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SUP or Kayak with neck pain.

I have a medical issue with my neck.
I was wondering has anyone the same problem?
I wondered out of Paddleboarding SUP or Kayaking/Surfski which sport is easier on the neck?
I have paddled both crafts, and want to get back into it.
Thanks...

Any comments welcome.
Thank you.

Comments

  • For me, standing up all the time would be a pain in the neck.

  • edited January 9

    What kind of "medical issue"?

    If it prevents you from being able to move your head to the left or right, or up and down, well, those movements are necessary for situational awareness. On the other hand, if you have full range of motion you don't have as far to fall into the water sitting in a kayak versus a SUP. Although SUPs are easier to remount.

    Am thinking a good sports physical therapist is more qualified to answer your question as he/she would have in-depth knowledge of your physical condition. I emphasize "sports" because some PTs don't know the difference between a canoe and a kayak, let alone paddling technique. A PT can also offer exercises which may help.

    Good for you in planning to get back on the water.

  • edited January 9

    You might need to provide a little more information about what is actually wrong with your neck ( bone degeneration,, bone spurs, problems with disks ...etc. Can you turn your head, tilt etc without danger of injury? The advice to talk to a physical therapist who actually kayaks and paddles SUP is good, otherwise don't put too much weight on what you get told, unless the therapist has good in depth knowledge about the kind of paddling you will be doing. That brings me to the other area you need to address. What kind of paddling ? Ocean and Coast, rivers with rapids, flatwater, lakes with wind?

    If you are going to do simple paddling on flatwater a kayak would probably be easiest, unless you have issues lifting it and putting it on a vehicle, then SUP is hard to beat. SUP paddling is not very hard on the neck and likely if you can kayak you can SUP paddle too on flat water, it will strengthen your core and possible help with neck muscles. SUP helps to improve and maintain balance and flexibility, kayaking not so much. In waves and surf SUP surfing is much easier on the back and neck. I have some bone issues in the neck and back and I surf SUPs with no pain. Kayak and waveski surfing are much harder on the body.

    One area where a kayak could be bad is rolling. Most rolls require good flexibility of the neck to keep your head close to the center axis of the boat when you roll up. SUP you simply pull yourself back on, so much easier to deal with falls /capsizes.

  • I have spurs a suppose little bone growths.
    I can Kayak and have done for many years ,?i can also paddle board too.
    It’s when I sit down a lot I get pain,
    I do an awful lot of driving that gives me pain too.
    I have total movement and quite flexible.
    I have noticed my neck gets a little tender kayaking, but nothing major.
    But I was wondering if standing up is better for lumber support in general.
    Plus SUP is lighter to handle.
    I will paddle mainly on a Harbour, river and coastal.,

  • edited January 9

    I would give SUP a try, start out for short paddles and work into longer paddling., if OK with your doctor or phys therapist. I have similar issues and no pain with I SUP. The market for used SUPs is flooded right now so you can pick up a decent used board for ~$450 on craigslist here.

  • Rent a SUP and try it.
    I paddle Kayaks, canoes and a SUP and as I am thinking about your problem I think paddling a SUP would be a lot easier on your neck.
    Visualize paddling a kayak vs paddling a SUP. In a kayak your arms are much higher then when paddling a paddleboard were they are more down .

    Jack L

  • Thanks for all your replies.
    Think I will give the SUP a serious go.

  • Consider learning how to use a Greenland paddle kayaking. I have herniated cervical disks at C2-C4. I have found that proper paddling technique and the Greenland paddle really makes a difference kayaking. The smoother and lower stroke of a Greenland paddle are much better on the neck shoulders and arms than the ubiquitous euro style paddles. IMHO the most pain occurs when carrying the Kayak or SUP over the shoulders or over head. In that aspect there isn’t much difference between SUP or kayak. Carry weight is probably going to be the larger factor.

  • Jack l. Holding your arms high above the kayak deck is only one paddle style in kayaking. A longer paddle and or lower deck or Greenland paddle allow efficient paddling with arms much lower. One thing to consider is that going any distance paddling a SUP will take considerably more effort and work than the same trip in a kayak. We often have a SUP start with our group and turn back from fatigue during the paddle. Each has its advantages.

  • @petermaz said:
    Jack l. Holding your arms high above the kayak deck is only one paddle style in kayaking. A longer paddle and or lower deck or Greenland paddle allow efficient paddling with arms much lower. One thing to consider is that going any distance paddling a SUP will take considerably more effort and work than the same trip in a kayak. We often have a SUP start with our group and turn back from fatigue during the paddle. Each has its advantages.

    Notice: I said, " rent a kayak and try it".
    As one who paddles all three types of watercraft, I agree with your middle sentence. I can paddle fifty miles a day in my canoe or kayak, but I could never do it on my paddle board, but the ones that are into paddle boarding in a big way and have long skinny boards can easily keep up with a kayaker

  • @JackL said:

    ………... the ones that are into paddle boarding in a big way and have long skinny boards can easily keep up with a kayaker

    I camped next to some paddle boarders. From that I learned that there are as many different kinds of boards and hulls as there are different types of kayaks. Later in the race he showed me the back of his board from a long way off.

  • @Overstreet said:

    @JackL said:

    ………... the ones that are into paddle boarding in a big way and have long skinny boards can easily keep up with a kayaker

    I camped next to some paddle boarders. From that I learned that there are as many different kinds of boards and hulls as there are different types of kayaks. Later in the race he showed me the back of his board from a long way off.

    Absolutely !
    In the 300 mile Everglades Challenge they have even made a SUP class this year.
    I have been lusting for a long skinny one to try out and then I have to remind myself of my age and be content to keep getting exercise out of the one I have now.

  • I have neck pain and had 2 herniated discs removed & fused cervical spine. #1 I have found that I MUST have a hard rigid back to sit up straight, no leaning on those wimpy things they have in kayaks now! My first kayak from 2000 is the only one with this style back, guess the manufacturers thought everyone like leaning back so quit making the hard rigid back I need. In fact I peruse ebay every now & then looking for my old kayak to buy another - I've sold or given away 3 kayaks I bought since for this reason. #2 is always bring a rope! In case the water is low and you end up hiking up a river, bending over to pull my kayak - or for portage as I've done recently to get around downed trees - makes a huge difference in neck, arm & shoulder pain. Kayaking actually relieves my neck pain from sitting in front of a computer to work all day. I have no interest in SUP for same reason, you'd have to look down all the time so ... I'd for sure have neck pain. I can't even read as much as I'd like to for the same reason, looking down at a book after working at a computer all day is too much looking down, causing strain. Your head is HEAVY, sit up straight & I do Pilates too to strengthen & straighten my spine, shoulders & arms.

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