I paddle kayaks without rudders that use skegs for directional stability.
Most of the kayaks I own came with footbraces that are mounted on rails attached to the hull.
The footbrace pegs have sliding adjustment fore and aft to allow different paddlers' leg lengths fit correctly.
I find most footbraces' surface rather small offering me limited support for my feet, often creating a pressure spot. In trying to maintain a good paddle stroke I tend to have a positive pressure against the pegs, that after an hour or so results in discomfort.
Wiggling my feet around and repositioning them frequently indicates that the footbraces are under engineered for my requirements. In some of my kayaks I have modified the pegs where I have added a bar spanning from side to side creating a much larger platform with infinite foot positions.
The bar works very well for me but when it comes to adjust it for a different paddler it is pretty tricky.
The bar needs to have some adjustment in the mounting holes since the hull of the kayak is tapered.
Pulling back the bar for a closer fit usually requires a bit wiggling, hard pulling and occasionally cursing to get the corroded mechanism (aluminium against stainless steel fastens) to slide.
In my latest kayak I have not installed my modification since several people borrow that boat and adjustment of the brace would be a pain.
When SEA-LECT Designs offered me to test their footbraces I was very excited.
The design on their website looked good and I awaited the arrival of a set of replacement footbraces.
As described on their website the SEA-LECT Designs footbraces are a direct swap for most brands.
I removed my Yakima rails bolts and installed the new fasteners in the same existing holes, no modifications needed.
I was even very impressed with the detail of the fasteners; the bolt comes with a cupped washer that is backed by rubber to ensure a positive seal so no leaks will occur.
SEA-LECT Designs offers also footbraces that will mount on hull-bonded studs, not just through bolts.
There are a couple of fundamental differences with SEA-LECT Designs footbraces.
The adjusting mechanism is all corrosion free and is accessible from the cockpit, while seated in the kayak.
If I need adjustment (bring the pegs closer) I just grab the tab on the rotating rod, flick it 90 degrees upwards and relocate the peg, all on-the-fly, while on the water. I can do that with Yakima footpegs too, wiggling my foot behind the peg and hopefully finding the release tab, but only works when new. After a few months corrosion sets in and the adjusting mechanism becomes very sticky.
The surface area of the SEA-LECT Designs pegs is larger and gently curved to spread the load of the feet-pushing action.
Despite wearing paddling shoes I still find Yakima's sharp pegs edges dig into my feet a bit; SEA-LECT pegs are much nicer on my feet.
SEA-LECT Design on the left, Yakima on the right.
There is one thing I don't like about the SEA-LECT Designs pegs: the angle relative to my feet.
Maybe it's a personal taste but I found the pegs oriented too much forward: I kind of like them more square.
In the process to test them thoroughly and offer the manufacturer comparison feedback I added a little plate that I bolted onto the pegs surface, angling it backwards.
After an initial paddle of 10 miles I found the modified angle more to my liking.