QCC 700, Size 12 Feet -Tight Leg Muscles

-- Last Updated: Jul-20-08 4:22 PM EST --

I am no physical therapist so I may not know all the leg muscles involved here. I have been working on my hamstrings and calf muscles. I put in a ballerina bar in the garage so I can put my leg up and stretch. I also have a long belt which I use to pull my leg up while laying down. However, I am getting no more than a half hour in my QCC. My size 12 feet (I am 6'2") have to stay in the very middle and that means by legs have to be straight. This is killing me.

Another issue is the back band. I am thinking of just folding the bottom up and using it as an additional back rest. Or I may get another. I read other posts which said that the seat/band caused leg pain. I need some advice on the band.

I wore my gore tex drysuit in 80 degree temperature and I felt toasted in it. I will not do that again.

I need to drop some weight which will help this situation.

The QCC 700 is my first kayak.

Not a good day for me on the water.

You have my sympathy. Sold my QCC700 for that exact reason, and later found it’s more common to this boat than one would think, mainly caused by the narrow keyhole cockpit and low placement of the thigh braces. Depends on the individual; some have no issues whatsoever.

I tried stretching, cushions under the thighs, seat padding, and finally replaced the seat itself. The two fixes that helped stave off the numbness for an hour or so were swapping the seat out for an Onno seat, and fabricating a bar to span the Toe Pilots to get my feet/knees together so my legs were not splayed out frog style, which placed all pressure on the sciatic nerve. It was never all day right for me so I sold it-sucked, as I loved the boat otherwise. Once you aggravate that nerve, the numbness will come on almost immediately, so beware.

First, try a seat pad coupled to some sort of cushion (a partially inflated paddle float will work fine) under the front of the thigh, to take some pressure off the ‘sit bones.’ Whenever possible, take your feet off the Toe Pilots, place them in the center and move them/pump them them a bit to get the blood circulating.

Good luck.

let’s start with the stock seating

– Last Updated: Jul-20-08 5:09 PM EST –

Are you using the stock seat pad/high back support that came with your QCC 700?

If so, you, like myself ( I paddle a 700) and many other QCC owners have already done, may want to make some changes in the stock seating set-up.

Please take the time to follow this thread to my post about "seat and back band replacement" in QCC kayaks;(there are lots more on the subject) and see if it's at all helpful:


Also try this seach engine, with keywords "QCC seating":


This hopefully will start to answer some of your questions.

Can’t help your feet or your back, but
try a bathing suit and a sleeveless poly shirt in 80 degree weather.

I am amazed you didn’t die of heat stroke!



First, be sure you are sitting correctly. Your feet should be at about 45 degrees to your ankles with the balls of your feet on the foot pegs. Your heels should be pointing toward the center and resting on their outside edge. Your knees should be comfortably touching the thigh braces such that when you paddle on the right side (and push the foot peg on that side) your left knee can drop away from the left thigh brace just a little bit. Pressure then shifts from foot to foot and knee to knee. Now, the seat. What works for me and others is to remove the seat pad and back support entirely. Sit on the plastic seat and attach a Reggie back band. If you want to try it out, remove the seat pad and back support and paddle without a back band. If that works, get the Reggie. If not, put the seat back and try something else. Be sure your booties provide enough cushioning on the balls of your feet. All footpegs have the possibility of causing numbness just from focussed pressure on the bottom of your foot.

Several people here have replaced the foot pegs with foam placed against the divider between the cockpit and the forward hatch. That provides more distributed pressure and more feet positions. The above is just the beginning. You can get lots of other ideas by using the search function. And, by the way, the QCC700 is no worse than any boat in having fit problems. They all do. If you like the boat take the time to get it outfitted to suit you.

Yes, I have the stock seat. I will check out all suggestions.

I think size 12 feet is the limit for this kayak. I am touching the top.

footwear can be a factor

– Last Updated: Jul-20-08 6:58 PM EST –

For cold weather paddling, I use Chota Quicklace Mukluks in my 24 in boats; but went to using Chota Mukluk Lights in the QCC700 and was more comfortable. Lightweight warm weather paddling shoes give me even more room to move my feet. I wear size 11 EE shoe, so I can see that your size 12 would be and even tighter fit.

Thigh support helps my overall comfort. I used contact cement to attach velco to floor of cockpit and to a Seal Line Thigh Suppport Cushion (MINIMALLY inflated), the velcro keeps my thigh cushion from becoming part of a "yard sale" in event of a wet exit:


I removed stock seating and velcroed a Seal Line Discovery Seat Cushion (VERY MINIMALLY inlfated)to seat pan and installed a back band (Bomber Gear Wicked Back Band - alas that company is now defunct); there are many other choices of back bands, all with their fan bases (only three examples below):




And something that has really helped me is a comment that I heard Shelley Johnson make several years ago to the effect that: "Don't spend all your time paddling with your body locked into the boat". If you don't own a copy her "Sea Kayaker's Handbook", I suggest you get one.

I'm over 60 years old and I've got to get out of any canoe or kayak I've ever paddled every hour or so. My body is like an old house. If it's not a wiring problem getting me out of the boat, then it's a plumbing problem.

Hang in there. By the way, JackL is right on about heat stroke, but I got to wear a long sleeve shirt or my arms fry; don't forget the French Foreign Legion type head gear.


– Last Updated: Jul-20-08 7:49 PM EST –

Try jettisoning that stock seat, back cushion arrangement immediately. Aside from feeling like a wet diaper, it also jams you up and forward further into the thigh braces, which in turn, locks you in. I used the IR Reggie band with decent success, setting it just enough so my back didn't come into contact with the coaming rim when tired. Most of the time don't use a backband. If you wanted a seat pad, something low profile like a Skwoosh gel pad might work well.

I wear size 12s also (6'1, 198 lbs. with a 34" inseam), and was at the limits of foot space when using dedicated paddling booties. Wearing Tevas, Crocs, etc. was a no go. What ends up happening is you have to cant your heels inward to gain the toebox clearance, which splays the legs, and puts more pressure on the sciatic nerve against the seat pan. See if you have enough room to pop your knees out for periods between the thigh braces. If you're a big guy, you may not. Also try the footpegs another notch forward or backward-forward will give you more ability to stretch, but without any bracing against the pegs, may place more pressure on your bum, backward will give you a bit more knee bend, something to brace/push against, but this is dependent upon the knee room you have when locked under the braces.

Try one thing at a time, starting with the stock seatpad removal and footwear selection, then proceed from there. 'Hope you can get it working for you-the Q-Tip is a great boat: fast, handles well, tons of cargo volume, and quality, quality, quality.

I was a PT,
but now retired.

The first thing I would try is to move the foot pegs forward in order to allow your forefoot to move forward(plantar flex the ankles). This will relieve some stretch on the sciatic nerve & possibly allow you to flex your knees some.

I think the possibility of a bulging disc may need to be ruled out.

Trilobite has good suggestions. However, there are more than just sciatic problems that can agravate pain. My PT was concerned when massive therapy and sretching and heat did not relieve the pain after 5-6 sessions. There are other joints that cause similar symptoms, in my case it was the SI joint. Sacro-iliac joint. Within 2 sessions after we focussed on that, paddling time improved dramatically. Now up to 3 hours when I want to.

Make sure your foot wear is minimal to give you room for your feet. I wear old super light running shoes that are cut down in the heel. My stock running shoes are way too big.

Send the damn thing

…to me and let me suffer.

Paddlin’ on



– Last Updated: Jul-21-08 7:45 AM EST –

I am 6'3" and have size 12 feet, i also own Two 700s, one is a second gen one and one is the 3rd gen design, probably like yours. the 3rd gen design has less foot room then the second gen version due to the moving of the seat cockpit forward to reduce rear end squat. any way foot wear does aggravate the problem, and the skinny/short cockpit doesn't help. best bet is to wear some kind of skinny water booty, also the sealline inflatable under thigh block is a god send. i also ditched the stock backband, but i am brain farting and cant remember what i put in, i know its got a ratchet and is adjustable. My feet naturally cant toward a 70 degree angle or so when i am sitting in it, and they just rub the top. if your knees are higher then your toes will be lower. i didn't get the thigh braces cause i didn't need them as i am a big guy, and the cockpit seems to be designed for TOUR DE FRANCE bicyclist types!!! yeah I really wish they would make a longer cockpit and perhaps a longer boat that would give us bigger guys more leg and wiggle room. i am in envy when i see folks like Jack get on the water with one leg hanging and then just lift it up and slide it in. NO way can i do that, i basically have to bench press my self with my paddle on the back deck and slide both legs in at once its a pita getting in or out. but once in i am really connected to the boat.

get a boat with more volume so
you can put your feet in the proper position w/o pain–and where were you paddling that the water was so cold that you had to wear a drysuit in 80 degree air tempeture?

I paddled off the west side of Mount Desert Island on the coast of Maine saturday(as cold as the water gets on the east coast of the US)–air temps were in the low 80s–wore a pair of bathing trunks and a lightwieght shirt(for sunburn) and was fine—when we got back to the landing saw a fellow from Quebec going out in a farmer john, drytop, neoprene boots—aside from hogging the ramp with his boat for 20 minutes while he was plotting a course, the guy had the look of somebody who had a lot of money to buy expensive gear, including a very high end boat, but not very much experience paddling–oh well as long as he comes to Maine to spend his money I guess its ok.

I briefly thought about saying something to him about being overdressed and leaving his boat too long on the public ramp but decided that experience would teach him far more effectivly than anything I could say. He’s lucky a fisherman didn’t come along to use the ramp and just back right over his kayak.

sold mine
I never found it comfortable. Replaced the stock seat, tried foam, everything. My butt and legs would fall asleep. I have 11.5 feet and am not terribly big- 5’11", 30" inseam. I think it’s just uncomfortable for some people and there is no getting around it. I hated the legs splayed to the side position, and there wasn’t really enough room to stretch out straight and raise your knees up enough to actually use your legs.

Trade it in for a stable surfski- once you experience paddling with your feet together, with the knees and hips in a comfortable position, you will never go back to sitting splayed out again.


no excuse for hogging the ramp
but if the guy isn’t experienced, he’s probably looking to be fine floating in the water if it comes to that. I’ve swam in the water on the Maine coast on hot days in August. I’ve kayaked too, and always wore a farmer john. Cool is only a roll away, and even if you can roll, it’s probably a good idea to dress for the water. Anyone reading this post, I encourage you to ignore the belittling of someone for dressing for the water. You could keep yourself cool in that situation by floating your wrists in the water and splashing water on your head. Check the water temperature and your weight, and figure how long you have to live being caught out there for whatever reason in swimtrunks and a t. Sorry, it’s certainly not personal. I just didn’t like the message.