18X Sport because it has plenty of room to put your knees together no matter how tall you are and the full foot brace allows me to center my feet. It’s a very fast boat.


More Info
Thanks for the input. I am sorry I did not add the following information. I was paddling in Florida Everglades a week ago with my Quest. I wanted to use the QCC for load hauling but the possible leg comfort issues over ruled. I ran into a QCC 700 paddler with similar age and dimensions. He stated he had similar problems and a seat issue. Recently my legs feel as if they are taped flat to a 2x8 while paddling the 700X. My hamstrings are very tight from basketball, jumping, and age. I probably do not stretch properly and regularly. I am building a Hybrid Night Heron HD. This will help with my glass work and deck modifications for proper deck height. The Fathom, Quest and QCC70 depths are 13.5, 14.5, and 12.5. The Hybrid and S&G Night Heron depths are 12.5 and 11. The S&G fits nicely except for my feet. The depth spec tells you something but you must paddle the boat for the final fit answer. A thought I had was to cut out the deck by my knees and bump that area up. The thought of cutting into such a beautiful boat is almost unbearable. I would like a longer narrow keyhole cockpit also. I think my leg issues are borderline. I will try to resolve the issues this spring. I was looking for ideas and knowledge on dealing with prone legs while paddling. The QCC 700 has helped me develop better paddling and rough water skills. It is almost a joy to load and unload the 700X because of the weight.


Your Rapier 18 is a fine boat but my body in the water will create too much drag. The bar across the foot peddles is a good idea. I know Onno makes them. As for your feet, get to ports with dry socks and install them. Just pop the ports off, insert the feet, and paddle. Watch out for weather cocking.


Unfortunately no bigger QCC 700s. The pictures below show no knee braces.


She is not going anywhere soon unless I get a good offer.


Your excellent glass work makes the job simple. Hopefully I will develop some glass skills soon. The foot bar sounds good. I like to stretch my legs inside the boat at times.



QCC Q500x
I opted for the QCC 500x for the knee room. I’m 6’3 and have 13.5 feet.

Thanks for the inputs.

BTW I am waiting for the expedition Epic 18x layup. I wanted the fast sexy QCC for long paddles and trips. I am trying to build a yak to fit. We shall see…


Think long and whack it
While I have an 18’ woodstrip, I have extended its cockpit twice in both directions- fore and aft. It’s not a beater boat, but I went for function and didn’t care about perfection.

I did have a yak with foot pedals causing straight, splayed legs. I got more and more discomfort as I paddled, tried many changes, and have settled on knees and feet together.

On the Sealline pedal to rudder system, I bolted on a foot brace that left the toes free to work the rudder. Made a power and comfort difference too.

Onno is right- try different boats- yours and others, determine what clearance you need, how much knee bend, make plans, and start cutting.

My knees are bent ~10 degrees, others strap knees together at 60 degrees.