Those of us with less than size 12 feet!

-- Last Updated: Jul-30-09 11:59 PM EST --

I seem to recall some discussion on how to modify the foot peg to suit those of us who have smaller feet...

When I rest my heels on the bottom of the kayak, the foot pegs are at the level of my toes. I can push with my toes, but that gets tiring after a while. I think it would work better if the ball of my feet is level with the foot peg instead. BTW, this is for a skeg boat, so the foot pegs don't move...

Understandably, the foot pegs are probably designed for people who has avearge feet size of 8-12.

I can think of two possible routes to go:

1) Raise the area of the floor where my heels rest with a thick peice of material.

2) Glue a stiff peice of material to the face of the foot peg to make it larger, so it drop down a bit further to reach my ball of feet.

Basically, I'd like to make some adoptation so the pressure is bored by the ball of my feet instead of my toes.

What's the concensus on which way to go? Any specific on what material to use?

I would glue some floor pads in
The floor gets rub marks where my heels are anyway. Just make sure you use a waterproof adhesive.

if you really want to go
all out, you could modify the footpegs.

Admittedly not for the beginner tinkerer this mod is superb:

Kajak Sport had wood foot platforms
I purchased a pair of the foot shaped pivoting foot pedals that attached to the foot pegs in my Rob Roy. I am short (5’2") and I have small feet (5-1/2). Even with the foot pegs as close to me as they would go, I wasn’t close enough. The attachment of the pedals made a huge difference. I don’t know if they are still available or not. It made my Rob Roy much more comfortable for me. They also pivoted up and down slightly, which was also more comfortable.

Remove them…
I’ve simply removed them and put a piece of Minicell on the bulkhead. Much more comportable. Alternatively move the bulkhead, but that’s a lot of work.


gerry, I like
the minicell modification; it almost gives you the feeling of a custom positioned bulkhead.

The existing bulkhead has to be reasonably close to one’s feet for the additional minicell to work.

I assume that a person with smaller feet tends to be a bit shorter than average (not always but often the case).

Now, myself being at 6’1" (184 cm), my kayak’s bulkhead is most times still a foot or more away from my feet.

Let’s assume that the OP is a bit shorter… that will be a lot of minicell in that cockpit.

If modifying the foot pegs is not an option than probably moving the bulkhead might be the solution.

However a kayak with a bulkhead in a closer position will only fit that particularly sized person and in the event of resale it will limit the market substantially.

That’s what happens with custom bulkheads.

There have been times where I wanted to try a friend’s kayak but they had a custom bulkhead and they are shorter than me…

BTW, nice way to say no to lending your kayak :slight_smile:

2 layers
I’m a really small person, so I needed 2 layers of Minicell. It’s stuck in, not glued (but you can if you don’t want to lend your kayak :slight_smile: ), so I can remove it (with some force, it does not swim away when the cockpit is full of water). Another positive effect is that the cockpit volume is smaller, less water to pump out.

BTW - gnarlydog, I like the snow dome!

SmartTrack adjuster

– Last Updated: Jul-31-09 6:55 AM EST –

SmartTrack sells standard plate that allows you to lower the rail. Should work on any standard foot rails, not just theirs. Cost is under $20 I think and installation is 10 minutes.

This is actually a simple piece of plastic with an additional set of fasteners to attach the foot rails to it at a lower position (you use another set to attach the plate to the hull where your foot rails were mounted). With this you can also control the angle to some degree I think.

I was looking at it to actually solve the opposite problem - size 15 feet and too low foot rests. Unfortunately for me, that same plate does not work to raise the SmartTrack rail due to the rail shape but it might work to raise other rails. Does work to lower most of them though!

I would not use anything to raise the heels off the floor. Many kayaks already have the feet about at seat height and the lower your feet relative to the seats, the more ergonomic the position.

I modified my wife’s kayak
by making a "bulkhead out of some 1/2 inch plywood which I attached to the foot pegs with nylon zip ties. I cut a couple of access holes above the foot peg location so I could adjust the pegs location.

god almighty makes me a pair
Gnarlydog. Make me a pair of these guys. Love em.

Removable bar across the footpeg?
Gnarly dog, I like the bar span across the foot peg solution. I wonder if it’s possible to make it removable?

That way, when I do need the storage space in front of the foot peg, I can remove the bar without too much fuss and stuff my bags in there.


– Last Updated: Jul-31-09 1:46 PM EST –


you can improve this by modifying modify your footwear. It’s certainly a quicker way to find out.

Try a low profile neoprene bootie made for kayaking. Something like the NRS Desperado or the Teva Pro Onium (the latter is discontinued but can be found).

Both have a thick but rounded sole, esp at the heel, that will raise your feet a little and add to your comfort on the pegs. They also widen the ball of your foot slightly which also gives you more surface and grip on the pegs.

Wear booties alone first and see how it feels. If you still need a bit more, go w. a 1/4" neoprene layer under the pegs, which will also protect the boat and you can tell if the combined diff is gonna work for you.

If you need it just a bit higher, try a piece of mousepad. honestly, it works. Marginally heavier than neo, but it also more durable. Nice insulator too, if that matters. Adheres just as well w. Devcon Weldwood

Contact Cement Gel (red label)

Agree w. kocho, don’t go too high.

From a petite woman who wears a ladies size 5 dress shoe and a men’s size 6 or 7 in waterbooties. Wearing them I’ve never sat in a boat and couldn’t fit the pegs. Didn’t even think about it, actually. Too busy bitching about high decks & humongous cockpits


A couple more ideas
These footbraces are foot-shaped, so might be more comfortable for you - they’ve been written about before here and got good reviews, although I haven’t tried them myself:

I made a footboard for one of my boats from a short length of oak molding from HD. I drilled holes in a pair of cheap Keepers footbraces to fix it in the boat. It was a serious pain to install, but works well. As you can see, it keeps the bow float/gear bag in place, but not easily accessible. If I was more patient, I could have made it easier to remove. Here’s some pics:

All good suggestions, keep them coming!
In the WW world, sometimes we put an air bag in the bow. Mostly to take up the volume when (not if) we dump. It also offers surprisingly good solid surface to push on for the feet. I wonder if anyone tried that for sea kayaks?

The thing about an air bag foot brace is, it can be taken out and replaced with dry bag full of stuff. Should still provide a good surface to push on…

At least that’s what I theorize sitting on my couch! :wink: Thought? Experience?

Minicel Foam

– Last Updated: Jul-31-09 10:32 PM EST –

Build it up from the bulkhead back then you can move your feet into any position you want. It's not permanent and can be removed or adjusted. I've done it in all my boats and is the most comfortable way to go.

Too squishy
My Explorer LV came without footpeg rails, as I had spec’d, but NDK screwed up and moved the BH forward instead of toward me. Given that the distance was still shorter than the standard distance in a typical U.S.A. kayak, I decided I could live with it. I have a lot of minicel in there now but plan to modify it so there will be a 3" thick full-width piece with “big footpegs” glued onto it to make up the distance.

I have a couple of warnings for you:

  1. There are different grades of minicel. One of my pieces is quite firm. The others are noticeably squishier, and I hate that. I have no doubt it is wasting power, like wearing tennis shoes for bicycling. Unfortunately, trying to obtain the good stuff has proven impossible so far. Most places do not even know what they have, other than that it’s gray.

  2. My boat came without a seat installed. I experimented a little bit with the fore-aft seat position, and one thing I used to easily change foot-to-seat distance was a wide PVC drybag filled with gear and air, wedged across next to the BH and one piece of foam. I “pumped it up” as desired. It worked OK for the experimentation, but I would not want to use it permanently. Too squishy.

    From your OP, it sounds like the simplest thing would be to stick down some foot pads below your heels. If you don’t like them, they would be easily accessed for removal.

You lost me
I can’t figure out what’s shown in the photo…


– Last Updated: Aug-01-09 9:12 PM EST –

The pic was taken looking forward from the cockpit inside a Nordkapp LV (skeg no rudder). The "gray thing" is a block of minicel foam cut to fit up against the front bulkhead and sized to let me rest my feet against it when paddling thus eliminating the need for foot pegs. The rails were left in the boat. If you don't want to remove the pegs you can slide them back toward you and they should be out of the way. The minicel is not glued in and can be removed very quickly. There are four black pads glued to the underside of the deck that an underdeck bag attaches to. The notch in the top of the "gray thing" holds the end of my bildge pump that also is held between the deck and the underdeck bag.
You can buy minicel in different thicknesses and layer them to give you the desired fit. Minicel foam is easy to cut and shape and absoluely the most comfortable on my feet of anything I have found.

Hope this helps, GH

As gnarlydog mentioned earlier, that would take TONS of minicells! Not to mention costing a fortune.

So far, the most appealing suggestions rest between a raised floor or an enlarged foot peg. I’ll experiement with each to find out.

Why don’t foot peg manufacturers offer differen size foot pegs???

Tennis rackets (kayak paddles too) comes in different size grips for different size hands. Bikes comes with different size cranks for different length of legs. Why don’t foot pegs come in different height? That’s not to mention they really should be slanted slightly instead of being perfectly verticle…