How to Customize Your Kayak Cockpit With Foam

How to Customize Your Kayak Cockpit With Foam
To a novice kayaker, a cockpit may look impossibly small, but once inside, your precise fit becomes more of a concern than imagined. With your back supported in the seat, and your feet on the foot braces, you should be able to hook your knees under the cockpit coaming, where some boats even have specially formed thigh supports. If you find yourself wiggling around too much or that your knees and thighs are not supported properly, you may benefit from customizing your cockpit with foam.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Block of closed-cell foam
  • Sharp paring knife
  • Glue
Step 1
Purchase a block of dense, closed cell foam such as those made by Minicell Foam or Padz. These come in dark grey blocks that are easy to cut and shape and are usually sold in 1 foot increments. Padz even makes a kit with preformed foam shapes for customizing your kayak.
Step 2
Sit in your kayak cockpit and determine where you need extra padding. Everyone is shaped differently and some may need small wedges of foam at the sides to pad their hips, some may need an extra wedge behind their back and many may need an extra wedge of foam at the thigh area just above the knee.
Step 3
Look at the space between the inside wall of the kayak and that area of your body, whether it be your hip or thigh. Take note of the shape of this negative space.
Step 4
Cut from the block of foam with the paring knife, or other sharp knife, in the shape of that negative space where the foam will go. This is a trial and error process, so remember to cut small amounts, leaving the foam bigger than you think it needs to be. You can always carve away more for a precise fit, but you cannot make the foam grow back!
Step 5
Sit in your cockpit again and try placing the wedge where it is needed. Check to see how it is fitting. Most likely, you will have to carve a little more off to get a perfect fit. Glue the piece or pieces into place once they are the right shape and size, with an extra sticky glue, such as H2 Glue, meant for marine craft.

Article Written By Naomi Judd

Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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