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Watercraft Accessories Review


Take on BIG wave impacts with the shock absorbing Footcush
 

Date: 6/7/04
Tackle type: Deck Mat
Manufacturer: Footcush Products Co.
Reviewer: JIP






Total Score: 8.16

Introduction: Give your ankles, knees, and back a rest with the Footcush, a boating deck mat that's designed to absorb shock when you're pounding waves or to help reduce fatigue while standing up for an extended period while fishing.
  

Footcush Deck Mat Specifications

Sizes Available 40" X 14" and 24" X 12"
Thickness 1.5"
Material Ensolite closed-cell foam
Colors Available White
Additional Features Easy on/off deck snaps and hardware included, non-slip textured surface, saltwater and UV resistant
Warranty 1 year from date of purchase
MSRP $89.95

 

About Footcush Products: Footcush was founded 4 years ago by John E. Andrews, an avid bass angler who occasionally fished off the coast of Texas with his center console boat. When bass fishing he had all the comforts of a luxurious bass boat that cruised smoothly in water. But while running standing up in the ocean John noticed that the constant wave pounding really did a number on his entire body. He prototyped a few deck mats with different materials and found that Ensolite close-cell foam was the perfect choice for his now patented Footcush product.

 

Introducing the Footcush, an Ensolite closed-foam deck mat

 

Impressions: Boat decks are made hard for good reason, but they can cause us a lot of discomfort especially when bouncing up and down on waves or standing up all day. Today there are alternatives to hard boat surfaces and kitchen floor mats, many of which are much more advanced. My first impression of the Footcush is that it appeared to be just a plain piece of rubber and somewhat light in weight. But upon further examination, the Footcush proved to be much more. The Footcush is an Ensolite boat deck mat that comes in two sizes and made to fit all types of boats. The mat is only available in white and measures 1.5 inches thick. At the ends are snaps for you to secure the Footcush mat onto the deck of your boat and all the mounting hardware is provided when you purchase the Footcush.  Footcush is the only known deck mat to have a way to fasten it onto the boat to provide no movement during transportation or while on the water.

    
Real World Tests:
We tested the Footcush on the Pacific Ocean and in the San Francisco Bay where we spent hours fishing standing up and also plenty of time pounding waves while on our feet. The Footcush wasn't permanently installed on the deck of our boat because it wasn't necessary to prove its performance. We transported the Footcush inside the truck where it wouldn't get blown away and placed it at the helm area when needed. And the best part about not permanently fixing it in one location is that we can use the Footcush as a seat cushion at the bow or even a deck mat in other locations where we would stand to fish.

 

The Footush at the helm of the Montauk.  The wrinkles disappear if you secure the mat down via the snaps

  

Shock Absorption & Comfort: The Footcush does a good job at absorbing shock and reducing fatigue to the angler. We field tested the product on the Boston Whaler Montauk, which is also known as a backbreaker to many anglers that pit the boat against offshore conditions. The Footcush performed well thanks to the Ensolite closed-cell foam construction. Ensolite is a closed-cell foam material where the open air chambers or cells are completely surrounded by foam and not interconnected. With this design and the higher grade of Ensolite, the overall product does not easily compress and still provides generous padding as our results have shown. Our trips on the Pacific ocean became much more relaxing while running at 20 knots and slamming into wind waves that varied between 1 to 3 feet in height. The Footcush is thicker and makes you stand higher than its competitors but felt firm when stood on, and did an outstanding job at reducing aches in our feet, knees, and back while standing all day at the helm area as we trolled for salmon.

 

Standing up while running the boat puts a lot of shock on the entire body, but with the Footcush it absorbs much of the pounding

 

Durability: The Footcush is quite durable thanks to the 3-layer construction which is also UV resistant. We tested the Footcush with a variety of footwear ranging from boots to sandals. We didn't see any damage to the textured surface nor the bottom where it rubbed against the rough non-slip surface of our Boston Whaler 170 Montauk. The closed-cell foam also showed excellent structural form. We stood on the Footcush for hours and for further stress testing we also placed a 12 pound trolling weight on the deck mat overnight. In the morning we removed the weight and the Footcush mat exhibited no permanent indentation where the ball rested.

 

Proper care will prolong the live of the Footcush. After each use in an saltwater environment, simply rinse the entire mat surface with freshwater, and if it becomes sullied, wash it with soap and water. When you want to bring the bright white back, bleach is recommended and it will not harm the material in any way.

 

Ensolite closed-cell foam does not compress easily and will not absorb water.  Snaps are at each corner so the Footcush can be easily secured to the boat deck

 

Additional Notes: While standing on the Footcush, no slipping occurred when the surface was wet or dry. The textured surface does a excellent job at preventing any slipping even when completely drenched. Also, the good thing about Ensolite closed-cell foam is that it's made of out rubber and then finished with a layer of vinyl, making it even more resistant to water absorption.

 

The Footcush comes in two sizes and the 40" X 14" mat fits the center console boats pretty well. When not pounding big waves, there was adequate room for two. But it did feel a little tight for two adults to stand on when running where we would stand in a wider stance for better balance. We wish that these mats were a few inches longer and have the ability to customized or ordered to size, and also come in different colors. An alternative could be to buy two of the smaller sizes and place them at the helm area where each angler would have their own mat to stand on.
  

Ratings:

Footcush Deck Mat Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Constructed out of durable Ensolite closed-cell foam and finished to give it additional protection against harsh environments and of course much foot traffic 8
Performance Does a great job at reducing aching joints when pounding wave after wave.  Also it's nice to stand on it all day while fishing especially when the rain boots aren't  so well padded 8.5
Price Not a bad price for a deck mat that'll reduce aching feet, knees, and more.  We actually found it cheaper online 8.5
Features A simple deck mat but has a few useful features such as the snaps to secure it on the boat, non-slip texture surface, and UV and saltwater resistant material 8
Design (Ergonomics) The anti-fatigue mat was designed for better ergonomics while your are boating or fishing and it does a good job at reducing shock to your body.  The thicker design does make you stand higher, which might not be desirable to some anglers 8
Application Works great for all types of saltwater boats for slamming waves, standing on while fishing, or even as a seat cushion 8

Total Score

8.16

  
Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Reduces fatigue greatly L Thicker than others
J Durable L Only one color
J Comfortable  
J Fits any type of boat  

    
Conclusion: Say goodbye to those kitchen mats and say hello to the Footcush. This enhanced deck mat reduces fatigue to your joints, and does so much better than many rubber competitors. While pounding wave after wave, your body will receive far less injury as the Footcush does a fine job at absorbing shock through its high-grade Ensolite. The Footcush resides on the deck of your boat and stays put with the bundled hardware snaps. The 3-layer construction is durable, sports a non-slip textured surface, and the overall mat is extremely easy to clean after each use. The Footcush is definitely a respectable deck mat for any angler who maneuvers their boat standing up, or fishes long hours on the water.



 

 

 

 

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