Replacing foot rest w/ foam -- Pros and cons, anyone?
I bought a Pyranha H2 245 a few years ago and the person I bought it from was a OBJ-running, Crested Butte local. He had taken out the stock foot rest and replaced it with foam. He said it was a lot safer should you piton coming off a big drop someday. Reason being that if you hit so hard it bent the footrest you could end up with your feet trapped in the nose of the boat with a bent foot plate holding them in. Ouch! Well, I don't run that big of stuff anyway, but the foam was cool cause it added floatation and I imagine it was lighter than the stock footplate.
Anyway, now I own an Embudo and I'm contemplating doing the same, but was wondering what other folks thought. I can see two sides of the argument. One side would be that footplates are heavy, allow a lot of water to enter the boat in case of a swim, and they aren't as safe on big drops if you piton. The other side, from a safety point, would be that stock foot rests add to the structural integrity of the boat by helping to keep the shell rigid in the event of a pin.
Embudo's are HTP plastic, but being a bit paranoid it still freaks me out sometimes that they don't have any center bracing. That's why I've been thinking about this; I don't want to do anything that might make the boat anymore "soft" than it already is. PS I know the benefits of not having a centerbrace, too, so no need for that lecture.