Q: Can I mount an ONNO foot bar in my NDK Greenlander pro?
Is there enough room for the knees to bring my feet into a centered position?– J P Meyenberg
A: JP, I have an ONNO carbon foot bar (foot plate) mounted in my NDK Greenlander Pro and love it. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the ONNO foot bar is a very lightweight, wide carbon plate that mounts to your existing Yakima pedals (stock installation is with screws). The hardware is provided to modify your current Yakima aluminum rails so that they are parallel so that the solid foot plate can be adjusted fore/aft without binding.
I have size 10 feet and have just enough room to bring feet and knees to a centered position in the keyhole cockpit. There isn’t a lot of clearance, my knees can fit only when they are very close together, about an inch apart. For more clearance you could modify the thigh hooks (grind them away a bit). In this centered, racing-style position, I can generate more torso-rotation than in the “splayed-out” position.
The ONNO foot bar is much more comfortable than the small , non-ergonomic Yakima pedals (aka postage stamps). Try a comfortable foot bar/foot plate and you’re spoiled for life. You won’t want to use regular Yakima pedals again. I’m still thinking about making a wooden wedge for each Yakima pedal, cut at 60 degrees on one face, to provide an angled mounting surface for the ONNO foot bar. That would be heaven. Currently I have the foot bar held to the pedals with heavy duty Velcro and tethered with an extremely short string on one side to prevent loss in surf. I keep my water bladders in front of my feet, so I’m still trying to devise the best way to install the ONNO foot bar so that I can quickly swing it out of the way and get access.
As with any modification to the cockpit, ensure that it doesn’t impede your ability to exit the kayak. One potential hazard of any full-width foot bar is the danger of getting your feet jammed under it and entrapped. This could happen in a forceful collision, such as surfing and pile-driving your bow into the bottom. Whether or not this is an issue depends on the width of the foot bar, your footwear, and the volume/shape of your kayak. If entrapment is a possibility, the smart solution is to devise a fail-safe mechanism and mount your foot bar so that it can swing backward and release should you pull back on it.