Poll----Foam or foot pegs?

I’ve been contemplating whether or not to foam out the foot rests in my kayak or use adjustable foot pegs.

What are the preferences here on P-Net?

Do most like to use foam against the bulkhead or just opt for foot pegs/rails? Is there any advantages to one over the other?


If you don’t have a rudder - there is nothing better than a full foot surface.

The benefits are hard to fully explain in words as they exceed what you’d expect. Foot comfort translates to better fit and comfort of whole body. Less restrictive. Better control. Safer (nothing to break, or get hung up on, and adds some flotation).

Downsides to foam:

  1. Not going to work for ruddered boats (but there are other options than pegs).

  2. Not as easy to share boats with others (depending on how you foam - I can take out or add layers easily).

  3. You’ll feel stupid for suffering with pegs up to now!

    Add 15 degree forward tilt for more natural foot position (ala Bnystrom).

ditto what greyak said.

I was thinking along the same lines I guess.

I’m having my front bulkhead custom fitted and I was accustomed to being able to move my pegs back and forth depending on my foot wear used and what degree of placement I felt like having my legs at that particular day of paddling.

I don’t have a rudder.


I foamed out my front bulkhead but left in the footpeg bars so whenever I want to share my boat I can simply slide in the pegs.

Note: The foam is NOT glued in place but fits snugly so that it can be removed if needed, but will never move of its own accord.

I like to leave all options open, but definitely prefer the foam. Yes, followed Brian Nystrom’s 15 degree angle and it works great! (Thanks Brian)

PS - Also allows me to do easier re-entry and roll as I am not trying to find the footpegs while sliding in.

another downside
If you are padding to an exsisting b/h is loss of space. If you are custom mounting the b/h then no loss of space and yes, you will be impressed at how well it works.

leave a gap between the b/h for stretching. 1" is plenty.


Been thinking about using foam too
my pegs are only a couple inches from the BH anyway. Brian Nystrom always has good tips.

A lot of
poly (plastic) kayaks use a mini-cell foam or glued-in plastic for a bulkhead. Placing pressure on it would be likely to damage it or tear it away

from the hull.

If that is case, I would stick with the pegs.

Option three

– Last Updated: Oct-08-05 10:14 PM EST –


Glued-in plastic bulkhead, didn't want to tempt fate. So drilled some holes in the footpegs and screwed wood to them, at the afore-mentioned 15-degree tilt.

I have to have the pegs all the way forward past the last notch, in fact they are pushing against the forward track mount screws, for proper leg fit for me. Also, due to hull shape (the tracks are further from each other towards the rear) this is the only position the board can be in. But I don't share my boat with anyone, so it's ok.


15 degrees
Is there a link to this mentioned tip on putting a 15-degree slant? Maybe some more detailes or pictures on the construction and fitting of a foam foot brace?

Also - I have an Avocet RM with ( I believe) welded plastic bulkheads. Is it safe to put in a foam brace against it?



Link to Brian’s Photos

Lots of photos here regarding outfitting and all sorts of kayak stuff.

Foot pegs
I like to use adjustable foot pegs so I can adjust them for the different clothes and shoes I’ll wear throughout the different season’s. I also install footpumps in my kayaks and with foot pegs I can still do some stretching of my feet and legs. If I didn’t enjoy paddling in rough conditions then I might not use a foot pump and I might consider something else.

Foam on bulkhead!
I brace on foam against the bulkhead in both my boats. For all the reasons given above.

Among the biggest reasons are the security of not having to worry about staying on pegs when rolling or missing them on re-entry.

It is also just so much more comfortable than pegs.

In addition, foam is lighter than the Yakima rails and pegs with which my boats were fitted.

I pulled the rails from my Aquanaut and filled the screw holes in the hull. I have a few different foam plugs so others can paddle the boat.

I left the rails in my Romany which is significantly lighter than my Aquanaut and a much friendlier guest boat.

An upside in my case…
… as I only day paddle and don’t use the space forward off the pegs (QCC places bulkheads so far forward there’s room for NBA stars!).

Filling it meant less cockpit volume to flood/pump out and more flotation. The foot of foam I have now weights the same or less than the SealLine pegs and rails that came out.

All of it can quickly and easily be reverted if I ever sell the boat to someone crazy enough to want the pegs.

include the different foams you use
Hey Jim,

amusing myself with one eye, why not tell folks the different foams you use and why.


I have foam blocks glued to the bulkhead which I moved back to accommodate my short legs(I’m 5’6").

They can be angled for comfort and like flatpick mentioned,leave a little room to stretch your legs. In fact I paddle with straight legs sometimes just for a change as long as I don’t need to brace when in calm conditions.


I took Janice Lozano’s advice (AKT) in the case of my Romany, which required 5" of foam, and used blue insulating foam for the first 4" on the bulkhead and mini-cell for the last inch on which my feet rest.

Insulating foam is very cheap, mini-cell is expensive.

I custom ordered my Aquanaut so its bulkhead was installed so I only need 1" of foam to brace.

None of the foam on my bulkheads is glued.

I place the foam so that when bracing on the balls of my feet my thighs are locked in and so I can place my feet flat against the bulkhead with my legs straight on the floor of the boat.

Your feet will thank you
Foam is so much more comfortable. Also more secure. Properly set, your feet can’t slide off it doing a roll.

good feedback, but
What is the best way to mount the foam to a custom fitted BH?

Brian’s got some great photos, I’m just wondering about how the foam will hold…just make it a little bigger and wedge it in?


VERY slightly larger
it WILL push out and deform the hull if you make it too big and force it in. I takes very little force to hold lightweight foam in.

Mine is all minincel. More $, but I can put any or all section down on a hard floor and jump on it and it won’t dent or crush and barely gives under my weight. Won’t break down, won’t take on water…

The interlocking edge 2x2 mats for exercise use as a great source of 1/2" foam (some are plain edged). Good for the outer layer your feet are on as they are surfaced. Check Target, larger sporting goods chains, etc. These are very light weight. Don’t get the heavy rubbery stuff.

Add a small drain channel at the keel line on all sections.