what kayak?

I’m relatively new to kayaking and my first kayak is a composite P&H Capella 173 (I’m 6’-3", size 12 feet, size 13 paddle shoe over my dry suit bootie). I can sit in the Capella all day and for big water stuff, the ocean and camping it’s awesome. I also paddle day trips on some local low flow rivers and backwater explorations where scrapes and carry-overs are frequent. The bottom of my Capella is getting abused.

I just purchased a used polyethylene Necky Looksha Sport 14 that I’ve had out a couple times. I like it’s length, maneuverability and suitability for getting knocked around but with the overall lack of foot room and spongy foot rests (rudder)that are difficult to find when my foot comes off it’s literally a pain. My left leg begins to hurt after an hour or so, my feet don’t like to be so splayed open under the deck.

I’m thinking of replacing the Looksha Sport with another used, poly boat with more leg room and without spongy foot rests. What boats should I be looking at?


why do you use the rudder?
Since your main complaints seem to be around the rudder in the Looksha I have to ask why you would be using a rudder in “local low flow rivers and backwater explorations.”

I admit I am not a big fan of them in the first place and never use a rudder unless I am out in coastal waters with following seas or with strong crosswinds. But I’m pretty positive even pro-rudder folks would concur that they are an absolute hindrance in such waters as you are describing.

Why don’t you try removing the rudder and the foot pedals completely and using fixed footpegs? Having the mechanism out of there might enable you to find a workable position for your feet and cheaply solve the problem.

good suggestion

Even with the foot rest bungies and the rudder locked in its saddle the foot rest moves aft when I take my foot off to get my leg a break. I spend more time and effort fiddling with the foot rests than I do paddling.

I guess the suggestion is to remove the rudder and the sliding foot rest assemblies and replace them with a foot rest system similar to what’s in my Capella. Do you happen to know what foot rests would bolt directly into place with the existing mounting holes?

I’m not sure if this idea will solve my leg comfort issue but at least I’d be able to take my foot off once in a while without wondering where the foot rest went. I haven’t used the rudder yet anyway.

I doubt you will miss the rudder. I find them a heavy nuisance and have taken them off two kayaks that came with them so far.

I’ve retrofitted some footrests too, and find that many of the sliding adjustable tracks have a lot of latitude in using existing penetrations or hardware in the hole. If you can take it to a good kayak outfitter the people who work with them all the time can be a pretty useful source of hardware and suggestions.

Actually, my favorite kayak footrest arrangement in my 7 boat fleet is the one in my Feathercraft folding kayak and a similar one could be made for any boat. Visuallize one of those large white polyethylene plastic kitchen cutting boards, trimmed down to be a flattened oval. Now imagine it with holes drilled at the four corners and with a a pair of 1" nylon straps with adjustable buckles through the holes and then attached, 2 under the seat and 2 under the gunwales in the kayak. It’s like resting your feet on a horizontal kiddie swing. Great thing about the arrangement is it gives you plenty of support for bracing your feet while you paddle yet you have almost unlimited latitude in positioning them so they don’t get tired or cramped. You can reach down and tug on the straps coming through each buckle to shorten or lengthen it. Simple and very easy to use. Kinda like having an adjustable bulkhead to brace against.

Sea-Lect foot braces
are probably what you have in the Capella,


measurements are on that page so you can compare the mounting holes.

there’s also a rudder-control version of these available that pivot instead of slide, so they stay in the same position on the rails.

I like your foot rest idea
You seem to have plenty of experience to know what you like. I think I’ll take off the rudder and probably stay with a store-bought replacement foot rest assembly for now. I need a lot more kayak paddling time to determine my preferences.

The Looksha Sport has a lot of rocker and a flatten hull shape so I’m guessing the wind will turn it as easily as I can. We’ll have to see what happens in a quartering wind.

Thanks for the advice.