Finding a Comfortable Kayak

If you’re a beginner at kayaking, one of the main things you need to make sure of, is that the kayak is comfortable for long periods of time.  The last thing you want is to be out on the water for a couple of hours and your butt starts aching because you bought an uncomfortable kayak.  However, it may not be the kayaks fault.  A lot of beginners don’t sit properly when kayaking.  So, this post if for the beginner kayak enthusiast who’s ready to hit the open water, but wants to make sure they have the proper form.

Should you be out in the kayak for more than just a couple of hours, it’s important that you sit comfortably. Otherwise maybe your lasting memory of kayaking will be “ah, my butt!”

Sit with a straight back, or slightly forward. The legs should be slightly bent so that you have knee contact with the underside of the tire, but also so that you have the freedom of movement for the legs. You should not sit so tight that your legs fall asleep.

To be able to sit relaxed in this position, you need a backrest support, it should not sit too high so that it stays when you start to paddle and rotate in the back. You also need a steady footrest, it may be for the front foot or for the whole foot, it is a little different how the footrests are designed in different kayaks. If the kayak is to be with your feet, then this footstool must be separate from the rudder’s pedal / pin.

You also need support for the hips, so that you do not slip on the nose, but it should not be so tight that your hips are squeezed.

The knees will be cramped if you sit and rub them against the deck, so some padding under the deck is a good idea. You can of course use polstra pants instead, as construction workers do to spare their knees.

When you go out on your first trip, it’s good to bring a cheap butt pad in foam plastic, you’ll find these in department stores and at gasoline stores. Cut it into two-three equal parts and lay in the bottom of the cockpit. Then you can pick up and cut pieces of foam to insert where you feel you need to add a bit of extra padding.

It’s not just for your own convenience, as it’s important how you are sitting, but also for how well you balance in the kayak and how to control the kayak in rough lake conditions, and when maneuvering.  If you are comfortable, and you can control the kayak’s movements with your body, you’ll have much more control over how the kayak operates. This not only increases your safety in the kayak, but it also makes the paddling much more fun.

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