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My legs hurt!

I have a Wenonah Solo Plus that I use solo. The solo seat has two postions one flat, the other canted. With the seat flat my lower back hurts. With it canted my legs ache. Will a backrest likely help in either postion? I would like to eventually kneel, but that doesn't work for me at all. Maybe when I reach a more desirable weight. I weigh 280 now, down from 329! Thanks for any advice on the backrest or seat postion.



  • Some thoughts
    The canted position is usually the kneeling position. You don't say why you can't kneel. Is it the height of the seat or that your knees hurt? The more you practice kneeling, usually, the more you get used to it and the less it hurts.

    The flat position would usually be the sitting position. An experienced seated paddler in a bucket seat might want a slight cant, and would also probably also want a foot bar to press against. Maybe a foot bar would help you.

    More generally, does your lower back hurt when you sit in other seats than the Wenonah canoe seat? If so, perhaps some back muscle strengthening exercises would help. If you've been overweight for a long time and dieting aggressively without weight training, you may have several weakened muscle groups.

    Hard for anyone to predict whether a backrest will help you, but it's a cheap investment to try, especially if you buy it from somewhere with a good return policy.
  • I would put the priorities the other way
    Sested for long periods of time both my legs and back hurt in boats (even with Eds Contour Seat!) without footbraces.

    Your back takes a pounding with every paddle stroke wanting to slide yourself forward off the seat. Unconsciously your back tries to work to keep you on the seat. Footbars give your legs support and also keep you from sliding forward.

    After that I would add a backband or seat. After all there is a reason kayaks have both. Not unreasonable that canoes have both.

    I have just found out that I do not need a backrest with a footbar.
  • Doctors advise
    I paddled with a gentelman once who turned out to be a back doctor. he said the canted seat kneeling position is just like the office chairs he perscribes to his patients. A high,angeled seat might work well for you. I know several people heavier than you that do it fine.
  • The height of your seat
    is a factor as well. Are your seat hung low, or high? Try changing that and see if it helps.
  • Options
    Thanks for everyone's input. The seat on the Wenonah is too low in the canted position for my feet to slip under, although I haven't given it much of a try. I don't see myself ever being comfortable for any period of time on my knees. but I won't truly know until I try. Thanks again.

  • I paddle my Wilderness
    with the web seat canted forward, kneeling probably 90% of the time, using a waterproof foam camping pad from Wally World under me. I think that the more you try kneeling the more you will like it, puts your center of gravity lower, making for a more stable ride.
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