Carving a Seat

So I am carving a seat for my Explorer and it occurs ta me. I got no butt. I started with a 1" thick piece of minicell and then thought about the best way to imprint my hind quarters, quickly dismissing a wet butt post it on dry minicell. I decided to trace it, looks like an arse to me.

Being a middle aged white male I think I should have just used a 1/2" piece of flat minicell and been paddling already…and no, no pad doesn’t work, part of flat means no cushion.

need deeper foam; butt has sides…

– Last Updated: Jun-07-10 8:59 PM EST –

in addition to the 'print' you're seeing. And, the idea is to allow the sides and edges to provide some support, so the 'print' part doesn't bear the entire load. I'm skinny too; did mine in 4 inches of foam. There's an uncarved inch at the bottom.

4 inch is hard to come by. 3 inch is more available, like from and elsewhere. 4 inch is available at Redfish also sells a precarved 4-inch block, if that seems interesting.

The big dish will also help hold you in place when edging, or in rough conditions.

If your hips and back-pelvis are well
controlled, flat foam may work OK. My old Noah Magma kayak is outfitted like that. Foam bulkheads at the side, simply arched lower back support, good thigh and foot bracing, and my butt doesn’t move on the minicell sheet under me.

Dan I’ve got a couple seats you could
try first. Maybe you’ll like one of them better than making your own.

Right, complexity isn’t necessary

– Last Updated: Jun-08-10 9:46 AM EST –

Check out my "Seat Removal & Replacement" and "Kayak Outfitting" albums on Webshots at:

A seat doesn't have to be complex, nor does it necessarily require a lot of foam. All that matters is that it's comfortable for YOU.

BTW, I you want to develop more of a butt - other than by stuffing yourself with greasy food and laying on the couch - take up cycling. It works the "glutes" pretty hard.

…will sell you a precarved blank for $48. This is as much shaping as most folks require. I prefer a more custom fit and do some more carving but this saves a ton of time. Tell them it’s for an Explorer and it will come pre-shaped to fit the inside of your hull. The 4" blank is sold for $24. Buy one of their foam kits for $10 and a jug of contact cement and make one on the cheap from scratch.

Look at Bryon’s webshots. I got the inspiration to buld my first from looking at his photos. It was ugly but worked really well.

You might find something that will help here:


These guys have 4 and 4.5 thick sheets

Good to know, although another
approach is to build up a seat by pre-cutting and glueing a series of 1" or even 1/2" sheets. To check fit before glueing, it is possible to pin the top sheet down with wooden meat skewers.

Carving tool---------
I’ve done a couple of seats for my explorers and used 3 inch minicell with a 4 inch angle grinder with a wheel of overlapping sandpaper flaps- works great and quickly, so be careful. I’ve never in my life spent so much time thinking about my hiney, or trying to look at it, but the seats were worth it—and they don’t break out. One tip- don’t carve the seat too deeply to start with until you paddle it a bit. The first one I did was too deep (I was thinking increased stability) and I put myself lower in the boat with a higher point of contact on my back to the rear coaming which affected rolling a bit and being able to “flick” the boat with my hips. Cheers----------

A thread with related pics + tips

The ASSistant seems to be a key
element of the sand-box method. And carefull how much you pack and where it goes -:wink:

That was fun reading, Pat!