Sea-Dog Rudder Control Foot
| Review By Chris Rowan - Brownsville,
Texas - USA
Thank you for inviting me to the messabout. Next
time, I'll bring a sailboat! The waters there are
just not good for kayaking. Or maybe I should say
that the waters there are not good for kayakers like
I think I know why those who could stayed overnight
in their sailboats, out on the water. Since Magnolia
Beach park is free, it must attract some of the most
obnoxious, inconsiderate people within a 50 mile radius.
My next door camper and his girlfriend were a prime
example. The girl must have called it a night early,
but the guy stayed up til past 2 AM drinking, belching,
and singing along to a variety of heavy metal tunes
(Alice in Chains, Metallica, etc.) - very poorly and
very loudly. It would have been funny if I hadn't
wanted to get some sleep.
So I wasn't
in the best of shape when I crawled out
of my tent Saturday morning. Still, I
was determined to make the best of it.
images to enlarge)
So I wasn't in the best of shape when I crawled out
of my tent Saturday morning. Still, I was determined
to make the best of it. The wind and water conditions
were ideal. The surface of the water was nearly smooth,
and there was just barely the hint of a breeze. I
brewed a pot of coffee, ate a ham sandwich, and set
out for Sand Point as quickly as my foggy brain would
I made good time until I got about halfway across
the channel. That's when the wind kicked up and serious
wave action started. I wouldn't characterize what
I experienced as "chop'; these were WAVES that
came crashing over the bow of my kayak.
If I hadn't installed the pivoting
foot braces that I bought from Duckworks,
I wouldn't have made it even halfway across. I'd have
capsized somewhere near the middle of the channel.
The "squishy" braces that came with the
kayak left me with nothing solid to push against when
waves came at me from either side. I always felt like
I was on the verge of tipping over, and not having
something solid to push against was physically draining.
It's similar to having someone hold your feet to the
floor while you perform sit-ups. It's easier to do
sit-ups when someone holds your feet to the floor,
right? You don't have to use your abdominal muscles
The new pivoting foot braces give me a solid brace
to push against while giving me total directional
control. All I had to do was push down with my left
heel, and that's where the kayak turned. Push down
with my right heel, and the kayak "heeled"
right. I felt a lot more stable in my kayak with the
pivoting braces, that's for sure. But what really
saved me was the energy I conserved as a result of
having a solid brace to push against.
|The new pivoting
foot braces give me a solid brace to push
against while giving me total directional
Anyway, with solid foot braces I was able to use
my leg muscles to "pull" the kayak through
the water and could relax my arm, shoulder, and abdominal
I finally made it to the other side of the channel,
just northeast of Sand Point (approx. 28°34'50.51"N,
96°28'57.27"W according to Google Earth).
I was tired, but not nearly as tired as I would have
been with "squishy" foot braces.
The trip across was bad enough, but the way back
was positively nightmarish. Now I was paddling almost
directly into the wind with waves crashing into me
about 70 deg to port. I should say that MOST of the
waves came at me from that direction, but certainly
not all. Some waves came from the front, some from
behind. I have been in some rough water over the past
few years, but this was by far the worst. It took
all of my resolve, all of my energy, to make it back
across. I am not exaggerating. If I hadn't installed
those pivoting foot braces from Duckworks, I wouldn't
have made it back across. It's as simple as that.
Pardon the pun, but that journey across and back
was a pivotal moment in my life. I can't say it was
pleasant or enjoyable, but I did learn something about
myself. I am not a quitter and can be as tough as
the situation demands. That realization alone was
worth ten such trips.
Thanks again for inviting me. And many, MANY thanks
for creating and maintaining the Duckworks online
store. I wouldn't have pivoting foot braces were it
not for Duckworks, and as such would most likely not
be here now.
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