I want to put rudder controls on my kayak that do not slide and are toe controlled. There are several available. Any recommendations based on experience?
If you are a few hundred mile a year or
less paddler, which I think you are, then Smart Track is great. If you paddle much more, or don’t have them adjusted correctly, don’t even think about them.
You will be breaking cables.
I have suffered with them for a long time and would be delighted to send you a picture of one of the “anodized” aluminum" tracks that had only four months of salt water use and fell off into my yak. It looks like metal eating termites ate the back.
I for one will never own another kayak with Smart Track rudders, and as soon as I use up all my spare parts and pieces, I’ll switch to ONNO ones.
Mad River Monarch peddles
and the gas pedal type that were in my Sawyer Summersong solo canoe.
I haven’t come to appreciate the Smart Track toe controls that are in my QCC and two Perceptions. The bow bobs side to side each time I drive off the peddle. I probably don’t have them adjusted correctly, but I don’t know what correctly is.
I haven’t tried any in a kayak that I like. I’d like to try ONNO’s sometime.
Thanks Guys …
Yes, please consider my Gas Pedal System … This is night and day better than what comes stock in many boats.
Plenty of surface area, can unwind your joints, and you don’t have to sit with your toes pointed (press / load your hamstrings on seat edge ) due to the pegs being mounted too low in order for the bannana pedals to clear the deck.
Jack, these are set and forget durable too : )
Setting them correctly is:
having the lower solid ones set for bracing, and then the upper control ones forward just enough so you don’t push on them when bracing, but use your toes to push forward on them for steering.
There are two ways to adjust them:
- there is a knurled knob/screw on each end of the tracks closest to the cockpit. You turn it in or out for adjustment, but be very careful, if you haven’t turned them in a year or they are tight, they will break off if you force them (another stupid design feature)
- the second way is at the rudder end where you have to dismantle the little “wedgie thingie” and either take up or tighten the cable. If you are not sure how to do it, I can walk you through the steps
I would use the ONNO system myself. If you are cash-strapped, however, this is a reasonable lower-cost option:
What about tiller bar arrangements
I’ve seen a lot of racing boats with tiller bar arrangements but I’ve never sen this in a surf ski or a sea kayak. Does anyone know about these?
I have an aluminum cross bar in my Cobra expedition with aluminum plates for gas pedals and it is the best system I have used so far. Unfortunately this system is not very adjustable so it is not easy for everyone to jump in my boat and take it for a spin. It is however, durable and comfortable. I imagine the ONNO system is even more comfortable and adjustable.
here’s what gets me
the gas pedal controls where the adjustment barrel is at the BACK of the track, near the front bulkhead!
you can also make your own
I made some by screwing a glassed piece of 4mm ply onto a Yakima foot brace, put a ss hinge on the top and put another piece of ply there.
A bungie can be placed on the back to pull the top portion forward and a length of 1/8 vectran hollow braid line provides the adjustment using an eye splice that can be adjusted simply by pushing the line against itself and sliding the spliced section through. It’s like a Chinese finger toy.
I’m amazed at the mess in the Smart Track and other pedals when something as crude as an eye splice with Vectran line works fine. I made a set for a fellow who kept breaking Smart Track footbraces.
What are you guys doing to your smart track systems? I’m on my second boat with one in it. My primary boat gets paddled year around, two three times a week plus a few long races every year, and I just adjusted the right peddle last night for the first time ever. So in a year and a half I turned one little knob about three turns. I don’t get it.
I have a wood touring kayak with a tiller bar and really dislike it. I like the fact that there is a wide plate to rest your feet. But adjusting the tiller requires that you keep moving your feet to the center of the plate to nudge it this way and that. I find it a real pain. Having bungees in place to automatically re-center the tiller helps, but you still have to move one foot to the center of the boat to move the tiller. This can mean un-bracing on one side to steer the boat — OK, if you’re on dead-flat water, but not good otherwise. Gas pedal systems are much better.
I had a tiller bar in my West side
tandem Bullitt, (the one that Salty Frog has now).
I didn’t care for it. I found that I couldn’t brace properly and steer with it at the same time.
Are you in salt water or fresh ?
I wish I had your luck