Changing Necky Seat?

have casually looked at boats for a year or so. found out about a 14 necky zoar sport for sale by owner. took a look and liked it. later heard about the uncomfortable black seats. went back to look again. owner swore he never had any problems. for the price ($500) original “advisor” said not to worry about seat. unseasonable balmy weather allowed me to take her for maiden voyage. love the boat but noticed seat problem about 1/2 way thru my 1 hour paddle.

called necky for days (wintry weather in WA shut them down!). said seat could be changed. and that a dealer should be able to get a new one for me. here are the seats on their website:

somewhere online i read that xtracomfort seat not available separately. necky said one could be had for $130.

does anyone have experience with this issue? and solving it? i’d appreciate your insight.


Paddle the boat!
If you hate the seat that’s in it, you can put any seat in it that you like.

don’t mind salty

– Last Updated: Dec-01-06 8:17 AM EST –

He's crotchety. I had the black seat; legs fell asleep instantly & constantly. Swapped it out for the 2006 model in the link. Instant and dramatic improvement, VERY comfortable.

(Edit: I didn't see that it was the EXTRECOMFORT seat you were interested in. The seat I got was the top picture in the link.)

what’s the problem?
What exactly is the issue you’re having with the seat? And are you sure it’s the seat and not your poor technique? It’s very easy for a beginner to use the wrong technique that makes the lower back sore(all arms/no torso rotation,leaning back at all) and go on blaming the seat when it’s actually you. For legs falling asleep, stretching your hamstrings may help.

I assume by ‘black seat’ you people mean any molded black plastic necky seat,before necky started putting Extrasport seats in.Does it have a whitewater style backband like my elaho,which i’ve paddled for 20+miles at a time and the “black seat” that’s in it never bothered me-though i changed the backband to a softer one?

Or is it one of those that has the narrow-ish pivoting backrest adjusted by rope?

Huh, what’s crotchety?
Think that was pretty possitive. Guess I’m not P-net politically correct…I’ll take that as an honor!

I changed the seat
Bought the Necky Eskia over 2 years ago, the previous year’s model (a demo model, from a dealer), which is the boat I currently paddle. The original black foam seat with backband caused me agony after paddling for an extended time, (and yes, I test paddled it), as I have a herniated lower back disc. Otherwise, the boat was fantastic.

Called Necky, talked to Carolyn. She sent me the grey foam seat cushion seen as the first option on your link. Great improvement, but after extensive use of the boat with the improved seat (and I use a thigh rest), I still had pain problems (legs falling asleep, lower back pain).

Called Necky again (Carolyn), purchased the second seat option (seen in your link) directly from them (Johnson Outdoor Sports, I believe). Removed the black original backband.

Yes, the new seat cost $130. Perhaps the price went up from when the person got it for $65? Anyway I hemmed and hawed over the price, finally bought it. Worth every penny. Should have done it sooner.

My hubby and I installed it ourselves, though I could have driven to the dealer (1 1/2 hr drive) to have it installed.

Glad I spent the money. I can stay in the boat much longer, without as much pain. Yes, I still have back pain, but that’s just me, and I live with it.

Good luck.

Same discomfort w/ black
I too called Necky and they sent me the grey foam seat. And they sent it to me free of charge, not even shipping! They are GREAT at customer service. No more problem! Regularly do 15-20 mile paddles with no problem with legs falling asleep or numb butt. Very comfortable. One caveat, it doesn’t line up w/ the velcro strips from the original seat on the seat pan, so it isn’t too secure. And the seat pan has holes where the new velcro would go, so the solution is to use nylon straps to keep your seat secure, or remove it when cartopping. That is what I do.

mine floated when I capsized
so I used nylon line. You could glue it in, but I wanted to keep my options open.

Necky introduced a plastic Chatham
in 2005. By 2006 they had replaced one feature–the seat. In 2007, no changes. Safe to say there must have been complaints about the seat.

"Paddle the boat!"
We all paddle boats, Salty. That’s what we do. The man has a question. It’s helpful to answer it.

Thanx for input!
salty: i didn’t know that you “could put in any seat you like.”

if you read reviews of this boat from a few years ago, EVERYONE mentions the seat.

to rider604: yes, i’d say that this is the narrow-ish pivoting backrest adjusted by rope.

i may not be award-winning in style yet, but i think i know how to paddle. i work for a park system and for 4 years we’ve been leading floats for the public using perception sundances. we were trained (annually) by a larger system’s ourdoor recreation manager. he just left to take a big job w/the american canoe association. he told me that they have a fleet of necky zoar sports and EVERYONE complains about the seat. i’m not a wimp and can take pain. (i bicycle alot and in my younger years cycled from ohio to florida and back and also across montana) but why take pain unnecessarily? and why would a good company create such a problem?

ness & radskierman: that’s amazing that they sent you a new seat! i’ll tell the other park system about that. i talked to heather. she did’t offer anything free. just said i could buy the expensive seat. ness: how difficult to install? who got it for $65?

everyone: i learned to read serial #. this is a feb. 2000 produced boat. hasn’t been used for years. i thought $500 was a good price ($1200 new now). and i got lotus PFD and something tsunami paddle for another $100. what do you all think?

thanx again!

what hurts?
You haven’t said what area is the “seat” hurting?

I’ve paddled some sort of a necky 16 footer with the exact seat your’s has and the backrest wasn’t that great. I’d leave the seat bottom alone and swap out the backrest for a whitewater/sea kayak style backband.Am I the only person in the world that has spent 6+hours at a time in a necky black seat(but with a backband) and was perfectly OK with it?

I’m not trying to diss your paddling skills because for all i know you may be a better paddler than me. But in general, there’s a reason most “decent” rec boats come with higher back hinged seats,and that’s because they’re meant for people that don’t want to bother developing a proper technique and have the support of the seat compensate for it-which works to a point on shorter paddles.

my legs fell asleep

What hurts…
granted, i have only one hour is this boat. first half hour was fine. second, my lower back got “stiff.” many others have said this. see:

i don’t remember this happening even after 8 hours in the perception sundances.

i can stand it, but i’d prefer not to have to.

again, i appreciate everyone’s input.

I have the black seat

– Last Updated: Dec-01-06 11:09 PM EST –

in my Eskia. For me, though, the only problems I've had are that the backband sticks up above the cockpit coaming so putting on a spray skirt is a bitch. And the other was the rusting of the ratchett buckles, but Necky's sending me an improved replacement, free. Problem solved. The black foam and backband combo are a heck of a lot more comfortable for me than the hard cement feeling lippy plastic seat in my Eddyline. Hope you're able to get comfy soon.

I'll second the great customer service! Left a message and they called right back.

sounds like it aint the seat.
Take anything written by a beginner on an online message board with a mouthfull of salt. Sadly most of recreational and rec/touring boat reviews are written by newbies that have a poor technique.

For an example if you read reviews of the Necky Dolphin (14 ft sit on top),it’s often described as fast and tippy, i owned one and it was actually on the slow side and near untippable.

One guy writes the seat isn’t as comfortable as the WS Phase 3 seat-which is a very recreational piece meant for people with decidedly poor technique(except the ones Tempests come with-that use a backband and is a different much nicer seat). I checked out the sundance and it’s a rec boat with another supportive hinged seat back,very similar looking to phase 3.

Do some more seat time and work on your torso rotation and DO NOT lean back.

I must apologize
I get paid to paddle and test the kayaks that you guys geek out over. Whatever seat a manufacturer puts in a kayak, some will hate it. It doesn’t matter. My approach is a simple one… If you like a boat, but don’t like the seat etc., that is a fixable deal… Outfitting kayaks is an easy gig. That’s all I’m saying! Now that’s pretty easy eh? How can ya be offended by that?

I hope my final comment…
what the new Director of Safety, Education and Instruction of the American Canoe Association told me:

“The Necky Zoar Sport is a really good boat (we have a fleet of 12). Just one thing to look at, check out the seat for comfort. The older style seats are not as comfortable as the new GRAY seats…The sciatic issue is what I have seen in our boats for some folks after longer paddles.”

hey, maybe he inadvertently created a self-fulfilling prophesy??? :wink:

i doubt if i’ll use my boat much until next year anyway.

thanx for everyone’s input.

Installing the seat
Apparently whomever posted they got the seat for $65 must have deleted their post. Or maybe they meant just the bottom seat part (the first option in your link) cost $65. I am talking about the full seat with the full back (adjustable, too). Or maybe I just imagined that? Huh.

But I did pay $130 for the full grey seat with the cushy back - the Extrasport model. To me, it was worth it. I should have bought it sooner.

Yes, now the seat back sticks up above the coaming. Yes, it added a few pounds to my boat, and yes, it makes the sprayskirt a bit harder to get on. But for me, IMHO, it was worth the $ and effort. My legs fall asleep less often, I can spend longer hours in the boat, and the sciatica pain doesn’t kick in right away anymore.

Ease of insatllation of the seat? Well, hmmm, not exactly EASY, as hubby and I put it in by trial and error. We had to remove all the old hardware pieces that came with the old seat. It was a bit confusing, but do-able. Sorry I can’t be more specific, but I am not very handy or good at installing anything, lol. No directions came with it. I suppose an outfitter could help you, or you could call Johnson Outdoor Sports and talk to someone.

As hubby and I said after we put the seat in – after much loud arguing over HOW it goes in – no one died, and the police were not called, so it must have been a successful installation. Been using it all year and so far, so good.

That sounds like a legit issue, that’s what makes people’s legs fall asleep, but that’s not what makes people’s lower back get sore.

And yes, you read enough about any issue anything you own may have enough times and it will become a self fulfilling prophecy.