Making thigh braces

I have an older P&H Orca 14 kayak and the thigh braces have fallen apart. I have had no luck getting replacements from P&H or my local dealer. Is there any way I can make my own?. Maybe cut and attach some foam? The boat is still in great shape otherwise and I have been using it as is, but I’d like to get back to rolling and need braces. Any suggestions? Thanks!

I asked a similar question about my Impex boats. Let me find the link.

Some quick Googling shows this boat as rotomoulded and the thigh braces of separate bolt-on nature. None of the pictures I found had great detail though. Can you post some showing what you’re dealing with?

Thanks for the replies. Here are a couple pictures. The thigh pads were bolted on, but the bolts can be removed.

You can certainly fashion new thigh braces out of minicell foam and shape it to fit. A fairly thick piece of minicell plank might offer enough stiffness and support, or it may not, depending on how much force you apply when rolling.

I know some C-1 whitewater boaters who fashioned their own hip braces using thermoformable thermoplastic materials that they heated and shaped. I have used clear Lexan plastic purchased from Menard’s in sheet form make shaped inserts for canoe thigh straps. Carefully heat the plastic in very hot water and shape it to fit.

You might be able to do something like that to create a stiffer backing for your minicell thigh braces.

I don’t suppose you’ve tried getting in touch with P&H to see if they’re still available? Maybe one they make for a newer boat would fit?

I like the idea above to use thermoplastic material, but to make something that isn’t going to break after using a few times would require having some manufacturing skills and tools. I don’t think this would be a weekend project for someone with a drill and hammer.

You could bring coffee and donuts into the back door of your local machine shop and see whether you can find someone willing to make you something from plastic on a CNC mill. You’d help things out considerably if you had a 3D model… but maybe I’m going too far with this.

Yeah, I once called P&H (US, in Asheville) for some replacement parts and they sent them gratis.

I’ll try P&H again, but I’m not too optimistic. They’ve dropped the ball on me twice on replacement requests. I am going to try another kayak shop and see if they have any ideas. The mini-cell foam looks possible, but I question how well I can fashion replacements. We’ll see.

Pyranha uses those rigid “Connect” type thigh braces also, hard to tell from what’s left of yours, but might be the same thing.

@RLL said:
Yeah, I once called P&H (US, in Asheville) for some replacement parts and they sent them gratis.

hey Mr. RLL I just noticed our profile pics are remarkably similar! I’ve been traveling but we really should get together

haha, we keep saying that.

Yeah, sapien is right. Those are definitely the P&H/Pyranha connect braces. They screw in super simple. If you can find them it’s a 10 minute fix.

The Connect braces are available here:

I wasn’t crazy about how rigid those are, they take some getting used to, and the adjustability is only a couple of inches.

Work’s been killing me this year (in a good way) but I need to refocus on paddling… I think I might still have your email & number somewhere.