We all know that feeling – The deep pain/numbness associated with being packed tightly into a plastic container and thrown around for an hour or two.
Footbraces and bulkheads provide solid footing and help you push the rest of your lower body tightly into position. When perfectly adjusted, your feet will rest comfortably against the footbraces. But once you apply a little pressure, your thighs, hips, butt and back press slightly harder against their respective pads providing the necessary whitewater fit. It is a very fine balance between too tight and not tight enough.
You basically have a number of possible options:
– Metal/plastic footrests or foot plates that are bolted into the boat
– Foam bulkheads that are trimmed to meet your needs
– Bean Bag footrest systems
All have there pro’s and con’s and it’s really down to a question of “feel”. Foam may be the best option since no drilling is needed and if you get it wrong you just pull it out trim it some more or even stick some foam back on. Getting the foam block right is time consuming, and the foam isn’t very cheap or even that easy to get hold of.
Up until very recently the bean bag footrest has been my preferred choice. However as the volume at the front of play boats has increased my bean bag has seen its last outing. My newest play boats are the Liquid Logic Biscuit and the Pyranha Jed, both have foam bulk heads fitted.
The main part of the block has been shaped to create a nice platform for my feet. It is Pyranha’s own outfitting foam that has been trimmed to fit correctly. A large kitchen knife was used to trim the foam block. Wedges were then added to the top and bottom so that when the block is put in place the footrest stays put within the boat.