The aim of this study was to determine the forces applied at the foot-rest during ergometer kayaking and their correlation to power, VO2peak and competition time. Ten competitive kayakers (7 men, 3 women) participated voluntarily in the study. Exercise capacity was measured as maximal oxygen consumption (VO2peak) and peak power during two and four minutes all-out exercise test on a kayak ergometer. External force sensors were attached to the wires connecting the paddle to the fan of the kayak ergometer. Foot-rests were built to enable measurements of pushing and pulling forces and to distinguish between the left and right foot. Paddle forces correlated significantly to power, VO2peak and on-water competition time at 500 meter but not at 1000 meter. Pulling forces on the foot-rests correlated significantly to power, VO2peak and competition time at 500 and 1000 meters, whereas no significant correlations were found for pushing forces on the foot-rest. No significant correlation was found between forces in the paddle and the foot-rest. To the best of our knowledge, we have for the first time demonstrated that pulling forces at the foot-rest influence kayaking performance.