Submitted: 02-05-2011 by Phillip Taylor
*This is not a review as such, but a few comments by the US importer and
distributor of the Bumfortable to help people assess the other review
comments for themselves.*
I've been using the Bumfortable in my own kayaks for years now and would not
use any other seat. The seats are made from a thermo molded foam rubber
(100% recycled) with a smooth surface that gives good rotational movement.
The seat fits a wide range of kayaks sizes but you will need to customize
the seat installation to get the best fit for you and your kayak. This is
normal and standard stuff for any kayak and canoe.
Kocho's comments are correct and that the seat fit will be different for
each kayak design. I have three kayaks, one is very narrow and has a
Bumfortable Narrow fitted into it that I've modified to suit the kayak and
myself. For years this narrow kayak has had no problems with seat comfort,
then one day I also started getting a little rub spot on my tailbone. I
think it was initiated by a seam in a pair of paddling pants I had been
using for too long and really needed to retire. The odd thing was, that
after that day I got the same rub spot again with other pants.
To fix the problem I also did what Kocho did and carved a little away from
the tailbone area. Then, not happy with that, I cut a hole out on the seat
where my tailbone was rubbing. Problem solved! I have seen others cut holes
in their seats to account for their particular unique personal shapes. The
nice thing about this seat is that you can do this. I recommend though, that
you give it some time before you start carving away at the seat.
My other two kayaks are much wider kayaks and use the Wide seat, unsupported
on the sides. The fit would be much nicer with the sides braced with foam
between the hull and seat but I loan the kayaks out, so leave the seat a
loose fit. They are Velcro fixed in place. The sides spread out a bit when I
sit in the seat but I get no control problems from this and I get no rubbing
anywhere even after many hours of continuous racing.
Fixing a seat is always a personal choice. Everyone wants to do it their own
way. Some people like to permanently glue them in. Others use Velcro so the
seat can be adjusted or moved to other kayaks. Also like Kocho, I've had
seats release during racing, not because the seat is flexing, but because
the glue I used has failed in the wet environment. I will find the perfect
glue one day!
One way a customer did it was smart. He glued two strips of Velcro beam wise
(east west) to the seat. Then in the kayak he glued two strips of Velcro bow
stern wise (north south). This I highly recommend. The advantage of this is
that you get adjustment in three directions, sideways, length ways and
rotational in the vertical.
Another advantage of this method is that when you grab the seat to adjust
it, (make sure you run the Velcro up the sides of the seat a little), you
can lift using the Velcro. The problem I have encountered is that industrial
strength Velcro holds so strongly that the glue will pull free before the
Velcro does. So minimizing the Velcro contact area with itself and
maximizing the glue contact area is an advantage. You only need a few square
inches of Velcro to Velcro contact to make a very strong bond.
So far, contact adhesive seems to be the best but sometimes not great. I
think the freshness of the glue, manufacturer, air temperature, etc, all
affect the initial bond. If you find a great glue email me and let me know
and I'll get it up on the website.
Now a word on the surface of the seat. It is smooth, but it is not hard
plastic or fiberglass so the amount of slip is very much dependent on the
type of material you are wearing. I find I get good rotation with any lycra
or nylon blended material. I use cycling pants for most of my paddling.
Fit is a little friendly when you first sit in it. Like a new pair of shoes
or a new mattress, the first few minutes are odd but after 10 minutes it
feels like it's part of you. The only person that elected not to use the
seat I know of, had prostate issues, and sold the seat to a friend!
As far as price goes, yes the seat is not the cheapest you could buy. It's
made using a hand laid up multistage process in a heated, pressure mold. The
seat is made in New Zealand where there are labor laws that have minimum pay
levels, health benefits, 401k type schemes, and paid vacation and sick
leave. All this contributes to the cost. Considering people are spending
$3,500 or more on a kayak or canoe and then finding them painful to paddle.
The seat often fixed issues that have plagued some people for years or never
paddling without discomfort. Some people were considering buying a new boat
to fix the problem or giving up paddling, the seat has opened up their
paddling world again,(actual customer comments to me).
Steve Gurney has also been listening to the feedback and is developing new
seat innovations. I'm working on a new idea I've code named the "PXT
Synergos" to make fitting the seat between kayaks a breeze. I'm also adding
additional fitting information for the seats and more photos and video of
the seats to help everyone understand what they are and how to use them.
Canoes are also been outfitted with the seats with great results. Check my
website regularly for latest updates, www.pxtkayaks.com.
Phil - PXTkayaks