I am new to all this too (kayaks that is). My experience was similar to yours at first and I am happy to report that after time in the saddle all the same discomfort you are describing with my back and my legs has disappeared. I feel very comfortable in my WS Zephyr which I feel sure has the exact same seat and back band as your Tempest. I do have a couple of suggestions for you to consider. Your seat should have an adjustable under thigh support. If you adjust that to supply a bit of upward support for your thighs that might help with your legs. Also, at first anyway, consider adjusting the foot pegs so that your knee area contacts the top pads when you put press a bit on the foot pegs with your toes but also so that if you relax your foot you can comfortably drop your knee off that contact point. The back band issue is something that just takes a bit of time. I have mine adjusted now so that when I am seated in the boat with my legs on the pegs in proper paddling position the band just brushes my lower back/hip area - definitely not real tight. When I am actively paddling the back band is lightly contacting me. When I rest a bit I can relax into it. I do not have a strong abdominal area or strong back muscles but still after some time I find this set up very comfortable. I can paddle for hours on end in comfort. I am prone to back pain, but even I am finding this truly comfortable. A hight back seat will interfere with your development of good paddling technique and limit your skills development in my opinion. But you could install one if you decide you just can't work with the back band. Everyone is different so your set up might end up slightly different than mine. But I encourage you to be patient. Your perceptions about what is comfortable will change fairly quickly as you get time in the seat.
Also, I encourage you to stay away from current at the start. Paddle flat water for a while near shore and then after you gain some comfort level - venture into the current.
Paddler's Truck Rack
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