Padding out cockpit on a surfski

Just bought a V8 this weekend, and have taken it out on 2 short paddles so far just to get the hang of it. Very stable, not at all what I expected.

I’m 5’ 9", 165 pounds, short legs. I’ve got the foot rest where I can fit a fist under my knees, which seems to be the general rule of thumb.

The cockpit fits well, but I’ve managed to find some (very few, and not detailed) comments about padding out to improve contact points. I know how to do this on a sea kayak, with a deck.

What about a surfski?

This is all new to me. I’m not sliding around, but have be on flat water with just boat wake. I can feel muscle soreness in places I haven’t before, but it kind of reminds me of what you get when you paddle a sea kayak that does not quit fit or has not been padded out, and you need to use a lot more leg muscles to edge.

Any recommendations? What kinds of things should a newbie think about?

Use Detachable V-10 Sport Bulkhead Pads
For your V-8. It should take up the slack in that wide cockpit and support your outer thighs? Trouble is, dealers may not stock them anymore. I don’t know why? For it’s a great product that can be used in other skis too. Call Epic and ask for it.

Here (link inside)

The short of it - minicell foam in the right places, possibly add a plastic shopping bag under you for the lost sliding effect :wink:

Thanks for the info and links
The link was helpful and lead to more info and other links. I’ll also look for those pads. I think I’ll stop by the dealer and see if they have anything I can use. They sell a lot of surfskis from several manufacturers.

Sounds like the best thing to do is use the boat a half dozen times or so, in various conditions, to get a feel for what’s needed, make sure I have the right placement of myself, etc.

From what I can gather, a fist under the knee is the right position, correct?

fist under knee
is “old school” and is a “guestimate” at best. It works on some skis and not others depending on how high the “hump” is.

What is usually taught now is to adopt a “rotated-out” position, like at the end of your paddle stroke, and simply check that this gives you adequate room.

For example, to simulate a stroke on your right side, your right leg should be almost straight, your left knee will be bent and raised, the right side of your hip will be swiveled back in seat, your right shoulder will be back, left hip and left shoulder will be forward. Once in this “mock paddling” position you can gauge if the footrest is adjusted properly (if your right leg can extend comfortably).

I do the same procedure in my sea kayaks to adjust the footpegs. This works better than adjusting while sitting “neutral”.

Greg Stamer

Hey that makes sense!
Guy at the shop said keep your knees bent, so I did. All the time. Can’t wait to get back on the water and play around. I really like the boat.

Found some pad kits at NRS.

A quick video from Greg Barton explaining hip rotation is at .

Although you can learn on your own, a good instructor can prevent a lot of confusion and prevent bad habits from forming. Lacking that you might want to study “the forward stroke” DVD by Barton and Chalupsky (the clip above is an excerpt from the video). Brent Reitz has a popular forward stroke video as well.

Greg Stamer