The "Fullfoot Advantage" – rudder pedal innovation

Saturday, 03 January 2009 10:47 | Written by  Fred Schiess
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[Editor:  Fred Schiess from Santa Barbara, CA, wrote to us about an innovative modification to the rudder pedals in his ski.]

Thank you for allowing me to describe and illustrate to you what it is I've achieved and believe to be a great improvement for a more powerful stroke and better overall transfer of power to a surfski...

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I call the pedals the "Fullfoot advantage"... Simply because that is what they do! ... They give you an advantage by being able to use your full foot instead of only your heels.....an advantage in a noticeable difference in more power applied to the forward motion..... The more foot contact the better.....

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Idea born of necessity

I came up with the idea out of necessity...I had gotten a foot injury while running that gave me great pain in my foot arches, needless to say this caused me great pain while paddling....the pain was so severe I thought I'd have to gave up surfski paddling..and the thought of that was unacceptable...I thought there had to be a way to make an attachment to the foot arrangement of my ski..(I paddle a Fenn Mako 6 ) that was flat so my arches would not press against the top of the heel plate (which they did and this is where the majority of people push while paddling).....basically that's where the idea originated..

Simple Design

The design is simple and worked the first time I tried them.. my first thought was WOW!.... I knew I was on to something ....Something that has been talked about for a very long time,... How to get a K1 full board feel into a surfski....after trying many different adjustments and springs. I've gotten to where they are right now..there is still room for improvement and I can see them evolving .....but where I'm at now they seem to work fantastic... I have been using them for months and months without any mechanical failure's...the first ones were made from wood and worked great, but the new ones are fiberglass...That's what's needed if they are to be immersed in water for long periods of time...I'm in the process of making them lighter...they need to be strong yet light...there is a lot of power in the leg push...I'm learning about ways to make them strong yet light...

Spring Loading

They work by using a simple spring loading and recoil movement.. that allows them to press tight up against the heel foot plate and the foot peddles...The spring action (bungiecord) allows them to move and float ever so slightly.. They must be able to move with ease yet be secure .... Using polycord and or bungiecord for the spring action. A stop plate is placed at the top of the foot pedals to stop any upward slip and a spacer plate is placed between the peddles to stop side way slip.. They are attached at the top of the rudder control foot pedals by drilling two holes and slipping the bungiecord through and attaching them in the back with clips.....the same for the heel plate, two holes drilled and the bungie cord pushed through and attached in the back....photos show how it's done......the feel is amazingly solid and secure ...the first reaction from fellow paddlers is also WOW! ... feels so solid..not what one might expect...

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By using a fullfoot peddle the pressure point is totally focused into the top of the foot plate instead of using only your heels which push at the weaker bottom point ... and you can push with your whole foot...forcing all the pressure into the stiffness part of the foot plate ... making the boat feel more centered and locked in... which allows a more effective transfer of power.....turning is no problem you can be constantly applying pressure though out turns and riding swells...and since when your applying pressure in the stroke your leg pressure is forcing the fullfoot peddle tight against the heel plate... doing a 180 degree turn you need to lift your heel more than without the Fullfoot, but since its only in the 180 degree turns it's never a problem...even in a 180 I can still apply pressure ... Running down ocean swells and pushing hard in the bumps there is a noticeable difference...you'll be catching swells you had hard times catching before.......  also in calm and flat water you'd swear you were in a K1...

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Cost?

The cost?....Not sure yet... ... I'm working out the cost as I write...I guess it all depends on if and how many I can sell ... Just a guess... I'm thinking in the price range of $69-$129 maybe more. Right now it's only one at a time...they do require a bit of time in the making of them...like I said they are made of fiberglass with grip tape on the surface for a solid gripping feel no slipping...

I hope I've made myself clear enough..... I hope the photos help out with clearing up any mistakes I've made trying to describe what's going on..... and please e-mail me if you have any Questions I'd be more than happy to respond..

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Fred Schiess  


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