Outfitting question

I’m tired of sliding around the cockpit in pool roll sessions, so I started to outfit my kayak today in order to lock in my hips. I would like to make the minicell pads removable so I can adjust the thickness of final shim. I think I read somewhere on this message board that industrial velcro is the only velcro to use in a salt water environment, but I’ve searched the archives and can’t find anything. Will industrial velcro work for this application? If so, will “Vyna Bond” work to glue the velcro to the minicell and also to the fiberglass or is there a better adhesive?



Use duct tape. find thickness, install
permanantly, shape with surform or remove if needed.

I have tried many types of glue for minicell and have always ended up useing epoxy. It ahs never failed me. The only problem you will have with equipment that is held in place with velcro is that it can become dislodged in conditions such as surf if you do a wet exit.

I wouldn’t use Velcro

– Last Updated: Apr-16-05 5:04 PM EST –

At best it will work temporarily then you'll end up having to compensate for the thickness when you remove it. The easiest way to do hip pads is to make them a bit thicker than you need, glue them in with contact cement (Weldwood Gel is my favorite), then shape them with a Surform tool. You can get the small one with the red (or yellow) handle and Home Depot for ~$5.

BTW, if it's a sea kayak you're working on, don't put deep hooks on the hip pads. You need to be able to get in and out easily and move around a bit at times. A straight pad to keep you from shifting left and right is all you need.

I should probably explain …
the reason for the velcro idea is that the seatback has an adjustable strap connecting to the front of the seat at a diagonal. I need to pad about an inch out from this strap, so I was thinking a 3" pad to bring me out to the strap and then velcro on another 1" piece which would cover the strap, but still leave it accessible for adjustment. It is a sea kayak and I did leave the minicell straight without a hook.


what kind of kayak?
are you saying the seat back strap doesn’t go behind the hip brace portion of the seat?

Check out Salamander hip pads. They may look sloppy but I found that even with thin flat pads and not bothering with the thick sculptured piece it provides adequate side to side cushion.

I can’t quite visualize it
As Lee pointed out, it might be helpful to know the make and model of the boat, so we could get an idea of the layout. Or if you have a link to a picture of the cockpit, that would be even more helpful.

With hip pads, it’s not necessary to cover the entire cheek plate of the seat. I generally only use a 2" wide pad these days, as I’ve found that’s all that’s necessary to keep me centered in the seat. I typically set them several inches forward of my hips, where they’ll provide the necessary centering effect, but still allow me to twist my butt around in the seat a bit.

Swift Bering Sea
The kayak is a Swift Bering Sea. The seat is fixed to the bottom, not hung off the cockpit coaming. Therefore, I have to pad out from the hull. I used a 3" piece shaped to the curvature of the hull to get a flat surface at the edge of the seat, and then about a 1" piece to fit it out. I’ll take some pictures and send them via email. I can probably cut out a channel to feed the strap through and glue the two pieces together rather than velcro them.


As for a bond, we used Weldwood (from Lowe’s I think) and four days later had the boats in salt water every day but four for the next three weeks. It held fine. I had to renew the seal on the forward section of the foam over my thighs over the winter, but considering that the foam itself is also thinner there from repeated pressure (and as you know lots of messy roll practice), I can’t discredit the Weldwood.

Jim has glued the Velcro squares to his seat, which mate to velcro on shaped minipads on each side. Valley, like Swift, doesn’t seem to favor an aggressive keyhole shape. No experience in salt water yet, but for the pool and couple of times we’ve had the boats out this spring they are holding fine (just checked). He glued them in, and the mating parches to the minicell, w/Welwood Contact Cement.

In case the surface seems to make a diff when your get there, Jim’s seat is plastic. (to be replaced with fiberglass hung off the combing later sometime this season when Valley sends MIKCO replacement seats for the boats that came in on the first container last spring).

Jim plans on making the Tuesday night paddle unless something comes up at work - you should take a look at his boat there.

Thanks. I will take a look at Jim’s boat next time we paddle together. I doubt I can make Tuesday’s paddle as I have to drop off my truck for a recall service.

Banshee removable hip pads.
They also have two sizes of shims so that you can have 3 sizes of pads (none, 1 shim, 2 shims). Here is one place to get them:


They are widely available.

hip pads

My primary pads are glued to the inside of the seat pillars with contact cement. They are fine for most uses and fit snug when wearing a wet or dry suit. The second set are only about a half inch thick. They attached with velcro to the permanent ones. I’m using them in pool sessions as I was sliding around a bit when wearing only bathing suit.

The velcro has been holding fine. I made it a point to put the softer surface on the permanent pads. I was concerned that the harsher surface of the velcro might abraid.

I would not rely on velcro for my permanent pads.

Weldwood tip
I’ve found that if I only use a single coat on the mating pieces, the joint will often separate. It’s probably because the surface of Minicel foam will soak up most of the first coat. A second coat pretty much cures the problem.