Sea Kayak Bulkhead setup

I just took delivery of a new sea kayak in which I had the front bulkhead moved toward the cockpit. I did this to gain front storage space. I have short legs so I could give up cockpit space easily. The boat was produced without footpegs and the vendor outfitted the bulkhead with foam to my specifications. It feels fine and coming out of a whitewater background this is what we do with our boats. Some of my sea yaking friends raise their eyebrows to this. “What no footpegs?”

How many of you paddle your sea kayaks with this setup. Does it work well for you?



Full foam bracing surface
is Da Bomb! They don’t know what they’re missing. You have 100% foot brace surface. They have what, maybe 10-15%.

As long as the bulkhead’s up to it, and no one of different size uses the kayak, it’s the way to go.

My front bulkhead is way forward. I filled with minicell to reduce volume and give same full foam brace surface. I angled the last thin layer 15 degrees. outer layer is a thin piece of exercise mat with a finished textured surface that’s easily replaced to spare the wear on the main minicell and it looks nice too. Love it.

Sounds good, but . . .
I like the concept of additional surface area for footbracing. However, I do find that I adjust footbraces according to what I’m wearing on my feet, and according to the type of paddling I’m doing: extended tour in moderate conditions = far forward, rougher conditions ofr for bracing and rolling = futher back, racing or power forward stroke = medium setting to allow for full torso rotation. Also, on long tours, I like to take my feet off the pegs and straighten my legs to relax. Can you do this with a foam footbrace?

Depends - there are other advantages
that more than make up for the peg adjustability.

I had similar concerns before doing this. On my setup I can compress the foam a bit and straighten my legs if I want, but can’t really lay them out. Since doing this though - I’ve not had any discomfort that would make me want or need to. I have a very nice neutral position when just sittting and relaxing.

The isses you are addressing with those peg moves are caused by the pegs themsleves. They limit you to keeping your feet in the same spot - and that leads to the discomforts elsewhere, need to stretch, etc. Once they are gone - so are pretty much all of the foot/knee/hip and even back issues (if your backband’s OK).

In a full surface, shifting from relaxed heel/whole foot pressure to pressing with the balls of me feet more (like you’re limited to with pegs) takes care of the relaxed/energetic paddling differences. Moving feet from outboard to inboard also allows similar adjustments. You don’t have ANY of those option with pegs.

More confortable
I went to the full foam foot rest in the boat that I paddle the most and find it much more confortable. It just gives you more positions for your feet and I like the whole foot against the foam.

In my Glider
and I really like it. Very comfortable with lots of control. I have some velcro and can place or remove ethafoam as needed.

I use the bulkheads and padding on three of my four commercial boats. The only reason I don’t in the forth one is that I’ve been too lazy to make the pads for it.

Full Bulkhead/FootBrace
is peferable to pedals. But, I actually leave the pedals in place and build up foam to fit around the pedals fairly flushed. Why not go all the way? Because my wife and kids as use the boats and I lend boats out occaisonally with folks. In these cases, I pull the build up foam out and adjust the pedals to the user.

The only boat that is not very adaptable to others is my SOF where the footrest beam is specifically fitted to me.