Are you worried about riding your kayak due to back pain? Wait! The problem could either be your seat or the sitting posture. You need to sit upright in case your kayak has a well-cushioned set with a high back.
However, there is no much you can do with the wrong seat rather than to upgrade it to avoid hurting your back. Note that ignoring slight back pain can result in long term injury to the spine. Here you learn how to make your seat more comfortable and what to look for in case you choose to buy a new chair.
Ways to Make Your Kayak Seat More Comfortable
Before you think of buying another seat, you can make adjustments to the current one. Sometimes few alterations make the seat more comfortable for free back pain. Here is what you can do for more comfort when kayaking:
Pad it up
Cushioning your kayak is one more straightforward way to increase comfort. There is a gel inside the seat pad that moves around easily to create extra cushioning that your back needs. With the right seat pad, you will sit comfortably and paddle for over 6 hours non-stop.
Alternatively, the thin Minicell foam for kayaks can be added to the seat for extra comfort. You shouldavoid altering your center of gravity by using thin minicell foam. Your paddling skills may be changed slightly, but with the time you will get to and enjoy the comfort that comes as a result.
A padded seat eliminates pressure on your hips and butts that tend to radiates pain to the back.
Add inflatable thigh support
A short seat pan might cause discomfort. You need to add inflatable thigh support to this kind of seat to reduce pressure on your thighs. The thigh supports are easily adjustable and lightweight to avoid adding unnecessary weight on the kayak.
Look for quality inflatable thigh support to avoid those that can end up causing more discomfort. Some come with the kayaks, but if it doesn’t consider purchasing one when you are buying the craft.
Adjust back tilt position
The upright position is ideal for paddling to avert back pain. However, you might need to stretch a bit once in a while. In this case, adjust the back tilt so that you can lean back and stretch yourself. If your seat is not adjustable when you buy a new one, ensures the feature for additional comfort.
Adjust the knee and foot position
Move your footpegs backward and forward until you feel comfortable while seated. Adjust such that your legs stay straight when the footpegs are already set. The knees usually move up and down to one side and then to the center on the other side when paddling. You should adjust the knee position such that both knees come up when sitting using thigh straps. This makes it more comfortable, especially when paddling in different directions.
Adjust the height of your seat
You should raise or lower the seat until there is a balance between comfort and stability. Note that higher seats increased your support, but too much of it can cause instability when paddling. However, ideal height enhances the ergonomics when racing on flat waters.
How to Upgrade Your Kayak Seat
When the above is not making a difference, and you continue experiencing the discomfort, then it is worth upgrading your kayak. Recreational kayaks mostly come with necessary seats that lack comfort. But, if you want to up your kayaking skills and plan to spend a lot of time in the water, then you need a good seat. It should support your back and provide enough cushioning for the butt. Here are the features to consider when upgrading your kayak seat:
You should pick a chair with excellent lumbar support as it releases pressure from the spine for back pain-free paddling. If you already suffer from back pain, the lumbar support allows for a more natural seating position to prevent further suffering.
Even if your concern is relieving back pain, sitting on a wet sit can be equally uncomfortable. Once you decide to upgrade your seat, consider one that is made of breathable material. It keeps the sit dry relatively dry since it drains the water splashes first. This may not be a significant issue for sit-ins, but for sit-on getting wet is inevitable.
Size and compatibility
Well, you cannot upgrade a kayak seat to solve one problem and end up causing another. You need a sit that is not too narrow, making it difficult to sit on, or too wide to fit on the kayak. Take the measurements of the kayak to find a compatible sit that fits well.
When you decide to upgrade the kayak seat, always look for one that is more versatile. You do not have to keep changing the seats as you upgrade your kayaking. The chair should be adjustable so that it can fit different styles of paddling. Flexibility is also useful when fishing, as you can alter for a more suitable position. Note that the more comfortable you are, the more hours you are likely to stay in the water.
If you are fishing, consider getting seats that offer extra storage space such as those with pouches and rod holders. This way, your seat upgrade might result in the total upgrade of a recreational kayak to suit fishing.
Back pain is mostly caused by the wrong seat or failing to make proper adjustments on it. You need to practice the modifications mentioned in this article to find a balance between comfort and stability. If any of the above is not working to make you more comfortable and free of back pain, then purchasing a new seat is the best option.
A seat with lumbar support is ideal for dealing with a back pin. However, you need to look for the other features mentioned above for a versatile chair that offers maximum comfort! Thus you will get value for your money!
James is a professional kayaker and his hobby is fishing! He has been fishing for last 5 years and he loves using Kayaks while outing as well. Based on his experiences with the different type of Kayaks; he is sharing his opinion about various kayaks so that a beginner can get started right away. Find him on Twitter here. Happy reading!