FOOTSTRAP SAFETY

5 years 11 months ago #22601 by Nige
FOOTSTRAP SAFETY was created by Nige
I am posting this as a warning to all surfski paddlers about footstrap safety :

I recently took delivery of a new Fenn Elite S, which I have paddled a total of 4 times.

The first 3 times I paddled the ski was in relatively light conditions, but on the 4th occasion I did a big offshore downwind in 20-25 knot winds and 2-3 metre swells. I had a leg leash, PFD and all the safety kit which one should use in extreme conditions, and the 3 of us paddling together had a really good paddle. I was really enjoying the Elite S in these conditions.

Coming in through the surf, I made it through the backline safely, but broached on a small inshore wave about 10 metres from the shore. Thinking nothing of it, I kept my feet in the footstrap so that I would not lose my ski (I had unclipped my leash at backline), when much to my surprise the footstrap pulled out from its fixing on the one side. The amount of force which was applied to the footstrap was pretty insignificant as it was a small wave in waist deep water. I stood up and walked through the shallow water to the shore to retrieve my ski.

Not only did I part ways with my ski, but I lost my GPS and my leash, both of which were attached to the footstrap. (The way I see it, there is nowhere else on a Fenn to attach a leg leash.)

Besides the financial loss of my GPS and leash, I shudder to think what would have happened had I taken a swim while deep out to sea, because the footstrap came loose with such a small amount of force that it would probably have parted out in the deep water as well.

I raised the issue with Fenn, but other than replacing the footstrap they have not commented on how this could have happened.

The attached photos show the footstrap and mounting point.

So the message is, check your footstraps for strength and security. This should not have happened on a new ski, but could easily happen on an old one.
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Bill L, Kayaker Greg, Rod Thomas

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5 years 11 months ago #22602 by robin.mousley
Replied by robin.mousley on topic FOOTSTRAP SAFETY
Hmm... I guess any component from any manufacturer can have a flaw on a bad day...

But a good warning to all - CHECK your footstraps! Give 'em a good yank and see that they're secure!

I just broke the footplate right off my SA-made Think Evo II - for the second time. The first time was out at sea on a proper Millers Run. On that occasion fortunately my paddling buddy was behind me. I caught his attention and he was able to raft with me and, by tying knots in the rudder lines, made a jury rig so that I could steer.

The second time was on Saturday also in surf. I had my feet hooked in the footstraps and broke the footplate right off the rails.

Carbonology have made a modification to the footwell design on the SA made Think boats now so that the footplate adjustment rails are mounted vertically instead of horizontally.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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5 years 11 months ago #22605 by Davidw
Replied by Davidw on topic FOOTSTRAP SAFETY
Rob, did the footplate itself break in both instances? I also have an SA EVO and the footplate seems to flex a fair bit as it doesn't contact the boat at the bottom. Could this movement be the cause of the break?

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5 years 11 months ago #22606 by robin.mousley
Replied by robin.mousley on topic FOOTSTRAP SAFETY
No, the footplate itself was fine, the plastic tracks the footplate attaches to failed. I don't think the SA made Evo (1) had the same design for the footplate.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
The following user(s) said Thank You: Davidw

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5 years 11 months ago #22607 by robin.mousley
Replied by robin.mousley on topic FOOTSTRAP SAFETY
Here are pics.

You can see below, where the rail itself has broken.



By tying knots in the lines, we were able to jury-rig the steering. I had nothing to push my heels against; the footplate itself was flopping about in the front of the footwell, but I could steer by pushing against the tops of the rudder pedals.


Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
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5 years 11 months ago - 5 years 11 months ago #22608 by Bill L
Replied by Bill L on topic FOOTSTRAP SAFETY
Nige - Thanks for detailing that as you have. Certainly odd for such a new ski.

Question, as I can't quite tell exactly from the pics: Did the web completely pull through the attachment screw (perhaps the hole was too close to the end of the web)?

Or, did the web "jump" over the washer perhaps because the hole in the web may have been too large?

Thanx

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5 years 11 months ago #22609 by Bill L
Replied by Bill L on topic FOOTSTRAP SAFETY
I have had a large breaker push me quite a-ways broadside on my think legend (same rails and footplate I think) with my feet hooked in, so much so that I thought it might come apart, but no damage as far as I could tell.

Twice on the same ski the rail broke? I am inclined to think that the specific rail plastic is defective.

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5 years 11 months ago #22610 by bajax
Replied by bajax on topic FOOTSTRAP SAFETY
I had the same experience on the Demo Evo 2 in Durban. Got caught out in a cross wave and kept my foot in the strap and had exactly the same problem as Robin with the adjusting rack snapping off.I presume this has been sorted as it can be dangerous out at sea.

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5 years 11 months ago #22613 by Nige
Replied by Nige on topic FOOTSTRAP SAFETY
Bill L,

As you can see from the picture, the mounting consists of a circular washer and a rectangular plate which clamp together on either side of the footstrap webbing. The footstrap material feels very soft and has just pulled through the mounting, possibly helped by the mounting screw not being tight enough.

I will be taking a close look at the new footstrap before I fit it, and will probably strengthen it up with a layer of epoxy resin around the mounting hole.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Bill L

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5 years 11 months ago #22626 by Davidw
Replied by Davidw on topic FOOTSTRAP SAFETY

bajax wrote: I had the same experience on the Demo Evo 2 in Durban. Got caught out in a cross wave and kept my foot in the strap and had exactly the same problem as Robin with the adjusting rack snapping off.I presume this has been sorted as it can be dangerous out at sea.


I took delivery of my EVO 2 in June this year. It has the same aluminium track system that you find in a Fenn or Carbonology boat. This is obviously stronger but you lose the micro adjustment of the system that Rob has.

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