How to Make Your Kayak an Extension of Your Body by JK Team | Dec 27, 2019 | Instructional, Whitewater, Whitewater Instruction | 3 comments One of my favorite parts about Jackson Kayaks is that, in tandem with some accessories, I can get the best fit out of any boat I’ve ever been in. For me, having my boat be super snug is the most important thing for me while kayaking. That way, I get maximum energy transference from every paddle stroke, every twist and turn of my torso and every hip snap. Ideally, your boat should fit like a ski boot: tight and locked in, but not cutting off circulation. If you’ve ever done any other sports like rock climbing, think about the difference between rental shoes and your own pair of broken-in shoes. It makes a huge difference! I think that the way Jackson outfitting is set up makes it really easy to get that fit every time. Personally, I use all the airbags; Happy Feet, Sweet Cheeks, Thruster, and Happy Seat. I never find that I have to glue anything inside to get that feeling of being one with my boat. Ultimately, the goal is to have your kayak be an extension of your body. Any wiggle room you have in your hips or your legs is energy that’s being wasted and going out the window and is affecting your ability to control your kayak effectively. Give yourself time to adjust your boat each time you get on the water so that you have that custom fit, regardless of changes in layers you might be wearing, or different footwear. You should have solid contact points in your butt, hips, lower back, thighs/knees, and feet. If any of those pieces don’t fit, it’s probably affecting your paddling! I hope that this was a good reminder to put some time into your boat and make it not just a kayak but a kayak that fits specifically to you! 3 Comments Uriah Jones on January 28, 2020 at 3:36 pm So I paddle a Lg Nirvana. I have large enough feet that my heels rest against the center pillar. This makes it difficult to obtain firm heel support. What do guys with big feet use? Happy feet, angle cut foam etc…? I’m 6’3″ and have size 13 feet. Otherwise I’m super happy with the boat, and the outfitting adjustability is great! Reply Will Richardson on February 3, 2020 at 8:19 pm Hey Uriah! This is a HUGE question, that will take some work. I have touched base with our sales guy Colin who knows more to help you Can you tell me your inseam size and where you have your seat positioned currently? Also can you send me a call number that I can text you a photo of the trick I will outline below? (email: email@example.com) For reference my body is the target for all of our big guy builds. I have a 36” inseam and size 13 feet. I do have chicken legs and David. our designer accounts for that since it is not normal. I paddled the large Nirvana with the seat in the center position and found that to be the best overall balance between the performance variables. You certainly don’t need to be there, but this is just for frame of reference. In all our creek/river running boats I cut an arch out of the center wall to allow my heels to come together in the center of the boat where it is the deepest and this allows me 3” of additional width to work with. It also allows me to change the angle of my feet on the bulkhead plate so that they can be less vertical. The arch starts right were the bulkhead plate and foam come to the hull and at the center wall. I cut up to the unishock track and then aft of where my heels are by 1-2” extra. Make sure to not score or cut the inside of the hull at all in this process! I then round off the edges, so that if I need to swim I don’t have any chance fo my heels to get caught on the center wall on a right angle. This allows me to wear full creek boots in the boat. I just recently did the same in my new Z3 and have in my antix as well. OK? Let me know what other questions you may have and once I get the number I can text the photo. Reply Uriah Jones on March 12, 2020 at 1:04 pm Thanks Will! I understand what you did there. In my old Nirvana I ended up wearing a depression into the unishock bulkhead that worked similarly to what you describe. Unfortunately, I usually ended up with my heels locked into this small depression I had worn, and a couple time I swam I ended up leaving my shoes in the boat. I will certainly try what you suggested. I’m hoping that it helps with one other difficulty I’m having. I just got a new Lagre Nirvana from CKS. I am having difficulty with my hips. Even with the hip pads fully removed, I am having significant pressure from the seat supports on my legs causing them to fall asleep/hurt within a few minutes. Ok.. I know I might be a little fat 🙂 I’m 6’3, 240lbs with a 34″ inseam, size 13 feet. I’m currently paddling with the seat one notch back from center, though I’ve also tried center position. What is really strange is that I didn’t have this issue with my previous Nirvana. Perhaps the new bulkhead forcing my feet into a more vertical position has caused this, and it will resolve itself what I modify the bulkhead as you described. Has anyone else has an issue with their legs being pressed hard up against the seat support? Feel free to insert your favorite fat kayaker joke 😉 Reply Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.