Legs too long

I usually paddle with foot pegs maxed out, that is in the furthest possible position, but now with the winter arriving and me switching to heavy boots I would be more comfortable with an extra notch…

Any ideas on how to make it happen without drilling extra holes in the hull and moving the rails? Foam block as a foot support/“fake bulkhead”? Or something esle?

Advice most welcome.

Not knowing what type of kayak you have makes it hard to comment.

Is there any seat adjustability? If your legs are very long and you have the capacity to move your seat pan back and inch you might find your boat is in better trim. The seats are typically positioned for someone with average leg length.

Failing that, I would probably go with a shaped minicell foot block. You could make one using a sheet of minicell 1-1/2 inches thick, cutting layers and shaping them to the inner hull contour and building it up to the needed thickness.

Depending on how much room there is to take up in front of your feet you might consider the Jackson Happy Feet inflatable bean, foot bag. I know some people who really like it. Then again, I know some who really don’t.


Moving the rails
Almost all the foot pads now come with bolts and one time Yakamas had studs. I would remove the foot pads and either re-drill some new bolt holes in the rails so you can move it forward a bit.

You can get all types of parts here:




I’m 6’2" and had to have my P&H bulkhead moved forward and Valley used to have bulkheads to far back as well. Seems like they finally figured out that 6’+ males do exist in the US.

er… my mistake
Right… I did not copy the bit about the boat! My bad.

Boat is TideRace XCite S, seat positioned OK for me - if I move it back I can’t lay flat on the back deck easily.

minicell foam
I have no idea what type of mounting system you have for your foot peg rails. Most all of the foot peg rails I have seen and used have holes drilled or tapped very close (within an inch) of the end of the rails, so drilling new holes to reposition them further forward without drilling at least one new hole in the hull would not be an option.

If you foot pads are all the way forward and you need them an inch further forward still I would think your feet would be within a few inches of the front bulkhead. If so, it would really not be that difficult to cut some minicell to pad the front bulkhead and provide a foot rest.

You can use some stiff cardboard to cut and shape a template to cut out your foam. If you leave the foam slightly over-sized as you fine shape it it will stay in place without needing to glue it in. If you need more than one layer you can lightly glue those together with contact cement.

Switch to lighter boots
Something like Chota brand mukluks can keep your feet warm if you use neoprene water booties inside and some thin socks inside the booties, and shouldn’t take up any more room than your summer wear.

Can you skip the foot pegs and just brace off of the bulkhead? Maybe you can build up the bulkhead with foam for the right size for your winter boots, and use the foot pegs with your summer shoe ware?

Foam it
Remove the rails so as to take off the foot peg. Reinstall the rails. Figure where your feet are going to rest and wrap a heavy copper wire around the outside of the hull to form it to the shape of the profile. Lay now formed wire pattern on minicell foam and trace to the inside of the wire with a sharpie marker. Trim the foam, cut out notches for the foot rails and stuff it place. Come warmer weather you can likely just leave it in place.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY



I removed the foot pegs and made
properly angled minicell braces that are glued on the bulkhead.

moving foot pegs
I bought a new WS plastic Tsunami at a steep discount with one of the foot pegs about 4" off from the other. There must of been a Friday factory party. It was a quick job to relocate the peg to match the other. I decided the best way to seal the two holes was to use the same technique WS uses. Basically a thru-bolt with a rubber washer.

I looked for, but could not find a stainless version of a sex bolt. As in, both the head and nut are flush, one threading into the other. This allows for no protruding nut on the inside. I was able to find an aluminum version however. This is a completely non-stressed connection, and no dissimilar metals are involved. It has been bone dry for over thirty outings.



– Last Updated: Dec-09-13 1:36 PM EST –

And if you like the minicell footbraces more than footbraces take the rails out.

Switching to “heavy boots”? Isn’t that
a safety issue, both in wet exiting and for swimming?

I’m 6’ 5" with size 15 feet, and though I’m a bit short legged and long in the torso, I would never consider “heavy boots” in a kayak, or for kneeling in a c-1. I often start with NRS or Chota neoprene socks, and then I add layers to the sole so I can walk without getting too many thorns in my foot.

I did have to drill extra holes in a Necky touring kayak so that I could install Wave Sport rails and footrests. I would not go with foam foot bulkheads because I want access to the bow for gear storage.

If you need “heavy boots”, store them in a hatch and put them on when on land.

Boots vs boots

– Last Updated: Dec-10-13 5:26 AM EST –

You might not, but clambering over iced-over rocks with some metal rebar between them hidden by snow - I'll take heavy 8 mm winter diving boots with a thick sole any day over anything esle. Can swim in them, can roll in them - that is actually done it, just last week, in plesant -7 C and wind to 15 m/s ;)

Marshall, thanks for the idea! That should work indeed.

The XCite S braces are positioned quite oddly - they are too close to the seat, IMO. If I run them out to maximum, there is still good 20 cm to the bulkhead, if not more. But then of course on minimum setting the pegs are 30 cm from the seat! Who has legs like that?!

Aluminum rails?

– Last Updated: Dec-10-13 8:08 AM EST –

If you have aluminum rails like Kleppers (sp?) you probably can add about 1cm length to them by filing away an extra notch beyond the last one. In the setup I had there was enough space for that.

Also, you can replace said rails with a different brand. I did that on my Nordkap RM: the plastic pedals and rails that I bought have an additional about 1.5cm leg length with the same rail mounting position. Plus they are now adjustable from the seat. I think they are SmartTrack pedals (no rudder, just the rails and pedals).

That might be enough to compensate for your winter boots. When I switch to winter boots, I use whitewater shoes for river running. With them (suitable for walking over rocks) and neo socks and other socks and dry suit booties, I need to add about 1cm leg length to compensate in my surf ski. In a kayak it would, unfortunately, require more as you will likely need to angle your foot forward more to avoid hitting the deck with your toes.

Foam +ply maybe…
I’d definitly go with foaming out the bulkhead, this has the added benifit of reducing volume for water in the cockpit. Once done, you may find the foam a bit spongy, if so you can lay a strip of thin ply over the front for your feet to rest against. If this works well for you, cut a really good one and seal it up with resin and a light layer of glass cloth. If you really like it and want some adjustability, cut shims out of your foam to be added or subtracted as fit dictates. I anchored a long velcro strap to my bulkhead and use it to pull all the pieces together and secure it to the bulkhead so it can’t float out if I get ejected.

All the best, tOM