With the SmartTrack Toe Pilot Foot Controls, instead of sliding your feet forward and back as with standard pedals, your feet stay braced at all times. Upper pedals do the steering so your stability and balance are never compromised. Lets you maintain control while directing energy from your torso directly to your stroke. Paddling more efficiently means you can paddle longer.
I was so glad to hear that this once-discontinued system is again manufactured and supported. The long black side pieces on the new version are metal, whereas the original version's were plastic, and one of mine had "exploded" (maybe one shouldn't do endo's in a long sea kayak?). Had this replacement set installed in no time at all, and it feels really solid. So much for appreciation for repair parts! I've used the SmartTrack rudder system for four years, love the stationary foot pedals for bracing, and find the slim but well-designed rudder keeps the boat firmly on course in quartering seas and strong breezes. It is easily adjusted and serviced by an amateur, too - an important consideration when one uses (and abuses) one's boat frequently!
I bought these for a Tarpon 160. They will not fit so I wasted a lot of money.
These are really designed for sit-inside kayaks but can be easily adapted for use on a sit-on-top with the use of the vertical adjustment kit and utilizing the existing foot rail in the kayak as a spacer.
This is my second set of these pedals. After installing them on my kayak, I liked them so much that I bought another set to put on my wife's boat. I had a problem with one of my toe pedals where a plastic cable guide cracked, allowing the cable to escape disabling he rudder. Austin Kayak contacted the manufacturer on my behalf, and the manufacturer immediately sent me two replacement pedals at no charge. That is respectable customer service from all concerned!
These pedals work very well, but don't think for a minute that you're going to just unscrew the old pedal tracks and install the SmartTracks in a half hour or so. You WILL need an assistant, unless each of your arms is about four feet long. If your boat has non-standard pedal mount spacing (my Necky Tesla was about 18" instead of the normal 14.5") you will have to drill new holes in your hull, and figure out how to plug the old ones. The Tesla has recessed deck fittings, which make bulges inside the cockpit that would have interfered with the toe pedals had I not mounted the new rack two inches lower than the original. The toe pedals pull less cable than the Necky rudder pedals, and thus wouldn't move the rudder through its full travel until I drilled new holes in the original Necky rudder bell crank that were closer to the pivot point. How to position the loops where the cables attach to the rudder bell crank was a complete mystery. Hint: put the rudder all the way to the right against the stop while you pull the LEFT cable tight to make your loop. Then reverse the process for the RIGHT cable. When you order the SmartTrack kit, be sure also to order some of the little copper cable swage thingies. I went to all nine of the hardware stores where I live in Central Mexico, and nobody here even knew what I was talking about. "Combinar dos cables juntos? ¿Por qué?" I ended up with an ugly albeit temporary kluge while I wait for my swages to arrive. A side benefit of my rudder bell crank modification is that with less mechanical advantage the rudder pedals are stiff enough that I can use them as trim tabs -- set a slight turn and leave it to compensate for a light current or cross-wind. So, am I happy with my SmartTrack foot controls? Well, during the installation there were times I questioned my sanity, but now that they are in... I LOVE them. tanstaafl.