Falling asleep

I just recently began paddling an OC-1 I purchased a couple months back. I’m used to paddling a tandem canoe and sitting most of the time while paddling. However with the OC-1, I’m always kneeling with the Perception saddle that’s installed.

Anyway, after a short period of time, my legs begin to fall asleep, usually from the knees down. Is that because I’m new at kneeling and my body isn’t used to it yet or is it due to poor technique or outfitting? Has anyone else experienced this and does it go away as I get more accustomed to paddling while kneeling?

Things to check. First, that your pants
are not constricting circulation. I kneel very low in my c-1s, and I can’t wear any pants whatsoever without increasing circulation difficulty.

Second, are you kneeling with your feet up on your toes, or are your foot tops flat against the bottom of the boat. The latter is hard to get used to, because at first your ankles don’t want to retroflex that far, but if your foot tops are flat on the bottom of the boat, your knees will not be bent as much.

Third, your anatomy may be such that you have to add some padding to the seat to reduce the amount of knee bend and increase circulation. Some people need a 7", 8", or even a 9" seat height.

Perception saddles…
I bought an old WW boat and put a Perception saddle in it. It is agony for me to paddle it for very long. My knees and ankles both bother me. The saddle has two inch minicell under it but it is still so low to the bottom of the boat that my old joints stiffen up. I need to be able to alter my position occasionally. I have two other solo canoes with cane seats and I can kneel with a pad or sit in them all day and be comfortable.

Pat #2

I have no solution
other than to welcome you into the world of numb-footed C-1 paddlers!

If sized properly, I found that your main and spare paddles can be used as crutches until blood starts flowing again.


Crawling from the wreckage
My Slasher C1 has a 6" high saddle. Upon exiting the boat I can not walk until the blood returns to my feet.

My Outrage OC1 has a 9" saddle and toe blocks so that I can point my toes down as well as back when I need a change. No trouble with sleepy feet in that one.

I’m pretty sure G2d meant he doesn’t wear long pants though the image I got was disturbing :wink: Lot’s of folks I paddle with cut out the backs of the knees in their wetsuits to avoid the discomfort caused by the neoprene bunching up back there.

Good Luck

my Perception of pain…
Gotta second RPD on those Perception saddles. I mounted one for a short while in a solo of mine. Even with additional foam for height it was still too low - couldn’t use it for more than half an hour without pain.

I’ve got a Mohawk pedestal seat and restraint in my latest boat. MUCH more comfortable. I haven’t had it out for an all-day paddle yet, but my initial impressions are encouraging. ( Although even with the Mohawk system I added an additional 1" minicell pad to the top - my long legs didn’t fit the low pedestal too comfortably.)

I feel your pain …
I think it’s the nature of the “beast”.

I had a Perception saddle a “long” time ago & felt the same pain. The problem as I see it is that when you get into position on the saddle, you actually slip down & into it. You feel pressure almost immediately on you thighs; no doubt the circulation in your legs is restricted. For those wearing wetsuits the pain comes quicker; it will also come quicker to those with thick thighs. Once in position, you’re locked in, very little room to adjust your postion. Again, not good for circulation.

The only thing I found that helped was putting in some thick knee pads, and extra mincell foam on the bench seat area. That helped keep my legs from going down so deep into the saddle. The other thing I did was buy a couple of kayak hip wedges & use them as ankle pads. You might experiment with that before make it permanent.

Try different thickness & different postioning.

In the end I sold the saddle, bought & installed a Mohawk saddle. Problem resolved, unless I tried to paddle 3 or 4 hours at a time without taking a break.


this helps
get some minicel and carve out a wave shape to fit the contour of your ankle. glue it to your existing footpad. this will take a lot of pressure off you ankles and help with circulation. even though it wont prevent dead feet it will allow u to sit longer in the boat. u can also glue some mini to the seat of the saddle to help out. your pads should look something like this


/ ____|

Is the Perception saddle a hard plastic mould? Or what’s its deal?

With minicell foam saddles, it’s relatively easy to add and subtract foam to make your saddle higher, wider, whatever, and to carve/sand away any pressure points.

Similar thread with lots of theories and tips on Canadian Canoe Routes:



…your ankles…

My $.01 is that the ankle area is the problem. I get some of the foam canoe-carrier blocks and whittle out a little more foam…to fit my lower leg/tibia just at or above the ankles… I sew on some velcro straps and voila!..your ankles are OFF the floor. I’ve gone with a slightly thicker, yet still dense, foam pad…that lessens the bending angle my knees have to do… Of course, the clothing has to be loose & comfortable, but…at least with me, it’s always been the ankle area that’s the issue…

Thanks for the insight…
and the suggestions. I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one that’s experienced this.

Everyone’s comments make sense and I’ll give the suggestions a try. I second what thebob says by sliding down into the seat. It seems that if I start off where I seem to be comfortable, I end up somewhere where I’m not comfortable. I’ll play around with trying to add some foam on top of the plastic shell of the saddle to see if it will help hold me where it’s most comfortable.