Looking to replace the seatback on my nighthawk 16 and my spouses Merlin backrest with backbands. I’ve done some research but am not sure what makes one better than another. Can anyone provide and recommendations on the best backband? I am not interested in cutting up the boat to install the backband so whatever I get should install with minimal if any “carving”. Thanks for your time.
I ordered my Nighthawk 17.5 with the
backband option. If you contact Eddyline they can get you what you need and the boat is already designed to use their back band. I changed my mount point higher and further forward to give me more support. If you are not too big, they should work well. For someone my size (6’3" 250lbs) I would go with an aftermarket backband with ratchet adjuster and heavier hardware. I think Eddyline is coming out with a new seat soon so you may want to ask when the new one will be ready. I moved my mount points from the seat bottom plastic to the cockpit rim plastic where it drops down into the hip area. Good luck!
No carving or driilling needed
The existing holes and bolts used with the seatback can be used to install a IR or similar backband. You can use 3M 5200 to glue in a couple of hoops to anchor the bungees under the rear deck to hold band in place. At least that is what I did and it all worked.
Goes in easily. If you don’t want to glue in the loops, just drill a couple of holes in the cockpit rim. Won’t hurt the rim or interfere with water tightness.
I don’t Get It
I’ve been paddling mine for over 4 years now, and I never had any back problems from the seat. I guess everybody is different.
FAIK its not there is a problem with the standard back as such, but many prefer a back band as it fits their style of paddling.
Backband for Eddyline
The important question is why you want to replace the seatbacks - for comfort or performance or ? Are you looking for more support, higher support or what?
If it is comfort, it an individual thing, and what works for me might be bad for you. I have purchased a number of bands that have worked well for others but not for me. The one I like the best (the Seaward plastic band, that looks very uncomfortable) is disliked by a fair number of my friends. I also like the P&H seat a lot.
Eddyline sells a backband that is decent - it comes standard in the Fathom - and is designed to be interchangeable with the seatback in that boat - and maybe yours. You could contact them for starters. Last resort is to have a custom seat built by or for you. Joe at Redfish Kayaks does this, and other folks do too.
Try as many demo or friend’s boats as you can to see what works for you. I find standard Eddyline seatback very comfortable myself, and prefer it to their backband.
backband for me
It’s funny how diverse the opinions are on seating. It goes to show why it’s best to try it out with your own rear end.
I found the regular Eddyline backrest to be an absolute torture device; same with other backrest seats that I’ve used. But with the Eddyline backband, I am comfortable in my Nighthawk for hours.
Changing to the backband was very easy and without drilling or cutting. I did glue in a couple of hooks that were supplied.
I guess not a backband but I had discomfort with backrest supplied with my Eddyline & this endurance back cushion solved the problem
thanks for the replys. At first I had no problems with the backrest but on anything longer than a few hours, it pressed too hard on the base of my back/pelvis. I sat in someone’s Eddyline fantom and really liked the feel of the backband. I am also trying to learn to roll and I cant lean back well even with the seatback adjusted all the way down. My wife reports similar issues re: pressure on lower back with stock seat back. I sent an email to Eddyline so we’ll see what they say. I’ll check out the IR line too.
While you are paddling forward in a sea kayak you should never feel the back band or back support. If you do, it is too tight. So the idea of comfort while you are paddling is irrelevant except for lily dipping. Can you lean back without impediment? If you can’t, change it. The original Eddyline back support is too high and impedes layback rolls.
the seatback is definitely an impediment to laying on the back deck while attempting rolls. My normal style of paddling ranges from “lets see how fast I can get to that shoreline” to “that crossing looks kind of rough, lets do it!” to “paddling calm inlets with my wife”. So comfort has a place as does function.
I am not disputing what you say, however, since rolling has been an ongoing challenge for me, I find this interesting. My seat that came with the boat sits well below the coaming. When I try stretching by laying back as far as I can, I feel like the only impediment is my own flexibility, but I get pretty close to the back deck.
Where the support contacts your back
The back support needs to not only be below the coming but substantially below. And it should rotate a certain amount to match the angle of your back when you lean back. Otherwise it is impeding.
What Dr. Sicso said…
I can lean back a fair bit but the top of the seat back really digs into my back and the only way I can get close to the deck is to raise my butt off the seat.