Posted by: old_user on Jun-28-09 11:37 AM (EST) Category: Other Gear
I know I've seen this question come up before here, but I didn't find much info using the search feature here.
I have an earlier Wilderness Systems Cape Horn 150 with the old style one piece molded seat with the slip on foam back and seat covers. I like this boat for what I use it for, but the seat is killing me. I did the Ohio River Way Paddlefest yesterday; while it was a blast, 8 miles of moderate paddling did a number on my feet and legs. It's a good thing there here helpers at the takeout, because as soon as I tried to put weight on my left leg, I nearly collapsed. I would have gone back into the river had I not been caught. This wasn't just feet that fell asleep either; my left foot was numb for HOURS after I had finished.
I actually lowered my foot pedals for the trip, but I still wound up with problems. I like to keep my thighs high into the braces (more of a whitewater position) which I'm sure doesn't help and the non-adjusting seat is probably what finishes me off.
I was thinking about adding stick on pads to the molded in thigh braces, sawing out the back portion of the seat assembly, replacing it with a real back-band and trying to find some kind of good cushion to place in the remaining seat pan. I'd really like to find something that supplies more support to my legs, but aside from gluing in a minicell wedge, I haven't seen any aftermarket ideas that approach modern adjustable kayak seating.
If you were in my position, what would you do (don't say buy another boat)?
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Posted by: old_user on Jun-28-09 1:36 PM (EST)
Numbness is usually the result of blood flow being cut off/reduced for a relatively long period of time. A constriction at the upper rear thigh is most likely your problem, and can probably be solved by adding a seat cushion of some type and by adding a set time period of stretches to your paddling routine. Make it an unbreakable rule to stop paddling at set intervals (start with once every hour or two, and adjust as needed) and do a series of stretches which relieve the constriction and let you move around a little. The stretches don't have to be fancy or long - 15-30 seconds should do it.
Next time you're out...|
Posted by: coronaboy on Jun-28-09 5:32 PM (EST)
I use an inflatable cushion|
Posted by: just1more on Jun-28-09 7:40 PM (EST)
that fits under my thighs for sciatica which comes and goes. It could work for any part of your legs and take the pressure off the thigh near the seat which may be cutting off circulation. It is made by Seal Line, is self inflatable/deflatable to fit you just right. Not cheap but worth it to me. I also use a yak pad if i am paddling on a hard seat which works great too!
Posted by: carldelo on Jun-28-09 10:19 PM (EST)
I do a similar thing occasionally, but use my paddle float partially inflated under my thighs just in front of the seat. It doesn't fix the problem, but I last longer before the pain sets in. If you have one, it's worth a quick try to see if it helps.
Posted by: old_user on Jun-28-09 10:55 PM (EST)
I find myself being drawn to the open canoe side of things more every day. I've dropped the whitewater 'yaking aspirations and am determined to make a go at it in an OC-1. Besides just feeling more at home with a single blade, in these boats I never have leg or butt problems. However, it's awfully hard to beat a sea kayak for carrying a moderate load while going fast over distances without having to worry about conditions (too much).
Welcome to the Numbness club|
Posted by: FrankNC on Jun-28-09 11:22 PM (EST)
First Work on you:
A word of warning . . .|
Posted by: Angell on Jun-29-09 12:00 AM (EST)
I write this because many of us are in the 50+ club and unaware of the possible risks of sitting immobile for long periods at our age.
Best to be mobile in kayak then|
Posted by: Greyak on Jun-29-09 1:55 AM (EST)
Posted by: old_user on Jun-29-09 8:53 AM (EST)
Posted by: LeeG on Jun-30-09 1:28 AM (EST)
I remember when a bike racing buddy and I were pushing 36 and we were 20lbs above race weight.
What I do|
Posted by: old_user on Jun-29-09 10:19 AM (EST)
I am 51. I change my posture during long trips, alternating between "good" and "excellent" postures. I will lean forward for stretches.
Posted by: CapeFear on Jun-29-09 9:51 AM (EST)
there is no constant pressure. The combination of liking to keep your knees high and the increased numbness ocurring when you were pushing with your feet harder, leads me to suggest making sure that you're not crammed in so tight that you never relieve 100% of the pressure from the bottom of your foot, and therefore whereever the opposing pressure is taking place. You should be able to straighten your legs while your foot is still on the foot pedal.
Here's something fun to try!|
Posted by: CapnKen on Jun-29-09 11:22 AM (EST)
I never thought much about it, but I assumed it was pinched nerves. No matter, the effect is the same. Depending on where and when you are paddling, it's great fun to pop your skirt and sit up on the back deck, right over the cockpit bulkhead. It's a bit easier to maintain your balance if you leave your legs in the water. Paddle around a bit and try putting your feet up on the seat. Be ready for a swim! Of course you will be doing this with your paddling friends around, so it's a good way to practice your assisted and self rescue drills. While you're at it, re-enter and paddle around with the boat full of water for awhile. Sculling and static braces are much easier to learn with a boat full of water, as are basic rolls. Of course you will be doing all of this in familiar water of known depth and bottom conditions. A bit this and you will forget all about those leg discomforts. It's a lot of fun and laughs. Bring a camera.
Know the Cause to Know the Solution|
Posted by: old_user on Jun-29-09 12:02 PM (EST)
Appreciate your info|
Posted by: just1more on Jun-29-09 10:39 PM (EST)
and taking the time to post it all. My doctor dismisses my sciatica complaints as they are off and on- wish i could find a good doctor someday.
when you find one a massive difference|
Posted by: old_user on Jun-30-09 12:53 AM (EST)
I have been victorious over several life threatening, vision threatening, and not being able to walk threatening events.
appreciate your perspective|
Posted by: LeeG on Jun-30-09 1:30 AM (EST)
Finding a good doctor.....|
Posted by: old_user on Jun-30-09 11:29 AM (EST)
Do you know what they call the guy who graduates last in his medical school class?
This boat has a rudder|
Posted by: old_user on Jun-30-09 10:22 AM (EST)
If I have the pedals far enough forward that I could straighten out my legs, I wouldn't be able to steer very effectively nor would my thighs be anywhere near the braces. I don't use the rudder very often, but I want to retain the functionality.
Posted by: old_user on Sep-10-09 12:12 PM (EST)
I'm coming into this one late (it's a slow day). I recently built a Pygmy Coho. The first paddle utilized the supplied Thermarest seat pad. After 45 minutes I couldn't feel my legs and darn near fell over trying to get out of the boat. I immediately went online and purchased a Redfish pre-formed seat pad and installed it (keeping the Pygmy backrest). I also moved the footpegs a couple of notches further away so that my ankles were more relaxed: this had the effect of dropping my knees slightly although I could still "wedge" my knees up into the knee pads by just "straightening" my ankles a bit.
Numb kayaking legs gone|
Posted by: RichG on May-16-13 1:07 AM (EST)
Try a Bumfortable ( http://www.gurneygears.com/bumfortable-kayak-seat ). They're pretty easy to fit and will relieve the numbness. With a sharp knife you can carve it to suit you if it doesn't work right out of the box.