Rudder vs. Fixed footbraces

My wife and I are considering upgrading our boats and one of the concerns is that we may have difficulty with moving footbraces vs. fixed footbraces. If the rudder is in the up position, do the braces still move or do they stay in a fixed position? Thank you for any and all feedback.


The foot braces will have some give to them, even when the rudder is up and fixed in the holder.

get the sealion ruder, the foot braces dont move.

Or get rudder control footbraces
Fron Seaward, VCP, or NDK which offer much more contact area than the sealine ones but are more expensive.

If you must have a rudder, get the best of both worlds.

I’m a big fan of Smartrack rudders
They have a fixed footbrace and a toe pedal to control the rudder. You can install just the footpegs on an existing rudder but it doesn’t work quite as well.


Prijon, Smartrack, and KajakSport
all make fixed footbrace systems, which work like a pedal–the middle of the footbrace is anchored, and the whole thing tilts like a gas pedal to control the rudder.

For what it’s worth, I had a bad experience with the Smartrack–the rudder got stuck left and I went in circles for quite a while before I could work my way to shore. Joel, the kayak guru at New England Small Craft (largest dealer in New England, I believe), told me he’s seen this many times–always stuck to the left. He likes the Prijon system the best. I like the Kajaksport, which has large, very solid, wooden pedals. All three of these systems can be retrofit on any boat with the usual mushy pedals. I think Joel sells the Prijon system for just $50.


Rudder vs. Fixed foot braces
Thank you to all who responded to my question. Now, I noticed that nobody metnioned the Yakima rudder system. Is that becasue the quality is poor? The boats we are considering come with the Yakima system standard.

Thank You,