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These Smarttrack toe pilot foot controls allow me to control my rudder even though I'm well over 6 feet tall. Rudders in the past have been difficult for me to use in the past because of the sliding motion.
Customer Rating: 4.5 of 5
The product is very well made and easy to install once you sit and figure out what need to be done and where to put the pedals. Instructions were non-existent! That is a serious issue for those not mechanically inclined. I don't know if any hidden design flaws will cause problems in the future, but one thing now has the potential for disaster. The rear threaded holes that mount the pedals to the boat are placed directly over the cable, so if the screw extents too deep it will pinch the cable and could cause it to fail over time. This could be accelerated by trying to adjust the pedal position with the adjusting screw if the cable were pinched. The cable would be frayed from twisting and that will lead to failure. Just FYI, something to keep your eye on. If you know it's a hazard you can take steps to prevent trouble. One other thing, no cable crimps were sent with the pedals, another serious issue!
Buy a cable tubing kit, it comes with instructions and will make your life much easier.
It has no cable crimps either, so buy a few just in case, it may save a lot of driving, or waiting time for the mail. Customer Service should include those as a gesture of thanks for the business.
A well designed system that's easy to install and set up. I've been using the original system for a few years in an Epic 18 Endurance kayak, but racing took its toll on the older plastic rails and they broke on me. The new system with aluminum rails is exceptionally solid, while retaining the fixed foot peg/gas pedal rudder arrangement of the original system. Very easy to adjust for length, very easy to adjust pedal angle, and very easy to use while being quite robust. Properly set up, you can push solidly against the foot pegs and use your toes to make slight corrections (or full-bore turns) to optimize your course of travel. My only negative is that the new bolt locations are slightly closer together than the older system's bolt locations, requiring an elongation of the holes in my boat to accommodate the new system.
Kim in CA
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!