I bought a Pungo 120 after reading reviews here (EMS sale also helped considerably…) and have paddled a number of times this summer. Love the Phase 3 seat but I find the footpeg location a bit frustrating.
Backstory is that I am 37, in pretty good shape, had right hip replaced (!) three years ago. I enjoy paddling and am working on stroke technique as no super-formal instruction. My preferred footpeg position has my knees bent and braced against the pads on the coaming.
Problem appears to be that my feet are at 45-degree angle in the boat, and over time this causes my right leg to get sore or even go to sleep - whatever tendon/ligament that runs on the back side of the knee is very sore! I have tried stretching that ligament prior to paddling but little effect. Have tried different footpeg positions but I wonder whether a “full-foot” pad (and straighter leg?) would be more comfortable.
Anyway, I’d welcome any suggestions you might have. I love the boat and it is perfect for boating with my young daughter, and I suspect the issue is with the leg position on the hip-replaced side. If anyone has feedback on use/comfort of Yakpads or other such footrests as opposed to factory pegs, I’d appreciate that too. Thanks for your help!
The mighty Pungo
I have paddled the Pungo and enjoyed the boat but I rarely use the foot pegs. The only time I do use them is when I'm racing, paddling through a difficult area and want a change in leg position. 99% of the time my feet don't touch the pegs.
On the other hand I'm healthy and sit up straight without using the seat-back or back-band.
Sometimes new paddlers do not know how to pump the pegs and put constant pressure evenly on them which induces cramping and/or loss of feelings.
I am also a wiggle-worm and don't sit still or in the same position for long moving butt position frequently.
Most of the time I paddle with one leg bent and that foot under the other's knee but this may not be possible with your daughter.
Good luck and enjoy your Pungo.
i have and love my pungo 120. i bought it about 5 years ago. not sure if they have changed any or not. but the pegs are adjustable, maybe you need to play with that if you have not. i do have the yak pads for the footpegs.i love them, also i have the paddle holder and the paddle grips. i believe they make a seat cushion as well…that may help with your discomfort.sometimes my heels will hurt, so i also take my feet off the pegs and stretch them out, i wriggle around some also.but the pungo is way more cushy than most kayak seats.hope this helps
Thanks GK and thirstyturtle for your responses. I notice the soreness even when I’m by myself, and keeping my legs completely straight (i.e. not on the pegs) seems to cause it more as the ligament is stretched, plus I feel much less stable when my knees aren’t “chocked” against the pads (granted the Pungo is v. stable but I feel my body tends to rock side-to-side). I feel as though the balls of my feet/toes are pushing against the pegs which causes discomfort whereas if my foot were less flexed (like at 90 degrees from my shin) it might feel better? Does that make any sense?
I think the problem you are encountering is because you are trying to use the Pungo as a kayaker would (which is good). If you sit in a real kayak with thigh bracing, you would see that your legs are not spread as far apart as you are trying to do in the Pungo. That’s why thigh braces stick out from the side of the cockpit. The Pungo is mostly used by paddlers who just hang their legs in any comfortable position they want and paddle in calm waters with any control done by the paddle. You have discovered how important contact with the thighs is but the pungo, is not laid out for that and you are forcing your legs very wide apart to achieve it and causing yourself pain. If you could build thigh bracing that sticks out (inward) from the coaming like a real kayak, your problems would be solved. That’s why kayaks are kayaks and the Pungo is a recreational boat.
JB, thanks. That is really interesting and I’ll have to sit in my boat and really observe what you’re talking about, then compare with non-rec boats. I do feel, however, that my legs have to be in roughly the same position to hit the pegs (which I like having), it’s just an odd angle for the feet.
But I will check it out, and I appreciate all the feedback!
This may help but then again…
it may not. I had numbness in my feet and knees with my Pungo 120 during hour-long paddles. I took a poly-bead filled pillow that can get wet (polyester fabric too) and shove it up under my thighs. Even with the P-3 seat, it really helps keep my legs supported and that seems to help my feet...and my daughter can still sit between my knees no her little rug. I think it came from Walmart but I can't remember.
We had a nice paddle on Monday by the way. She loves to be on the water.
Paddling with daughters
I did check out the Pungo last night and JB has a point - will try sitting in more “normal” fashion to see if that alleviates the strain/pain. So thank you for pointing that out!
Cyberian, I appreciate that too - I saw a couple people online recommended something similar so will definitely throw some padding into a big dry bag and use it like you say. I think a combination of both will help a lot.
Haha, we went out Monday also - my daughter (5) loves being out there too, though it’s more of a workout for me when she likes to drag hand or foot through the water! I took my other daughter (2) out a couple weekends ago for a short “let’s-see-how-she-likes-this” excursion. she too enjoyed putting her hand in the water as we cruised along, and she didn’t want to go back to the dock!
Enjoy - they are wonderful!