Thigh Brace Question

I am a beginning paddler and picked up a couple of Prijon Calabria kayaks at an auction. My question is - should the thigh braces fit on the inside or outside of your thigh? I am assuming the outside because that is the only way I get them to comfortably fit inside the kayak. I did see this picture here, which shows the brace on the outside of the lower thigh (right above the knee):

Is that the right location?

more toward inside of knee than outside

– Last Updated: Aug-16-10 12:54 PM EST –

Some padding on the outside of the knee may be comfortable. But in general the boat itself blocks movement of the knee on the outside so you're looking to have the knee/thigh engage the boat on the top and to some extend prevent the knee from slipping toward the inside and out the cockpit. Depending on the boat and your size you may or may not need a bit of a 'hook' on the thigh brace on the inside of your thigh to prevent the knee from slipping to the center of the boat.

The picture just doesn't show the inside part and that particular brace is a separate, movable one which leads to the way they designed it. Often the brace is just foam glued into the boat.

that guy’s leg is transparent

All right, so I’m still a little confused; does this mean that the brace should go on the inside of the thigh? If it does, then I’m not sure how to make that happen comfortably. I have to spread my legs into an uncomfortable position to get them to go on the inside of my knee. And that is with the seat all the way back and the thigh braces all the way forward.

you may not need it

– Last Updated: Aug-16-10 1:16 PM EST –

Mostly above the knee, but a little inside the knee/thigh. As I said, it depends on the person and boat fit. Sit in your seat with your foot pegs just snug enough that you sit comfortably with your knees a bit splayed out in a diamond. Now lift your knee/thigh in a manner designed to lift that side of the boat up (i.e. edging/leaning the boat toward the other knee). If the knee tends to slip then you need a thigh brace just enough to prevent this. Part of this also involves how aggressively you want/need to lift the knee. Casual paddling requires less and so needs less padding to prevent the knee from slipping.

Regardless you don't want so much on the inside that you can't easily move the knee way inside on purpose. You're just trying to prevent accidental slippage.

at 25 inches wide
…that’s not a slim kayak. So, yeah, for some people, getting your thighs that far apart could be a problem. If you can get some purchase under the coaming, near the inside, where you should be, then you may also consider padding next to the hull, to make it more comfortable. Or, it just may not work for you at all, for skills beyond “recreational” use.

Thanks for the help; sounds like I’ll just have to do more kayaking and figure out how best to adjust everything. Currently I don’t do much other than paddling around in calm sea weather, so it isn’t a big deal right now. I am pretty comfortable with my knees closer together with the braces against the outside of my legs.

Thanks Again

– Last Updated: Aug-17-10 6:48 AM EST –

I went out this morning and thanks to the advice I got here, I've figured out how the thigh braces on my kayak actually work and fit. I've got to admit, once I had it figured out, I actually fit a lot more comfortably in the boat. Thanks again for helping a new kayaker!