ABS/thermo kayak creaks


I’m new to the forum. I tried a search and didn’t see anything on this, so I apologize if I’m rehashing a topic that’s already been discussed.

I recently purchased a thermoformed kayak (Riot Edge Thermo) after never having paddled one before. (I know, I know!) I mostly like it, but I’m a relaxed, look-at-the-scenery, enjoy-the-stillness kind of paddler, and this boat creaks every time I shift my weight. Annoying! Is that normal for thermo boats?

Check the backrest first

– Last Updated: Sep-25-15 3:47 PM EST –

No, the noise definitely is not normal. Check the backband/backrest area first. I couldn't find a good photo showing the seat setup in your boat, but based on my own experience, that could be the source. Especially if there's a hinge. Put pressure on back rest and wiggle it around while you're listening. If you hear noise, then you can start to pinpoint the source.

I paddle a thermoform Eddyline Samba and had a similar issue early this summer. Eddyline's Infinity seat is adjustable - the seat can be moved fore or aft - a feature I really like. The noise started when I removed the seat from the cockpit to install a new Infinity seat pad with thigh supports. Comfort was great but now there was noise, which drove me crazy. Snap-crackle-pops loud enough to be heard by a nearby paddler on Lake Michigan. It got so bad I didn't want to paddle.

I contacted Eddyline, who was wonderful in helping me try to solve the problem. We pinpointed some of the noise to the pillar that holds my backband. I tried their suggestion of using sandpaper around the backband hinge, then got impatient and applied pieces of waterproof Duct tape - that fixed that noise.

But the seat was still very noisy when I used hip rotation. We could not come up with a reason for the seat noise. When I removed the seat the first time, I had vacuumed and washed the track and cockpit. It was immaculate. The bottom of the seat was clean. I reinstalled it properly. Yet it sounded like a very loud bowl of Rice Krispies once underway.

Eddyline sent me a supply of the anti-friction tape they install on the bottom of the seatbed during the manufacturing process. I decided to use that as a last resort and instead got out the Duct tape (again) and applied pieces of tape to the bottom of the seatbed, where it comes in contact with the hull. That ended the noise and my boat is again wonderfully quiet, but why it started is still a mystery.

If the creaks are coming from the seat area, I'd try slipping some very thin foam between the seat and the hull (if that's possible) just to test it before using something sticky.

Your other alternative is to contact customer service and hopefully, they'll work with you to solve the problem.

Thank you!
Thanks! I had first assumed it was the seat or something rubbing, but it really seems like it’s the body of the boat itself. Now that I know that’s not a thermo thing, though, I’ll check it out again and see if I can’t narrow it down to a more specific location.

I appreciate the quick and informative reply. I hope the duct-tape fix continues to work for you!

Hope you find a solution,
because the annoyance can take the joy out of paddling.

Don’t hesitate to make a recording of the creaking so you can share it with the manufacturer, if need be.

Best wishes.

Most likely the seat
Most likely the seat or backband. But can also be a bulkhead that is not glued in place or if there are internal foam or plastic reinforcements that came unglued or are just meant to pressed between the deck and the bottom of the hull and are moving with the hull flex. Could also be your shoes, sprayskirt, or PFD making noises…