Why are kayak foot pegs so short?

The foot pegs in my Swift Caspian Sea (circa 1997)and Old Town Castine are both just long enough that they end at about the ball of my big toe and that can get pretty uncomfortable, especially when not wearing thick, stiff soled shoes.

I pseudo remedied this in the Castine a couple years ago by putting a 1x6 across the front of both pegs to provide a better surface to brace and drive off of. I may do the same or similar thing with the Caspian Sea.

Why are so many kayak foot pegs shorter than the width of the average sized foot? Is there a benefit to having the shorter pegs? The foot pegs in the Phoenix boats are longer and are more comfortable for bracing and driving off of.

Anyone else have this issue?

Happy paddling.

yanoer should mention
that he has size 17 feet

I hate those things…
…it’s one of the reasons I keep gravitating

back to Prijons, which have far more comfortable

foot rests.

Here’s a theory
And just a theory. Short pegs leave room for you to take your feet off the pegs and stretch them out to rest them once in awhile. But I agree that the typical ones are too small, and have been thinking about padding out my bulkhead to create one BIG footbrace.

I wonder
if the footbrace mold came from some other kind of application. There’s nothing about the shape of a rectangular yakima footbrace that reflects the shape of a foot or it’s installation in a kayak. I wonder if it was originally used for a heavy duty trashcan lid opener.

Imagine a foot operated lever that slides up and down an inch.

Check out KajakSports footpegs

– Last Updated: May-06-07 7:27 PM EST –


or even more interesting:


The first link looks especially good.
Thanks for those links.

New Native Watercraft agree
Check out these.


These wouldn’t fit in most SINK, but these alone make the Native hybrids look good to me.

those look good too.

My pleasure
I have those in my Artisan Millenium, and the footpads are far more comfortable than the standard “pin” type.

I agree, I too have an
Artisan Millenium and I think that the foot pedals are VERY comfortable; even without any shoes on at all. Shaped to fit the whole foot.

Jeff P.

pogo stick

I don’t use the pegs but foam out the
bulkheads for solid foot contact with the boat. Much more comfortable for hours on end in a boat.

actually I appreciate the smallness so I can slide my feet forward for some rolling stuff and to rest my feet so that there is little or no pressure on the back which I also try not to use. I just very lightly if at all rest my feet on the pegs anyway. since I paddle very low volume boats, there woudl be no real way to increase the length of the pegs anyway (well maybe a bit)

I have tried foamed out bulkheads and frankly find them too limiting.

but that is just me of course.


wkerriganoh, do it
you’ll be glad you did with possibly one exception- I’m particular about boat weight and mini-cell foam is heavy. On my QCC I had some distance to cover and it probably added 3-4 pounds…yes no big deal in the water but it does change the balance point for carry. In my Q-boat the bulkhead was custom placed and only had 2-3 inches to cover and after cutting a 15deg. angle it was little added weight compared to the QCC.

Foam out the bulkheads
Not sure why this is such an uncomfortable area in many kayaks, but it is. I’ve had larger better ones in boats, and even those counldn’t compare to foam.

No bulkhead. And wouldn’t there be
incompatibilities with the steering systems in some sea and touring kayaks? (Not that I use a steering system…)

Swift bulkhead? And yeah…

– Last Updated: May-07-07 1:17 PM EST –

I know the Old Town may be a problem. I thought the Caspian Sea had a forward bulkhead tho' - me bad if wrong.

One thing that is assumed and not stated in my post (and probably others above) is that the rudder becomes relatively vestegial and only used for specific situations with cross winds or whatever where other normal corrective actions can get to be really a pain after a mile or so. Not used to turn.

If the boat has a forward bulkhead and rudder system, still may be possible to work out. I had the original footegs and rudder controls replaced in my old Squall with Seal Line before it left the dealer's lot, so that the footpeg was fixed and a separate toe pedal controlled the rudder. I think someone is making a similar retrofit system now, tho' I don't know who, and it would allow you to separate the footpeg and rudder control operation. I can't speak to how that'd paddle, but it'd be physically doable.

There is another alternative if you can find them. Yet another company that has since gone out of business, but at one tiem there were things called YakPads that slipped over a normal sized footpeg and created a gel filled surface between the ball of your foot and the pedal. A set fo them may be gathering dust in some outfitter's store.The

Mine is a Necky Looksha Sport that
came without a front bulkhead. I could fake up a whitewater style bulkhead if I felt like it, but in spite of my huge foot size (classified), I’m ok with short footpegs.


When you foamed out your bulkhead, did you leave a large space in the middle? Some folks (like me) do that - leaving the center open so that I can stretch my legs out partway through a paddle or slide forward during rolling. It also helps to angle cut it so your feet can extend a bit - I know some have said a 15 degree angle (heels further aft than toes) works well.