Measuring for footbrace help

I have been building a WD12 hybrid and I am at the point of installing the footbraces. Having never really paddled a "real" kayak so I am unsure about the distances. 

I  have the adjustable footbraces by smart track so I do have leaway.  If I sit in the kayak should my legs be slightly bent, straight out, or something else.  I am 6 foot tall so I am thinking I need a little adjustment past that (my son is 6'3") but most of my family is shorter. 

I also have the smart track vertical adjustment kit but have no idea how to install/use it or how hight the footbraces should be.

Any advice would be great.



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RE: Measuring for footbrace help


In my WD12, I like to sit braced with my knees bent and the sides of my thighs near the knees pressed against the coaming. This is my position for speed and rough water. It needs my feet to be braced against the foot rests. I also ike to change things out by putting my legs straight out on the bottom or even crossing my legs at times. This lets me keep muscles from cramping, limbs from numbing and my back from getting sore after hours in the boat. Having a cockpit large enough to do that in is one of the best features of the WD12. Note that only the first (braced) position needs the footbraces.

So what I did was to sit against a wall, bend my knees as if I was bracing and measure the distance from my feet to the wall. In the kayak, I measured the same distance forward of the seat back and put the centers of the footbrace tracks there. The result is something centered on ideal for me with enough forward/backward adjustment to achieve perfection even if my initial measurements were off a bit.

As far as vertical adjustment, the balls of your feet should rest on the foot rests when your heels are on the floor in the braced position.

I did all my measurements barefoot since I use no footwear in kayaks.

Good luck,




RE: Measuring for footbrace help

As usual, I agree with Lazlo.  Not much to add except that I prefer to do the measurement in the boat if able.  The picture below is setting the foot rests for my wife's Ch16LT.  If the boat will be used by multiple paddlers, try to measure them all.

I have used the vertical adjustment kit on one boat.  Initially try to set the vertical position without using the kit.  Make sure that you do this while wearing whatever type shoe that you normally paddle with.  If after a couple of outings you decide you need to move the foot rests up or down, then use the kit.  It is pretty easy, you just attach the vertical adjustment part to the boat, then the foot rest to the top or bottom end of that part as desired.  You can even mount them horizontal to move the braces fwd or aft if needed. 

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