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Anyone with adjustable toe blocks...HELP!!!!

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:19 pm
by Cheeks
Does anyone use the Northwater adjustable toe blocks? If so, how do you have them installed in your boat?

I'm about to put them in, and the hole reason I got them was because I wanted to let my feet lie flat. Will I be able to have the tops of my feet flat (or close to it) against the bottom of my boat, with my soles up? The blocks seem to only rotate so far.

My fear is that if I flip the cups so that I can put my feet in flat, my shoes might not fit in because the flat part of my shoe would be forced into the hard, curved part of the cup. Any thoughts?

It's these guys... ... blocks.jpg

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:27 pm
by gumpy
never seen those before, but i know this one gnar boater who simply mounts his yakima pegs a little high and lays his feet under them.

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:12 pm
by rockyboater
I've used them before but never put my feet flat. I would first see if you feet fit in them upside down, if that works your good. If not you could keep the mounts and build your own cups? Looks like if you flip them you'll be squishing the rounded part down to much. If you haven't purchased them yet I'd say go with the foot pegs and set them a little higher as well. Good luck.

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:32 pm
by Alan B
I had the Northwater toe blocks in a Millbrook Defiant for 10 years. I thought they worked nearly as well and were much more comfortable than the yakimas in my Ocoees. I had/have shin blocks in both but with the NW, my foot was at a more gentle 45 or less angle. Another nice feature was that I could wear open toe sandles, flip-flops, etc., and the cup cradled my foot. That may not be a major consideration for using them but I liked that feature for warm weather slalom races. In saying that they worked nearly as well... I never felt quite as locked in the boat compared to the yakimas. Both Ocoees have a double thigh strap system and the Millbrook did not. So not a completely fair comparison. I would still give them a thumbs up.

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:33 pm
by marclamenace
I am having then in my tripping solo (ME) and they work great for me. When I need to be really thight I put my feet on the flat part (rotated), ankle bent like on pegs, but most of the time my feet are in them cups, so they are further backward and almost flat in a very comfortable way still providing some good control. enough space in the boat also to put my feet further aside and completely flat on the bare hull. I love the setup myself. Go for it! You'll see once glued in there you should not even need to flip them cups to use them like you mean but you could I guess if you need they are pretty easy to adjust. Great stuff!
gumpy wrote:never seen those before, but i know this one gnar boater who simply mounts his yakima pegs a little high and lays his feet under them.
That sounds like a pretty good way to get pinched on a rocky road. :(

Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:13 am
by Cheeks
marclamenace wrote: That sounds like a pretty good way to get pinched on a rocky road. :(
My thoughts exactly. Plus, I don't like where my feet are with foot pegs.

I sat in the boat tonight as I was putting in my knee pads. I'll try to work out how my feet should go, but if worse comes to worse, I'll just fashion a bridle to lift the cups up enough so that I can flip them.

Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:29 pm
by sdbrassfield
I have them in two of my boats. Very good product...

little thought

Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:22 am
by Einar
Until your question I hadn't consider how little thought I put into setting up my North Water adj. toe cups, a compliment I guess, to North Water.
I always set them up with my booties on as the flexible cups tend to bunch the toes and if you are "hard" into your rigging the jamming will get distracting and I need the neoprene buffer. All set ups are with the cups on the center holes.
I splay the blocks slightly out of alignment, thats just the the way my feet jam.
Wherever you can find them, hardware or marine store, I carry a set of replacement bolts and wing nuts as you are gonna lose them some day. A spare zap strap stuffed somewhere will do the trick too, or a scrape of airbag webbing.
I use shallow ankle blocks as the ankle bending flat can get pretty harsh. I make them out of scrap minicell on a bandsaw.
I also have a boat with pegs and it's great too.
I often get a chance to visit the Northwater shop and can attest that they put a lot of thought into their design, especially for ruggedness and quality. That was plug for a friend.

Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:04 am
by Cheeks
Wait, I just want to clarify. You guys were able to put your foot into the cups with the hard curved part facing up, and your feet flat with soles up? Or do you not put your toes in all the way?

If anyone has a picture of theirs, I'd appreciate a look. I'm going down to do a test run (duct taping everything) and I'm contemplating keeping my heels up and just installing taller ankle blocks. We'll see what's most comfortable.

Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:43 pm
by sdbrassfield
Tenzing wrote:Wait, I just want to clarify. You guys were able to put your foot into the cups with the hard curved part facing up, and your feet flat with soles up? Or do you not put your toes in all the way?
Mine are heavy duty webbing, there is no hard curved part up. They are very adjustable. Yes you can lay your feet flat, or depending on adjustment/how you prefer, bend your feet and put pressure on the toe blocks.

Edit: I'll take that back, there is hard plastic beneath/in the webbing.

Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:29 pm
by yarnellboat
I use 'em the way you do, but "feet flat" isn't really that "flat". Anyway, they pivot to where you need them to be, no problems.

Only trouble I ever had was installing the bases too wide (i.e., my feet were too straight back & too far apart), which hurt my knees.

So, don't worry about how your feet will sit in the cups, but do worry about getting your cups where you want your feet to be (i.e. in-line with your legs/knees).

Cost aside, great product.


Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:44 pm
by Cheeks
So you were right. After an hour of just sitting in the boat, taping and retaping anchors for straps and these blocks, it became apparent how they will work. Go figure. It just took me a while to figure out how to make them comfortable. I'll post some pictures later, I really feel that these toe blocks are going to rock.

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:17 pm
by Paddle Power
Great news.

Have them and love them. Does the Northwater website have more info about installing or did they come with an instruction sheet?

North water install

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:35 pm
by Einar
Northwater does have diagrams but no detailed instructions.
I just hop in the boat with boots on and jam into the thigh straps, then line the toe blocks up, mark the placement with a sharpy or pencil. I give both surfaces a very light buff with a light sandpaper to rough it up and clean the surfaces with a light wipe of dilute solvent to take any mold residue or road oils off.
There are more specific types of cleaners but often they are toxic and I don't like keeping them around for an occassional use. Let the cleaner/solvent flash off for a good amount of time.
Trim the toe block corners to round with scissors.
Then apply Vynabond to both surfaces and let it dry to beyond tacky. Dry is important. I apply a little thicker coat where the stitching is to fill in any gaps.
When ready to go I lightly warm both surfaces with a heat gun and join. It is an instant bond, so double check you measurments before you join.
All this is on the packaging although I didn't find much on the website.
If the instructions seem simple, well, it's because the process is simple.
Failure events for me over the years have been:
didn't put enough Vynabond on thereby voids were created.
Thats it.
On a new boat
I personally tend to rig a Tight boat and glue down my rigging first and then install the seat so it overlaps the vynll glue downs getting D rings in close to the seat for a sharper angle.
In a new boat I
mark in the seat balance point first, often done on the water with a
2 nd set of eyes judging trim.
With the seat removed I glue down the center hull D ring second
-glue down the minicel seat with Sika flex next, tight to the center ring
-glue in the sidewall D rings for the straps
and glue down the toe blocks last.
I have made msitakes on location, more a matter of afterthought and change of attitude but never had any failure on North water.
(edit: I called Vynabond "Vynll Tek" previously, now corrected )
Good luck

It is raining to the top of the ski hill, think I'll go paddling.