The fine art of surfski padding for optimal paddling!

Padding out a surfski for the perfect fit!

Surfskis are high performance craft that need to be a good fit to achieve optimum performance. Although different, I would group surfskis with low volume Greenland style kayaks in the sense that they should really fit the paddler like a glove. The goal is to feel as one with the boat. This is why there are several makers and many models of surfskis – different boats for different folks!

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Flex Maslan kayakfari stellar surfski ses multisport kayak grey ghost miami biscayne vkoc paddle

Stellar SES surfski on Biscayne Bay in Miami.
The launching of the Grey Ghost (Stellar SES Multisport surfski)

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The launching of the Grey Ghost (Stellar SES Multisport surfski)

At 6’2″ and 160 lbs (188 cm x 72 Kg) my dimensions indicate a good fit with the SES model in Stellar’s surfski lineup. Although I am at the top end of the height range, there is plenty of room for even longer legs. I contemplated the SEL model, which would also fit me well, but do not need the extra volume (weight capacity). The Stellar SES surfski is a great fit for my lightweight anatomy and I made it even better with some custom foam padding!

I sourced two sheets of self-stick adhesive backed closed cell foam on eBay for $10.50 delivered (no affiliation). It even came in gray to match the colors of the “Grey Ghost“!

The foam is 6mm thick which is just a hair less than 1/4″.

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Flex Maslan kayakfari stellar surfski ses kayak grey ghost seat foam padding foot pedals paddle fitness fatigue

Strategic foam placement at all points of foot contact makes my feet feel light with no pressure spots!

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Stellar provides a very solid adjustable 3 point attachment system for the footplate on the SES surfski. The foam padding makes my feet feel like they are on a pillow and actually slightly improves rudder response!

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Flex Maslan kayakfari stellar surfski ses kayak grey ghost seat foam padding foot pedals paddle fitness fatigue

A rubber spark plug wire cap nicely covers the bottom aluminum adjustment lever.

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Stellar does a very good job in chamfering all the exposed edges of the aluminum foot plate parts. However the bottom adjuster lever could prove to be painful to toes when doing remounts. So in a flash of inspiration while paddling, I realized the best cover for this piece was probably already somewhere in my garage! A rubber 90 degree spark plug wire cap is a perfect fit and slips over the aluminum piece. It allows for full functionality, but I doubt I’ll be moving it much since my foot plate is already properly adjusted.

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Flex Maslan kayakfari stellar surfski ses kayak grey ghost seat foam padding foot pedals paddle fitness fatigue

Lower foot plate adjuster lever in the open “up” position. Note the pads for my heels – they really work!

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Mine happens to be red because that’s what I found in the garage, but black is a more common color if that matters. These are typically for old school engine distributor caps and should still be available in auto parts stores, online or local junk yards.

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Flex Maslan kayakfari stellar surfski ses kayak grey ghost seat foam padding foot pedals paddle fitness fatigue

Rubber covered foot plate adjustment lever is no longer a threat to my toes or heels!

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Moving towards the seat is a raised part of the surfski bucket that also contains a molded bottle holder. I put these two pads there not for paddling but for carrying. I find it easiest to carry the lightweight 20 foot boat on top of my head, and this is where the balance point actually is on my SES!

The way I carry the ski is usually with the left hand holding next to the seat while my right hand grabs the foot strap in front with the boat balanced on my head. That’s where the foam padding comes in!

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Flex Maslan kayakfari stellar surfski ses kayak grey ghost seat foam padding foot pedals paddle fitness fatigue

These pads are positioned under my knees but are really there so I can carry the surfski on top of my head.

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Flex Maslan kayakfari stellar surfski ses kayak grey ghost seat foam padding foot pedals paddle fitness fatigue

Stellar SES surfski seat tub with custom seat pad and “backrest”.

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One of the reasons I like the SES is that the seat bucket fits me well. The foam pad adds comfort and pretty much eliminates any pressure points!

The two cutouts really help to “locate” me in the seat and are for the bones in my pelvis called the “Ramus of ischium” (also known as the bony part of the butt).

The foam thickness and density are just right and do not impact the stability of the surfski!

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Flex Maslan kayakfari stellar surfski ses multisport kayak grey ghost miami biscayne vkoc paddle

My customized 6mm foam seat pad – here’s lookin’ at you!
The launching of the Grey Ghost (Stellar SES Multisport surfski)

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I’m pretty happy with my foam customization! I never get numb legs and feel no pressure points anymore. I can achieve really good forward leaning form with proper rotation and excellent leg drive.

Man and boat, merged into one! 🙂

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Flex Maslan kayakfari stellar surfski ses multisport kayak grey ghost miami biscayne vkoc paddle

Stellar SES surfski with advanced Alien technology! 😉
The launching of the Grey Ghost (Stellar SES Multisport surfski)

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Greetings!!

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© 2017 Flex Maslan / kayakfari.com / awakenthegrass.com. All original photographs, artworks and music in this portfolio are copyrighted and owned by the artist, Flex Maslan, unless otherwise noted. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from the artist is strictly prohibited.

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I hereby disclaim any sponsorship, endorsement, nor association with any product or service described herein. The photographs, depictions, products, and ideas presented on this site are for informational purposes only. Your results may vary, and I do not imply nor guarantee the effectiveness, suitability, design or operation to adhere to any standard. I assume no legal responsibility for the implementation of anything herein presented! Use any and all information at your own risk! By using any and all information from this website, you accept the final liability for any use or possible associated misuse!

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With that said..
Blessings friends!

:)

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