Last night I did some work to customize the fit of my kayak. The foot pegs are too close, and the bulkhead is too far away to get my thighs pushed into the thigh braces. I took out the foot pegs (but left the rails there, because I wasn’t sure if I wouldn’t be leaving screw holes if I took it out. Then I trimmed a piece of 1 3/4 inch foam that I’d bought from Bay Creek Paddle Center so that it was an extremely tight fit, and wedged it into the end of the boat. That gives me something I can rest my feet against when I don’t want to push into the thigh braces, or if I extend my feet a bit it does push me against the thigh braces. Later, I’m going to try to shape the remaining chunks of foam into a couple of triangular blocks that I can put down in the bottom end and glue them to the foam so that I can rest my heels on them when I want the stability of the thigh braces without having to hold a foot extension the whole time. I’m also wondering if I dare put something under my knees, or if that would make it too hard to exit.
One little problem – when I was pushing the foam down into the bottom of the boat, I put all my weight on the top of the back-band, which tore out the two top straps which keep the back-band from twisting. Now I have to be careful when I get in that the back-bank doesn’t end up underneath me or twisted. I think I can do that just by putting a finger or thumb on it, but I might end up having to put a strap of duct tape or something there.
The cockpit is so tight (even before I did this) that I have to move one leg into the centerline of the cockpit to exit. I think I’m going to have to wait for the water to warm up a bit and practice doing wet exits so that this move becomes second nature.