backband in a canoe

I’m getting ready to work on my solo canoe again. I have adjustable foot pegs and am thinking a backband would provide an 'opposing force’for the footpegs. I don’t like stiff canoe seatbacks because I like to be able to drop the back support and bail out over the back of the seat if I mess up and get myself into low branch/strainer situation. I’m also planning to install knee blocks.

We paddle riffles-classII rivers mostly. I’m no longer fit and athletic, so my rotation is already hindered. (working on that) The boat is a Mohawk Odyssey14 and I usually use a single blade, although plan to use a double blade part of the time.

I think we can figure out the installation, but suggestions are always welcome. My main question is: Will the backband cause the canoe to rotate as I rotate? I think if I keep it low it will be below my torso and not influenced if I keep my butt planted. Inquiring minds want to know. :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance!

not a problem
A friend of mine has a backband rigged in his solo canoe. It works great for him. It shouldn’t cause any extra boat rotation and, as you said, should increase your efficiency somewhat.

For whitewater C-1 and OC-1, backband
would interfere seriously with my ability to cant my upper body backward in order to unload the bow. The ability to make radical forward/backward weight shifts in C-1/OC-1 is one of the big advantages over kayaks.

Second, I can’t quite see why having a backband would be any advantage in a canoe, just for forward paddling. Back support is a comfort factor, but does not appear to help in any way to transfer force to make the boat move.

Pamskee, in your situation the comfort factor might be important. And having a backband might not be an impediment to you in any way. I only want to clarify, as a C-1 paddler who avoids back support, and as a kayaker who uses backbands, that a backband is NOT an advantage for any very active canoe paddler, especially in whitewater.

go for it
I lost a forty mile race to a womans team from Ga and texas. The lady from Ga had a back band installed in the back of a USCA 4x32 Competition Cruiser. A comp Crusier is tippy so if her backbands caused any rotation problems she would have been swimming with the Alligators!


North Carolina

Backbands are your friend
A backband used with footbraces locks you into the canoe allowing you to transfer more power from your stroke. It also makes leaning way over and skull bracing more fun and effective. I’ve tried a few different setups but the one I have now works great in three of my boats,(Voyager, Rendezvois and Mowhawk Scamp). Its a sit on top backband made by Surf to sumit about 9 inches high, kind of shaped like a D, with no seat pad. I attached it with its straps in front of me with those little nylon D-rings that 2 screws hold in through the gunnel,(Scamp)or through the aluminum just under the gunnel,(Voyager, Rendezvois), then attach the two tension straps to the thwart behind me and it stays upright above my rear in the small of my back giving me gental but firm support. Peace Joel

Thanks, Joel!
That’s zactly what I had in mind. Now I get to go shopping again! Now I have a specific product to check out.

Sure would like to see pictures…
…or diagrams of some of these setups. Sound like a good idea. The WNN Vagabond’s one drawback that I’ve found is the center thwart being DIRECTLY behind the seat, but that’s not a backband.

I’ll try to have the hubby post
a picture of the setup. Would have been nice to have today. I cranked on the doubleblade so our friends in their tandem wouldn’t have to wait for me. My butt stays put in the web seat, but a backband should help with fatigue in my lower back.