Smarttrack combines fixed foot pegs with movable rudder pedals. Allows you use a rudder without giving up rigid foot braces, essential for solid bracing in a performance kayak. May require optional tubing kit.
Cable kit is minus tubeing,which is required? Not advised of this when purchasing! Had to obtain later. This is sure a well built item. Minimal instruction included, tho assy straightforward. Rudder tracks should have method for securing from outside,without need for vertical adjustment, which secures from behind. Rudder retract cord, should have a smoother route thru top of rudder securing pin. Cord will wear there. I will fit a fishing rod line guide there. All in all, great build/value. Stiil building so una to report on performance. As my kayak's a double, expect good results.
The rudder kit arrived as pictured, but they don't include a cable housing that is critical for the proper installation of the rudder and control system. It cost me another week of waiting for my boat to worked on and another $20.00 in parts. Smart track is a great system and I don't mind paying the money, but why not tell me up front?
I purchased the SmartTrack rudder system for my 2001 Necky Looksha 3. The Necky already has a rudder system, but the original nylon adjustments on the footpegs have a lot of give and does not allow for optimal paddling. With exception of the footpegs, installation was pretty simple, hardest part was adjusting the tension just right and patching holes from the prior rudder rest and rudder clam cleat. The SmartTrack rudder line clam cleat is much smaller than most other clam cleats out there, and the thinner line would not work in the original. Footpegs on the older Necky's do not use the standard 13.5" hole spacing. Correspondence with SmartTrack suggested purchasing their vertical adjustment kit and drilling new holes in the plate. However, their response was a form response and I could not find actual dimensions of the vertical adjustment kit to indicate that it would accommodate the close to 18" spacing of the Necky holes, and drilling new holes in my hull was not an option. I ended up purchasing a 1/4" high density plastic sheet from Amazon and with a drill, tap and die set, router, sandpaper, and table saw was able to fabricate my own mounting bracket. Not an easy task and required a high level of precision, an entire evening, and long arms, but has worked very well. First time in the water I liked this rudder better for straight travel, but was not impressed with turning or the smoothness of the mechanism. It took much more force than necessary to turn, and the Looksha lost its ability to turn on a dime. However, the solid bracing was a drastic improvement. Before my second paddle I lubricated the pivots and lines and found it worked significantly better - able to more easily get the full turning angle with reasonable force. Still not as sharp of turning as the original Necky rudder, but pretty close, and feels like less overall drag due to the reduced rudder slop on the straights. I do notice slightly decreased stability from the reduced surface area of the rudder, hard to know if it's from me working on my paddle rotation or the smaller rudder. One note: I bought the tubing kit and did not use it. The cables fit the existing cable routing through the kayak seam and appeared to be the same diameter cabling as standard rudder kits (I think it's a 0.125 diameter stainless line). Is it an improvement? Yes. ACK was great - always are. Took off a product star as SmartTrack's customer service was not very helpful, and I can't understand why they didn't answer my questions about the improved and specialized SmartTrack rudder housings only available on Stellar's website. Think they should also have a Necky retrofit kit (or at least a template for download), and be better prepared to answer installation questions. How hard would it really be to make an installation YouTube video for a company that specializes in retrofits? Great product, just needs better support.
Product is awesome. Did not realize how much of a difference it would make. Awesome. Get it. You will be happy that you did. Really.