necky manitou 14 thigh brace too tight

bought necky manitou 14 2011 cannot get legs under the thigh braces I am 5ft 11 and not fat.i know i can remove them,but then what

Sounds surprising. Are you kind of
splaying your knees out to the sides while keeping your feet with heels close together? Have you loosened the footrests? You need to get your thighs under the thigh braces in order to judge the proper position for the footbraces.

I have a Necky, and I’ve found them helpful when I give them a call or email.


one person I know
took them out of her Manitou and replaced them with, I think, Pungo-style knee pads. They give some grip & padding so you can still use them for controlling the boat, but are low-profile compared to the somewhat aggressively shaped Necky thigh hooks.

then what
do you actually need a snug fit? If you have long legs you might be fine with only 1/2" minicell under the deck.

Necky has erred in the design of these boats to making the thigh braces lower than a transitional boats needs to be. It’s also possible your boat was stored/stacked at one time and could benefit from some stretching in the sun with foam blocks pressing the thigh braces up and setting it out in hot sun.

There’s an obvious difference in thighbrace height between the composite and plastic Manitous.

Remove them and see how it works
Getting your knees/thighs under the braces doesn’t only depend on how your weight is distributed. It also depends on the flexibility of your hip joint. Are you an older person, by any chance?

You could remove the braces and see how you feel without them. As long as you can brace your knees under the deck when you need to you should be fine.

I cut the molded-in braces right out of my cockpit and was so glad I did.

Low deck
I agree with you that this is a poor design for this type of kayak. The low deck always kept me from buying a composite Manitou.

was it in the water?
Kind of what LeeG said, it could have been stacked, was this on land sitting in it, or actually on the water. I find sometimes if you sit in a boat on land it doesn’t stretch out the way it would on the water and feels alot lower in the deck area.

Have you adjusted seat?
I loaned my wife’s Manitou 14 to some friends to try. They complained about being able to get in the boat. We then noticed that she had the seat raised to its maximum height. Lowered the seat, problem solved. I am your size and I have no problem getting in my M 14.